2017 Honda HR-V is a Quality Compact Cute Ute

The final vehicle in the recent round of rerun reviews is the  Honda HR-V. It launched just a little more than a year ago and we recently spent time behind the wheel of the 2017 EX-L AWD model with Navi that featured the only thing new for this year – the Lunar Silver Metallic paint job.

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2017 Honda HR-V/Images courtesy Honda

HR-V arrives at the entry end of the Honda crossover lineup. After driving this new little urban runabout last year I predicted they would be in short supply and might even give the uber-popular CR-V a run for its money. I was wrong about this. The vehicle is selling very well and is a hit with consumers and the media but it has yet to dig into CR-V sales, which were up yet again for all of 2016.

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Honda bills its HR-V as having sport coupe-like styling and SUV versatility. I don’t really agree with either declaration but the cute little ute is stylish and very handy. It will seat four adults in comfort (with room for up to five) and there is decent cargo space behind the rear seat.

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The HR-V is powered by the smallish 1.8-liter i-VTEC four-cylinder engine that generates 141hp and 127 lb. ft. of torque through the CVT gearbox. Honda does still offer a six-speed manual on LX and EX models with 2WD but for AWD and EX-L it is the CVT. If you know me, I really don’t care for CVTs, and this one from Honda is no exception – just too much vibration and noise above 2,500 rpm for my tastes, especially when seeing (and driving) what is offered by the competition.

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The vehicle is safe, solid, and quiet (when the engine is not winding up in the CVT on acceleration) and it handles quite well. It is very maneuverable and is a great choice for urban drivers. We did get the opportunity to test the AWD capabilities during our week behind the wheel as Mother Nature dropped some frozen precip our way and the HR-V handled it perfectly.

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Pricing for the 2017 Honda HR-V begins at just under 20 grand with our EX-L w/Navi AWD tester arriving with a sticker of $26,240. Fuel economy for the AWD model with CVT is rated at 27 mpg city and 31 mpg highway.

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About the Author

David Goodspeed
David was editor of AutoworldToday at Today Newspapers in the Dallas suburbs until its closing in 2009. He was also webmaster and photographer/videographer. He got started doing photography for the newspaper while working as a firefighter/paramedic in one of his towns, and began working for the newspaper group full-time in 1992. David entered automotive journalism in 1998 and became AutoworldToday editor in 2002. On the average, he drives some 100 new vehicles each year. He enjoys the great outdoors and as an avid fly fisherman, as is his spouse Tish. He especially enjoys nature photography and is inspired by the works of Ansel Adams.