2019 Honda HR-V Introduction

The Honda HR-V is a subcompact crossover with available all-wheel drive that’s based on the brilliant Honda Fit. In its fourth year, for 2019 it gets a styling tweak that doesn’t change its overall looks much. It gains two new models including a Sport with zippy 18-inch alloy wheels and black trim, which allows it to step out of its economy role just a bit.

New active safety equipment has been added as well, as in other Honda models. EX and higher trims now come with a bundle of collision-avoidance technology including automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and active lane control. The new Touring model is fitted with navigation, a power driver’s seat, and LED headlamps.

Like the versatile and popular Fit, the HR-V uses a fold-flat 60/40 rear seat, and fold-flat front seats.

Every HR-V uses a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine making 141 horsepower and 121 pound-feet of torque. It feels quick enough around town, but runs out of juice on the highway, where at least the handling is decent and the ride is comfortable. For 2019 the manual transmission has been replaced by a competent and well-tuned continuously variable transmission.

The HR-V’s tidy 102.8-inch wheelbase and short 170-inch length allow it to be quite nimble. And the short wheelbase doesn’t deter from a compliant ride. Suspension engineers did a great job on the HR-V.

The 2019 HR-V is EPA-rated at 28 mpg city, 34 highway, 30 combined for front-wheel drive, and 1 less combined mpg for all-wheel drive.

Safety scores are good. The NHTSA rated the HR-V at five stars overall, with four stars for rollover and four stars for frontal crash performance. The IIHS rated it “Good” in most tests, and “Acceptable” in the small-overlap test, but gave it a “Poor” for the headlights. We’re hoping the new available LED headlamps are better.

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