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2021 Honda HR-V Trim Levels with Comparisons & Configurations.

2021 Honda HR-V Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons: LX vs Sport vs EX & EX-L
Reviewed & fact checked by
James Murdoch

What 2021 Honda HR-V Trim Level Should you Buy? What is the Difference Between Trims?

Concise yet capable, the Honda HR-V has been a perennial favorite among customers for its superior practicality, reliability and safety. Affordably priced but not cheaply made, this car offers just enough perks to please drivers - like its dependable 1.8 liter four-cylinder engine that yields 141 horsepower with 127-pound feet of torque; plus an available all-wheel drivetrain perfect for slippery conditions where traction is key. Not to mention outstanding gas mileage estimates ranging from 27/31 (city/highway) mpg when AWD is equipped or 28/34 (city highway) on front wheel drives – making it particularly attractive to eco-friendly consumers who don’t want premium hybrids.

The Eco Assist system can be utilized whenever someone wants to maximize efficiency. Another standard component in the Honda is Hill Start Assist. With this feature engaged, the vehicle can keep itself from rolling backward when it has been stopped on a sloping surface and the driver needs to switch from the brake to the gas pedal.

Every HR-V has the same general shape. Front-wheel models sit 7.3 inches off the ground, and all-wheel versions are 6.7 inches off the ground. These heights aren't too extreme, and they give the driver a good perspective of the roads when sitting behind the wheel.

Leg room in this two-row SUV is fairly generous. In the front, there is 41.2 inches of leg room. In the second row, passengers can stretch out with 39.3 inches of leg room. This spaciousness may pleasantly surprise some people. Cargo space is one reason why the HR-V is ideal for a lot of people. When the rear seats are in place, there can be up to 24.3 cubic feet of storage space. Lowering the rear seatbacks can increase that cargo capacity to nearly 59 cubic feet.

With the 2021 Honda HR-V, there are four trims to consider if anyone is in the market for a new SUV. This guide is intended to help prospective customers narrow down their options.

Compare the HR-V LX vs Sport. What is the difference?

First of all, the LX has a five-inch color LCD screen while the Sport has a seven-inch touchscreen. The LX's screen is kind of like an oversized screen for a stereo system that isn't too far beyond what vehicles starting having a decade ago. The difference here is pretty major, especially since the Sport's touchscreen comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It also has a SMS text messaging function and Pandora compatibility to give people some more entertainment options. Both trims have four speakers in their cabins, but the Sport's audio system is slightly more powerful than the one found in the LX.

In terms of safety, these trims have the same components. Unfortunately, they don't have the driver-assist technologies that are featured in the higher trims. They do have rearview cameras, stability control systems, and LED daytime running lights. The camera in the Sport is a little more advanced than the one in the LX since it has dynamic guidelines that can be useful when parking.

Other than what's been mentioned so far, the cabins of the LX and Sport are very similar. They both have cloth seats, and their rear benches are called "Magic Seats." Honda's "Magic Seat" can be folded down to create more cargo room, and its seat cushions can also be folded up to create another compartment, one that can easily accommodate taller items. The Sport does have the addition of sport pedals, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a leather-wrapped shift knob.

There are a few other upgrades found on the exterior of the Sport. Some of the elements in the Sport that aren't in the LX are fog lights, roof rails, and gloss black underbody spoilers. More gloss black is used on the side mirrors. In the LX, those side mirrors are the same color as the vehicle itself. Notably, the Sport is the only trim out of the collection that has 18-inch wheels. All of the rest have 17-inch ones.

A bonus of driving the Sport is that it has paddle shifters. These are conveniently placed and give the driver the ability to take over the controls. When drivers push a button, the Sport will immediately respond and shift gears. Driving with paddle shifters can make things a little more interesting. In the Sport, there's the addition of Active Noise Cancellation (ANC). ANC elimiates engine noise through the use of microphones and anti-noise signals that are broadcast through the Honda's speakers. The result is a more peaceful cabin.

Compare the HR-V Sport vs EX Trims. What is the difference?

At the EX level, there's the addition of SiriusXM Satellite Radio and HD Radio. Many consumers are specifically looking for vehicles with these systems for entertainment purposes. SiriusXM in particular has become very popular, and it lets people have access to dozens of high-quality channels when they're on the road. The audio system in the EX is enhanced by having six speakers instead of four.

The EX level is the one in which driver-assist technologies become standard. Hondas with these technologies have a package called Honda Sensing. This consists of adaptive cruise control, a system that warns drivers about lane departures, and corrective steering that can keep the vehicle centered. Perhaps most importantly, the HR-V can sense when it's about to hit a car in front of it, and it can not only warn drivers about this issue but can also hit the brakes on its own.

Two other systems that the EX has are Honda LaneWatch and automatic high beams. Honda LaneWatch is a blind spot monitoring system that works to prevent drivers from switching lanes when it's not safe, and the automatic high beams can turn themselves on when the road ahead is especially dark.

One significant way in which the EX's cabin is nicer than the Sport's is related to its front seats. Those seats are heated in the EX, and this can make the vehicle a lot more cozy in the winter. The EX has an automatic climate system rather than a manual one, and its side mirrors are heated and have turn signals built into them.

Push-button start is becoming much more common these days. For anyone who is looking for a vehicle with push-button start, note that this becomes standard at the EX level. Since the EX has a smart key, it can sense when the driver is approaching with the key fob in close proximity. People simply have to touch the door handles to unlock them. When someone is finished with a trip, the vehicle can automatically lock itself (when the key fob is moving away from it).

One other small upgrade in the EX can have a big impact. The EX has a power moonroof that can make the vehicle feel more upscale. When it's open, a lot of fresh air and natural light can stream in.

Compare the HR-V EX vs EX-L. What is the difference?

The EX-L is the most premium HR-V trim. That being said, the EX-L's starting price is still only about $26,000. This is much lower than the starting price of many other SUV's base models, and the price difference between the HR-V and another model could be significant. As readers learn about what the EX-L brings to the table, it's important to keep its relatively low cost in the back of one's mind.

The EX-L offers a superior driving experience with access to the same information and entertainment features as found on the EX trim. Enhanced safety has been integrated into this model, making it an ideal choice for those looking for confidence behind the wheel. Upgrading from cloth seating material in the standard version to leather gives passengers luxurious comfort while adding sophistication - especially at night when its automatic dimming mirror blocks out annoying glares of light.

As mentioned earlier, Honda had put in a leather-wrapped steering wheel into the Sport trim. For some reason, it took that feature away when designing the EX. Fortunately, the leather-wrapped steering wheel makes a comeback in the EX-L. This steering wheel complements the leather seats, and it adds to the overall aesthetic in the EX-L's cabin.

Final Thoughts

The Honda HR-V has all the features to make it an attractive choice for shoppers - a perfect blend of size, driver-assistive technology, and upscale interior amenities. This SUV offers four trims ranging from simple LX to luxurious EX-L with only $5K difference in starting price! It's no surprise that the fully equipped EX-L is most recommended as it gives you so much bang for your buck: heated leather seats, power moonroof and high tech elements at under 26K. Plus plenty of spacious practicality on top; this vehicle truly fits everyone’s needs.

Used 2021 Honda HR-V:
Previous Honda HR-V Trim Configurations:

Compare the 2020 Honda HR-V Trim Levels