The 2019 Honda HR-V is a fun to drive, stylish, and spacious subcompact crossover SUV that gets great gas mileage and is the perfect option for a variety of drivers. 

Our test drive proved the HR-V to deliver an exceptionally smooth ride for a vehicle that still gives drivers that upright seating position.  The refreshed Honda HR-V makes for a multi-functional vehicle whether your a newer driver or simply wanting something a bit smaller to navigate the congestion that Southern California so frequently provides.

Our friends at Rock Honda in the Los Angeles suburb in Fontana, CA gave us a 2019 Honda HR-V to put through its paces and deliver this report.  Press play below to listen to the official iDriveSoCal Podcast and browse the pics we snapped during our cruise.

***Transcript***

Recording date – September 25, 2018, in Los Angeles, CA

Rock Honda Test Drive & Review

Tom Smith: I loved the driver-oriented ergonomics of the vehicle.

loved the look of the vehicle, those bigger Sport wheels look great, the spoiler across the bottom front, the accents on the back and along the rocker panels on the side, dig that as well.

the drive overall, I loved how it took some of the curves in the foothills

Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal, the podcast all about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, Southern California. Tom Smith here with the good professor, Mr. Clinton Quan. Say hello, Clinton.

Clinton Quan: Hi, Tom.

Tom Smith: Hello. Today’s podcast is a little bit different. I did a vehicle review. Me, I drove. I drove the 2019 Honda HR-V from our very dear friends out in the Los Angeles suburb of Fontana, California, Rock Honda.

For more HR-V info:
Veronica Orozco @ Rock Honda
Veronica.RockHonda [at] Gmail [dot] com
Mobile: 909-200-7050

A quick shout out to David Latif, General Manager out there, good buddy, Veronica Orozco, one of the sales managers who I saw today. Thank you for helping me and Hamid Javid who’s the General Sales Manager and also a dear friend. Thank you, guys, as always. For all of your Honda needs, definitely go to Rock Honda in the Los Angeles suburb of Fontana, California.

With that being said, typically, the way that we’ve done vehicle reviews has been the Professor drives and, then, I quiz him, or occasionally Bernadette drives and I quiz her, or occasionally I drive and do it all on my own. Now, just recently, you and I did one together and that was a different situation. But, in this case, I drove and Clinton, “The Professor”, is here, so we’re just gonna figure this out.

Clinton Quan: Maybe I’ll ask you some questions.

Honda Cross0ver/SUV Line-Up

Tom Smith: You ask me some questions, but it was the 2019 Honda HR-V. Now, the HR-V is the subcompact?

Clinton Quan: Yes, subcompact.

Tom Smith: SUV/crossover?

Clinton Quan: Yeah, I would say a crossover.

Tom Smith: One of the reasons I wanted to do the HR-V is because we did the CR-V, which is the HR-V’s bigger sibling. Then, the Pilot, we’ve also done, which is the CR-V’s bigger sibling, so in the SUV … really the Pilot’s an SUV.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: The CR-V, we could say SUV/crossover?

Clinton Quan: Yeah. Well, they’re really all crossovers now.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Clinton Quan: There’s very few true traditional SUVs.

“…the Honda lineup, it goes Pilot, CR-V, HR-V. But, that’s gonna change because they’re bringing the Passport back.”

Tom Smith: SUVs, okay.

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Tom Smith: But, it goes … in the Honda lineup, it goes Pilot, CR-V, HR-V. But, that’s gonna change because they’re bringing the Passport back.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: Now, I asked Veronica… actually, I saw her today… about when the Passport’s coming back. It’s a certainty, it is coming. They’re not exactly sure when it’s coming.

Highway, Foothills & Surface Streets

But, that being said, the drive of the HR-V was fun, as always, and a sporty little car.

Clinton Quan: Where did you take the HR-V?

Tom Smith: You know what? Let’s see, I headed down the 210 and hit the 15. I was within-

Clinton Quan: Going north or south?

Tom Smith: Well, I went to the Bass Pro Shop there, I think is what it’s called, out in Ontario.

Clinton Quan: Oh, yes, the one in Rancho Cucamonga near Victoria Gardens.

Tom Smith: Yeah, yeah. I guess that was the 210 East and, then, the 15 South.

Clinton Quan: South.

“I did some winding roads, a little bit of surface streets and stop and go. I love the car all the way around.”

Tom Smith: Yeah, so a little bit of highway driving. Then, when I came back, I went up to the foothill area, to my little spot by the foothills where I like to take pictures of the cars when I go on test drives.

Personally, when I do my picture-taking, I like to try and have no buildings, no structures, around. I just like that little pocket back there.  So, I did some highway driving. I did some winding roads, a little bit of surface streets and stop and go. I love the car all the way around.

The pickup on the highway was great. What I really liked, and I’m already… see, I’m used to quizzing you, so I’m all over the place, but I really like the space inside the vehicle.

2019 Honda HR-V

But, before I get to going around it, I wanna cover the trim levels.

Clinton Quan: The trim levels.

Tom Smith: Yeah.

Clinton Quan: The one you drove was the Sport?

Tom Smith: I drove the Sport. Exactly.

