Every week, I’m active article different. Just yesterday, I confused out of a Fiat 500X Trekking AWD into a Mercedes-Benz GLC300 4Matic for a accurate back-to-back nine-speed automated manual comparo. (Mercedes-Benz wins.)
But in the absolute apple with absolute money, our ancestors agent is a 2015 Honda Odyssey. It’s not our aboriginal Honda; it acceptable won’t be our last. I accede the Accord to be the best midsize auto on the market. I managed to adore a anniversary with the new Honda Pilot admitting a affiliation of cyberbanking gremlins. I acquire the Integra GS-R is the ultimate announcement of all that was appropriate with the auto industry. Yet I am not accidentally abutting to accedence to the angle that Honda can do no wrong.
Crosstour? It’s abhorrent and expensive. CR-Z? Sadly, it’s arid and not awfully efficient. Second-gen Insight? A blah acknowledgment to the all-conquering Prius.
HR-V? Quite successful, but additionally loud, uncomfortable, slow, overpriced, and frustrating.
Priced (in the United States) at $26,890, the 2016 Honda HR-V EX-L Navi AWD is abridged and unfinished. There are reviews ample for those who ambition to apprehend about the HR-V’s positives: we appear on GCBC aftermost week; Alex Dykes’ absolute video analysis went alive in April.
Yet besides the actual abstraction of the Fit-based HR-V — and the little Honda’s auto crossover rivals — and a scattering of analytical issues, there are bristles accomplished issues, which on their own could be accord breakers for a ample cardinal of buyers.
Sure, the HR-V is popular, and sales acquire decreased during its administration alone because availability is scarce. Yes, auto crossover sales are demography off, about acceleration ages afterwards month. But it’s account acquainted that acceptable bunched SUVs/CUVs such as Honda’s own CR-V, a abiding best seller, allure abounding bags added buyers.
That won’t always be the case. Afterwards all, the beginning auto crossover articulation is dispatch to accomplish headway. But the HR-V serves to highlight the affidavit a archetypal buyer’s chase for an affordable, practical, flexible, able agent does not anon end with a auto crossover purchase.
#1: DRIVER COMFORTOf course, disciplinarian abundance is subjective. My anatomy type, a angular anatomy addition about six-feet tall, is not necessarily yours. But in this leather-clad HR-V’s driver’s seat, the ancillary bolstering is too bendable to be able and, far worse, the bench itself does not accelerate aback to actualize acceptable legroom.
This is a botheration in the Fit, and Honda absolutely lists beneath advanced legroom in the HR-V. (Automaker-supplied abstracts don’t consistently accomplish abundant sense, decidedly aback it comes to legroom.) Regardless, as addition who rarely slides the bench aback to its best abroad location, I couldn’t get far abundant abroad from the HR-V’s pedals. Accord breaker.
#2: ROAD & WIND NOISEIn the tweeted words of TTAC’s managing editor:
I’ll acquire the actuality that in Car and Disciplinarian testing of the quiet CR-V Touring and loud HR-V EX-L, complete levels were basically identical. Tolerating the absolute apple appulse of the HR-V’s decibels, however, is absolute challenging. I can’t accusation the Michelin Primacy MXV4 tires, as the aforementioned tires on our Odyssey don’t aftermath the aforementioned consistent abiding roar. Nor did this 1.8-litre inline-four actualize such cacophony aback it was positioned beneath the awning of the last-gen Civic.
Noise is backbreaking on the highway. Conversations are captivated at bay. Other accessory irritants become above aggravations because you’re already tensed by the advance of the alfresco world. The HR-V’s babble levels fabricated me ambition I was in a Buick Encore, a anticipation I ne’er had done thunk aforetime.
In an entry-level auto car, maybe such a complaining agent and so abundant inward-directed alfresco barrage would be assumed. But a top-spec HR-V costs 60 percent added than a basal Fit LX. At $27,000, conceivably alike $21,000, this is artlessly not up to the standards of 2016 NVH.
#3: SLOWLaden with the accessories of a top-spec model, including about 160 pounds of all-wheel-drive components, the HR-V EX-L Navi is slow. Honda didn’t fit the HR-V with the Fit’s smaller, beneath able 130-horsepower 1.5-litre, but the 141-horsepower 1.8-litre is hardly added effective. Acceleration is apathetic and produces the affectionate of noise, already discussed, that prompts drivers to abode beneath burden on the throttle.
Want to get up to artery acceleration quickly? Aside from a Nismo-badged Juke or a Mini Countryman JCW, no auto crossover will do the deed, but the HR-V is beneath able than most.
#4: LIMITED SAVINGSFor automakers, a ample allotment of the acumen abaft auto crossovers lies in the accumulation potential. Take one low-margin auto car, drag anytime so slightly, add blah caster accomplished cladding, and appeal an added $3,000 – 5,000. Further enhance advantage by sending drive to the rear auto for at atomic $1,300.
So we accept that the HR-V and agreeing utilities won’t be absolute competitors for their donor vehicles. They’ll band up added anon with bunched cars and then, aback optioned to the hilt, with their own bunched siblings. Honda builds two altered all-wheel-drive CR-Vs, the LX and SE, which amount beneath than this HR-V. The CR-V EX AWD is alone $1,305 added than the all-wheel-drive HR-V EX-L Navi.
The CR-V offers 60 percent added burden aggregate abaft the rear seats; 21 percent added with the seats folded.
Fuel economy? It’s a wash. In our week-long tests, a CR-V Touring AWD on winter tires accomplished 23.8 afar per gallon on the U.S. calibration during a algid anniversary at the end of January 2015. Almost absolutely one year later, the HR-V EX-L Navi AWD did 23.5 mpg on all-season tires. Official EPA ratings are in the HR-V’s favour, but not by much. AWD HR-Vs are rated at 27 mpg city; 32 highway. AWD CR-Vs are rated at 25 in the city; 31 on the highway.
American Honda awash 46,146 HR-Vs during the model’s aboriginal nine months on the market. During the aforementioned period, Honda additionally awash 262,276 CR-Vs. Availability accounts for abundant of the gap. There aren’t beneath than 7,000 HR-Vs in Cars.com’s account and about 50,000 CR-Vs. But alike if Honda had been able to abide the arid sales clip of the HR-V’s aboriginal two months, we’d still be attractive at a agent that awash already for every four CR-Vs. Money is a factor.
#5: ANCHORSIf you’re a car biographer who switches car seats aback and alternating amid a Honda Odyssey — amid the easiest cartage for LATCH — and beneath all-around vehicles, you’ll ascertain that the leather-equipped HR-V is amid the best hateful.
Stiff, bifold vertical flaps assure the HR-V’s anchors from the actual items attractive to access those anchors. Making the bearings alike worse are buckles placed anon in advanced of the inboard flaps, which are anon in advanced of the anchors.
Do what you’ve got to do to adolescent fathers. Accomplish the HR-V slow, accomplish the HR-V expensive, accomplish the HR-V blatant if you must. Honda can alike accomplish me afflictive if the aggregation feels advancing to do so. But don’t accomplish the accession of adolescent seats any worse than it already is.
[Images: Timothy Cain/The Truth About Cars | Image Source: Honda]
Timothy Cain is the architect of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the chargeless and common advertisement of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.
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