Honda HR-V: Chronicling the Changes

Honda, long effective in the automotive sector, has a strong presence in the utility vehicle market with its four models. The Honda HR-V is one of the newest and is also the smallest model of the quartet. Introduced in 2016, the second-generation model rolled out in 2023 and sits on a larger platform. The new model straddles the subcompact and compact segments and seats five.


Honda logo


Chronicling the Changes


2023Honda replaces the first-generation HR-V with an all-new model. Now that the Fit hatchback is gone, Honda turned to the Civic to build a new model. Thus, the HR-V and CR-V share the same platform with the former just inches smaller than the latter. Therefore, the new HR-V is much roomier than the previous-generation model. Gone is the “magic seat” that made the initial model interesting. Everything else has changed, including exterior styling, interior layout, technology features, and safety. Under the hood is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 158 horsepower and 138 pound-feet of torque. Power routes to the front or all four wheels utilizing a continuously variable transmission. Beginning this year, Honda narrowed the grade range to three models: LX, Sport, and EX-L.

Second-Generation Honda HR-V


The second-generation Honda HR-V
The second-generation Honda HR-V

2022 – The Honda HR-V closes out its first generation with no changes.

2021 – Light changes accompany this year’s model with tinted rear glass now included on the Sport grade.

2020 – Following a significant refresh in 2019, the 2020 model is unchanged.

2019 – For 2019, the HR-V receives a mid-product-cycle update. These changes include refreshed front and rear fascias, a new center console screen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone compatibility, and available Honda Sensing safety features. Lastly, Honda adds a pair of new grades in the Sport and Touring models.

2018 — A new paint scheme and a dark-colored wheel design on select grades are the lone changes for this model year.

2017 — One year removed from its 2016 debut, the 2017 HR-V is unchanged.

2016 — Honda welcomes a new utility vehicle, slotting the HR-V beneath the CR-V. Based on the subcompact platform underpinning the Honda Fit, the Honda HR-V seats five and offers available all-wheel drive. The new model has a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a six-speed automatic or a continuously variable transmission with front-wheel drive. With available all-wheel drive, the CVT is standard. The HR-V features Honda’s versatile rear “magic seat” and comes in three grades. Alloy wheels, full power accessories, a height-adjustable driver’s seat, and a four-speaker sound system come standard.

First-Generation Honda HR-V


The first-generation Honda HR-V
The first-generation Honda HR-V

Honda HR-V Considerations

Honda’s stellar quality and reliability extend to the HR-V. The two generations are quite different, but the model name is invaluable. Consider the compact CR-V if you need more space for passengers and cargo. The Passport and Pilot are midsize models, offering two- and three-row seating, respectively.

When comparing the HR-V, we suggest examining the wide variety of small models in this segment. These include the Ford EcoSport, Chevrolet Trax, Fiat 500X, and the Jeep Renegade. The Kia Seltos, Volkswagen Taos, Mazda CX-30, and Mitsubishi Outlander Sport are among the other models in this class. Rounding out the segment are models such as the Toyota CH-R, Toyota Corolla Cross, Nissan Rogue Sport, Nissan Kicks, and Subaru Crosstrek.


See AlsoAbout the 2023 Honda HR-V Crossover

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Matt Keegan
Author: Matthew Keegan
Matt Keegan is a journalist, media professional, and owner of this website. He has an extensive writing background and has covered the automotive sector continuously since 2004. When not driving and evaluating new vehicles, Matt enjoys spending his time outdoors.

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