By on December 19, 2016

2017 Honda HR-V blue - Image: Honda

It’s time for a new car, I told Mae last night.

She was explaining to a group of friends how she tore the passenger side mirror off and drove across the MacKay Bridge, on a particularly windy evening, with the mirror swinging about like an unchoreographed contemporary dancer.

The dangling power mirror, which another friend disconnected at Mae’s request, was only the latest issue. First, it’s a Saturn Ion Quad Coupe. Issue number two: the air-conditioning died long ago, and Mae’s reluctant to spend a single penny redeeming this car. It’s bitterly cold in eastern Canada now, but A/C is needful for one-third of the year and helpful for the other nine months. Finally, it’s a Saturn Ion Quad Coupe with a manual transmission.

“Ooh, aah, save the manuals,” you say. And I’m with you. Mae’s with you, too. But I’ve spent enough time — way too much time — in manual shift Ions to know that in an extremely hilly city, the Ion’s shifter/clutch combo is worthy of dread. Not all manuals are worthy of saving.

Now the mirror’s off, and the conversations Mae and I have had over a period of many months culminated in her succinct statement last night: “I want a Honda HR-V.”

Insert awkward pause.

2004 Saturn Ion Quad coupe - Image: GM Archives

These are the moments an auto journalist fears. Mae’s a good friend. (Or at least she was, until I discovered she was pro-HR-V.) Last winter, brutally ill myself, I was filling in at a craft show for my sick and pregnant wife. Mae drove 40 minutes outside the city in a Saturn Ion Quad Coupe to fill in for me.

So I couldn’t lie. I couldn’t hide the fact that I once wrote a widely-read piece for TTAC entitled, “The 2016 Honda HR-V Is Honda’s Worst Current Product.”

I told GCBC readers the HR-V’s cabin is, “far from a soothing environment.”

“The loud drone of the engine and dreadful tire noise would make me avoid long highway journeys,” I wrote earlier this year.

I asked, as we do in all GCBC reviews, whether you should buy something else instead. The answer? “Yes, you should.”

The HR-V is uncomfortable, loud, slow, and overpriced. The LATCH system’s lower anchors are among the worst-placed I’ve encountered.

So no, I couldn’t lie. But having finally succeeded in getting Mae to this juncture, after months of attempting to convince her that air-conditioning and heated seats are really nice features, how could I push back against her vehicular tastes, especially with three other friends measuring the length of the awkward pause?

Fortunately, the case against the HR-V is particularly easy to make these days. With the fifth-generation Honda CR-V set to appear at dealers in the next few days, remaining fourth-gen 2016 CR-Vs are handsomely discounted. Besides the fact that the CR-V, North America’s top-selling utility vehicle, is the superior vehicle to live with, the CR-V is also the better long-term proposition because of better resale value and because Honda dealers have better CR-V margins with which to work in order to make a deal.

2016 Honda CR-V - Image: Honda

According to Honda.ca, Mae could lease an HR-V LX with all-wheel drive for $185 bi-weekly over four years, with 24,000 kilometers per year (15,000 miles) and no money down. Or she could get into an all-wheel-drive CR-V SE with the same terms for $191 bi-weekly.

A $6 payment difference.

Add in the CR-V’s fuel economy penalty and the difference maybe expands to $10.

For Mae, if she decides she’s ready to accept a payment instead of driving the Ion until it needs to be abandoned on the side of the Trans-Canada Highway in Shubenacadie, the answer is obvious.

Quiet, far more spacious, with superior ride quality, the CR-V is a no-brainer in this case. The CR-V SE is better-equipped than the HR-V LX, too, adding fog lights, variable intermittent wipers, two extra speakers, and proximity access to the HR-V LX’s equipment list.

Yet this story is not a story unique to Canada, nor is it unique to Mae. In the U.S., a 2017 $27,440 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring AWD can be purchased for $216 bi-weekly, MazdaUSA.com says, but a $31,070 2016.5 Mazda CX-5 Grand AWD is only $23 more bi-weekly. Fuel economy penalty: $6 bi-weekly, according to the EPA. Advantages: superior power-to-weight ratio, more than triple the cargo volume behind the rear seats, nearly 20 percent more passenger volume. The results: Americans buy and lease six times more CX-5s than CX-3s. Of course you would.

America’s top-selling subcompact crossover, the Jeep Renegade, is a $26,120 vehicle in Latitude 4×4 trim with the 2.4-liter/9-speed combo. Over 60 months with no money down, Jeep currently says the bi-weekly payment is $201. Only $11 more bi-weekly would get you a Cherokee 4×4 in Latitude trim.

Mae shouldn’t replace her Ion Quad Coupe with a Honda HR-V. This I know.

Yet it’s quite likely that a subcompact crossover, regardless of brand, is never the better deal than its compact equivalent.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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125 Comments on “What Do You Do When a (Former) Friend Says, “I Want a Honda HR-V”?...”


  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “What Do You Do When a (Former) Friend Says, “I Want a Honda HR-V”?…”

    Let them get it. HR-Vs have made many customers happy enough. I don’t care what people drive.

    • 0 avatar
      Timothy Cain

      I’m in a different line of work.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        Sure, but you’re also not a car salesman.

        Your professional opinions (which I enjoy and often agree with), still leave room for someone to have a criterion they value beyond anything rational.

