By on January 13, 2022

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]

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15 Comments on “The Right Spec: 2022 Honda HR-V...”

  • avatar

    I’m curious what you think about the center console, Matthew. I’m only 6’1″ and I too gladly do without sunroofs (I never use it anyway) to get the extra headroom, but I find today’s massive center consoles rubbing on my knee in a lot of the cars out there. The one in the HRV isn’t wide, but it’s high and annoying to me, even at my height. Sat in one and decided I could never be comfortable in it. Oh, and I agree about front wheel drive being all that most people need. My dad was a sales rep for a chemical company with a territory that included PA, as far north as Syracuse, and south into West Virginia. He never had anything but a front-wheel-drive company car with snow tires, and never got stuck in 30 years.

  • avatar

    A niece of mine recently sends me a request for her next car purchase, wanting uncle’s opinion as I am the car guy in the family.

    she sent me picture of a cool looking Subaru Crosstrek. It was white and real outdoorsy looking. Just the kind of vehicle she likes so she can hike with her Australian Shepherd to the mountains which she likes to do. The only problem, it was used and had close to 70,000 miles, on sale for $23,000. She lives in Los Angeles near Santa Monica beach. Quick auto trader search, I told her to

    1. Get a Corolla new
    2. Get a base Civic new
    3. Get a Honda HRV new

    All three on Auto Trader in her zip code could be had for less than the Subaru. I think a new Honda HRV is a good vehicle.

  • avatar

    These will be reliable but they are penalty boxes. They aren’t all that comfortable but the worst problem is noise: there’s little insulation to cut out either four-cylinder drone or tire roar. If I were making a recommendation in this price class and it had to be a CUV (which it usually does) then I’d probably start with the Chevy Trailblazer, which doesn’t have any more joy but is quieter and has also been reliable in the first couple years. If you can find one yet, the Corolla Cross will also be a better choice.

    The right spec is the EX because, in my experience, most of the buyers asking about this category of car are female, and most female buyers find a great deal of value in heated seats.

    • 0 avatar

      A new Crosstek could also be good value. Base model starts around the same as the HR-V Sport but you get standard AWD and hard to beat resale value in this category.

      • 0 avatar

        Crosstrek is a good suggestion. You’ll get the usual (and predictable) Subaru maintenance over time but it has more cachet than any other cheap car in this area.

    • 0 avatar

      Recommending a GM product over a Honda product, from the man with a historical soft spot for Honda products. Didn’t think that would ever happen.

      Also, I know no one who doesn’t like heated seats and only a small percentage who would ditch a package with them to save a few bucks.

    • 0 avatar

      For 22K starting new, I’d take a Mazda CX-30.
      Similarly sized but a class above in most ways. Subaru Crosstrek would be a nice choice too.

  • avatar

    The right spec is no spec. These things are absolute garbage.

    Buy a Civic.

  • avatar

    I would spend the extra 1250 mainly to shun those ugly black wheels but then again this is probably the last choice I would make in this type of vehicle.

  • avatar

    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 .

    • 0 avatar

      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.

  • avatar

    The right spec is the one that gets the 1.5L turbo motor.

    Oh, wait… that spec doesn’t exist.

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