It’s hard to keep track of the number of crossovers out there today. Automakers are introducing new ones at a rapid pace as consumers kick sedans to the curb. Part of the reason for that switch is the versatility of a crossover. It takes the best of a sedan and the best of an SUV and combines those features in a single package. The 2019 Honda HR-V is a compact crossover with unique cargo configurations that give it an edge over the competition.
The HR-V has seating for five people in a comfortable interior. It isn’t spacious, so the six-foot crowd may find it tight, particularly when it comes to rear legroom. It is, however, an attractive interior with roomy front seats that are supportive without being stiff.
Power for the HR-V comes from a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine with 141 horsepower paired to a continuously variable automatic transmission. This makes the HR-V a bit slow to accelerate, most noticeably when getting up to highway speeds. Once there, it’s a competent cruiser.
A series of updates this year includes the greater use of sound deadening materials and it makes a big difference. The HR-V is quieter than before, particularly under hard acceleration when the CVT tends to get loud. You still hear it, but as a background noise rather than as an intrusion.
Also new this year is standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto with the return of the volume knob, and Honda Sensing as a standard feature starting with the mid-range EX trim. This includes collision mitigation braking, road departure mitigation, adaptive cruise control, and lane keeping assist.
A series of small improvements makes the HR-V a more appealing choice, but it’s one of the things that hasn’t changed that makes it a standout. That key feature is its flexibility for carrying cargo.
This is a compact crossover so it doesn’t have the cavernous room of larger vehicles, but Honda makes use of every inch of space inside the HR-V. There’s 24.3 cubic feet behind the rear seats or 58.8 cubic feet behind the front seats. That’s normally where the story ends, but not with the HR-V.
Those 60/40 split-folding rear seats also have a bottom seat cushion that folds up for Tall Mode. This offers nearly 4-feet of vertical cargo space so you can put in a lamp or a taller plant without having to tip it on its side.
The HR-V has one more cargo trick that’s ideal for longer items. The passenger front seat folds down to create what is essentially one 8-foot long load floor from the tailgate to the dashboard for longer items.
The 2019 Honda HR-V sits in a crowded space where differentiation is key. It stands out from the rest for its combination of features along with cargo flexibility that makes it a versatile choice. Pricing for the 2019 Honda HR-V starts at $20,620.