        Car buying can be quite irrational, which is why 5 Americans and 6 Canadians bought Mitsubishi i-MiEVs last month. What we don’t know is maybe they got such a killer deal they’d be crazy to walk away.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Based on growing sale in the subcompact sales race, the Buick Encore and Chevy Trax have the most satisfied customers with sales growing each moth this year.

      • 0 avatar
        OldManPants

        “Based on growing sale in the subcompact sales race”

        Well, it’d have to be a *Fiat* for a subcompact CUV (oh, obscene oxymoron) to have not grown sales. And the Japanese competition is only just arriving.

        So today I’d like to introduce the words “hurr” and “durr”.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      I won’t volunteer my opinion on someone’s vehicle but if they ask me for my feelings about it then I’m going to give an honest answer.

    • 0 avatar
      Acd

      Since she driving a beat-up Saturn Ion an HR-V is going to seem like an S-Class Mercedes to her. Baby steps–she’s moving in the right direction; let her enjoy her HR-V.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    It’s hard to tell someone they want the wrong thing though.

    Has she made a decision yet?

    • 0 avatar
      Timothy Cain

      When a friend wants your honest opinion because they’ve been talking to you for months about getting someting new but don’t know what to do, you tell them the truth.

      She won’t be getting an HR-V. But hopefully we can do a follow-up in the new year.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Hopefully Tim and others unfortunately live in the MSRP medium. Where domestics offer thousand of dollars on the hood rather than hoping the buyer gives them their residuals.

      Dollar for dollar domestic will offer the best price for Mae. Especially if you can nab one of those Encores that are $10,000 off MSRP or $17,000!

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    But Timothy isn’t it sacrilege to purchase a vehicle based on monthly payments? Bark tell us this regularly.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      …and full MSRP and not one penny more.

    • 0 avatar
      hglaber

      Based ONLY on monthly payment, ignoring term, rate, and total cost. If you do that, you pay MSRP with no rebates at 12% for 9 years (but get your $300/mo payment no problem).

      But this comparison is, I assume, of equivalent leases in term and mileage on cars with roughly equivalent equipment. If so, then difference in monthly cost is a valid metric for comparison.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    Suggest they go sit in the back seat for 10 minutes.

  • avatar
    dwford

    Unfortunately in this type of situation, the best thing for everyone is to just politely say “Oh, nice, Honda’s are good cars.” To say anything else would mean bumping up against her preconceived ideas, which will only change her perception of YOU, not of her own assumptions.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Atlas can shrug.

    Make your case as above, encourage her to pay attention to the HR-V’s faults on the test drive, and walk away. The HR-V may be a stupid and cynical vehicle, but likely reliable, safe, and full of Honda resale, so she won’t be harmed by it.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      An HR-V is no more or less stupid/cynical than any other car on the road, maybe besides a minivan or Nissan Versa. ICEs need to stop trying to assign objective value to their subjective whimsies.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        I disagree, and that’s OK. I see compromise and poor value when I look at the HR-V, with none of the emotive perks to justify it. It’s a worse Fit with a higher price tag and a trendier mission.

        The Versa is honest–it’s cheap, makes no effort to hide it, and buyers get midsize sedan legroom and utility for a fraction of the price. I am honestly more enthusiastic about that kind of basic runabout than this subcompact class of CUV.

        • 0 avatar
          HotPotato

          And the old Tilda-based Versa was a much better car than the new Versa. It’s almost like Nissan is giving us a crappier hatchback to convince us to pay more for a compact CUV.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “Besides the fact that the CR-V, North America’s top-selling utility vehicle”

    I’m guessing most at this point don’t make the mental connection between “CUV” and “utility vehicle”. I realize “CUV” is an acronym but such things seem to take on a meaning of their own.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      I believe that crown will remain Equinox/Terrain for sales leader after this December to remember.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        A. Only retail sales to an actual customer matter.

        B. You can’t combine 2 cars from across different dealership networks. If you could, then you’d be forced to add in the RDX, which would again put HMC on top.

        C. The Equinox and Terrain are routinely ranked at the bottom of the barrel of CUVs, and only sell with huge discounts.

      • 0 avatar
        NormSV650

        Vogo, NOx/Terrain routinely rank near the top of the big mass of competition. USNews, which is q sum of auto reviews along with insurance costs, had the Terrain tied with the CR-V two years ago when we picked a GMC.

        More NOx/Terrain high comparisons:

        http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2015/05/26/challenge-picks-best-compact-suv-for-28000/27806149/

        The RDX is another class but if you went to add in the third Theta, SRX, HMC is still behind by 50,000 units.

        The case is repeated for front wheel drive based 3-row crossovers.

  • avatar
    mikedt

    It’s probably harder as a “professional” car reviewer, but I wouldn’t waste my time recommending anything to anybody in person. They don’t want your opinion, they just want their choice reinforced. I’m sick of people asking me about cars, computers, and other items in my wheelhouse and then running off and doing the exact opposite of what I recommended. Quit wasting my time.

    In this particular case, you’ll never convince the average joe to skip a toyota or honda if that’s what’s in their mind. The American public has it in their head that those 2 brands are the panacea of their automotive needs.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      So much this. I rarely recommend anything to anyone anymore, because too many times this is what happens:

      – person asks for recommendation
      – I say look at A, B, or maybe C
      – They impulsively buy X instead
      – They’re not happy about something with it
      – And that’s somehow still my fault.

