The Honda HR-V may not be an overly exciting car, but perched hatchbacks with optional all-wheel drive seem to be rather popular among automakers as of late. Who can blame them? Not only are the less expensive than going with larger crossovers or SUVs, but they are also more fuel efficient and easier to drive. It’s really a win-win situation, though there are still some serious compromises to be made when you buy a small crossover.
Regardless of the constant moaning true car enthusiasts do in the general direction of these small crossovers, the fact remains that these things get as much attention as a hunk of chocolate cake at fat camp. The HR-V, which was revealed at the 2014 LA Auto Show, is one of the latest examples of this new type of crossover. This new Honda sits atop the versatile Fit platform and carries a 1.8-liter four-cylinder with 138 horses and 127 pound-feet of twist. Like the Fit, the HR-V also has the option of going with a six-cog manual – a dying breed these days – or a continuously variable transmission. Unlike the Fit, however, the HR-V is available with front- or all-wheel drive.
As if all of the aforementioned items combined with its 58.8 cubic feet of cargo room weren’t enough to sway your opinion on the HR-V, its class-leading fuel economy just might be. That’s right, there is a new class leader in the conventionally powered crossover realm, thanks to the EPA rating the 2016 HR-V 2WD at 28 mpg city, 35 mpg highway and 31 mpg combined with the CVT or seven-speed auto transmission. With the manual gearbox, the rating drops to 25 city, 34 highway and 28 combined, while all-wheel drive chimes in at 27 city, 32 highway and 29 combined with either the CVT or seven-speed auto transmission.
Of course, this is all pending the final fuel economy numbers for the HR-V’s upcoming rivals in the Mazda CX-3, Fiat 500X and Jeep Renegade. Keep it locked here to find out how the small crossover segment shakes out over the next few months.