Honda CRV vs. HRV: Which One is Best for You?

It can be challenging to decide between a midsize and a compact crossover. The process of purchasing a car can be complicated for individuals who don’t know exactly what they want because many buyers are unaware of the distinctions between a brand’s various models, which are similar in size and cost.

The Honda CR-V and the Honda HR-V are two of the most well-liked crossovers in North America, and in this post, we will explain the key differences between them. These crossovers have a similar appearance and aren’t that different in price. However, they are both very distinct packages with two distinct customers in mind, so let’s see which one is best for you.

Powertrains/Fuel Economy

CR-V: Honda removed the 2.4-liter engine from the CR-V lineup following a recent redesign. The 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine is currently the only engine available for the crossover’s gas-only model, and it only comes in one tuning. There are 190 horsepower and 179 lb-ft of torque available from the 1.5-liter turbo-four. The engine is available in both front- and all-wheel drive, but only with a CVT gearbox.

Past issues with this engine have been reported by certain CR-V owners. However, the issue has subsequently been resolved. For the purpose of clarity, the engine’s troublesome model years were 2016–2018, and CR-Vs from those model years also received extended warranties. Therefore, if you’re thinking of buying a secondhand CR-V, carefully review the paperwork. However, Honda claims that purchasing a new vehicle will be trouble-free. The FWD CR-V with the 1.5-liter turbo four plus CVT automatic transmission gets 30 mpg combined, according to the EPA, which rates it at 28 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. The turbo engine is rated at 27 mpg city, 33 mpg highway, and 29 mpg combined with all-wheel drive.

HRV: The HR-V has just one engine option, a 1.8-liter four-cylinder with 141 horsepower and 127 lb-ft of torque. A CVT is the sole available transmission option now. Due to weak sales, Honda stopped offering the six-speed manual in the US and Canada. It was previously only available on FWD models. The FWD HR-V with CVT gets 28 mpg in the city, 34 mpg on the highway, and 31 mpg overall, according to the EPA. The HR-V AWD has a combined fuel economy rating of 29 mpg, which includes 27 city mpg and 31 highway mpg.

For their respective vehicle segments, both of these cars have good fuel efficiency. In the CR-V, we’d choose the hybrid and, if the area has harsher winters, specify AWD. Although the HR-V doesn’t offer many options, it is nevertheless pretty powerful and efficient.

Body Styles and Design

CR-V: The new Honda CR-V has always had a youthful, dynamic exterior that only looks sharper after a recent redesign. The new bumper makes the front end, which was already crowded, appear considerably busier. The rear maintains its relative simplicity thanks to its L-shaped taillamps.

HR-V: The HR-V resembles the CR-V in appearance, but due to its smaller size, it has slightly more upright proportions. It also has Honda’s youthful front end, but the vertically placed rear door handles make it clear that it is the HR-V. A rear hatch spoiler and pointed taillights are also clearly featured.

These crossovers have the distinctively sporty appearance that Honda is known for. If you enjoy one’s styling, you’ll probably enjoy the other’s as well. However, the CR-V has a slightly more mature appearance and is perhaps more suitable for older purchasers.

Driving Dynamics

CR-V: Considering everything, the CR-V is a rather athletic vehicle since Honda understands how to make a car handle. The CR-V showcases a new suspension design that makes the ride smoother. Slightly heavy steering also makes it easy for the driver. 

HR-V: The same statement about Honda’s expertise in chassis tuning also applies to the HR-V. Both of these cars are not particularly fast, but for what they are, they are reasonably nimble. The HR-V is not flawless, the steering was vague, but more importantly, it offers a smooth and comfortable drive. It’s not difficult to both drive and park. 

Driving dynamics are similar between the CR-V and the HR-V. In this segment, this isn’t a huge consideration, but if you enjoy sportiness and want a crossover, we recommend going with the CR-V with the 1.5-liter turbo. Due to the vast Honda Civic aftermarket, this engine is also simple to tune. Both the handling and steering feel is average.


