The HR-V is a new vehicle in a new class for Honda. It is among the largest of the smallest crossover SUVs. The new model combines attributes of the subcompact Fit hatchback, compact Civic sedan, and compact CR-V crossover. It's more compact than the Honda CR-V, but it's bigger inside where it counts.
It's at its best in EX trim. That's where LaneWatch and Magic Seat and paddle shift controls and Pandora audio come together in a reasonably priced vehicle that drops all the SUV pretenses for all the right reasons. The HR-V is an urban carving tool that's going to be hard to outpoint.
We like its interior flexibility, and especially the fact that it stands alone among small SUVs by offering decent second row accommodations Back seat passengers have decent leg room; four passengers here is acceptable. In the HR-V, three small children could easily be belted in.
The HR-V also gets the Honda's vaunted "Magic Seat," which folds and flips to turn the second row into big cargo room. It's easy to use, if not exactly magical: you fold up the rear seat bottom and flip its front support away to lock the cushion against the seat back, leaving an even lower cargo floor where the rear-seat passengers would normally sit.
In the Honda HR-V you'll find a tidy cabin with nicer materials, at this price point. It really feels different from the Fit inside—and that's because it is. LXs are a little more sparse inside than their EX and EX-L siblings, which add a 7-inch infotainment system (with navigation on the EX-L). There’s semi-hidden storage between the front passengers, under the center console. The USB ports (one in LXs, two otherwise) are tucked in it, and as a result, they aren’t easy to see. On the other hand, the HR-V's steering wheel has convenient and intuitive controls.
The steering is relaxed, the body motions are well-controlled and the HR-V doesn't feel a bit brittle, even on terrible roads. Leave the track tuning and off-roading to others: this tall hatchback is tuned for everyday driving, and beats everything else hands-down.