June 22, 2024
Reviews

Honda HR-V 2025 Review: Practical, but lacks emotional appeal

Advantages: Luxurious cabin; essentially a larger version of the Civic; top safety ratings; renowned Honda reliability and resale value

Disadvantages: Sluggish compared to competitors with no fuel efficiency advantage; basic infotainment system on base model; mediocre cargo space; lacks sporty or rugged trim options

Choosing the 2025 Honda HR-V is a practical decision. It boasts excellent safety ratings, ample space, a well-crafted interior, generous features for the price, and upholds Honda’s reputation for reliability and strong resale value. As a straightforward and reliable choice for those seeking a higher seating position and added versatility, the HR-V delivers. It’s no wonder that the HR-V appeals to first-time car buyers and Gen Z individuals who prioritize a trouble-free initial car ownership experience.

However, a car purchase involves more than just ticking boxes. While the HR-V is undeniably sensible, it lacks excitement. Competing subcompact SUVs offer unique style, better performance, more engaging driving experiences, and cater to specific niches with sporty or off-road variants. These rivals also excel in practical aspects such as interior space, fuel efficiency, and pricing, surpassing the HR-V in various aspects.

While the list of competitors is extensive (including Chevrolet Trax, Buick Envista, Kia Seltos, Subaru Crosstrek, Kia Niro hybrid, Hyundai Kona, Volkswagen Taos, Mazda CX-30), it reflects the HR-V’s relatively low ranking. Therefore, while considering the Honda HR-V is a wise choice, it’s worth exploring alternatives that offer both functionality and emotional appeal.

Interior & Technology   |   Passenger & Cargo Space   |   Performance & Fuel Economy

Driving Experience   |   Pricing & Trim Levels   |   Safety Ratings & Features

What’s new for 2025?

For the 2025 model year, the HR-V remains unchanged, except for a slight price increase of approximately $1,000.

What is the interior and technology like in the HR-V?

Featuring a distinctive high-mounted “floating” center console, the HR-V’s stylish design and premium materials align closely with the Honda Civic. Notably, the wheel-to-door air vent design, resembling a metal honeycomb pattern, draws inspiration from the Civic. The HR-V exudes sophistication and quality, with a design element that sets it apart. The touchscreen interfaces vary in size and functionality, with the larger 9-inch display in the EX-L trim offering more features and vibrant graphics. Although the screens may not surpass those of its rivals, the HR-V’s interface is functional and unlikely to be a dealbreaker.

The center console houses three USB-A ports, with the EX-L trim level equipped with wireless charging, wireless Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto capabilities in addition to standard wired connectivity.

How spacious is the HR-V?

The current HR-V has grown to meet the larger subcompact SUV standard prevailing in the segment. It offers generous passenger space, comparable to top contenders like the Taos, Trax, and Envista, making it a family-friendly option. However, in terms of cargo capacity, the HR-V falls mid-pack with 24.4 cubic feet of space. While the back seat folds completely flat, simplifying cargo loading, the angled liftgate opening can pose challenges compared to competitors like the Seltos, Taos, Envista, and Crosstrek, affecting practicality. The HR-V lacks roof rails and features a 7-inch ground clearance, limiting its utility for outdoor activities.

What are the fuel efficiency and performance specs of the HR-V?

The HR-V offers a single engine configuration – a 2.0-liter inline-four producing 158 horsepower and 138 pound-feet of torque, mated to a continuously variable transmission. While this setup falls below the segment average in terms of power, the HR-V’s fuel economy ratings are 26 mpg city, 32 mpg highway, and 28 mpg combined with front-wheel drive, and slightly lower with all-wheel drive at 25/30/27 mpg. These figures are not as competitive as other models in the segment, despite their higher power outputs.

How does the HR-V perform on the road?

The HR-V’s performance is notably lackluster, with limited low-end power delivery (138 lb-ft of torque at 4,200 rpm). Acceleration is underwhelming, failing to match the lively turbo engines found in many rival models. Despite a CVT that simulates gear shifts and offers engine braking in Sport or Low modes, the HR-V feels sluggish and unresponsive. The Sport mode, while available, disappoints by upshifting too quickly, lacking paddle shifters for manual control.

On the bright side, the HR-V delivers a refined driving experience for the segment, featuring elements borrowed from the previous-generation CR-V that enhance overall comfort and sophistication. The handling is stable, with controlled body roll and responsive steering. However, the steering ratio is slower than the Civic, requiring more input on winding roads. While the HR-V’s suspension provides a substantial feel, there is potential for a sportier variant or a trail-ready version with increased ground clearance and functionality. Notably, the HR-V lacks roof rails.

Other Honda HR-V reviews to explore:

2023 Honda HR-V First Drive

A comprehensive review detailing the differences from the previous model, the rationale behind design changes, and the absence of a turbocharged engine.

 

Honda HR-V Luggage Test

An assessment of the HR-V’s cargo capacity, highlighting its limitations compared to the previous model’s versatility.

 

Honda HR-V EX-L Interior Review

A detailed exploration of the premium EX-L trim’s interior, focusing on material quality, storage options, technology features, and spatial comfort.

 

Honda HR-V vs Toyota Corolla Cross: Which is better?

A comparison between two popular models in the segment, analyzing specifications and individual impressions. Ultimately, broader alternatives beyond these options are recommended.

How much does the 2025 HR-V cost?

Starting at $26,450 for the base LX trim with front-wheel drive, including a $1,350 destination charge, the HR-V’s pricing is competitive with key rivals like the Kia Seltos and Subaru Crosstrek. However, considering the HR-V’s shortcomings, notably its lack of specialized trim levels for sporty or off-road enthusiasts, the lower-priced options like the Chevy Trax and Buick Envista may be more appealing.

While the HR-V Sport attempts to add a sporty touch with black wheels and unique interior accents, it falls short of delivering a truly engaging driving experience. The pricing for all trim levels includes the destination charge and offers optional all-wheel drive for an additional $1,500.

LX: $26,450
Sport: $28,550
EX-L: $30,550

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