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2016 Honda HR-V EX-L AWD Review & Test Drive

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Filed under Automotive, Honda, SUV, Test Drives

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There is a growing dominance of newly-introduced crossover vehicles that have been accepted with open arms by a multitude of consumers. Honda has jumped aboard the crossover train to introduce an all-new model, the new HR-V, nicely nestled in between the Honda Fit and CR-V.

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The 2016 Honda HR-V finds its competition in a growing precedence of compact crossovers, such as the Mini Countryman, Buick Encore, Chevy Trax, Jeep Renegade, Mazda CX-3 and even the Fiat 500X. Where the Honda CR-V has grown to fit a larger CUV mold, the smallish Honda Fit was deserving of a larger, closely tied, sibling to fill the gap. The new Honda HR-V is positioned to take the basis of the Fit and build upon its modern angles but take use of the Honda Civic’s more robust 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine with 141 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 127 lb-ft of torque at 4,300 rpm.

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The new HR-V scoots along well but is hindered by my test vehicle’s AWD system and the buzzing sound emitting from the 4-cylinder engine under full-throttle thanks to the continuous variable transmission (CVT) it is mated to.

The HR-V’s zero to 60 mph time comes in a tick over 10 seconds, even through use of the transmission’s sport mode or use of steering wheel-mounted shifter paddles to emulate virtual shift points dropping the rpm in 7 preset increments. Power is mostly acceptable for the smallish ute. However, getting out of the hole is a daring exercise if you plan on reaching interstate speeds to match merging traffic in a hurry.

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Having the top trimmed HR-V EX-L adds many desirable traits for a flourishing segment, such as leather-trimmed seats, a navigation system fed through the EX trim’s 7-inch touch-screen infotainment system, HD and Sirius XM radio, and roof rails. Every HR-V gets a decent list of notable standard features starting with the multi-angle rearview camera, 60/40 split folding magic seat (the magic part adds the ability to fold the seat bottoms up tall storage items), 17-inch alloy wheels, 5-inch color LCD screen, and LED brake lights.

Use of the latest implementation of Honda’s navigation system and higher trims’ 7-inch color touch screen is simplistic. The only drawback, finding its way into other new Honda vehicles with similar equipment, is the lack of a physical volume knob replaced by a touch slider area on the left side of the screen.

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Use of the system through its menu sets is straightforward while the limited steering wheel buttons of my HR-V EX-L AWD rarely made things any easier over reaching for the touch the screen. The ample connectivity provided by the HR-V EX-L is a well praised as part of the full entertainment experience with two USB ports, an HDMI port, and Bluetooth phone connectivity with audio streaming.

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The usability of the interior space of the HR-V is very kind to occupants and accommodating to a variety of items that you may need to stow. Even the rear hatch cargo area provides a decent amount of cargo space with the seats up in place, over 23 cubic feet, to accommodate large items that you think might otherwise require a midsized CUV to haul. Folding the rear seatbacks down opens up nearly 56 cubic feet, and almost 59 cubic feet in the 2WD variants of the HR-V. The versatility of the HR-V’s ability to store cargo and fold the rear seats flat or fold the rear seat bottoms up make it a convincing choice for a subcompact crossover. Additionally, the low cargo hold permits easy loading making the HR-V an inviting formula for hauling items across town.

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The new Honda HR-V follows closely to its smaller Fit sibling in much of its packaging. Departing from the Fit’s character is the exterior looks and the HR-V’s larger cabin, which all play nicely to provide a comfortable place for all passengers. The exceptional efficiency of the HR-V, with a baseline of 28 mpg city and 35 mpg highway for the LX 2WD CVT-equipped HR-V, is not too far off from the Fit’s eco-centric estimates.

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Honda proves to offer a little fun for everyone with the LX or EX trim having the availability of a 6-speed manual transmission but reserved for 2WD configurations only. My HR-V EX-L AWD test vehicle’s EPA fuel consumption numbers diminish slightly from the 2WD model getting 27 mpg city, 32 mpg highway, and 29 mpg combined. You can still say the HR-V is quite the efficient vehicle for a subcompact crossover, even with the assuredness of the AWD system keeping all four wheels steadily planted on light off-roading paths and snowy or wet roads.

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Starting with the base HR-V LX 2WD with a 6-speed manual transmission, Honda has an exceptional value proposition at a price of $19,115. Moving all the way to the EX-L 4WD, skipping over the middle-slated EX trim, you will be expected to pay $25,840 plus an $860 destination charge. The new 2016 Honda HR-V in any trim level begs to be a desirable bridge from those that may skip the Honda Fit with its smaller and less powerful engine but do not necessitate the CR-V’s larger dimensions and pricing.

Copyright: 2015 AutomotiveAddicts.com

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Price: Base HR-V LX 6-speed manual $19,115 / As-Tested HR-V EX-L AWD $26,720
  • Engine: 1.8-liter DOHC 4-cylinder 141 horsepower @  6,500 rpm / 127 lb-ft of torque @ 4,300 rpm
  • Transmission: Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)
  • Wheelbase: 102.8 in.
  • Total length: 169.1.0 in.
  • Total width: 69.8 in.
  • Total height: 63.2 in.
  • Headroom: f/r-37.6/38.3 in.
  • Legroom: f/r-41.2/39.3 in.
  • Cargo volume: rear seat up-23.2/rear seat down-58.8 cu.ft.
  • Curb weight: 3,109 lbs.
  • 0-60 mph: 10.1 seconds
  • EPA mileage: 27 mpg city / 32 mpg/highway (EX-L AWD)
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