The Honda HR-V continues to be one of the bestselling small SUVs on the market today. Its stylish exterior, spirited ride and user-friendly technology make the 2021 HR-V a top choice for anyone in the market for an affordable SUV. Now that Honda has officially discontinued its Fit hatchback, the HR-V is the smallest vehicle in the brand’s North American line-up. Fortunately, the engineers at Honda have ported over a lot of the coolest features from the Fit into the newest edition of the HR-V — namely the second-row seats that fold completely down to provide cavernous cargo storage area. While the engine has a little less uuumph than competing SUVs, the HR-V nevertheless has plenty to recommend about it. Here’s everything you need to know about the 2021 Honda HR-V.
The 2021 HR-V model has received only very slight changes to its exterior styling. The Sport trimline has a new wheel design and tint on the rear windows comes standard. Beyond that, there is not much new at all with the outside of the HR-V. Regardless, it remains a very handsome SUV, managing to appear both rugged and sophisticated at the same time. This is a vehicle that would not look out of place driving downtown streets or along dirt roads and mountain trails.
Engine and Performance
The biggest knock on the 2021 HR-V concerns the engine. It’s unfortunately been described as both slow and noisy. The four-cylinder engine that comes standard, along with the continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), make the engine less than ideal, according to various reviews. The 8.6 seconds it takes to go 0-to-60 mph further cements the view that the engine in the 2021 HR-V is a bit lacking. Adding all-wheel drive further slows the engine, making it take 9.5 seconds to reach 60 mph. The smaller engine will save you some money on gas, but it’s shame there isn’t a bit more power for the HR-V to utilize. The handling is decent though, and has been called smooth by several critics. The suspension is especially good when driving on a level road or highway.
Trimlines and Prices
The 2021 HR-V comes in five trimlines. It starts with the base LX model, which costs $21,220. The Sport model that will set you back $23,170, with the EX edition going for $24,420 and the HR-V EX-L priced at $26,020. Oddly enough, the former top tier Touring model is nowhere to be found in 2021.
The consensus view among reviewers is that the mid-level EX model will do just fine for most buyers. While the EX model costs more than the Sport edition, it also comes with better standard features. Optional upgrades can be had for an additional fee, including heated front seats, a sunroof, and driver assist features such as adaptive cruise control, automated emergency braking, lane-departure warning, and lane-keeping assist. For a more detailed breakdown of the HR-V’s various trims and features, check out Honda’s website.
The interior of the 2021 HR-V is pretty classy and roomy. There’s plenty of space for both passengers and cargo. For a smaller SUV, the HR-V manages to include spacious front seats that have plenty of head and legroom. The rear seat has lots of legroom as well, though the sloping roofline limits the headroom somewhat — especially for taller passengers. The HR-V most unique interior feature is the second-row seating, which folds flat into the floor, creating a large amount of cargo space. The bottom cushion of the rear seat can also be flipped up, providing an even deeper well between the front and rear seatbacks for storing items. With the rear seats stowed in the floor, the 2021 HR-V can fit 22 carry-on suitcases — best in class and more than many larger SUVs.
When it comes to technology and safety features, the new HR-V offers an infotainment system that includes a volume knob, large on-screen icons, and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto compatibility. A 7.0-inch touchscreen comes standard on all but the base LX trim, which gets a simpler setup that is basically a radio with a color screen attached to it. Higher trims come with Honda Sensing suite of advanced safety features, smart entry, and an upgraded 180-watt sound system.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the previous 2020 HR-V model a top level five star safety rating. Although they haven’t rated the 2021 model yet, we expect similar results since Honda made no major changes to the HR-V. Likewise, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) named it a “Top Safety Pick.” This little SUV offers a variety of driver-assistance technology. Key safety features include automated emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and lane-keeping assist. Unfortunately, some of these features only come standard on higher trims.
As with all Honda vehicles, the HR-V’s warranty coverage is pretty ordinary. Competitors Kia and Hyundai offer a bit more warranty coverage. The 2021 HR-V comes with a limited warranty of three years or 36,000 miles. The powertrain warranty is good for five years or 60,000 miles. The HR-V does not come with any complimentary scheduled maintenance.
One of the biggest selling features of the 2021 HR-V is its fuel efficiency. The HR-V has an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rating of 28 miles per gallon in the city and 34 MPG on the highway. That’s in the standard FWD configuration. If you opt for an AWD model, those numbers drop to 27 MPG and 31 MPG.
- Lots of leg room and cargo space.
- Good fuel economy.
- Strong safety ratings.
- Engine has been criticized as noisy and slow.
- No real changes to the exterior styling.
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance.
The Last Word
The 2021 Honda HR-V might not you with every little thing you would want in a compact SUV. But what this vehicle does do well, it does extremely well. With plenty of leg and headroom, strong fuel economy ratings, and positive safety ratings, there’s lots to recommend the newest HR-V. Four different trimlines provide plenty of options and choices, no matter your budget. While the engine has been criticized as slow and the warranty coverage is ho-hum, the HR-V still makes a reliable family hauler. On balance, there is much more to like than there is to dislike with Honda’s most compact vehicle.