    • 0 avatar
      runs_on_h8raide

      I couldn’t agree more with mikedt. Having been an automotive enthusiast since I was a little kid (heck…I’ve influenced my parents into some fun and interesting cars without me having a license…Dad’s 88 Mazda 323GT comes to mind, and my Mom’s 87 Grand National after she was tired of her Camaro’s lack of seating for us childrens). I stopped giving any advice or recommendations or reinforcement. Let them get what they want. When they complain afterward…don’t come to me. Seen it too many times.

      Those that do listen and take things to heart I’ll always help…but they are as rare as a brown, manual, diesel turbo wagon.

    • 0 avatar
      syncro87

      mikedt:

      THIS! I’m the car guy in my circle of friends and coworkers, and get asked for advice all the time.

      I used to give people solid, well thought out answers, and invested time in finding what might work for them and being a solid choice.

      For the most part, I have stopped. 90% of people are going to ignore every logical thing you told them, and buy on a whim. They ask you for a reliable compact commuter car, tell you they don’t care about going fast or being stylish, they just want dead nuts reliable, Good MPG, not too expensive, good resale value, and a sedan. You recommend that they look at a Corolla first, and maybe a Civic or Mazda3. You would have recommended a Focus, but they told you rear seat room was a huge priority for them with two kids, so you ruled that out.

      A month later they show up driving either a used Land Rover Discovery or a new Fiat 500L. You’re like, double yoo tee eff…

      I give up. You’re spot on. What most of them want is their choice validated, not advice.

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      Yeah, it’s impossible to just recommend a good car for someone. You just bump up into their preconceived notions. You have to be slicker than that, if you have the time.

      When my sister was looking to replace her 18 year old Honda Civic coupe (bought new) all she knew was that she wanted a manual transmission and a hatchback, probably a small crossover. In my mind I thought that the Kia Soul would be the best choice – cheap, stick shift, fuel efficient, and a big load area to carry all the crap she has. BUT, I knew just saying “go buy a Kia Soul” would never work. So we went out for a day of car shopping and I showed her everything else first – RAV4, Fit, I forget what else. But we finally ended up at the Kia store and the second she saw the Soul, it was a done deal.

  • avatar
    OldManPants

    Just tell da dumb broad what to buy. Be a freakin man about it.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Possibly she wants the smaller car but wants more ground clearance and “crossoverness” than the Fit provides? In that and other ways, I can see the appeal of the HR-V over the CR-V or Fit.

    I’m not completely sure if it’s better than the Trax, Encore, Soul, CX-3, Renegade and such—except that it’s probably more reliable and holds it’s value than any of those.

    What might be a good idea is waiting on Toyota C-HR.

    • 0 avatar
      OldManPants

      “wants more ground clearance and “crossoverness” than the Fit provides”

      Precious, precious little more and only in the front.

    • 0 avatar
      Featherston

      +1, psarhjinian – There are some buyers who, quite legitimately, want the smallest possible vehicle that fulfills their needs. Assuming “crossoverness” is the need, it’s perfectly legitimate to prefer one based on a subcompact rather than a compact. I’ve never driven in Halifax, but there are several cities proper in North America where I’d greatly prefer to own a 169.1-inch-long HR-V to either the outgoing (178.3-inch) or incoming (180.6-inch) CR-V. It’s not a big deal if you do most of your driving in post-WWII suburbia and exurbia, but if drive in a pre-WWII city, the ability to fit into parallel parking spaces and to squeeze around left-turners is a huge advantage of subcompact platforms, even as compared to compacts.

    • 0 avatar
      Pete Zaitcev

      HR-V is vastly better than most of the listed “Trax, Encore, Soul, CX-3, Renegade and such”.

      Trax is junk, period. Sorry, Norm. Truth hurts.

      Trax’s platform sibling Encore is surprisingly decent right until the time it strands you. The faux-premium interior falls apart as fast as Eclipse’s dash warps.

      Soul has no AWD.

      CX-3 is tighter inside than just about anything. It is very lively, but…

      Renegade is the only one that competes with HR-V as an equal, but of course it’s somewhat less reliable and lacks Fit’s magic seats. It only wins if you really want off-road capability, interior volume and headroom, or AWD with manual.

      • 0 avatar
        NormSV650

        Pete Z, our leased Encore never return to the dealership during it for recalls or repair. Setting the cruise control at 60 mph I was able to go through a tank of gas and got 39 mpg….with AWD. No Japanese, gasoline engine cuvs can match!

  • avatar
    VW4motion

    You ask why? And the response will be they want a civic like vehicle but don’t want to sit on the ground.

  • avatar
    DevilsRotary86

    I agree with the premise here, but my family saw things from the other side so to speak. That is to say, we decided on a slightly smaller car. Earlier in the year we bought my wife a 2016 Honda Fit. We saw the HR-V in show rooms while shopping then. We absolutely could not figure out why we would want to buy the HR-V over the Fit. The extra trunk space was nice, but I think that was about it.

