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Bold, athletic, and packed to the brim with the latest in standard safety and infotainment technology, the 2019 Honda HR-V is a subcompact crossover SUV that appeals to the visual sense. It also offers a lot in the way of interior space for a vehicle in its class. While it may not have the same impressive power output as other members of the Honda family, the HR-V is fuel efficient.
This model year brings a few key changes to the HR-V line-up. The biggest alteration is the addition of the Sport and Touring trim levels. As is the case with all of the previously-existing trims, the Sport and Touring are also powered by a 1.8-L 4-cylinder engine. This engine generates 141 hp and 127 lb-ft of torque, which unfortunately leaves the vehicle feeling somewhat under-powered. Also, a CVT comes standard on each trim. Front-wheel drive is standard on all trim levels save for the Touring, which equips all-wheel drive (an option for the lower trim levels).
While all five trim levels share the same powertrain, they differ in terms of how many features are offered and how the vehicle is designed to look. These differences might make choosing a trim level a bit difficult. That being said, let's take a look at the five trim levels on the 2019 Honda HR-V to figure out which one is the best fit for the average driver.
Compare the 2019 Honda HR-V LX vs Sport - What is the difference?
Even though it is a base trim, the 2019 Honda HR-V LX comes with a huge list of standard features. For starters, the LX rides atop 17-inch silver painted alloy wheels. On the 2WD models, there is a standard Torsion-Beam Rear Suspension, while, on the AWDs, there is a well-tuned DeDion Rear Suspension that allows the HR-V to handle inclement weather conditions and some light off-roading adventures.
Safety features are adequate and are basically the same on both the LX and the Sport. Both trims come with active safety features like brake assist, a tire pressure monitoring system, and LED daytime running lights. Unfortunately, unlike some of Honda's other models, the Honda Sensing suite does not come fully standard across the line-up. You have to upgrade to the EX in order to get those features. Passive safety features (such as child safety locks and seatbelt reminders for the driver and front seat passenger) come on each trim level.
As far as the exteriors of these two trim levels go, they are set apart by the Sport's glossy black hue. The Sport trim has larger 18-inch alloy wheels that have black matte inserts. Also, unlike the LX, it comes with fog lights, underspoilers that match the glossy black body, roof rails, and an exhaust finisher.
Of course, since it is a sport vehicle, there are a few differences inside the cabin of the Sport. For example, the regular pedals are swapped out for sport ones. The steering wheel and shift knob on the Sport are both wrapped in leather, which you can only otherwise get on the EX-L and Touring trims.
Technology takes a step up on the Sport as well by introducing a 6-speaker sound system in place of the LX's 4-speaker set-up. Also, the infotainment display gets upgraded to a 7-inch screen. Smartphone app integration and the Honda Link system are also included on the Sport trim.
Compare the 2019 HR-V Sport vs EX Trims. What is the difference?
The Sport and EX trims share a lot of the same features, but Honda adds even more to the EX. Of course, since this mid-level trim gains a lot over the LX, it becomes a stand-out trim in the line-up. This means that the EX provides a great balance between equipment and cost.
For example, the number of driver aids is significantly increased on the EX as opposed to the LX and Sport trims since the Honda Sensing suite comes standard on the EX and above trims. The Honda Sensing suite includes forward collision warning, lane departure warning, a collision mitigation braking system, and a road departure mitigation system. While there are other models in the Honda family this year that offer Honda Sensing on their base trims, upgrading to the EX on the HR-V is still a wise decision.
The HR-V's EX trim level also boasts quite a few exterior upgrades over the Sport. Its projector-beam halogen headlights have an automatic on-off feature whereas the headlights on the lower trim levels only have the automatic off aspect. Additionally, the EX comes with a one-touch power moonroof, smart entry with a feature that locks your doors when it detects that you are walking away, and privacy glass for the rear.
As far as convenience features go, the EX adds several functions that are not found on the Sport. Although it does not have the leather shift knob and steering wheel, the EX has desirable features such as power door locks that can be programmed, push button start, and illuminated front vanity mirrors. Automatic climate control also comes standard on the EX and above and comes with an electrostatic touchscreen. And the front seats? They're heated for a little extra comfort during the cooler months.
While the Sport comes with quite an abundance of audio features, the EX goes a step beyond that by making several key additions. On the EX, you can get SiriusXM radio and HD radio. HD Radio lets you access local radio stations and use various apps without having to pay a hefty monthly fee to do so.
Compare the HR-V EX vs EX-L - What is the difference?
The 2019 Honda HR-V EX is a powerful and well-equipped trim level; there is no doubt about that. But if you are looking for something slightly more luxurious, the EX-L trim might be a better fit for you. The EX-L takes all of the things you find on the EX and makes a few additions in terms of convenience and comfort.
First and foremost, the EX-L adds well-bolstered leather seats in place of the standard cloth upholstery that can be found on the EX and lower trim levels. This gives you a feeling of luxury without slapping you in the face with an outrageous price tag. Also on the EX-L, there is an automatically dimming rear-view mirror.
Unfortunately, aside from the leather upgrade and mirrors, there are not any really significant differences between the EX and the EX-L. The decision between them will essentially boil down to whether you prefer leather or are completely fine with cushy cloth upholstery.
Compare the HR-V EX-L vs Touring Trims. What is the difference?
Here we are at the top of the 2019 Honda HR-V line-up, where the EX-L is bested in terms of luxury by the Touring trim level. While you are going to pay about $3,000 more for the Touring than you would for the EX-L, you might find that some of this cost is justifiable. All-wheel drive comes standard on the Touring trim, which explains some of the extra cost, and it is well worth the price if you live someplace where there is often inclement weather.
Of course, having AWD come standard means that you will also take a slight hit on fuel efficiency. This really is not a huge deal though since the AWD models get 28 combined mpg (26 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway), which is not a far cry from the 2WD's 30 combined mpg (28 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway). This, for its class, this is still a fuel-efficient vehicle with AWD equipped.
The biggest difference between the EX-L and the Touring is the inclusion of the HOme Link Remote System. This is Honda's way of letting you monitor what is going on at home while you are away. This system allows you to open and close your garage door, turn your lights and electrical appliances on and off, and open and close your front gate.
Another key difference is that the Touring has a driver seat that is power-adjustable eight ways. However, that is the only major alteration between the seats on the EX-L and the Touring. Otherwise, the Touring has the same leather upholstery and heating function as the EX-L.
Finally, on the technological front, the inclusion of Honda's satellite-based navigation system is what separates it from the EX-L. This system includes a HD digital traffic display and has the capability to recognize verbal commands through voice recognition technology. Although this feature has been problematic on Hondas in the past, it appears that the auto manufacturer has taken steps to remedy the issues.
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Which One Should You Choose?
As far as choosing a trim level on the 2019 HR-V goes, your decision will likely end up being based on how much bang you can get for your buck. There are not too many options for customization, but a lot of features come standard once you get to the EX trim. Otherwise, there are not a number of serious differences between the trim levels.
Of course, if you want something a little bit sportier, you can get the Sport trim. However, since it is powered by the same powertrain as the rest of the models in this line-up, you are better off going with the EX. It packs a lot of good things into a reasonably-priced (and ultimately very user-friendly) package.
Regardless of which trim you get, the HR-V is still one of the top choices in its segment and should sell pretty well this model year.
• Compare the 2018 Honda HR-V Trim Levels