2023 Honda HR-V AWD EX-L - A very good SUV that may go unnoticed.


Not every vehicle grabs my attention. A case in point is the '23 Honda HR-V, especially in the majority of colors available, even the Nordic Forest Pearl of the test car. At first glance it is just another SUV. It is tasteful but in a sea of SUVs you would be hard pressed to pick it out. 

I question Honda following the bad old days of "bigger is better." Before my wife saw the HR-V she asked me what it was; I said "it's a small SUV." Then she saw it and said "That isn't small". The 2023 HR-V is slightly larger than the first USA generation CR-V; the HR-V is supposed to be the small SUV in Honda's lineup. But it is what it is. 

By the numbers the HR-V is 179.8" long on a wheelbase of 104.5". All models have the same 2-liter, 158 horsepower, 4-cylinder engine driving either just the front wheels, or in AWD all four wheels. The only transmission available is a CVT. The test HR-V EX-L was AWD. 

Did I hear you ask "How did it drive?" Just fine. Nothing to get excited about but nothing to complain about. I would guess that the ride was improved by its length because it was nice and smooth. According to others it isn't the quickest car on the road (9.4 seconds to 60 mph) but it never felt inadequate in the real world.

Fuel economy is rated at 30-mpg on the highway and 25-mpg around town. I averaged 32.5-mpg on the highway with the cruise set at 70 mph although due to traffic my average speed was lower. 

The seats were comfy and the electric adjustments easy to use. What more could you ask for? The rear seats will hold three (although two would be more comfortable) and there was enough leg room. 

There is 24.4 cubic feet of storage behind the rear seats, and 55.1 cu.ft. with the 60/40 split rear seats folded down. 

It might seem like I am damnng the HR-V with faint praise, I'm not. It is a very nice car, it just isn't exciting. It is well built, handles well and should fit the needs of a couple or small family. It doesn't need to be exciting it just needs to be reliable and economical, and it is.

The Honda HR-V AWD EX-L starts at $29,400, 2WD is $1,500 less. A base HR-V LX starts at $23,800. The HR-V is worth a look.


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