    • 0 avatar
      SC5door

      Slap an AWD badge on `em and people come running. Honda saw the opportunity to spread out the costs of the platform and tossed in an entry into that market.

      The “friend” currently makes due with a non AWD Saturn. I don’t see why she needs to automatically go into a more expensive and larger AWD vehicle. KIA Soul and Corolla iM come to mind as other choices.

    • 0 avatar
      Pete Zaitcev

      That’s what I thought too, long time ago, until I hit a rock while driving on a county road near Gerlach, Nevada. No more Fit for me, although it is no doubt a lovely car.

  • avatar

    There is no problem. Tell her to get the bigger, quieter, nicer one for a little bit more money. I doubt she will be insulted. She wants to get a small pepperoni pizza for 8 bucks. Suggest she get the medium pepperoni and sausage for 9 bucks instead.

  • avatar
    WalterRohrl

    $185 Bi-WEEKLY? Holy crap, is that the next frontier in advertising lease rates? That’s what, $401 per month so almost $5k per year. Do cars depreciate that much more up there? Can’t she BUY one that’s a couple of years old for that per month?

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      The bi-weekly thing has been going on in Canada for some time as a way to fool cheap Canadians into thinking they are getting a better deal as they seem to think that paying every two weeks is like making a monthly payment until those two months of the year come along where they need to make 3 payments.

      • 0 avatar
        DevilsRotary86

        For a car loan, biweekly payments also pay off the loan slightly faster. Plus it dovetails with many people’s biweekly salary schedule.

        • 0 avatar
          Adam Tonge

          156 bi-weekly payments is still 6 years. It doesn’t matter how you slice it. The only way biweekly payments will pay off a loan faster is if you are on a monthly payment plan and pay half of your monthly note biweekly (every payday). This will give you an extra principal payment yearly. You could also just pay an extra principal payment instead. Or not, since auto loans are probably most consumers lowest rate loans.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Technically you do pay slightly less in interest, if the annual rate is the same, with a bi-weekly payment plan. Of course those that specialize in the bi-weekly payment plan are usually going to charge you more for the “privilege” of paying bi-weekly instead of monthly.

          • 0 avatar
            Adam Tonge

            On current loan rates, you’d save $102 over five years by making bi weekly payments on a monthly car note that was $25,000. If the loan was written as a biweekly loan, and followed that amortization schedule, you would save about $10 over five years.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            The reason that the bi-weekly auto loan payment has become so popular in Canada is because banks found out it is more profitable. Their costs increase because they have to process more payments so they tack on a processing fee or bump up the interest rate what to the consumer seems like an insignificant amount. So bump the rate .05% or tack on a $.25 payment processing fee and now it is the bank that came out ahead on that bi-weekly payment schedule.

    • 0 avatar
      Detroit-Iron

      How much is that every two fortnights?

    • 0 avatar

      That’s just $13.22 a day!

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      I was put off by the bi-weekly context. On a monthly basis, the CX-5 works out to about $60 more per month (including gas) than a CX-3, which isn’t insignificant if you’re on a budget.

  • avatar
    vvk

    I know for sure I don’t want a CR-V. Whenever I see one on the road, the driver drives like a moron. It got to the point where I automatically expect bad things from CR-Vs. One time I was approaching a blind curve with my family in the car and god made me slow down way more than usual. Which was super lucky because a CR-V was understeering in my lane coming in the opposite direction, with its pathetic cheap tires folded over and a terrified idiot kid behind the wheel. Thank god for BMW brakes! And I was totally not surprised — this is exactly the kind of driving I expect from CR-V drivers. Cheap car, cheap tires, people who hate to drive.

    HR-V, on the other hand, intrigues me. It is right sized for me, comes with a really good manual gearbox and, amazingly, is the ONLY car on the market available with AUTOHOLD! I don’t know about you, but I personally don’t like holding the brake pedal when driving in traffic. One of the reasons I prefer manual. At least when the road is flat I can relax with the car in neutral. HR-V goes one step further and offers autohold with a manual transmission, which to me is an amazingly useful feature. I don’t like “features” in cars but this one I am extremely interested in. Let your friend buy an HR-V. With manual transmission, of course!

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      That’s ironic as for at least the past decade, in the GTA it is generally accepted knowledge that the worst drivers are generally driving a BMW. Either young drivers who do not have the necessary skills, or d-bags who are hyper aggressive.

      That was also the accepted stereotype of BMW drivers in the UK for decades although the badged has now been passed to those driving Audis.

    • 0 avatar
      Jagboi

      My 1966 Jaguar had a version of autohold.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      The Verano 2.0T autoholds on a hill for 2 seconds, or plenty of time to engage the clutch.

      • 0 avatar
        vvk

        Not autohold. What you are referring to is called hill holder. Autohold is something different. It will hold the brakes indefinitely until you start moving again. So instead of sitting at a light with your foot on the brake (if the road is not perfectly level,) you can stop the car and then let go the brake pedal and relax. 90 seconds later you will disengage the clutch, put it in first, engage the clutch and drive away. All without touching the brake pedal. With any other car this is possible only by manually engaging the hand brake.

  • avatar
    White Shadow

    Convince her to spend a few more bucks and get a Q3. I’d take that over everything mentioned above…

    • 0 avatar
      Carrera

      A few more bucks for the Q3? Like 15k over?

