Honda entered the compact crossover race in 2016 with the HR-V, a little utility based on the Fit subcompact car that still stands out for its efficient use of interior space.
This year brings a mid-life refresh for the HR-V that adds active safety features, updated styling and new trim designations, and sees the elimination of the base model's manual transmission option.
The new safety kit comprises automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist; those join the forward collision and lane departure warning systems that were included in last year's car.
On the outside, cosmetic changes come in the form of new bumpers, headlights and taillights and a new grille, while the cabin is graced with Honda's latest infotainment system, featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality, a volume knob for the stereo and a new gauge cluster.
Mechanical and structural changes are minor and include extra sound deadening and an automatic transmission that promises improved driving feel.
The model range still starts with the LX trim, available with either front- or all-wheel drive, but the uplevel EX and EX-L trims have been replaced with Sport and Touring variants. Sport is distinguished by blackout trim and new wheels, while Touring gets LED headlights and fog lights and dark chrome trim.
HR-V's safety upgrades are the most meaningful changes here, as they follow the moves Honda has made with its other high-volume models in the last couple of years. It also ensures the HR-V remains competitive in a class populated by the likes of the Mazda CX-3 and Nissan Qashqai.
As before, all HR-Vs use a 1.8L four-cylinder engine making 141 hp and 127 lb-ft of torque, and with the elimination of the stickshift, that motor comes paired exclusively with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). AWD is standard in Sport and Touring trims and optional in the LX.
Standard features include heated front seats, multi-angle backup camera, automatic climate control, 17-inch alloy wheels, four-speaker stereo, LED daytime running lights and a front wiper de-icer.
Sport trim brings dual-zone climate control, active noise cancellation, a six-speaker sound system, passive keyless entry, leather-trimmed steering wheel, fog lights and a sunroof.
Finally, the Touring model gets an auto-dimming rearview mirror, navigation, leather shift lever, leather seats, rain-sensing wipers, LED fog lights and automatic on/off LED headlights.
Fuel consumption estimates are 8.4/7.0 L/100 km (city/highway) for the LX two-wheel drive model, and 8.8/7.5 with AWD. Sport and Touring models come with estimates of 9.1/7.7 L/100 km.
This vehicle has not yet been reviewed