2020 Honda HR-V Review

The 2020 Honda HR-V gets universal high marks for both safety and interior space.  Plus most car critics will admit that it handles well and delivers great fuel economy.

But the area where most critics and I disagree is the vehicle’s acceleration and power.  Because while some feel it’s lacking in those areas, my take is that it fits the bill and exceeds expectations.

2020 Honda HR-V Top-3:

  1. Safety
  2. Spaciousness
  3. Usability/value

Here’s my complete test drive review of the 2020 Honda CR-V that I recently picked up from my friends at Rock Honda in Fontana, California.

–>Continue reading or click play below to listen.<–

2020 Honda HR-V driver profile

102.8-inch wheelbase

2020 Honda HR-V Subcompact Crossover SUV

So Honda’s HR-V is a subcompact crossover SUV.  And it sits in Honda’s growing lineup of crossover SUVs.

Because the carmaker most recently reintroduced the Passport.  And with that Honda’s crossover SUV lineup is now 4 vehicles deep.

 Honda’s 2020 Crossover SUV Lineup:

  • Subcompact HR-V
  • Compact CR-V
  • Midsize Passport
  • Full-size Pilot*

Some might argue the Pilot is a midsize crossover SUV.  But I’m classifying it as full-size for two reasons.

2020 Honda HR-V driver rear

2020 HR-V subcompact crossover SUV

First, because it shares many characteristics of what is universally considered a full-size vehicle by many industry standards.  And second, because it best illustrates Honda’s overall crossover SUV lineup in simple terms.

So, with that out of the way, let’s get on with the HR-V review – shall we? :0)

HR-V Trim Levels And Prices

For the 2020 model year, Honda offers the HR-V in five different trim configuration levels.

 2020 Honda HR-V Trims & MSRPs:

  • LX $20,820
  • Sport $22,520
  • EX $23,970
  • EX-L $25,570
  • Touring $28,890

The pricing I share here is for point of reference only.  First, you need to get your HR-V equipped to your liking and that will impact the price.

2020 Honda HR-V front badge and plate

5-star Overall NHTSA Rating

But second, if you’re serious about buying an HR-V (or any Honda) just go see my friends at Rock Honda in Fontana, California.

2020 Honda HR-V

Tom Smith & David Latif

And tell David Latif, the General Manager, that you heard about Rock Honda from me.  Because when you do you’ll get the utmost VIP treatment, price, deal and, overall buying experience.

Engine, Transmission, And MPG

So, all 2020 Honda HR-V trims are front-wheel-drive but offer the option for all-wheel-drive.  And that’s with the exception of the top-of-the-line Touring.

17-inch aluminum alloy wheel HR-V LX

LX trim 17-inch alloy

Because AWD comes standard with the Touring trim level.

As for the engine and transmission, Honda offers the same across all HR-V trim levels.

Honda HR-V engine

141 hp w/ 127 lb-ft of torque

So that’s an inline 4-cylinder engine that delivers 141 horsepower and 127 pound-feet of torque.  And that engine is matched with a continuously variable transmission.

Now it’s this engine and CVT combination that has some critics stating Honda needs to step up its game.  However, in my opinion, those guys and gals need to kindly zip-it.

And here are two reasons why.  First is passing acceleration.  So, from about 40 mph to (more than) highway speed limits, the HR-V delivers.  And that’s where you need it.

2020 Honda HR-V Fuel Economy:

  • Front-whee drive 28/30/34
  • All-wheel-drive 26/28/31

*City / Combined / Highway

Second, is the great fuel economy the 2020 Honda HR-V delivers.  It depends on your trim and front-wheel or all-wheel-drive configuration.  But the worst-case fuel economy rating is 26 mpg in the city.  While the best rating is 34 mpg on the highway.

Also, depending on your configuration, the 2020 HR-V will have a curb weight of between 2,906 to 3,150 lbs.

And a final note on the 2020 HR-V transmission is that all trims, except the base-LX, come with paddle shifters.

What Does The 2020 Honda HR-V Look Like?

The 2020 HR-V looks like a Honda for sure.  Because the carmaker has done a good job of sizing and styling its crossover SUV lineup in a similar fashion.

2020 Honda HR-V front2

2020 Honda HR-V LX w/ AWD

And the subcompact crossover SUV has an attractive athletic look from most every angle.  Even though my test driver for this review was a base-model LX it still looked nimble and attentive.