      • 0 avatar
        White Shadow

        Yeah, maybe. Or maybe $10K over, depending on the options. Either way, it may be a stretch, but it’s so much nicer for the compact (or subcompact?) CUV market.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      Lol

      Yeah, I have a Saturn. I am looking at the cheapest, smallest vehicle I like.

      BUT…Might as well double my budget for an Audi. And double…naw, TRIPLE my long-term repairs/maintenance budget while I’m at it. It’ll be worth it because I’m so used to the premium feel and the badge snob appeal afforded by my Saturn! Obviously I’m not frugal at all, as I care more about what people see me in rather than how it fits my budget. Driving a (probably) decade old Saturn 5 speed is proof of that!


      Next, we will tell a college kid looking at a used Scion xA that a same-year S4 or M3 is only a little more, might as well get that. Reliability? Value? Repair/maintenance costs? Screw all that. Showing others that you’ve “made it” (when you probably havent) is worth it.

      Soon, everyone will experience the wonderful feeling of replacing the entire drivetrain multiple times before 150k! Or having their wonderful $50k Audi burn to the ground for some idiotic reason, taking their co-worker’s Rav4 with it.

      It will be so great, no more reliable Accords and value-crammed Altimas! Just a bunch of snobs feeling good about themselves for spending more money on a less reliable, “better” car, simply because of the badge and how they can feel smug about it, showing everyone how rich and carefree they are by living well beyond their means.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Toyotas & Hondas are waaaaay less reliable than indestructible Ford & GM products!

        Everyone knows this, like, DUH!

        Let the snobs pay more for their fancy Denso parts!

      • 0 avatar
        White Shadow

        Not sure what planet you’re living on, but Audi is far ahead of Saturn (or anything GM…or American, for that matter) in reliability. Don’t look now, but Audi’s right up there with the top dogs.

        So are you just an Audi hater or do you have some kind of reason to think that a $50K Audi will burn to the ground? Personally, I’m not seeing it…

        Either way, grab another tall glass of Hater-Aid and toast to the “snobs” in their Audis. I’ll be laughing at you on the sidelines.

        • 0 avatar
          Zykotec

          I’ve grown to like Audis more and more, (or dislike them less and less). As they can (unlike other germans) build reasonably reliable cars with decent seats, that look decent (subjective offcourse, I prefer Hondas designs , but most people don’t), drive decent and have near great comfort (depending on equipment) and decent build quality.
          Interior space usually isn’t as horrible as the design makes them out to be thanks to the engine being placed quite far away from the interior.
          But I would never pay that much more of my own money to get a similarly sized car which is a little better at almost everything than a japanese counterpart (except relliability), because I don’t feel that I need all those small improvements enough to deserve the extra money. Still I’ve come to understand very well why many people do it. Once you start optioning them up to be much better at anything the price skyrockets pretty quickly too.
          I kinda miss the old ‘cheap’ Audis like the Audi 80, and base model 100’s which despite looking awful were quite practical, roomy and honest cars, while still being a lot better in every way than most VWs.

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        My US$45K (new) German car is now just over five years old. Grand total of one repair to date (rattling window regulator). Otherwise just basic maintenance.

        It’s not 10 years old or 200K miles, but at least at this time I’m not worried about continuing to drive it for another 3-5 years. Or at least I wasn’t, until you told me what will happen to my car next year when the entire drivetrain catches fire …

  • avatar
    fincar1

    Yeah, I caught that “biweekly” too. That is not a term I’ve heard around here in reference to car payments.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      bi-weekly and weekly payments are the exclusive domain of BHPH lots in the US so you are forgiven for not being familiar with that method of separating a customer from more of their money.

      • 0 avatar
        Adam Tonge

        And predatory mortgage servicing companies that often charge home owners to sign up for bi weekly payments.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          In my experience those are not mortgage servicing companies but 3rd parties that for a fee will help you “pay off your mortgage early” by hiring them as a middle man to make an extra payment per year. Of course they certainly don’t tell you what that extra principal line on your payment coupon will allow you to do the same thing if you want to some months and not if you don’t.

          Though I’m sure there are a few servicers out there that will do the same thing, I just haven’t seen or heard of that…yet.

          • 0 avatar
            Adam Tonge

            Most are third party, There are/were some servicers. Most charge a fee, and they are bad. When I was in college, I did work for a bank that would give you bi weekly mortgage payments for free (or any other loans). They were purchased by another bank, and another bank, and now another bank. So, they don’t do that anymore.

  • avatar
    Carrera

    About one year ago I test drove an Lx with 6 speed manual. I needed a commuter vehicle for my 45 miles each way drive to work. The Civic was out of the question due to looks and interior comfort, the Accord Sport a bit too pricy.
    The HRv was comfortable for me but definitely not a highway vehicle. The stick shift was wonderful but I don’t live in Halifax anymore where downtown resembles the hills of San Francisco. I ended up not buying it because as a highway commuter the Hrv was Underpowered and disturbingly loud inside.
    If your friend commutes to Truro every day, I would say don’t get the HRV. If she just goes over the bridge every day to downtown Halifax, then it could be the perfect small SUV. Remember, the HRV would go in places where the CRV can’t, and Downtown Halifax is atrocious when it comes to parking. Yes, she could get a Fit, but she won’t get an AWD or the extra 2-3 inch ground clearance. Yes, yes, I know, all of us are experts at driving RWD Ford Crown Victorias on ice and AWD vehicles are totally unnecessary…

