The 2016 Honda HR-V is a surprising vehicle, but not for any remarkable reasons. It just makes sense on so many levels that I just want to respect it so much.
At least on the leather-trimmed model on the LA Auto Show stand, the HR-V is impressive for a modern Honda. There’s a stitched and padded dash that doesn’t look silly like the one on the Civic. And that padding extends to where your knees land on the console. I think the HR-V even has a nicer interior than the facelifted 2015 CR-V. It’s like Hondas were when Baby Boomers were buying them up left and right.
And all of this means the HR-V is the sort of car that would really impress people who bought, say, a Honda Pilot 10 years ago. Like a lot of Baby Boomer-generation people from the suburbs of America, for example. They like Hondas, they like plushish interiors and they like an SUV-like seat height. They just don’t need three rows of seats anymore.
The HR-V must be the most practical of this small crossover set (Buick Encore, Nissan Juke, Mini Countryman, etc.), and that’ll likely impress practical people – your parents, maybe. The Magic Seat works just like it does in the Fit. There’s ample space with the rear seat up, too. And there’s great storage under the center console.
Trouble is, your parents will notice at the Honda dealership that the Fit is still more practical. It doesn’t sit as high as the HR-V, but the Fit seems easier to get in and out of, thanks to its tall doors. It seems airier inside, too. And it doesn’t have the oddly tall center console of the HR-V. It’ll probably be noticeably cheaper, too.
But Honda will sell a ton of HR-Vs, because it’s still a hugely practical vehicle when not compared directly with other practical Honda offerings. It isn’t exciting, not by a long shot – the HR-V is all about quietly impressing by being well thought out. For aging car buyers across the U.S., it’s the right car at the right time.
By Zac Estrada
Photos: Zac Estrada/Carscoops