CR-V: The CR-V has greater space for both passengers and cargo than the HR-V because it is a midsize crossover as opposed to a compact. The CR-V comes with a total passenger volume of 102.9 cu ft and offers 39.2 cu ft of cargo space with the rear seat up and 75.8 cu ft with it folded down. There are 41.3 inches of overall front legroom and 40.4 inches of second-row rear legroom with seating for 5.

HR-V: With 24.3 cubic feet of storage space with the rear seat up and 58.8 cubic feet with it folded down, the HR-V is the smaller of the two vehicles. The total passenger volume is 100.1 cubic feet, with 41.2 inches of front legroom and 39.3 inches of back legroom. The HR-V boasts Magic Seats, an intriguing feature the CR-V lacks. The ability to flip up the back seat cushions makes it possible to carry taller objects, which makes the smaller HR-V more useful.

Even though the specifications appear similar, the CR-V is a significantly roomier vehicle. The CR-V is your best option if you frequently utilize the backseat or have to carry large objects. The HR-V might be a better option for you if you usually drive with just yourself or one other passenger in the vehicle.


CRV: The Honda Sensing safety suite is standard on the 2020 CR-V. A collision mitigation braking system, front collision warning, lane-keeping assistance, road departure mitigation, and adaptive cruise control are all features of Honda Sensing. The multi-angle reversing camera and the auto-high-beam headlamps are further standard safety features. However, blind sport detection is offered starting with the EX trim.

The 7.0-inch display audio screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is available on the infotainment system starting with the EX model. The lowest LX model gets by with a 5.0-inch display without CarPlay or Android Auto. Additionally, the EX trim and higher provide remote engine start and two fast-charging USB ports in the back.

HR-V: In terms of technology, the smaller HR-V is not far behind the CR-V. Since the 2019 model year, the HR-V has been offered with Honda Sensing, making lane-keep assist, lane departure warning, road departure mitigation, collision mitigation braking, and lane departure warning and forward collision warning available starting with the EX model. The HR-V comes with a modest 5.0-inch display audio system as standard, though it does support Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. An optional 7.0-inch system is also offered. The HR-V is offered with LaneWatch, which is a camera located on the right side mirror that shows you the blind spot while your right turn signal is on, in place of blind spot monitoring, which we think is more useful.

Given its technological parity with the CR-V, the HR-V is a fantastic deal. With a few added features, the CR-V has a slight advantage, but we’re still delighted with what the HR-V has to offer.


CR-V: The base LX model of the CR-V starts at $26,525, including destination, making it significantly more expensive than the HR-V. AWD raises the cost by $1,500. Now, the 1.5-liter engine is the default. The EX model of the CR-V hybrid is the cheapest, costing $31,735; nevertheless, it comes standard with AWD. The most expensive variant, the CR-V Touring AWD, has a starting price of $36,325. If you choose the top-tier Hybrid Touring, it costs $37,525.

HR-V: The base LX variant of the HR-V has a starting price of $22,395, including destination. AWD raises the cost by $1,500. An AWD EX-L, with a stated price of $28,695, is at the other end of the spectrum.

This is the key distinction between the CR-V and HR-V. Even in base form, the CR-V is significantly more expensive than the HR-V, despite the fact that their features and available options are fairly similar. When comparing prices between categories, keep in mind that a base or mid-level CR-V can be a better bargain than a well-equipped HR-V.

Honda CR-V vs. Honda HR-V Verdict

Both the CR-V and HR-V from Honda are reasonably well-liked, and for a good reason. Any of these crossovers are something we wouldn’t think twice about recommending to our friends and family. Honda has resolved the said issues with the 1.5-liter turbo engine. They have completely abandoned the 2.4-liter engine, making the 1.5 the only option for the CR-V.

The HR-little V’s four-pot nonetheless produces respectable power, achieves reasonable fuel economy, and is pretty well-kept. The gap between these two is quite small because the HR-V is equipped with a number of safety features similar to the CR-V.

The Honda CR-V is a good choice if you require extra space and need a reliable vehicle to transport you to and from work. If you don’t need the extra space, choosing the considerably smaller HR-V can save you quite an amount of cash without sacrificing too much in terms of technology and features.

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