Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?
Honda has given a boost to standard-spec on all HR-Vs for 2019. Our $31,990 RS is a new model grade, which slots between the VTi-S ($27,990) and VTi-LX ($34,590). The RS mainly gets aesthetic upgrades over the VTi-S like the edgy chrome bits and piano-black highlights.
Value adds include the chunkier, more satisfying steering wheel with better leather on it, paddle-shifters, a ‘Variable Gear Ratio’ steering system claimed to produce a sportier feel, rain-sensing wipers, a passenger wing-mirror that auto-tilts when the car is in reverse, 18-inch alloy wheels (design is exclusive to the RS), leather seats, and privacy glass.
These features join the full suite of dusk-sensing forward LED headlights, fog lights and DRLs, rear parking sensors, illuminated vanity mirrors (I never understand how these aren’t standard on every car…), keyless entry and push-button start and Honda’s signature ‘LaneWatch’ blind spot camera which arrive at the VTi-S grade.
One of the biggest let-downs the 2019 HR-V range has to offer is the dreadful 7.0-inch touchscreen. It doesn’t support Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, is an old-style touch interface which is slow to react to inputs, has a crusty GPS system that frequently failed to find a signal, and is just generally terribly laid out. It’s even a victim to glare pretty much constantly. Make it go away.
I will say though, the ultra-wide-angle reversing camera was excellent. It allows you to get right up close to objects or parked cars with clinical precision.
Considering the price, the Mazda CX-3 sTouring at $28,740 is slightly better equipped but drastically less practical, the Suzuki Vitara S-Turbo is AWD at $32,990 and has a fun turbo engine, and Hyundai’s $30,500 Kona Active is a value-packed multimedia and safety tour-de-force.
You may also want to consider the safe and stylish but underpowered Toyota C-HR at $28,990.
It’s worth noting, while Auto Emergency Braking is standard across the HR-V range, Honda’s full active ‘ADAS’ safety suite remains only available on the VTi-LX. Hop to the safety section to see if it’s worth the extra cash.