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Two-row SUVs are quite popular, and the Honda CR-V and HR-V are two well-known models. Out of these SUVs, the CR-V is the one that has more space and power. The HR-V, though, is still very attractive because of its versatility and interior features. Both of these Hondas would be smart purchases for those looking for practical vehicles. This overview will review how they differ in certain areas so that potential buyers can make the right decision.
Size and Styling
By about 12 inches, the CR-V is the longer model. It has a length of 182.1 inches, whereas the HR-V measures 170.4 inches. The CR-V has a width of 73 inches and a height of about 66 inches. In comparison, the HR-V is approximately 70 inches wide and 63 inches tall. Of course, this will translate into the CR-V having more interior space. For those in urban environments, the HR-V might be the more attractive one because it'll be easier to park in smaller spots.
Analyzing the cargo capacities of these vehicles can show potential buyers another way in which they differ. The CR-V, with its extra length, has a rear cargo area that has a volume of nearly 40 cubic feet. When the rear seats are folded down, cargo capacity expands to about 75 cubic feet. The rear cargo area in the HR-V only has a volume of about 24 cubic feet. The rear seats in the HR-V can be folded down to create more room, but this would result in having less than 60 cubic feet of storage space. For some customers, this would be enough, but others might find the space to be lacking in size.
When it comes to leg room, though, the HR-V does very well. It has 41.2 inches of leg room in the front row and 39.3 inches of leg room in its second row. This is more than what some larger SUVs offer, and HR-V passengers will be happy to be able to stretch out their legs.
The CR-V does even better in this regard. It has 41.3 inches of leg room in its first row and 40.4 inches of leg room in its back row. For those who will frequently be driving with adults or tall teenagers riding in the back, this is going to be a selling point.
In both models, the second row has a 60/40 configuration. This means that one side of the bench can be folded down while the other side remains in its upright position. This allows for one or two passengers, depending on which side of the bench has been folded down, to sit in the back alongside some cargo.
An interesting feature can be found in the Honda HR-V. It's something called a Magic Seat. With this type of seat, the seatback can be folded down, as it would in any other type of SUV. The Magic Seat can also be adjusted in another way. Its seat can be folded up so that it's flat against the seatback. This creates an area in which plants, lamps, and other taller items can be stored during transport.
From the outside, it can be hard to tell these vehicles apart from each other, at least from certain perspectives. They have the same type of stylings, which include a roofline spoiler and fin-type antenna mounted on the roof. The CR-V can be enhanced with LED fog lights, and both models can have power moonroofs. Only the CR-V has available LED headlights and a power-operated tailgate. The CR-V can have two chrome exhaust finishers, too.
An interesting thing about the HR-V is that its rear doors have vertical door handles. It's an unusual feature that helps the HR-V look more modern.
Because of its slightly smaller stature, the HR-V could easily be considered a crossover instead of an SUV. In fact, Honda calls it a "crossover SUV." The CR-V has a more upright stance, fitting the mold of what a traditional SUV would look like.
Every trim of the CR-V and HR-V use four-cylinder engines. There are differences, though. In the HR-V, there's a 1.8-liter engine, and in the CR-V, there can either be a 1.5-liter turbocharged engine or a 2.0-liter engine and an electric motor as part of a hybrid powertrain.
The engine in the HR-V makes 141 horsepower and 127 pound-feet of torque. This isn't that impressive, but given the compact size of the SUV, it should be fine for most situations. All-Wheel drive is available with the HR-V, and all trims have Hill Start Assist to keep them from rolling backwards after begin stopped on an incline.
In addition, all HR-Vs have Eco Assist systems that can be engaged whenever people want to conserve gas. A front-wheel-drive HR-V has an estimated fuel economy of 28/34 (city/highway) miles per gallon. An all-wheel-drive HR-V earns slightly less, having a fuel economy that's estimated to be 27/31 miles per gallon.
Honda has given the HR-V a continuously variable transmission. It has an available Sport mode to make it feel a little more aggressive. Three out of the four HR-V trims have paddle shifters mounted on their steering wheels. This makes it easy for drivers to manually shift gears whenever they want to.
In the CR-V, the traditional powertrain uses a 1.5-liter engine that generates 190 horsepower and 179 pound-feet of torque. This is a pretty respectable amount of power. Out of the four trim levels, which are the LX, EX, EX-L, and Touring, the top three can have the hybrid powertrains. A hybrid CR-V is actually more powerful than a traditional one. A hybrid CR-V has a total horsepower of 212, thanks to the boost it gets from the electric motor.
Like the HR-V, the CR-V has Eco Assist and Hill Start Assist. Its top three trims have remote start, which can be really convenient to use. All-wheel drive is available with the traditional powertrain and standard with the hybrid one.
The CR-V uses a continuously variable transmission, just like the one that the HR-V has. Sport mode can be selected when drivers want to make things more exciting.
