2016 Honda HR-V EX-L Navi Review

The all-new 2016 Honda HR-V is the newest member of the Honda family. It is a brand new vehicle in a new-ish segment, sub-compact crossover vehicles, competing against vehicles like the Mazda CX-3, Chevy Trax, and maybe even the Mitsubishi RVR (which might be a little bigger and has been out in the market for a while).

This segment of vehicles is not nearly as new as most would think, the original CR-V and RAV4 from the mid-90’s were about the same size as the 2016 HR-V, but those models have grown over the years and have left a spot open for vehicles like the HR-V.

The Honda HR-V is based on the Honda Fit and the CR-V is based on the Civic, so the HR-V is the Fit of the CUV family. The HR-V is a smaller alternative for people wanting the practicality of the CR-V, but in a smaller package. The HR-V is also an alternative over the Fit because it offers higher seating position and AWD.

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The 2016 Honda HR-V is offered in three trims, LX, EX, and EX-L Navi. Within these three trims it comes with a variety of options like 2WD, AWD, manual transmission, and CVT. The 6-speed manual is only offered on the 2WD models (LX and EX), but the CVT can be ordered on the 2WD or 4WD equipped vehicles. Below is a list of starting prices on the three trims with the available packages:

TrimDrivetrainPrice
LX2WD Manual$20,690
LX2WD CVT$21,990
LXAWD CVT$24,290
EX2WD Manual$23,190
EX2WD CVT$24,490
EXAWD CVT$26,790
EX-L NaviAWD CVT$29,990

All three trims of the HR-V come with 1.8 liter 4-cylinder engines, producing 141 horsepower and 127 pound feet of torque. Our review car for the week was the HR-V EX-L Navi, which is only offered with AWD and the CVT transmission. According to Honda, this combination has fuel economy rating of 8.8/7.2/8.1 L/100 km city/highway/combined. We were able to average 10.0 L/100 km in pure city driving and 7.5 L/100 km in combined driving with 50/50 highway/city, according to the car’s on-board display.

The 1.8 liter engine on the HR-V seems adequate enough for normal city driving, it’s quite peppy and taking off from traffic lights is done in a respectable amount of time. Getting up to highway speeds does take a bit of time, with a 0 – 60 mph (0 – 96 km/h) time of around 9.3 seconds and the engine is pretty noisy under heavy load. But once up to speed, the noise level is not that bad, it’s definitely quieter than the Honda Fit. Once up to speed, highway driving is pretty easy and passing isn’t bad, since you can “downshift” with the steering wheel mounted paddles, giving you instant increase in rpms for passing.

I would like to see the 1.5 liter turbo engine from the new Civic in the HR-V, that would make this quite the sporty “cute-ute”, but I doubt that would happen.

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However, a vehicle like the HR-V is bought for its practicality, it’s not going to win you any races or styling awards, but it is pretty decent looking. When it comes to practicality, it has lots of it. The interior is quite roomy and the high seating position makes it very easy to get in and out of. The rear passenger seats have lots of leg and head room, the back seats are even comfortable for passengers over 6 feet tall.

The HR-V also features the “Magic Seats” found on the Fit, which can be folded up to give you a flat storage area behind the front seats or folded down completely, giving you massive trunk space. The magic seats in the up position are perfect for taking the dog in the car and in the folded position, you can carry quite a large load of cargo.

The interior on the HR-V has a pretty simple layout and features lots of hard plastics, I would’ve preferred some softer material. The interior design is very clean, with the main attraction being the 7” touchscreen at the center of the dashboard, this touchscreen is standard on all trims. The touchscreen controls most of the features like audio, navigation (if equipped), apps, and is the display for the rear camera and the LaneWatch system. Many reviewers have complained about the lack of a physical knob for the volume control for the sound system, I also want a knob instead of the digital volume control!

Below the main screen is a smaller screen that displays the climate control information. This is very similar to the Fit’s system and I actually prefer this layout over the new Civic’s. Below this is a small hidden compartment to place your phone and outlets for USB, auxiliary, and HDMI ports. This area is a bit awkward to get to, especially if you’re fiddling with the tiny plugs for a USB.

The gauges on the HR-V have a simple 3-gauge layout, with a large speedometer in the center, a tachometer on the left, and another gauge with trip/mileage/temperature etc on the right. The gauges are easy to read and provide you with all the relevant information you’ll need on your daily commute.

Our 2016 Honda HR-V EX-L Navi review car was the top of the line model and came with a lot of tech, safety, and convenience features. Below is a list of what’s available on the top model:

  • Proximity key with push button start
  • Electronic Parking Brake (EPB) with automatic brake hold
  • Brake Assist
  • Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD)
  • Hill Start Assist
  • Lane Departure Warning (LDW) system
  • Forward Collision Warning (FCW) system
  • Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) with Traction Control
  • Dual-stage, multiple-threshold front airbags (SRS)
  • HondaLink Assist Automatic Emergency Response System
  • Side curtain airbags with rollover sensor system
  • Smartvent side airbags
  • Front wiper de-icer
  • Heated power side mirrors
  • LED brake lights
  • Mirror-integrated LED turn indicators
  • Multi-reflector halogen headlights
  • 12-volt power outlets
  • Dual-zone Automatic climate control with air-filtration system
  • Auto-dimming rear view mirror
  • HandsFreeLink bilingual Bluetooth
  • Display Audio System with HondaLink
  • Honda LaneWatch blind spot display
  • Multi-angle rear view camera with dynamic guidelines
  • One-touch turn signals
  • Heated front seats
  • 180-watt AM/FM/CD audio system with MP3/Windows Media Audio playback capability and 6 speakers
  • Bluetooth Streaming Audio
  • HDMI input jack
  • Siri Eyes Free compatibility
  • Speed-sensitive Volume Control (SVC)
  • USB audio interface
  • SMS text message function

Overall, the Honda HR-V is a great little package, it’s an AWD alternative for people looking for a small vehicle that also offers a higher seating position. It is pretty fuel efficient and offers lots of interior space for passengers and all their stuff, and with the “Magic Seats”, the HR-V becomes even more versatile. For more information, check out honda.ca.

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Faisal

When I'm not reviewing the latest cars, I'm busy checking out the latest gadgets and watches by the world's best manufacturers. Cars, gadgets, and watches... that's all a man needs to get through life.

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