2018 Honda HR-V Pros vs Cons. Should You Buy?
What's New for 2018?
There have not been any major changes from the 2017 model, so much of what you will find on the 2018 Honda HR-V remains the same.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2018 Honda HR-V – The Pros
1. Magic Seat Creates Cargo Space
Honda's Magic Seat is one of its most helpful innovations. This allows you to lift and flip the rear seats to add more cargo space to the trunk. This is extremely beneficial for the times when you have to tote large and bulky items, such as a television set.
2. Plenty of Cabin Space
In addition to there being plenty of cargo space, the cabin is surprisingly spacious for a vehicle in its segment. The amount of space in the rear is generous and allows adults to comfortably ride back there.
3. Above-Average Fuel Economy
Hondas are known for their excellent fuel economy, but the HR-V goes above and beyond. Its rather small and unassuming powertrain gently sips on the gas, which will save drivers a lot at the gas pump. In fact, the HR-V gets above-average gas mileage for a subcompact SUV, so you will be hard-pressed to find another vehicle in this class that can best the HR-V on fuel economy.
4. Excellent Visibility
Frontal, side, and rear visibility are excellent on the 2018 Honda HR-V. Up front, the vertical roof pillars are so slender that you get a nice, wide view of the road. Although the rear pillars are thicker, the elongated side windows make it easy to see behind you when trying to change lanes or back up into a parking space. There is also a standard rearview camera that assists with backing up.
5. Smooth Steering
The steering on the HR-V feels very natural and secure. Making other-wise difficult turns is easy in the HR-V since the vehicle provides plenty of feedback from the front wheels. This vehicle can easily navigate winding roads and congested parking lots.
6. Stable Handling
The handling on the HR-V is also very secure and makes the vehicle a joy to drive. The suspension is incredibly well-tuned, and the electronic stability control system is non-invasive while on the road.
7. All-Wheel Drive is Available
While FWD comes standard, you can opt-in for the AWD version of the HR-V. This makes it even easier to get around on rough road surfaces and is a huge bonus for those who have to drive in tough winter climates.
8. Nice-Looking Interior
The interior design on the 2018 Honda HR-V is pleasantly eye-catching. Materials look like they are high-quality, and the interior is well-constructed. All of the knobs seem intuitively-placed and are easy to reach. Honda has put a good amount of control buttons onto the steering wheel, making it so that drivers don't have to take their hands away from the wheel to adjust the controls.
9. Easy to Get In and Out of the Front Seats
The doors have a wide swing out to them, which makes it easy for most people to get in and out of the front seats. The doors are rather large for a small subcompact SUV, and the sloping roofline makes for easy access.
10. Easy Access to Central Controls
All of the central controls are within arms-length for the driver. Even the controls located on the center stack are easy to reach and adjust while driving. The knobs and buttons all appear to be crafted from high-quality materials and seem unlikely to break with use.
Reasons Not to Buy a 2018 Honda HR-V – The Cons
1. Poor Acceleration
Unfortunately, the 2018 Honda HR-V is one of the slowest to accelerate in the subcompact SUV class. It only gets from 0 to 60 mph in 9.7 seconds, which means it will get left in the dust by other vehicles when trying to get up to speed on the highway or on high-speed roads. Also, the automatic CVT has a tendency to lurch and adjust the engine's rpm while going up steep slopes.
2. Subpar Climate Control Interface
There is a noticeable lack of climate control buttons to be found in the HR-V, which is a bit mind-boggling for some drivers. You will have to spend extra time tinkering around with the controls on the dashboard and/or read the owner's manual to figure out how the climate control works on the HR-V. It is confusing and counterintuitive, especially for drivers who are not extremely tech-savvy.
3. Infotainment System Isn't User-Friendly
Similarly, there is a lack of physical control knobs for the infotainment system. The system itself isn't very user-friendly, and there are known issues with smartphone app connectivity in most new Hondas.
4. Noise and Vibrations
When idling at a stop light, you will notice quite a bit of engine throttle. You will notice even more engine noise when the vehicle is at a high rpm. The cabin is not insulated well enough to keep out this excessive engine noise. Also, the tires make a ruckus while going over rough road terrain, so be prepared to crank the volume on your music just so that you can hear it over the noise.
How it stacks up to the competition:
2018 Honda HR-V vs. 2018 Subaru Crosstrek
The 2018 Subaru Crosstrek comes standard with AWD. Also, it provides a quiet and smooth ride, unlike the HR-V. However, the engine is lacking the power of a great turbo, and its acceleration is also relatively sluggish. The Crosstrek does have more physical control knobs, which is a bonus for those who enjoy having knobs clearly labeled and situated on the center console.
2018 Honda HR-V vs. 2018 Buick Encore
The 2018 Buick Encore has a quiet and spacious interior. Like the HR-V, the Encore gets generous gas mileage and has a small-but-mighty engine. However, it, too, struggles with performance, especially on the base engine. Also, there isn't much space in the cargo area for bulky items.
The 2018 Honda HR-V is a cozy little vehicle that provides an excellent return on fuel and precision steering and handling. While some of the design choices might make you scratch your head, most things on the HR-V are easy to use. You will need to spend some time getting to know how this vehicle operates, but, performance-wise, it is predictable and reliable.
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