2019 Honda HR-V: New Look, New Features, Old Volume Knobs

  • 2019 Honda HR-V has landed at dealerships with a host of updates and tweaks.
  • The six-speed manual goes the way of the dodo but a new CVT enters the picture.  
  • Pricing is reasonable and affordable – a nicely loaded 2019 HRV goes for under $30,000.  

New Faces

Honda has given their best-selling HR-V a refresh in the looks department and slathered on the tech goodies. It was time for all of those things, yes, but Honda also has to be careful here. They sell a ton of these little guys, and if they mess with the HR-V too much, it might hurt the bottom line.

Essentially, there’s four main areas where the 2019 Honda HR-V has been tweaked. There’s a new Sport trim with unique styling cues and 18-inch wheels. There’s another new trim level, Touring, that adds multi-element LED headlights, leather-trimmed seats, and a power driver’s seat.

Across the line there’s a new Display Audio system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus the Honda Sensing suite of active safety features now available on EX and higher.

The styling makeover includes the bumpers, headlights, grille, and taillights. However, the new HR-V Sport and Touring get a unique look all their own: blackout trim and 18-inch wheels distinguish the HR-V Sport, and the all-wheel-drive-only Touring gets multi-element LED headlights, dark chrome trim, and LED fog lights.

2019 Honda HR-V Sport. Photo: Honda North America.

Sport & Touring

Sport trims also get a unique interior treatment, with a black headliner, gloss-black trim, and sport pedals. This new-for-2019 Sport trim fits between the LX and EX, and Honda says it gives the HR-V a “youthful vibe.” That description ought to make the kidz run for Chevy dealers in droves when they read that.

The HR-V Sport also features unique lower body trim, rocker panels, wheel arches, and exterior mirrors painted gloss black. The HR-V Sport also receives a honeycomb pattern grille, exclusive 18-inch alloy wheels and tires, and a chrome exhaust finisher. By comparison, the Touring borders its honeycomb grille with multi-element LED headlights unique in the HR-V lineup, along with five-element LED fog lights. The Touring rides on 17-inch machined alloy wheels.

The nav system, available exclusively for Touring, has sharper graphics and 3D landmarks. All models feature a redesigned driver’s gauge cluster with a large analog speedometer and digital tachometer. Although, if you opt for an EX or above, you receive a 4.2-inch Thin-Film Transistor Driver Interface with additional information including turn-by-turn directions.

The 2019 Honda HR-V will shift to higher revs under deceleration acting as a temporary engine brake. Photo: Honda North America.

Performance & Pricing

All of this newness is motivated down the road by a 141 horsepower, 1.8-liter SOHC i-VTEC four-banger. All HR-V models now use a Continuously Variable Automatic Transmission with the six-speed manual being discontinued.

And all HR-Vs benefit from a new Display Audio system with a simplified interface and “volume knob.” Honda does not go into detail on this mysterious “volume knob,” but all I can figure is that it’s something far too high-tech for my febrile little mind to grok.

How much, you ask? Not all that bad. The front-wheel drive LX starts off the range at around $22,000. It goes all the way to the top of the heap, all-wheel drive Touring for around $30,000. Before all the taxes and stuff that is.

Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in paperback or Kindle format. His forthcoming new book The Future In Front of Me, The Past Behind Me will be available soon. Follow his work on Twitter: @TonyBorroz

2019 Honda HR-V Gallery

Photos & Source: Honda North America.

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