- I tested the 2023 Honda HR-V, the newest version of Honda’s smallest SUV.
- Its stylish looks and roomy interior stand out, but it’s slow acceleration is a pain point.
- The top-of-the-line HR-V EX-L that Honda lent me came out to $30,590, including a destination fee.
Honda has given its HR-V a radical redesign for the 2023 model year, injecting some extra size and sophistication into its smallest SUV.
But the popular compact SUV segment is more packed than ever. Everybody from Toyota to Hyundai to Chevrolet is vying for the money in your wallet.
The second-generation HR-V delivers modern looks and an attractive interior, but its wimpy highway performance drags it down.
Pro: Stylish inside and out
The new HR-V dumps its predecessor’s stubby proportions and quirks in favor of a smooth, modern, and ultimately more high-end look. The 2023 model looks more like a full-grown SUV than a wannabe.
It’s attractive inside, too, featuring lots of soft surfaces and a handsome honeycomb pattern (made of actual metal) running down its dash. One nice touch: There’s a pass-through in the center console that gives both the driver and passenger access to a phone-storage spot and USB port.
The cabin of the top-trim EX-L model I tested (which came out to just over $30,000) had upscale appointments like heated leather seats, an upgraded 9-inch touchscreen, and a wireless phone charger.
Con: Sluggish on the highway
To be sure, nobody is buying a small SUV for its zero-to-60-mph time. Still, it’s worth noting that the HR-V is somewhat sluggish at high speeds. Stomp the gas to make a pass at 60 mph, and the HR-V will do a lot of groaning and not too much accelerating.
All HR-Vs are powered by a 158-horsepower, four-cylinder engine.
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Pro: Roomy interior
The new HR-V shares a chassis with the Civic sedan rather than the pint-sized Fit hatchback (which has been canceled in the US). It’s now substantially longer and wider, and that means a roomier back seat.
With the driver’s seat in its natural position for me (at around six feet tall), I was able to fit in the back seat just fine. And I found all the HR-V’s seats decently comfortable.
Con: No more Magic Seat
The old HR-V (and Fit) had clever flip-up seat bottoms that let owners stow big and tall items on the floor of the back seat. The new model lacks that feature but has rear seats that fold completely flat for bulkier cargo.
Pro: Generous safety features and driver aids
All HR-Vs come with ample safety and driver-assistance tech as part of the Honda Sensing suite. It includes road-departure mitigation, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control. All but the base model come with blind-spot monitoring as well.