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Review: The 2023 Honda HR-V is a big little SUV

Since your last sighting, the HR-V has grown nine inches in length.

The 2023 model is longer than the 2011 Honda CR-V and has been also stretched to 2023.

Technically, it competes with the Kia Seltos and Volkswagen Taos in the subcompact utility category. However, you don’t need to label it. The segment has been subject to vanity sizing.

The 2023 Honda HR-V has a longer length than its predecessor. (Honda)

It’s as capable a family vehicle as a Honda Accord sedan. I have recently been able to test it out with my wife, two children and their cars. Even better if parking is difficult to find where you live.

The HR-V comes in three trim levels: LX, Sport, and EX-L. Prices start at $24,895, $26,895 or $28,695, depending on the trim. All models come standard with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine of 158 horsepower and a shiftless CVT automated transmission. All-wheel drive costs $1,500.

The 2023 Honda HR-V starts from $24,895. (Honda)

All models are mechanically identical. They come standard with an electronic suite of driver aids that includes adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assistance, as well as automatic emergency brakes and lane-keeping assist. The EX-L and Sport add blind-spot monitoring.

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The wheelbase has been extended to make the passenger compartment larger. The vehicle can accommodate a passenger six feet in length behind a driver of the same height, without sacrificing legroom.

The interior of the 2023 Honda HRV is larger than previous models. (Honda)

The interior is very similar to the Honda Civic’s. Hidden vents are hidden behind throwback gratings in the dashboard. It’s not surprising, considering that the Civic and HR-V are both built on the same platform.

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The LX and Sport come with a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay integration and Android Auto smartphone connectivity, while the EX is equipped with a nine inch screen, the wireless connectivity version, and a charging station in the center console. The cargo area of 24.4 cubic feet is available, but it could be larger if the hatchback was raked.

Honda HR-V features a 24.4-cubic-foot cargo area and fold-down rear seating. (Honda)

The HR-V’s performance can best be described as being peppy, if it is not overpowering, . Fuel economy for front-wheel drive models is 28 MPG, which is low for this class. This drops to 27 mpg for all-wheel drive models.

However, the ride quality is outstanding. The Honda Road Feel is evident and it soaks up bumpy roads like sand. It would be embarrassing for some luxury utility vehicles. Its handling at the limit is so balanced for a vehicle such as this, it wouldn’t look out of place on an Autocross course.

The only thing I had to complain about the EX-L was that the leather-upholstered front seats were too firm for long drives. Honda made them more supportive than old HR-Vs. I cannot speak for the comfort of the cloth seats in LX or Sport.

The HR-V LX Sport and the HR-V LX LX come with cloth-upholstered seats. (Honda)

It’s personal preference and only because the HRV is otherwise so great, I would happily drive it every day.

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2023 Honda HR-V

Base price $24,895

Tested at $30,590

Type: All-wheel drive SUV, 5-passenger, 4-door.

Engine: 2.0-liter 4-cylinder

Power: 158 HP, 138 lb.ft torque

Transmission: CVT automatic

MPG: 25/30 Highway

 

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