There’s the LX, which has a $20,520 price point, there’s the Sport, which is what I drove, which has a $22,220 price point. The EX, 23,720. The EX-L, 25,320. Then, the Touring, which is 28,540.

Now, of course, these are all just MSRPs. Rock Honda’s gonna give you a great deal. Go to Rock and they’ll hook you up.

“Rock Honda’s gonna give you a great deal. Go to Rock and they’ll hook you up.”

Most importantly, these are all general prices and you need to get yours equipped the way you want them. Nevertheless, go see David Latif, and Veronica Orozco, and Hamid Javid, and they will take care of you, the whole Rock Honda crew, everybody.

I love all those guys out there.

Sporty Fuel-Efficiency 

Outstanding fuel economy, 28-city / 34-highway, and I wanna say the driving that I did, I did take a look at it. It was about 24.

Clinton Quan: 24? You drove a little more aggressively?

Tom Smith: I did, I did, I did drive it aggressively. But, I had it in eco mode actually, the whole time, and one of the things that I really liked about the vehicle… because I’ll drive a car aggressively from time to time.

I like eco mode and I like knowing that I’m in eco-mode, and they have this cool thing… this is an entry-level crossover, right?

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Tom Smith: The Sport got the sporty looks. It’s got the sporty wheels-

“Outstanding fuel economy, 28-city / 34-highway…”

Clinton Quan: The bigger rims, no?

Tom Smith: Yeah. Which, I have a picture of that. I have a picture of the outside of the vehicle, I drove one that was a really good-looking car.

Black on black, nice accents around the … what do you call that? The bottom panel, what is that? The rocker panel?

Clinton Quan: Oh, you’re talking about the front bottom spoiler?

Tom Smith: Yeah. But, then, on the sides.

Clinton Quan: Oh, on the side. Yeah, you could call it the rocker panels.

Tom Smith: Okay, so the rocker panels. Rocker panels and spoiler, all the way around, it was just very nicely danced up for a Sport, and the rims, of course.

Driving Green

Then, inside, when I was in the eco mode and I was driving the car at a rate or RPM that actually was eco-friendly, it had a green halo ring around the speedometer that would just glow a little bit when I was in a good zone from an eco-perspective.

I liked that. It was cool. I was like, “Hey, wait. Did that just … oh, yeah, it did. Look.”

Clinton Quan: It lets you know that you’re driving a more fuel-efficient mode?

Tom Smith: Yeah, it lets you know that you’re… exactly, it lets you know that you’re driving is-

“Hi-Rider Revolutionary Vehicle is what HR-V stands for…”

Clinton Quan: You’re maximizing fuel efficiency.

Tom Smith: Is green. You’re driving green, so that was cool about the HR-V and I did this on the CR-V, and I’m forgetting what it is now, but you told me what the HR-V stands for because I like to know this trivia, too, Hi-Rider Revolutionary Vehicle.

Hi-Rider Revolutionary Vehicle is what HR-V stands for, there you go. We have our bit of trivia in for the day. But, back to the trim levels real quick, so you got the LX, the Sport, the EX, the EX-L, and the Touring, all of which have all-wheel drive available. Touring, all-wheel drive standard, so there you go. The motor, 1.8-liter, four-cylinder, 141 horsepower?

Clinton Quan: Yes. 141 horsepower, 127 pound-feet of torque.

Spacious Subcompact

Tom Smith: See, that’s why he’s “The Professor”. He’s just got all this, so I took you on the outside, but I really liked the car on the… and, one of the things that I really dig is it’s a subcompact.

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Tom Smith: It’s smaller, but everything… and, on the inside, it didn’t feel small at all. I felt very comfortable.

Clinton Quan: Well, it’s based on the platform of the Fit and the Fit is very, very spacious for a subcompact vehicle.

Tom Smith: That’s based on the same platform as the Fit?

Clinton Quan: Yes, it is.

For more HR-V info:
Veronica Orozco @ Rock Honda
Veronica.RockHonda [at] Gmail [dot] com
Mobile: 909-200-7050

Tom Smith: Oh, I didn’t know that. Huh.

Clinton Quan: Because the fit is also a subcompact and the reason so many manufacturers have come out with subcompact vehicles is because the compact crossovers or compact SUVs have gotten so big.

Tom Smith: Everything’s gotten bigger.

Clinton Quan: Now, they’ve created this new class. The current subcompacts are probably as big as what these compact crossovers were quite a few years ago.

Tom Smith: It’s deceiving, it’s deceiving.

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Who’s this 5-Door For?

Tom Smith: It’s very, very comfortable, but the back door… and, actually, they call this a five-door, right?

Clinton Quan: They call it a five-door. Yeah.

Tom Smith: But, the passenger back doors has the handle in the, if you’re looking at it, upper right-hand corner vicinity is where the handle is on the back doors to-

Clinton Quan: Yeah, you could call that the C-pillar.

Tom Smith: Oh, thank you, Professor. No. Well, A, B… yeah, you’re right. That is a C-pillar.

“…I would feel comfortable driving that, I could have a baby seat in the back of that, no problem.”

Clinton Quan: That is. Yes, yes.

