8.3 / 10

Design | Comfort | Technology | Performance | Safety | Efficiency | Price | FAQs

As the oldest vehicle in Honda’s lineup, the outgoing HR-V was well overdue for replacement, but that didn’t make it a bad vehicle. With the innovative, flip-up rear Magic Seat and plenty of space for four passengers, its comfortable cabin and teensy exterior rivaled Mary Poppins’ carpetbag for packaging efficiency.

Still, with competitors like the stylish Mazda CX-30, turbocharged Kia Seltos, and sensible Toyota Corolla Cross arriving in the last couple years, Honda’s entry-level crossover needed to evolve. Gone is the Fit-based platform (and the Magic Seat along with it), replaced on the 2023 HR-V with the Civic’s more conventional bones. The Civic also donated a good chunk of its interior design details, helping the HR-V feel much more mature and stylish than most of its competition. But the bland exterior design and upsized dimensions hide a cabin that’s not much more spacious than before, and the HR-V is a bit on the pricey side.

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Quick Stats 2023 Honda HR-V EX-L AWD
Engine: 2.0-Liter I4
Output: 158 Horsepower / 138 Pound-Feet
Drive Type: All-Wheel Drive
Fuel Economy: 25 City / 30 Highway / 27 Combined
As-Tested Price: $30,590

Gallery: 2023 Honda HR-V Review


  • Exterior Color: Nordic Forest Pearl
  • Interior Color: Gray
  • Wheel Size: 17 Inches

Although no one would call the outgoing HR-V pretty, it was at least pretty distinctively styled. The 2023 model, however, is just plain dull. A drooping front end and trapezoidal grille opening recall the Ford Escape, hardly a high-water mark for beauty, and the stubby tail is likewise featureless and bland. The Nordic Forest Pearl paint is a worthy use of $395, providing subtle sophistication to the merely adequate sheetmetal shapes.

Inside, it’s a completely different story. The Civic donates its dashboard mesh to the HR-V, hiding the air conditioning vents behind some Kennedy-era style. However, the crossover’s overall design theme is rounder than the rectilinear Civic, with a bulging shift binnacle that invokes Honda’s legendary sportbikes. Very cool. A half-digital instrument cluster is the only big design misstep – why not just make the whole gauge display powered by pixels?

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  • Seating Capacity: 5
  • Seating Configuration: 2 / 3
  • Cargo Capacity: 24.4 / 55.1 Cubic Feet

In the transition from the Fit platform to the Civic’s, the HR-V has lost some of its packaging magic. The Civic’s fuel tank is under the rear seat, while the Fit’s was beneath the front passenger. With less rear head and legroom than its predecessor, it’s hard not to ask “Where’s the beef” when looking at the new HR-V’s longer, wider exterior footprint. There’s also less headroom up front, as well as less shoulder room front and rear and less maximum cargo space with the seats down.

But while Honda’s entry in the subcompact class has decidedly average numerical measurements, it’s as comfortable – if not more so – than both its predecessor and its primary rivals. The driver and front passenger get excellent bucket seats, while the 60/40 split-folding rear bench has better thigh support and a more natural seating position than the outgoing HR-V and the current Toyota Corolla Cross. The Honda also feels airier and less cramped than the Corolla Cross and Mazda CX-30, thanks in part to big windows and good outward sightlines.

And in addition to the adequately sized cargo area – with a truly flat-folding rear seat – there’s abundant space to stash your gear in the passenger cabin. The center console boasts an open storage area just aft of the shift binnacle (looking a bit like a seat in our motorcycle metaphor) while a big armrest cubby offers plenty of space and a big lid that makes sorting through it easier.

Interior Dimensions Headroom, Front/Rear Legroom, Front/Rear Cargo Volume
2023 Honda HR-V 39.4 / 38.0 Inches 41.9 / 37.7 Inches 24.4 / 55.1 Cubic Feet
2022 Honda HR-V 39.5 / 38.3 Inches 41.2 / 39.9 Inches 23.2 / 55.9 Cubic Feet
Kia Seltos 38.5 / 38.4 Inches 41.4 / 38.0 Inches 26.6 / 62.8 Cubic Feet
Toyota Corolla Cross 39.5 / 39.1 Inches 42.9 / 32.0 Inches 24.3 / N/A Cubic Feet
Volkswagen Taos 40.7 / 39.8 Inches 40.1 / 37.9 Inches 24.9 / 60.2 Cubic Feet

Technology & Connectivity

  • Center Display: 9.0-Inch Touchscreen
  • Instrument Cluster Display: 7.0 Inches
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay / Android Auto: Yes / Yes

Every Honda HR-V comes standard with a partially digital instrument cluster, combining a 7.0-inch screen for the tachometer and on-board computer with a traditional, analog speedometer. The HR-V LX and Sport get a 7.0-inch center touchscreen with wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, while my EX-L tester’s 9.0-inch display gets wireless integration.

Unusually, the infotainment system doesn’t include any sort of embedded navigation – most owners will use Google Maps or Waze, but in cases where you’re lost and away from cell service, your phone isn’t going to be of any use. That’s the only complaint I can levy at the tech suite, which boasts crisp graphics, good touch response, and simple operation.