Note that out of all of these engines, only the traditional engine in the CR-V has a towing rating. It can be used to tow up to 1,500 pounds. Most people don't use SUVs of this size to tow too much cargo, so this should be sufficient for many.
The hybrid CR-V is obviously going to have excellent fuel economy. It can travel up to 40 miles per gallon (in the city) on a single gallon of gas. On the highway, it can earn up to 35 miles per gallon. The non-hybrids still do pretty well. They're on the same level as the HR-V, earning an estimated 28/34 (city/highway) miles per gallon if they have front-wheel drive and 27/32 miles per gallon if they have all-wheel drive.
Comfort, Options and Performance
The base trims of the CR-V and HR-V have similar seating. They both sit five, and as mentioned earlier, they have plenty of space for passengers. The trims start out with cloth seats and manually adjustable front seats. The CR-V has heated front seats in three trims and leather upholstery in the top two trims. In the HR-V, only two trims have heated front seats, and only one has been upgraded with leather upholstery.
It's a similar story when looking at the interior amenities. For instance, the CR-V has automatic climate control as a standard feature. This is only found on the top two HR-V trims, with the rest having manual climate control. Also, most of the CR-Vs have climate control systems with two zones.
One of the HR-Vs has an auto-dimming rearview mirror to cut down on glare. Two HR-V trims have push-button start for convenience, and two have leather-wrapped steering wheels. Two of the CR-V models also have leather-wrapped steering wheels, but the difference is that they can have heating elements built into them. The top two trims of the CR-V are further enhanced with ambient lighting and a HomeLink remote system that can communicate with someone's garage door or security system.
When looking at the top trim of the CR-V, the technology is impressive. It has wireless charging, a nine-speaker sound system, and perhaps most importantly, integrated navigation. The top trim of the HR-V is the EX-L, and it doesn't have any of those features, unfortunately.
The EX-L and EX trim of the HR-V do have SiriusXM and HD Radio, along with six-speaker sound systems. The EX-L, EX, and Sport trims of the HR-V all have seven-inch touchscreens, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Pandora radio compatibility. In the base model, there is not a touchscreen, nor is there smartphone compatibility. There is a five-inch LCD screen and Bluetooth, though.
The base model of the CR-V, which is the LX, also doesn't have a touchscreen. It, too, is limited to having a five-inch LCD screen. It has Bluetooth and Pandora radio compatibility, and truthfully, some customers might not need anything more than this.
In the top three trims of CR-V, there are seven-inch touchscreens, HD Radio, SiriusXM, and smartphone compatibility. While the top trims of the HR-V have two total USB ports, most trims of the CR-V have two USB ports in the front and two in the rear.
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There is a discrepancy between what the CR-V and HR-V offer in regards to safety. The CR-V is the model that has several more standard safety features, and this is definitely going be noticed by potential buyers.
Every trim of the CR-V benefits from having forward collision warning and collision mitigation braking, as well as lane departure warning and road departure mitigation. This means that it's much less likely that a CR-V would be involved in a frontal collision or accidentally veer off the road. Almost every trim has blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic monitoring, which can be appreciated when it's not possible to see other vehicles in certain positions. Finally, the CR-V has adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, and automatic high beams. It's really impressive that this SUV can make adjustments to its speed, if necessary, and can keep itself centered in a lane.
These same components can be found in the HR-V, but only on the EX and EX-L trims. The first two trims are not available with any of these driver-assist technologies. Those trims, like all the others, do have air bags, stability enhancement programs, the LATCh system, and three-point seatbelts in every position.
One thing that the HR-V has that the CR-V does not is Honda LaneWatch. Honda LaneWatch uses a camera that has been integrated into the passenger-side mirror. When the right-hand turn signal is on, the camera can turn on and send its video feed to the center screen. It gives the driver a wider perspective of that side of the vehicle, allowing him/her to see vehicles in the blind spot. Honda LaneWatch is standard on the top two HR-V trims.
Which Model to Choose?
Many will feel that the CR-V would be the strategic choice because of its larger size, higher-end features, and better capability. This is all true, but some customers might be wary of its price. The CR-V starts out with a price of $25,350. This is certainly a reasonable number, but it's not as low as what the HR-V costs, which is $21,220.
As would be expected, the two mid-level trims of the CR-V are more expensive than those of the HR-V. The difference in cost could be about $5,000 or $6,000. The top trim on the CR-V is the Touring, and it costs $33,650. In comparison, the most premium HR-V trim is the EX-L, and it only costs $26,020.
People interested in the hybrid versions of the CR-V should expect to pay even more. The additional cost could be approximately $3,000.
Because of the budget factor, it could be difficult to decide which SUV to get. The CR-V will please those who have slightly more money to spend and need the additional cargo space. The CR-V has the nicer safety and technology packages as well. However, the affordability of the HR-V could bring it a lot of attention.