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2016 Honda HR-V EX-L Navi Review By John Heilig +VIDEO

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By John Heilig
Senior Editor
Mid-Atlantic Bureau
The Auto Channel


ENGINE: 1.5-liter SOHC I-4
HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 141 hp @ 6,500 rpm/127 lb.-ft. @ 4,300 rpm
WHEELBASE: 102.8 in.
LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 169.1 x 69.8 x 63.2 in.
TIRES: P215/55R17
CARGO: 24.3/58.8 cu. ft. (rear seat up/down)
ECONOMY: 27 mpg city/32 mpg highway
FUEL TANK: 13.2 gal.
CURB WEIGHT: 3,109 lbs.
COMPETITIVE CLASS: Nissan Juke, Audi Q3, Hyundai Santa Fe Sport
STICKER: $26,720 (includes $860 delivery)          

I must honestly admit that I at first questioned the need for the Honda HR-V. Sure, it’s a nice compact crossover, but so is the Honda CR-V.          

But after driving the HR-V, I realized that it is indeed a valid vehicle. It is smaller than the CR-C, which has grown since its introduction. The HR-v is a good fit for young couples or empty-nesters who carry kids and/or occasionally larger items. In short, it’s ideal for two people who find themselves at Lowes or The Home Depot with a need for more room than the standard compact or mid-size has to offer.          

The HR-V is a comfortable car to drive and ride in. There is adequate power (141 hp) for Interstate driving as well as around-town driving. Handling is also good, about what you would expect from a compact car. After all, it rides on a compact 102.8-inch wheelbase and is only 169.1 inches in overall length. The shifter is easy to use, as are the wheel-mounted paddle shifters if you want to go that route.          

The manually adjustable front seats are leather trimmed and heated. They are comfortable with some side support. Access to the rear is through door handles that are located on the C Pillar. You have to look hard to find them because they are artfully concealed. The rear seats themselves are flat, with a flat center hump. Legroom is halfway decent. The rear headrests fold forward when the seat backs are folded to increase cargo area. Cargo is good even with the rear seats up, although I had to fold the rear seat backs to get my golf bag in.          

Water bottle holders are located in the rear doors. Rear cupholders are positioned at the rear of the center console.          

Visibility is good all around. One distracting note is the shoulder belt for the center rear passenger, which is mounted on the ceiling.          

The air vents in front of the front passenger are unique. Instead of the more standard rectangle, these are three vents arranged horizontally. They seem to spread the cool air around over a wider area. We drove the HR-V in some pretty hot weather and the HVAC system did a great job.          

Audio choices consist of the “usual suspects,” FM, AM, XM, CD, Bluetooth, iPod, Pandora, aha and two others I had never heard of.          

While it may seem like a minor detail, the front cupholders are interesting. They are fairly shallow in “normal” mode, which results in taller cups or bottle wobbling around. However, you can fold up the bottoms to make for deeper cupholders where nothing wobbles around. If you want to leave the bottoms in their normal position, they are an excellent place to secure small objects.          

So while I initially questioned the HR-V’s reason for existence, by the end of the week I respected the car’s right to exist in an increasingly crowded Honda lineup. No, it isn’t just a small CR-V, but it is a nice crossover utility vehicle.

© 2015 The Auto Page Syndicate

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