    • 0 avatar
      jimble

      The compact CUV class (e.g. CRV) is a better deal than the subcompact (HRV) class for most people, but if you spend much time driving or parking in a city the equation is very different. I haven’t spend a lot of time in Halifax but I remember the parking being terrible and some of the streets were pretty cramped and narrow. For many people a smaller vehicle is just less stressful to pilot around a place like that. Whether the right choice for a subcompact CUV is the Honda is another question, but most of the options in that segment tend to be a bit underpowered and/or noisy.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    You seem to imply she wants a manual transmission in her new ride, so the HR-V in question would be FWD only, no?

    For all the correctly identified faults, a pretty basic HRV would still probably be a perfectly good and reliable car for her for a decade or more, with notable improvements over the old Saturn in most measures of comfort (including NVH) and utility.

    If a stick shift is a must, but she wants hatch/wagon utility, and some increased ground clearance (and maybe AWD) that narrows the list of options significantly. Subaru Crosstrek (sluggish 2.0) and Forester come to mind. Kia Soul maybe? If ground clearance/CUV aesthetic and AWD is negotiable, more options come into play.

    What are her absolute requirements?

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Driving throughout southern Ontario this past week, the benefits of higher ground clearance were readily apparent. Combine that with Honda re-sale, a car that is small enough to be an urban runabout, yet has usable storage space and reputed Honda reliability and how is this such a bad choice.

    What with FWD or AWD, high clearance, good cargo space and in a ‘small’ package would you recommend ahead of the HR-V?

  • avatar
    Wunsch

    “Yet it’s quite likely that a subcompact crossover, regardless of brand, is never the better deal than its compact equivalent.”

    Unless of course you don’t want a big car. My fiancée has a subcompact crossover (a CX-3), and she bought it because it was the size she wanted to drive, not because it was cheaper than a CX-5.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    Is the CR-V available in Canada with a clutch? Jealous!

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      I don’t think it is, and that’s why the article is confusing. Mae is apparently serious about sticking with a manual transmission, but the cars being discussed and compared are the HRV AWD (CVT only at least in the US) and a CRV (CVT only).

      • 0 avatar
        vvk

        I noticed that, too.

        By the way, Motor Trend has a long term HR-V EX with manual and they like it a lot. It seems like a really nice car.

        Timothy’s negative review, on the other hand, is about a leather-clad AWD model that is significantly slower (and probably louder) than the one with a stick. The review also mentions bad placement of LATCH anchors, which may or may not be the same on models with cloth seats.

      • 0 avatar
        Timothy Cain

        Desire does not always meet with reality.

  • avatar

    Folks are free to spend their money as they see fit, and in a fashion that keeps them satisfied with their purchase decision on a mid term basis. Its a higher priority on an individual basis that an individual is satisfied from their purchase.
    You can certainly share your opinion and suggestions while respecting their wishes.

    If folks would read reviews of Mazda, the sales would be through the roof. Its not the case. If folks would base their decision on the 10 Best, on the various vehicles that win prizes…again sales would be through the roof, and its not the case.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

    I would tactfully tell her that the CR-V (or other choice) may be a more comfortable, nicer car at a better value, but that if she likes the HR-V, then buy it. Just because we might feel there are better choices doesn’t mean others won’t find it perfect.

    I mean, who among us would recommend a Saturn Ion? But she liked it enough, and/or it works well enough for her, that she’s been reluctant to get rid of it before now.

    Cars are not one-size-fits-all, they come in many different shapes, sizes, flavors and such because they work in different situations for different drivers. What you and I may find appealing may be someone else’s worst car ever.

    The HR-V isn’t a fatal mistake, it’ll probably make her very happy.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Coming from a Saturn Ion that has obviously seen better days the HR-V will seem like a massive step up no matter how you cut it.

      Of course that doesn’t mean that you couldn’t say the HR-V is nice but the CR-V is much nicer for just a little more.

  • avatar
    syncro87

    Huge discounts on outgoing generation CR-Vs right now in my area make it a no brainer versus an HR-V with a small discount.

    I drove a manual HR-V back to back with a manual Fit recently to get my head around the difference in person.

    Here is why you’d buy the HR. Although the HR was still geared too short on the freeway, it was FAR better than the Fit at highway speeds. Like, not even close.

    You sit up just enough higher in the HR that you don’t feel nearly as vulnerable on the road when every other car in this Midwestern city is a F-150 crew cab.

    The problem is, as has been mentioned, the value equation. For the price of a base HR-V, you can get a new Civic with a better engine and more features and more MPG. Or, you can drop down to a Fit for way less money and have virtually the same cargo space as the HR.

    The HR-V felt dated to me, despite being a fairly new product. The attraction to me was the somewhat taller ride height than a car, the hatchback, and the availability of a stick shift. I didn’t buy it due to the marginal value proposition, but the HR is basically a Civic hatchback that sits up a couple of inches, uses older tech but isn’t as ugly. You could do worse.

    I didn’t drive the AWD CVT version, which would probably be a slug to drive and would kill the deal for me. The stick had a tiny smidge of fun to drive factor at least, and the cargo space in the HR was orders of magnitude better than the CX-3 I also looked at.

