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In recent years, SUVs have become very popular, thanks in part to their capability and versatility. If consumers are looking for SUVs that aren't too big and deliver a lot of value, the HR-V is likely going to be on their short lists. It's been a strong contender since being released in 2016, so it's a good bet that it will continue this trend. The 2021 Honda HR-V is practical and reliable, and it's also equipped with many high-tech components that modern consumers will likely appreciate.
What's New for 2021?
Honda hasn't really made significant changes to the HR-V for this model year. It seems that it has decided to stick with a plan that has been proven to work. One trim that has been updated is the Sport. It now has a slightly different wheel design as well as tinted rear windows.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2021 Honda HR-V – The Pros
1. Price Is Hard To Beat
The reality is that consumers need to find vehicles that they can afford. For this reason alone, the HR-V is going to be attractive to a large segment of consumers. The LX only costs about $21,000, with the Sport not far behind with a starting cost of under $23,000. At the top of the spectrum, the EX-L costs approximately $26,000. All of the trims have reasonable prices, and they'll be able to interest many people who want to keep their expenses to a minimum.
2. A Perfect Size
The HR-V looks fairly compact. Honda has done an excellent job of using up every inch of the available space in the cabin. Leg room in the second row measures 39.3 inches, which is more than many larger SUVs have to offer. Cargo volume in the area behind the seats is over 24 cubic feet, and when those seats are lowered, cargo capacity increases to nearly 59 cubic feet. These numbers are going to make a lot of people happy.
3. A "Magic" Seat
It's great to be able to rearrange one's cabin on occasion. This can make it feasible to accommodate larger pieces of cargo. In the 2021 Honda HR-V, the second row is what Honda calls a Magic Seat.
The seat can be folded down like what people are accustomed to seeing in SUVs; this is called Utility Mode. In Tall Mode, its seats can be lifted up to create more vertical space in the cabin. On top of this, the seat is split into a 60/40 bench, so one side can be utilized for a passenger (or two) while the other side is moved around to open up storage space.
4. Nice Interior Features Are Available
In the EX-L trim, people can be treated to leather seats, with the front ones being heated. Leather is also incorporated into the steering wheel and shift knob. The rearview mirror can automatically dim so that bright lights don't interfere with the driver's vision at night. In the EX-L and EX, there is a convenient push-button start, and there is an automatic climate system, too.
5. An Option To Get All-Wheel Drive
With compact vehicles, there's not always the opportunity to get all-wheel drive. This can be a problem if customers anticipate having to deal with icy conditions on occasion. The good news is that the 2021 Honda HR-V does come with available all-wheel drive. In fact, every trim offers this option. All-wheel drive can be very useful when it's hard for the wheels to grip the roads, so it's something that many people take advantage of.
6. Excellent Fuel Economy
In this Honda SUV, people can travel fairly long distances before having to fill up. Front-wheel HR-Vs can earn an estimated 28/34 (city/highway) miles per gallon. All-wheel HR-Vs can't quite match those numbers but still do pretty well. They can achieve an estimated 27/31 miles per gallon.
7. Able To Sense Issues
Two of the four trims of the HR-V come with Honda Sensing technology. The Honda Sensing package consists of various driver-assist systems that can actively work to keep people safe. For instance, with collision mitigation braking, the SUV can apply pressure to the brakes when it senses that a frontal collision is about to occur. Lane keeping assist and lane departure warning work in conjunction with each other and can help keep the vehicle centered. There's also adaptive cruise control and road departure mitigation.
8. An Extra Pair of Eyes
Select trims of the HR-V have Honda LaneWatch. This system uses a camera to give the driver information about what may be in the vehicle's blind spot. The camera is strategically placed on the passenger-side exterior mirror. When the driver turns on the right turn signal, the camera can send a live video feed to the touchscreen. This way, someone will be confident about whether it's safe to change lanes.
9. Advanced Exterior Components
The HR-V looks stylish and sporty. All trims have fin-type antennas mounted on their roofs and roofline spoilers in the back. Most trims have roof rails and fog lights, that add to the overall style and have important functions. On the higher trims, there is a power moonroof that can let a lot of fresh air into the cabin in addition to making the cabin feel bright and airy. Further, the top two trims have a smart entry system that's very convenient to use as well as heated side mirrors with turn signals built into them.
10. Impressive Technology
The base model has a five-inch color LCD screen, but all the rest are equipped with seven-inch, high-resolution touchscreens. These touchscreens are easy to read and simple to use and since they have an optimal amount of sensitivity. Most of the HR-V models have Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and HondaLink technology. Some have SiriusXM Radio to broaden the entertainment choices for drivers.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2021 Honda HR-V – The Cons
1. Engine Isn't Very Exciting
The Honda HR-V only comes with one engine, and it's not what most people would consider impressive. The engine is a 1.8-liter four-cylinder model, and it delivers just over 140 horsepower. Torque isn't much better at 127 pound-feet. These numbers aren't going to win anyone over. For people who like the HR-V, chances are that the engine is something they'll have to settle for in order to get the rest of the package.
2. Base Model is Limited in Offerings
While the LX is certainly affordable, it is rather sparse in its features. The list of things it doesn't have is lengthy and includes smartphone compatibility, roof rails, push-button start, and driver-assist technology. In a way, the LX feels like a vehicle from a different decade because it lacks all of these advanced elements.
3. Honda Sensing Isn't Standard
It was just mentioned that the LX doesn't have driver-assist technology, which is part of the Honda Sensing package. The Sport doesn't have these safety systems, either. Someone would have to get an EX or EX-L to take advantage of these systems. It seems like many new models do have these elements built into their safety packages, so this is something that savvy shoppers are going to notice.
How It Stacks Up to the Competition:
The number of compact SUVs seems to be growing each year. Fortunately, Honda knows what it's doing and has been able to keep the HR-V ahead of the competition in some notable ways.
2021 Honda HR-V vs 2021 Mazda CX-3
With a youthful style, the Mazda CX-3 feels fresh and modern. It's on the same general level as the HR-V in terms of performance. Where these models differ is inside the cabin. The back seat of the CX-3 is not as spacious as the second row in the HR-V, so this is something to consider if anyone is going to be driving adult passengers on a regular basis. The CX-3 doesn't have as much cargo room as the HR-V does, and the difference is fairly significant. From a practical standpoint, this is important.
2021 Honda HR-V vs 2021 Nissan Kicks
Like the HR-V, the Nissan Kicks will appeal to people on a tight budget. The Kicks even edges out the HR-V in affordability, but it doesn't have available all-wheel drive. This may be a deal-breaker for some people, especially those who have to deal with wintry weather. With a small engine, the Kicks has even less power than the Honda does. In addition, the Kicks has less interior space than what's found in the HR-V, and in the world of SUVs, size usually matters.
Because of its many advantages, the 2021 Honda HR-V is set to be a popular model. It comes with a great amount of value, and because it's offered in four trims, consumers can decide how much they want to spend on all the available extra features. While it might not have all the special things that more premium models have, the truth is that these might not be necessary, especially to those people who are more concerned about practicality.
• Why buy a 2020 Honda HR-V? w/ pros vs cons