The Honda HR-V was among our favorite budget buys for many reasons. Not only was the small compact crossover versatile and fuel-efficient with a small inline-4, at just over $20,000 it’s also relatively cheap among new cars.
On Tuesday, the automaker detailed the 2019 Honda HR-V and put our favor on the line.
With the 2019 HR-V, Honda increased the price of base models by $850 and popular-selling EX versions by $2,000, a significant sum. In exchange for nearly 10 percent on top of the outgoing model, Honda revamped the HR-V’s nose and tail, swapped in a new infotainment system, squeezed in new Sport and Touring trims, axed its slow-selling manual transmission, and added available active safety features to top trim levels.
Wait. Did Honda just bust our budget-level baller?
For $21,115 to start, including destination, the 2019 Honda HR-V LX is equipped with cloth upholstery, front-wheel drive, a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), a rearview camera, LED daytime running lights, and a 5.0-inch display for audio. Last year’s base model offered a CVT for $800 extra, making this year’s price jump a little easier to swallow at effectively $50.
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The HR-V EX is where many shoppers will start for $24,715, including destination. For that sum, Honda makes standard its suite of active safety features, called Honda Sensing, that includes forward-collision warnings with automatic emergency braking, active lane control, and active cruise control. Keyless ignition, a moonroof, heated front seats, a 4.2-inch digital driver information cluster, and active noise cancellation supplement a new 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay Android Auto compatibility and a volume knob on the popular trim level. (Eds note: The volume knob is a big deal in Honda circles.)
The EX-L trim, which adds leather upholstery, costs an additional $1,600.
A new Sport trim slots in between the LX and EX versions with 18-inch wheels, sport pedals, paddle shifters, active noise cancellation, a variable steering ratio for its electric power steering, and a leather shift knob for $23,215 to start. The Sport lacks the Honda Sensing safety feature suite, however.
All-wheel drive is available on all trim levels for $1,400 extra except the new Touring trim, where it’s standard.
MUST READ: Our full review of the 2018 Honda HR-V
The crown of the HR-V cute crossover crowd is the Touring trim that costs $29,535 and features navigation, power-adjustable driver’s seat, leather upholstery, LED headlights, chrome interior accents, and satellite radio.
In addition to the new trim levels, revised front and rear bumpers, and available active safety features, Honda says it retuned its CVT for quieter drives and added “stepped” gear changes that simulate a conventional automatic during hard acceleration. When equipped with all-wheel drive, Honda says the HR-V will perform better in bad weather thanks to adjustments to its AWD system.