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    I kinda want an HR-V myself. Maybe even a 1.6 diesel, that with some cheap mailorder ‘chip’-tuning gets 160hp and 265 lbs/ft of torque, coupled with one of the smoothest 6-speeds you can get.
    Offcourse, we still get the CR-V with basically the same manual and diesel too, but I think the 3rd gen and on CR-V’s feel huge compared to their actual size, with all their soundproofing and comfort and gadgets and other ‘old-peoples’-stuff.

    • 0 avatar
      OldManPants

      “comfort and gadgets and other ‘old-peoples’-stuff”

      Go back to today’s QOTD and witness all the young weenies pining for things like heated/cooled seats and steering wheels.

      • 0 avatar
        Zykotec

        Kids today are as useless relatively speaking as I was compared to my elders when I was a kid. When I was young we had to scrape ice off both sides of all windows for 2 hours before we could even drive anywhere. And then hold our breath to not steam up the windows again while driving. And we all had one wheel drive cars with less than 100 ponys, on steel rims, and snowchains, through 6 feet of snow.
        And it was even worse in the winter…
        Spoiled brats the lot of them I tell ya.
        (lets just never get into a discussion about who spoiled them in the first place though )
        I must admit I hate diesels, even if the Honda ones have a pretty decently wide torque band, and here in Norway the HR-V is only available in fwd, so there are literally no reasons to buy one over a 5-door Civic.

        • 0 avatar
          OldManPants

          Norway?

          Don’t you people make your kids take baths outside in the dead of winter and then thrash them with tree branches when they jump out of the tub?

          Wow, I’d have thought you’d have some pretty decent kids o_O

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            “Don’t you people make your kids take baths outside in the dead of winter and then thrash them with tree branches when they jump out of the tub?”

            I think you’re referring to standard sauna practices, in Siberia the branches are usually birch. The procedure is to sit in the sauna that’s usually running at about 85-95 degrees C, beat each other with said branches, and then run outside in the nude and roll in snow or jump into a frozen pond if you have that luxury. Then you run back in to warm up. We built a sauna (“banya” in Russian) in our backyard at my parents’ place here in the US, always a treat to use it when I’m back home.

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            See? It produces good kids.

            Except in Norway, I guess.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            My fiance was in for a bit of a surprise when we flew out to visit my family in the ‘old country’ this summer. At my grandma’s place, there is no hot water in the house, summer bathing is sauna-only. I’ll take that over the rusty water coming out the pipes at our apartment in Novosibirsk (a yearly occurrence when they’re doing maintenance). We ended up boiling water in pots and “showering” that way. A few other idiosyncrasies of rural Siberian living that she found fairly unappealing: can’t flush toilet paper (it is tossed into a stove within arms reach of the crapper and burned), swarms of mosquitoes in early summer, horrible roads and crazy drivers that left her on the verge of tears.
            On the up-side, she loved walking to the village bakery for fantastic fresh (and cheap) bread, milk and sour cream from the neighbor’s cow across the street, awesome smoked fish and meat products. She also got to see neighborhood kids playing and running around outside all day and lots of new moms with strollers walking around.

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            “She also got to see neighborhood kids playing and running around outside all day and lots of new moms with strollers walking around.”

            Subtle and painstaking are your ways of playing upon her maternal instincts.

            I’m seeing the immense, darkened figure of Father Minya looming before me from a swirling mist of incense, deeply rumbling “It’s the Lord’s Way!”

            Run away!

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Oh believe me there is no need for any sort of hinting/coercion in that direction on my behalf. I did get to see her interact with all my little nieces/nephews (8mo-5 years old) and confirmed that she has solid mothering instinct.

  • avatar
    Dave W

    Why is this a problem? If asked, tell her your opinion and shut up. My mom (Who has loved Hondas since her gen.1 Accord replaced the 51 Studebaker Commander V8 in her heart) just bought an HRV. I wouldn’t buy any Honda until they get seats that don’t kill my back but why should I care if shes driving a slow, cramped, short range driving solution? Particularly when the objection is what the back seat is like. I’ve got a friend who routinely puts my wife and I in the back seat of their bug (I’m 6′ she’s 5’8″). As much as I hate it back there we say nothing because it’s the 3rd new bug they’ve owned because THEY love it.

    My mom loves that it gets decent mileage, it’s easy to enter, exit and park, she sits high enough to see in traffic, has more room then the Accord that first attracted her to Honda 35 years ago, and is AWD for her MN and CO driving pleasure. I’m especially glad she has bought it because now when I call her she may mention the car if it comes up rather then the nearly guaranteed rant about the much despised Nissan Rogue that it replaces or my step-dads Toyota van (Sienna?) previous to that. Who knows? at 87 this is probably the last car she’ll own. Why not let her be like a true car guy and buy with her heart, not her head; or why are people on here talking up anything other then Corollas, CamCords, Prii, and F150s?

  • avatar
    Trucky McTruckface

    Oh, look, another Tim Cain article about how much he hates Hondas.

