The Right Spec: 2022 Honda HR-V

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

Sketches of the next bite-sized Honda surfaced this morning, showing a vehicle with an admittedly big gob but wearing proportions that are a smidgen less awkward than the machine which has been around now for very nearly a decade in some markets. If this were pre-pandemic times, we’d be bleating that a Right Spec would help buyers select the best of what’s being cleared out of dealer lots in favor of the new rig. That’s hardly the case these days.

Nevertheless, it’s entertaining to learn where the different trims land in terms of desirability. Let’s find out what’s on tap for the final model year of this HR-V generation

Let’s be blunt, as we often are around here – the old Fit was more entertaining to drive, a lot more practical, and actually carried just and much or more of life’s detritus than the HR-V thanks to its so-called Magic Seats (even if the HR-V tries to lay claim to them as well). Perhaps the new one will recapture some of those traits. There are four different trims of the current model, ranging from base LX to a leather-lined EX-L. The answer, as usual, lies somewhere in the middle.

No matter which trim is chosen, buyers will find a 141 horsepower engine lashed to a CVT with available all-wheel drive. Speaking to the latter, this author is of the mindset that a small front-drive hatchback with a great set of winter tires is adequate for wide swaths of the country since there should be ample traction with that combo without lugging around extra weight and complexity for 12 months of the year. Feel free to tell me I’m wrong in the comments.

The $23,820 Sport trim is appealing out of the four on offer since it is just about a $2,000 walk from the base LX yet adds handy features like smartphone integration into an infotainment touchscreen that is sized big enough not to require binoculars to read from the driver’s seat. USB ports mean front seat occupants have a place in which to plug their device, but it’s worth noting there are only four audio speakers and the cloth seats are of the unheated variety. There is a trio of ventilation registers in front of the passenger because three is better than two, naturally.

Sport are easily ID’d on the lot thanks to a combination of front fog lamps and Sport-specific 18-inch wheels. Moving up to the Sport also unlocks interesting color choices like this Milano Red or an entertaining Aegean Blue, both of which are $0 options. Only a pearl-finish white costs extra. Honda would be more than happy to sell you any number of all-season protection packages that simply bundle rubber floor mats and the like but, in typical Honda fashion, if a customer wants more equipment they’ll have to bump up to the next trim level.

Does spending an extra $1,250 on the EX make sense? Maybe, if you live in the snow belt. The EX brings heat to the front chairs and side mirrors, while LaneWatch and adaptive cruise are nice-to-haves. The moonroof would give me pause but that’s because I’m sized like an NBA player; normal humans will be just fine.

Please note the prices listed here are in American dollars and are currently accurate for base prices exclusive of any fees, taxes, or rebates. Your dealer may (and should) sell for less (obscene market conditions notwithstanding). Keep your foot down, bone up on available rebates, and bargain hard.

[Images: Honda]

Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

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3 of 15 comments
  • SnarkyRichard SnarkyRichard on Jan 14, 2022

    A 2000 upgrade from the LX still doesn't get you variable intermittent wipers - something that comes standard on base models of other brands . With the 1250 upgrade to EX you get them , so it's 3250 more to get that basic feature . Another fail for Honda .

    • Russycle Russycle on Jan 14, 2022

      Variable intermittent wipers weren't available on the Element, and a popular mod was to install the wiper control from the Ridgeline. Weirdly, the Ridgeline's variable controller actually cost less than the Element's in Honda's parts catalog.

  • Notapreppie Notapreppie on Jan 18, 2022

    The right spec is the one that gets the 1.5L turbo motor. Oh, wait... that spec doesn't exist.

  • Calrson Fan Jeff - Agree with what you said. I think currently an EV pick-up could work in a commercial/fleet application. As someone on this site stated, w/current tech. battery vehicles just do not scale well. EBFlex - No one wanted to hate the Cyber Truck more than me but I can't ignore all the new technology and innovative thinking that went into it. There is a lot I like about it. GM, Ford & Ram should incorporate some it's design cues into their ICE trucks.
  • Michael S6 Very confusing if the move is permanent or temporary.
  • Jrhurren Worked in Detroit 18 years, live 20 minutes away. Ren Cen is a gem, but a very terrible design inside. I’m surprised GM stuck it out as long as they did there.
  • Carson D I thought that this was going to be a comparison of BFGoodrich's different truck tires.
  • Tassos Jong-iL North Korea is saving pokemon cards and amibos to buy GM in 10 years, we hope.