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Review of the 2023 Honda HR-V: A Budget-Friendly SUV with Impressive Features

Image Source: / Shutterstock

The 2023 Honda HR-V is a standout choice for families looking for affordability without compromising on features. Positioned in the crossover segment, the HR-V strikes a balance between a hatchback and an SUV, placing a strong emphasis on affordability. Competing with models like the Volkswagen Taos, Subaru Crosstrek, and Hyundai Venue, the second-generation HR-V has expanded to fill a space once occupied by the CR-V.

The design of the HR-V is understated yet charming. While it blends in with other small crossovers, there are subtle details that set it apart, earning praise for its exterior and interior styling. The updated design ditches the previous model’s awkward look for a cleaner and sleeker aesthetic, reminiscent of other Honda vehicles like the Acura MDX and the upcoming CR-V.

Each trim level of the HR-V features unique design elements. The Sport models sport a blacked-out appearance with black 18-inch wheels, while the LX and top-tier EX-L models come with 17-inch gunmetal wheels and a honeycomb grille. Borrowing design cues from the overseas Honda E, such as the round hatch, adds to the HR-V’s appeal.

Performance-wise, the HR-V may not be a speed demon, but it offers a smooth ride with well-tuned handling and braking. The front-wheel-drive model can be upgraded to all-wheel drive for added capability. The 2.0-liter engine provides adequate power, although it may feel somewhat lacking in terms of acceleration. The CVT transmission, while efficient, may not be the most responsive in certain driving situations.

The driving experience of the HR-V is akin to a higher-riding Civic, striking a balance between comfort and agility. With features like Snow mode and a descent control setting, the HR-V offers a confident feel on various road surfaces. The suspension layout borrowed from the CR-V contributes to a refined driving experience, especially when compared to rivals like the Subaru Crosstrek.

In terms of efficiency, the HR-V falls slightly behind its competitors, but real-world fuel economy numbers can be impressive. Safety is a priority for Honda, with the HR-V featuring a host of standard safety features like automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control. The IIHS has awarded the 2023 HR-V with its highest safety rating, acknowledging its robust safety performance.

The interior of the HR-V focuses on simplicity and functionality. It offers a spacious and comfortable cabin, especially in the back seats, thanks to smart engineering and design choices. While it may lack some of the versatility of its predecessor, the new HR-V prioritizes passenger comfort and ride quality.

Overall, the 2023 Honda HR-V offers excellent value for its price point. With a range of standard features including Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Honda Sensing driver-assist technologies, the HR-V delivers solid value across all trim levels. The top-level EX-L model, in particular, stands out for its additional tech features and premium upgrades.

The 2023 Honda HR-V represents a significant step forward for the model, combining practicality, comfort, and affordability in a competitive package. It sets a high bar for its rivals with its driving dynamics, safety features, and overall value proposition.

Image Source: / Shutterstock

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