2016 Honda HR-V Preview

FAST FACTS
  • New, small crossover SUV based on Honda Fit platform
  • 138-horsepower engine
  • Manual gearbox or CVT transmission
  • Front-wheel or all-wheel drive
  • LX, EX, and EX-L trim levels
  • Standard rear Magic Seat design

Introduction

Just as Honda sells three mainstream cars in the Fit, Civic, and Accord, the introduction of the 2016 Honda HR-V at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show provides the automaker with three mainstream crossover SUVs in the HR-V, CR-V, and Pilot. Based on the same platform as the Fit but equipped with a more powerful engine, the new Honda HR-V is available in LX, EX, and EX-L trim levels. It goes on sale in the spring of 2015.

Exterior Features

Honda says the new HR-V has a "coupe-like" appearance due to its upswept side window treatment and hidden rear door handles. Aluminum wheels are standard equipment for the HR-V, while the HR-V EX adds a power sunroof.

Interior Features

Though the HR-V is positioned beneath the larger CR-V in Honda's crossover SUV lineup, the automaker says it has employed soft-touch interior materials in combination with piano black trim and chrome accents to give the entry-level HR-V a "sporty and sophisticated interior" with "premium detailing."

Like the Honda Fit upon which it is based, the new HR-V is equipped with a rear Magic Seat design. Fold the rear seat flat to increase cargo capacity from 24.3 cu. ft. to a maximum of 58 cu. ft. Flip the rear seat cushion up to carry tall items on the rear passenger compartment's floor. Fold the right rear seat back and the front passenger's seat to slide long items into the HR-V while preserving space for an additional passenger behind the driver.

Optional Features

Moving up from the HR-V LX to the HR-V EX installs a Display Audio infotainment system with a 7-in. color touch screen that works similar to a tablet computer. Honda's Smart Key passive entry and push-button engine starting system is also standard, along with a LaneWatch system that uses a camera to monitor the vehicle's right side and display what's in the adjacent lane when appropriate, such as for safe lane changes.

Choosing the HR-V EX-L installs leather upholstery, heated front seats, satellite radio, HD traffic reports, and a navigation system.

Under the Hood

A 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine is standard in the 2016 Honda HR-V, one generating 138 horsepower and 127 lb.-ft. of torque. Front-wheel drive and a 6-speed manual transmission are standard, with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and an all-wheel-drive system available as options. The CVT includes paddle shifters for greater control over how the engine power is accessed and delivered.

Safety

Honda engineers its vehicles using what it calls an Advanced Compatibility Engineering II, or ACE II, body structure. This type of design is engineered to distribute and disperse crash energy during vehicle impact, keeping those forces from intruding upon the passenger space to reduce the potential for injury.

Technology

In addition to the available features listed above for the EX and EX-L trim levels, it is worth noting that every version of the 2016 Honda HR-V is equipped with standard Bluetooth connectivity, text-messaging support, Pandora Internet radio, and an Eco Assist system. When the HR-V is driven in a fuel-efficient manner, speedometer illumination changes from white to green to congratulate the driver.