Performance & Handling

  • Engine: 2.0-Liter I4
  • Output: 158 Horsepower / 138 Pound-Feet
  • Transmission: Continuously Variable Transmission

First, the bad news. The 2023 Honda HR-V isn’t particularly athletic when it’s time to put the hammer down. The biggest culprit is a low torque rating of just 138 pound-feet, though the 158 horsepower is also a bit lackluster. The Toyota Corolla Cross has 169 ponies and 151 torques, while the optionally turbocharged Kia Seltos pegs the dyno at 195 for both units of measure. The HR-V, meanwhile, has to be coaxed up a mountain grade, its uninspiring CVT and coarse engine note making it sound like the car is working even harder than it is. If only Honda had given the HR-V the same 1.5-liter turbo as the Civic, because it plain needs more grunt.

But aside from the dull powertrain, the HR-V is actually pretty fun to drive. A multilink rear suspension comes standard across the board – some cars in this class make do with a twist-beam rear – giving the Honda the sort of composure you’d expect from a more expensive vehicle. Limited body roll and accurate steering make it easy to preserve momentum through corners, and the brakes are likewise confidence-inspiring.


  • Driver Assistance Level: SAE Level 2 (Hands-On)
  • NHTSA Rating: Not Rated
  • IIHS Rating: Not Rated

Honda Sensing comes standard on every HR-V, bundling forward collision monitoring, high- and low-speed automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assistance, and adaptive cruise control into one easy-to-use package. The mid-level Sport and flagship EX-L models also come standard with blind spot monitoring. Neither the government nor the IIHS have tested the new Honda HR-V, but the old model received mostly good crashworthiness ratings, and it’s fair to expect even better from the new one.

Fuel Economy

  • City: 25 MPG
  • Highway: 30 MPG
  • Combined: 27 MPG
Efficiency Fuel Economy, City/Highway/Combined Recommended Fuel
Honda HR-V EX-L AWD 25 / 30 / 27 MPG Regular
Kia Seltos SX 1.6T 25 / 30 / 27 MPG Regular
Toyota Corolla Cross AWD 29 / 32 / 30 MPG Regular
Volkswagen Taos 4Motion 25 / 32 / 28 MPG Regular


  • Base Price: $23,650 + $1,245 Destination
  • Trim Base Price: $30,195
  • As-Tested Price: $30,590

Starting at $24,895 with destination, the base Honda HR-V LX front-driver feels like a good value, especially since it has the same snappy interior design and mature suspension layout as its siblings. My top-spec, all-wheel-drive EX-L tester cha-chinged its way to a $30,590 price, its lone option being the $395 coat of paint. However, I think the sweet spot in the lineup is actually the HR-V EX-L with front-wheel drive, which gets better fuel economy (up to 32 miles per gallon on the highway) and saves the owner $1,500.

As equipped, though, the HR-V is a pretty good value, costing a couple grand less than the Corolla Cross I drove a few months back while boasting a better driving experience and more interior space. The HR-V also feels better-built than the plasticky Volkswagen Taos, which is more than $35,000 with all-wheel drive, leather upholstery, and a full suite of driver assistance. As usual, the Koreans represent the value play, with the fun-to-drive Kia Seltos SX AWD costing $30,335 similarly equipped – though the cabin does feature more cheap materials than the Honda.

Against that varied competition, the Honda HR-V stands out for its well-designed interior, plenty of in-cabin storage, and sophisticated ride-handling balance. And it’s a good value, even if I’m still getting used to the idea that most small CUVs demand 30 grand these days. If it had more power and got better fuel economy, the 2023 HR-V would be perfect. So Honda, about that 1.5T…

HR-V Competitor Reviews:


How much does the 2023 Honda HR-V cost?

With a base price of $24,895 including $1,245 destination, the Honda HR-V LX FWD is one of the cheaper entries in the small crossover segment. Even the flagship HR-V EX-L AWD model is a good value at $30,195, which includes leather upholstery, heated front seats, a sunroof, and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Does the Honda HR-V get good fuel economy?

With front-wheel drive, the Honda HR-V gets 26 miles per gallon city, 32 highway, and 28 combined. The all-wheel-drive HR-V gets 25 city, 30 highway, and 27 combined. None of those numbers are particularly noteworthy in the subcompact crossover segment.

Is the Honda HR-V a good family car?

With a spacious rear seat and 24.4 cubic feet of cargo space, the 2023 Honda HR-V would be good for a family of four. Improving matters is a variety of in-cabin storage, including a spacious cubby in front of the shifter, a phone shelf with two USB chargers on the center console, and a big armrest bin.

2023 Honda HR-V EX-L AWD

Engine 2.0-Liter I4
Output 158 Horsepower / 138 Pound-Feet
Transmission Continuously Variable Transmission
Drive Type All-Wheel Drive
Efficiency 25 City / 30 Highway / 27 Combined MPG
Weight 3,333 Pounds
Seating Capacity 5
Cargo Volume 24.4 / 55.1 Cubic Feet
Base Price $23,650 + $1,245 Destination
Trim Base Price $30,195
As-Tested Price $30,590
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