2018 Honda HR-V Trim Levels with Comparisons & Configurations.
The Honda HR-V is the newest addition to the Honda SUV line, once again bringing it up to three total vehicles. The HR-V slots in as the smallest of them, representing Honda’s entry into the new and growing subcompact crossover segment. Like all subcompact SUVs, it combines the small size, good fuel economy, and low price point of subcompact passenger cars with the high seating position, improved safety, and available all-wheel drive.
The HR-V offers a few advantages over its competition with its spacious cabin, unique looks, and a good driving feel. It also has a great deal of equipment for its size and price point, as well as its relatively inexpensive price point. The current model is almost identical to the car’s original release in 2016, but there are few obvious weaknesses that Honda has needed to address in the last two years.
The 2018 Honda HR-V comes in a number of configurations, with the ability to customize its equipment and powertrain being one of its strong points. As most crossovers, it is available in both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations. On top of that, it also comes in manual transmission and continuously variable transmission varieties, and there are three trim levels to choose from.
Compare the 2018 HR-V LX vs EX Trims. What is the difference?
The base model of the Honda HR-V is know as the LX, and it makes for a fairly decent entry-level model, especially when considering its price, which is among the lowest in the subcompact crossover class. Power locks and windows, air conditioning and cruise control are all standard on the LX, making for a good basic crossover feature set. On top of that, the LX also includes 17-inch alloy wheels, an innovative multi-angle rearview camera, and a 5-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth and a USB port.
It should be noted that this infotainment system, which is not available on the higher-end models, is the only one that comes with hardware buttons and knobs. All others are controlled exclusively through the touchscreen. The LX HR-V comes standard with front-wheel drive and a six-speed manual transmission, but can also be upgraded to a CVT and all-wheel drive. The automatic models are also available with front-wheel drive, but manual-transmission ones can’t be equipped with all-wheel drive.
The mid-range EX is a more upscale version of the HR-V, and it adds a number of useful features that feel fairly premium for the small crossover. The EX includes a larger upgraded infotainment system with a 7-inch screen, an extra USB port, and two more speakers for a total of six. There system does not offer Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, but does have some app support for connected smartphones.
The HR-V EX also is equipped with heated seats and side mirrors, a moonroof, automatic climate control, and steering wheel paddle shifters. It also has a smart key system with keyless entry and push-button start. There is also the Honda LaneWatch camera, which displays a view of the car’s right-side blind spot whenever the right turn signal is turned on. Just like the LX, the EX is available in either all-wheel or front-wheel drive, as well as manual and automatic transmission, with the manual not available together with all-wheel drive.
Outside the choice of transmission and drivetrain, the EX does not offer further customization options or packages.
There is a fair many reasons to recommend both the LX and the EX versions of the Honda HR-V. The solid equipment of the LX avoids the trope of the small economy car, at the same time as it remains a very good budget option even within the low-priced subcompact segment. It easily matches or exceeds the equipment available on other, more expensive models, which is a strong point in its favor.
However the EX is still a fairly solid option. At merely $2,000 over the base price of the LX, it comes with a number of high-end features that are frequently limited to the highest end of the compact and subcompact vehicles. Its major miss is the infotainment system, which is more difficult to use compared to the physical buttons of the LX. The lack of advanced smartphone integration is likewise a negative for the system.Aside from those concerns, the EX offers a fairly upscale take on the subcompact crossover for its price point and can be a great choice for buyers used to a nicer set of interior features than the LX offers.
Compare the 2018 Honda HR-V EX vs EX-L Navi Trims. What is the difference?
Readers familiar with Honda’s model nomenclature will quickly spot the main improvements that the EX-L Navi model offers over the regular EX: leather upholstery for the seats and a built-in navigation system. The navigation upgrade for the infotainment system also adds support for HD and satellite radio, as well as voice command controls. Similarly, the leather seats are accompanied by a leather-covered steering wheel and gear shifter, as well as some interior leather trim pieces.
The EX-L Navi also includes roof rails as a standard factory-installed feature. Unlike the other models, it is only available with the continuously variable automatic transmission, though two-wheel and all-wheel drive are both still on offers.
As the top end of the Honda HR-V lineup, the EX-L Navi is also the most expensive one, coming in at roughly $2,500 more than a similar EX with the CVT. That is also roughly how much additional leather and navigation packages tend to cost on larger Honda vehicles and similar competitors though, so the upgrade is definitely one that has value.
Which Trim Level to Choose?
Throughout all three of its trim levels, the 2018 Honda HR-V offers a value that is as good or better than similar other vehicles, though it is held back by some deficiencies in the infotainment system and the lack of advanced safety features that some other cars in the segment offer.
For buyers whose goal is to maximize the return on their investment, the base HR-V LX offers a good combination of standard and premium features, while still offering all of the versatility of the HR-V at a fairly low price. The EX similarly builds on this by adding extra comfort features, making it a good value for drivers who want something a little better than the base.
And while the EX-L Navi may not have the same great value compared to the competition that the other two HR-V trims offer, it is still a great vehicle with a lot of nice technology included as standard.
The lack of options on each model may feel like a downside, but due to the fact that the different trim levels of the HR-V are so close together in equipment, additional packages seem unnecessary. It also makes choosing the perfect HR-V that much easier for prospective purchasers.
• Why buy a 2018 Honda HR-V? w/ pros vs cons