Miami, FL – There’s a new generation crossover in the Honda camp. It’s the all-new 2016 Honda HR-V crossover. It comes in a smart package that’s based on the Global Compact Series platform – the same structural engineering architecture as the Fit, but is larger in all physical measurements and featuring a surprising amount of cabin space in a compact crossover SUV form that displays an exterior that’s very coupe-like. The interior offers several modes of multi-utility seating and cargo room that ranks above class. There are actually five modes: a Normal mode; a Split mode; a Tall mode; a Utility mode and a Long mode – all designed to provide maximum versatility and functionality. Essentially, the HR-V is small on the outside and large inside. It incorporates a center-mounted fuel tank along with a reconfigurable second row, 60/40 split MagicSeat® that aid in delivering the spacious interior and cabin flexibility. It is a sporty personal multi-dimensional vehicle for the rapidly growing entry crossover marketplace.
|STATS||Starting Retail Price||As Tested Price||HP / Lb-Ft|
|2016 Honda HR-V||$25,840.||$26,720.||141 @ 6,500 rpm / 127 @ 4,300 rpm|
|EPA Rating||As Tested MPG|
|Rating: BUY IT!||28 mpg city / 32 mpg highway||Not tested|
The HR-V becomes the gateway to Honda’s light truck stable, which also includes the CR-V, Pilot, Odyssey and Ridgeline. Initially, one might be tempted to think of it as a mini CR-V or a stretched Fit, but it’s really its own vehicle. The HR-V will come in three levels of trim: a base LX; a more upscale EX; and the top EX-L/Navi model.
In terms of its exterior styling and visual appeal, the HR-V displays a dynamic, athletic stance, which starts up front with its boldly tapered face with an uplifting “wing” motif and continues over the sharply angled windshield and coupe-like greenhouse to the reverse angled rear liftgate. In profile, the HR-V exhibits distinctive side contours with a sharply upswept character line and provocatively sculpted lower body. Rear door handles are concealed, adding to the coupe-like persona of the HR-V.
The interior of the HR-V delivers a sporty and sophisticated ambience with its expansive, airy cockpit, consisting of soft-touch materials and attention to finished detailing that includes distinct bezels and stitch lines along with upscale brushed chrome and piano black highlight elements. A three-meter driver’s instrument cluster consists of “floating” illumination rings and Honda’s ECO Assist feature, with the speedo illumination switching from white to green to reflect fuel efficiency.
The Honda HR-V draws its motive force from a 1.8-liter SOHC, 16-valve i-VTEC inline four-cylinder engine with programmed fuel injection that makes 141 horsepower at 6,500 rpm, while developing 127 pound feet of torque at 4,300 rpm. Power from the transversely mounted front engine is transferred from the engine through either a 6-speed manual or Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) with EarthDreams technology and available paddle shifters to the front wheels or to all four wheels with Honda’s Real Time AWD with Intelligent Control System. AWD is available only with the CVT transmission, which is standard on EX-L NAVI models and available for LX and EX Trims that come standard on FWD LX and EX models.
The HR-V rolls on 215/55 R17 94V All-season tires mounted on 5 “Y”-spoke painted alloy wheels with a machined face. Suspension componentry consists of MacPherson struts with a 24mm stabilizer bar up front and an H-shaped torsion beam with a 19mm stabilizer bar in the rear. Amplitude reactive dampers and rebound springs are included. Steering is handled by a Motion Adaptive, Brushless Motor Electronic Power steering unit. Braking duties are handled by power-assisted four-wheel discs (vented in front) with TPMS, ABS, BA, EBD, Hill Start Assist and an Electronic Parking Brake with Automatic Brake Hold.
Standard and available active and passive safety features include: Vehicle Stability Assist with Traction Control, Hill Start Assist, Honda Lane Watch, SmartVent front side airbags and side curtain airbags with a rollover sensor, a multi-Angle rearview camera with guidelines and ACE™ body structure.