Tom Smith: Alright, alright. The door handle is near the C-pillar, very good, for the passenger doors in the back passenger doors. Love the outside of the car, the styling overall.

The car is for… oh, jeez. I was actually talking with a friend of mine who works in the business office there at Rock Honda. She was talking about getting one for her daughter who’s just about to get her driver’s license. What a phenomenal car for… that’s a lot of vehicle for a brand-new driver.

But, certainly, that’s who the vehicle’s for. I would feel comfortable driving that, I could have a baby seat in the back of that, no problem.

Interior Creature Comforts

The Sport that I drove, it doesn’t… obviously, there’s the EX, the EX-L, and the Touring, that all have a little bit fancier interior, but the Sport that I drove had very comfortable yet sporty and supportive cloth seats.

I know this is silly, but one of my favorite things about it was… because I’m big on the nooks and crannies. I like being able to tuck stuff away so that nobody can see what’s in my car, but I still have stuff accessible.

“…it had a green halo ring around the speedometer that would just glow a little bit when I was in a good zone from an eco-perspective.”

Clinton Quan: Oh, yeah. That’s very important to me, too, having a lot of space, cargo space.

Tom Smith: Yeah. Places to put my stuff because my car’s been broken into too many times for random stuff that I leave out, but the center console has an armrest that slides forward in a very comfortable sitting position so that… I’m 5’10″/5’11”, but wide shoulders.

My arms gotta rest somewhere and I was really comfortable in this vehicle all because I could slide that center console armrest forward, which I thought was great.

Honda Sensing Technology

The EX, EX-L, and Touring all have the Honda Sensing, which includes the collision mitigation braking system, the road departure mitigating system, the adaptive cruise control, and the lane keep assist, of course.

I already mentioned the green halo on the inside that I absolutely loved when I was driving in a green fashion, so to speak, as you more eloquently put it. I was grasping for words there.

Tom Smith: Going back to who the vehicle’s for, a teen is gonna love this car, a young adult, college, obviously, even out of college, or if I lived in Downtown LA and I wanted the versatility of a crossover/SUV-

“…collision mitigation braking system, the road departure mitigating system, the adaptive cruise control, and the lane keep assist…”

Clinton Quan: You want something smaller that’s easy to parallel park and maneuver around-

Tom Smith: Absolutely.

Clinton Quan: An urban area with a lot of congestion.

Tom Smith: Absolutely and those passenger seats fold down. You got all kinds of space.

Clinton Quan: Yeah, Honda does a very good job of configuring their vehicles to maximize interior space. What were your top three favorite things?

Tom Smith: Okay, Professor. My top three. Thank you. I’m glad you asked. My top three…

HR-V Top-3

Number one is gonna be the interior of the vehicle, I absolutely loved the dash. I loved the driver-oriented ergonomics of the vehicle. Obviously, I love that center console and I drove the Sport.

It had the cloth seats, but they are very, very comfortable and the sun was beating down. It was a hot day. I got in and out of the car a couple of times, I grabbed some lunch and not too hot even though I was black on black, black exterior, black interior.

My number two is going to be the style and the exterior. Absolutely loved the look of the vehicle, those bigger Sport wheels look great, the spoiler across the bottom front, the accents on the back and along the rocker panels on the side, dig that as well.

Let’s see, what my number three? I’m gonna give my number three to the engine, and the power, and the pickup. The car had a very nice drive to it. You know what? Not only that, the drive overall, I loved how it took some of the curves in the foothills where I drive back to get my pictures for my test drives for Rock Honda.

Tom’s Top-3
1. Interior – driver focused & spacious.
2. Exterior – stylish & sporty.
3. Drive – ready for anything.

It was just a very comfortable car. It’s a car that, like I said, if I’m a younger man, I love it or if I’m me as I am right now and I’m living in a tight space urban setting, it’s absolutely a vehicle that I would go with.

Clinton Quan: Alright.

Tom Smith: It’s a little awkward when it’s you quizzing me.

Clinton Quan: Reversed.

Tom Smith: Yeah, role-reversal here. Well, Professor, thank you so much for quizzing me and asking me about my top three and helping me through the vehicle review of the 2019 Honda HR-V.

Buying Opportunities

By the way, this is 2019. They still have the 2018s on the showroom floor, so to speak, and on the lot, but they are dwindling. It’s that time of year. The 2018s are being incentivized, so to speak, and the 2019s are coming out and so, right now is a great time to go to Rock Honda and grab yourself a 2018 or 2019.

It doesn’t matter. They’re gonna give you a smoking deal anyway. We love our partners out at Rock Honda in the Los Angeles suburb of Fontana, California right off the 210 there.

For more HR-V info:
Veronica Orozco @ Rock Honda
Veronica.RockHonda [at] Gmail [dot] com
Mobile: 909-200-7050

Rockhonda.com, go say hi to the General Manager, David Latif; Sales Manager, Veronica Orozco; and General Sales Manager, Hamid Javid. Thank you, guys, all out there at Rock Honda. We love you. Professor, thank you as always. For iDriveSoCal, I’m Tom Smith. As always, thank you for listening.