2020 HR-V Exterior Measurements:

  • Wheelbase 102.8
  • Length 170.4 / 170.9 Sport & Touring
  • Width 69.8 / 70.5 Sport & Touring
  • Height 63.2
  • Track:
    • Front 60.4
    • Rear 60.6
  • Ground  clearance:
    • 2WD 7.3 / 7.4 Sport
    • AWD 6.7

*All inches

Plus, adding a roof rack for active lifestyles really accentuates the SUV element of the vehicle.  Available 18-inch alloy wheels and sport sides can dance up the HR-Vs appearance nicely too.

2020 Honda HR-V taillight

LED taillights

Also, HR-V comes with LED taillights standard while LED foglights and headlights are available.

2020 Honda HR-V Exterior colors:

  • Aegean blue metallic
  • Crystal black pearl
  • Lunar silver metallic
  • Milano red
  • Midnight amethyst metallic
  • Orangeburst metallic
  • Platinum white pearl
  • Modern steel metallic

*Not all colors available on all trims

2020 Honda HR-V Interior

Going inside the 2020 Honda HR-V it feels like a much larger vehicle.  And overall it just felt like the designer and engineers got it right.

Because visibility is great and even in the base model trim I was quickly able to find a comfortable seating position.  And I noted the bolstering of the seats as being very supportive.

HR-V front seats and dash from backseat

Available heated front seats

So, the above picture probab1ly doesn’t do the interior fabric justice. Because the base model LX with a cloth interior had a quality and durable feel to the touch.

What does HR-V stand for?

Hi-rider Revolutionary Vehicle

And that interior looks much nicer than the vehicle’s price tag would suggest.

2020 Honda HR-V backseat

Surprising big backseat

Also, whether you’re in the front or backseats, you really don’t feel like you’re in a subcompact class vehicle.  That’s whether you’re the driver or a passenger.  Because there’s plenty of legroom for everyone.

2020 Honda HR-V Interior Measurements:

  • Headroom:
    • Front: 39.5 – 37.6
    • Back: 38.3
  • Legroom:
    • Front: 41.2
    • Back: 39.3
  • Hiproom:
    • Front: 53.1
    • Back: 47.4

*All inches

2020 Honda HR-V cargo area w. backseat partial down

Up to 58.8 cu-ft of cargo space w/ seats down

Also, the backseats fold down to create more cargo space.  But the backseats can also fold up to better accommodate transporting a wider variety of shaped items.  And that’s across all HR-V trim levels.

Infotainment Technology

Because my test driver was an LX base model I didn’t have lots of whistles and bells to play with.  However, go with a higher trim level like the EX-L or the Touring and bingo – you’ve got lots!

2020 Honda HR-V cockpit

Available 7″ info touchscreen

Even in the base model that I test drove, I didn’t feel like I was missing technology.  However, you’re buying the HR-V I would suggest the Sport trim or above for infotainment purposes.

Because with the Sport, EX, EX-L and Touring trims you get the 7-inch touchscreen plus key integrations.  And those include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Honda’s telematics system HondaLink.

Driver Assistance And Safety Technology

Likewise, when it comes to driver-assistance and safety technology my suggestion is to go with the EX trim or above.

2020 Honda HR-V steering wheel and instrument cluster

Honda Sensing on EX trim and higher

Because while all trims get lots of active and passive safety features, you need to get EX or above to get Honda Sensing and driver assistance tech.

 Honda Sensing:

  • Collision mitigation braking
  • Road departure mitigation
  • Forward collision warning
  • Lane departure warning
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Lane keep assist

However, it’s very important to point out a big-safety-deal that you get regardless of the trim.  And that is the 2020 Honda HR-V received a 5-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

2020 Honda HR-V – Top-3

So this brings us back to my Top-3 for the 2020 Honda HR-V.

  1. Safety – Again, I suggest you buy the EX or above to assure you get Honda Sensing.  But even with the base model LX you’re in 5-star NHTSA-land.
  2. Spaciousness – Lots of room for people and lots of room for stuff.  We want to get it all from points A to B.  And do so safely.
  3. Usability/value – The HR-V’s safety and spaciousness make it a vehicle you can use with peace of mind.  Making it a great value.
2020 Honda HR-V rear

Athletic stance – 2020 Honda HR-V