Connectivity through the HR-V’s audio and telematics offerings range from a high quality 160-watt audio system featuring Bluetooth streaming audio to an available 180-watt high resolution WVGA 7-inch electrostatic touchscreen information system (EX and EX-L Navi) with optional embedded (EX-L Navi) or app-based navigation system. Key features include: a 7-inch touchscreen Display Audio, next generation HondaLink™ and HondaLink Assist, Siri Eyes Free Integration, HDMI audio and video playback, Honda satellite-linked nav system with Voice Recognition and HD digital Traffic, USB ports and SMS Text Message Function.
My driving partner and I began our trek from Miami to the Everglades Safari Park in a 2016 Honda HR-V in EX-L/Navi AWD model with the CVT automatic, and with an exterior finished in Alabaster Silver Metallic and the interior finished in Gray and Black tones. The base price was set at $25,840., which rose to $26,720. after factoring in the Destination and Handling charge. Our return journey was made in an EX model finished in Deep Ocean Pearl outside and Black and Gray interior base priced at $21,965., which totaled out to $22,845. with the Destination charge.
SUMMARY: The 2016 Honda HR-V EX-L/NAVI offers the ideal solution for a family looking to move up from a Fit. It is loaded with a host of standard features and equipment. Even the base model LX HR-V delivers a surprising inventory of standard fare at a starting price below $20,000 ($19,115 – LX FWD 6MT) that are uncommon in its class.
The Honda HR-V is a crossover that truly provides a coupe-like appeal in its design, while delivering the versatility and functionality of an SUV, albeit a compact one. It is easy on the eyes, while showcasing an emotion-stirring design.
The interior ambience is upscale for its class, and quite comfortable in terms of ride quality. The handling characteristics are quite similar to the Honda Fit – sporty and enjoyable. Acceleration is more than adequate for virtually any driving scenario and both transmissions deliver smooth gear changes. Obviously, the CVT transmission doesn’t really change gears, but provides the sensation of gear changes.
The Honda HR-V, though good-looking enough right off the showroom floor, offers a variety of Honda Genuine Accessories for personalization and customization – all covered by the HR-V’s 3-year, 36,000 mile basic warranty when purchased with the vehicle. The accessories range from dress-up to functional for both the interior and exterior.
The HR-V is a perfect fit (no pun intended) between the Fit and the CR-V, providing an ideal and high level of maneuverability, with exceptional adaptability to varying cargo and passenger carrying requirements.
Watch this TFLcar first drive video of the 2016 Honda HR-V.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2016 Honda HR-V EX-L/NAVI AWD
Base Price: $25,840.
Price as Tested: $26,720.
Engine Type and Size: 1.8-liter SOHC, 16-valve i-VTEC inline four-cylinder with
programmed fuel injection and drive-by-wire throttle control.
Horsepower (bhp): 141 @ 6,500 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 127 @ 4,300 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed manual or Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) with
EarthDreams technology and available paddle shifters.
Drive Train: Transversely mounted front engine / Front-Wheel drive or All-
Suspension: Front – MacPherson strut with 24mm stabilizer bar.
Rear – Torsion beam with 19mm stabilizer bar.
Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel discs (vented front) with ABS, EBD,
Hill Start Assist and an Electronic Parking Brake with
Automatic Brake Hold.
Tires: Michelin MXV4 – 215/55 R17 94V All-season mounted on 5 “Y”-
spoke painted with machined face alloy wheels.
Wheelbase: 102.8 inches
Length Overall: 169.1 inches
Width: 69.8 inches
Height: 63.2 inches
Curb Weight: 2,888 lbs. – 2WD M/T – 3,109 lbs. – AWD
Turning Circle: 37.4 ft.
Fuel Capacity: 13.2 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 28 mpg city / 32 mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: Not listed.
0 – 60 mph: Not tested.
Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles as well.