    I’m not exactly a fan of Honda. In fact they do a lot things that aggravate me and I bItch about them quite frequently on this website. However, I also have a hard time believing that the HR-V is the worst vehicle in it’s segment. It sounds like it’s obnoxiously slow, and that would be a deal breaker for me but not necessarily everyone. Should someone really not buy a car because of the position of the rear child seat anchors? Please. I assume everything in the subcompact utility segment is a miserable grindbox and expectations should be lowered accordingly.

    Compared to an Ion, which to me might be the single worst car sold in North America this century, an HR-V (or anything, really) is a dreamboat by comparison. So this mostly sounds like chronic butthurt over someone’s not-quite-perfect minivan.

    • 0 avatar
      Timothy Cain

      Trucky, we pay for one vehicle.

      It’s a 2015 Honda Odyssey EX. It’s not perfect, but we will almost certainly get another. Perhaps even over the Christmas holidays if the sales manager at our Honda dealer of choice has his way.

      Stranger still that you’d say this article has anything to do with hatred of Hondas, in the plural. When asked, I successfully steered an individual away from one Honda…. to another Honda. A superior Honda, that is, for essentially no extra money.

    • 0 avatar
      N8iveVA

      Not every vehicle needs 250 hp. It’s not obnoxiously slow. It’s adequate.

  • avatar
    DenLeboeuf

    I’m having the same kind of thing going on with my parents, they want to buy a Nissan Sentra. What should I do?

  • avatar
    Avid Fan

    $5k Flop Sweat discount.

  • avatar
    rpn453

    I’d tell her to drive both, along with a few other vehicles, and go with whatever she prefers.

    In my experience, I’ve found that it’s not unusual for a person to prefer driving a vehicle that has less rear legroom than some other larger vehicle.

  • avatar
    JLGOLDEN

    Compared to a rattly and raspy old Ion, a new HR-V is a luxurious, solid step up. For those who currently drive more dynamically-pleasing, refined vehicles every day, the HR-V feels like a cheap and soulless $hit-box designed for retirees or beginners. That said, if I were 20 years younger and not set in my ways with car preferences, I’d consider either of the egg-shaped little Honda SUVs.

  • avatar
    N8iveVA

    I don’t get all the hate for the HR-V. I test drove one over the Summer and liked it. Although I didn’t drive it on the highway to see how loud it was. Around town it was peppy enough, the steering was ok, and the CVT, which I normally hate CVT’s, was inoffensive. Does it cost more than an equivalent Fit it’s based on? Sure. So what. If she likes it, buy it.

    I personally found it to be too small cargo-wise and I hate the current humpbacked CR-V. If I had time to wait I’d have gone for the upcoming CR-V.

  • avatar
    Jim Broniec

    The problem with this dilemma is taste and life lens.

    Some people, it would seem, have very blunt objects in their brain to use to understand the subtle nuance of engine noise and wind resistance..

    The fact that she’s still driving what she’s driving tells me there’s a subconscious need to live and do with less.

    The last three car purchases made by friends and co-workers I’ve helped with have been fantastic. I found it rewarding, and they got the perfect car for themselves.

    But the fourth one was different – some outwardly self-sabotage their lives through their choices. Enter my female friend who bought the Acura MDX but returned it within the first week because it was TOO nice, TOO comfortable for her.. and ended up much happier in a two year old Chevy Captiva she found at CarMax.

    She paid cash for the MDX and Captiva both, but when I asked her about it a few weeks ago (she bought the Captiva last October) she confessed after a few glasses of wine something about her core sense of self seemed too uncomfortable to admit that she’s successful enough to drive that car.

    She lives in a blue collar neighborhood where people drive Chevys Fords and some Hyundais.. and she perceived her neighbors judging her.

    Ironically, part of the reason she’s able to afford such nice things is BECAUSE she spent most of her 30s living below her means.

    The point I’m trying to make is this: for most people, the emotional side of an automobile purchase is may more important that the facts, figures, or even the logical reasonings which drive most reviews.

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    I had no clue any cars came without intermittent wipers.

  • avatar
    Wildcat

    Why not just let someone buy what they want? I wouldn’t buy one myself, only because I need something larger. Would I discourage others? Certainly not. Only they can determine what fits their needs, and what they are comfortable with. Not everyone wants or even likes manual transmissions (present company included–I did my time with manuals and I’m past it), nor needs gobs of power, or has to nitpick about every little thing about someone else’s car.

    Tell me about it, though–I drove a first-gen CR-V, one of the first in the country, for 19 years. Yes, it lacks power. And yes, it’s not so quiet, or luxurious, or loaded with unneeded features. Certainly not perfect. But you know what? It got me around. It fit my needs. It has hauled more stuff than I even remember, including helping move four or five households of “stuff” over those years. It’s still running fine 290k miles later on its original engine and trans. I keep it around as a “beater” since I just can’t kill the thing, and don’t want to beat up the newer cars. I brought my youngest home from the hospital when she was born in that car, and she’ll probably be using it as a college car next year.

    The HR-V will do the same for those who need it and like it. So will most other vehicle choices out there.

    When I picked up a used CR-V a month ago, I had asked how the HR-V was selling. The salesperson sold me that for a little more money, people were buying the CR-V instead. Yet when I see sales figures for the HR-V, they have been stronger on average per month over the past several months than they were in the several months prior. Someone is buying them. I believe it’s regional. It may not be so popular in the Great Lakes area.


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