Best & Worst Honda HR-V Years

I've analyzed every Honda HR-V model from 2016 until the latest model and categorized the best & worst years in this simple guide.

In this guide, I’ll break down the latest Honda HR-V generations, revealing the best years for the Honda HR-V to buy and the worst years to avoid.

We’ve meticulously analyzed the Honda HR-V’s performance across various years based on data and reviews from credible sources like the NHTSA, Consumer Reports, and J.D. Power.

This article will specifically highlight the distinctions between the Honda HR-V generations, focusing on the changes in engine performance, technological advancements, reliability, common problems, and resale values, pinpointing the best and worst Honda HR-V model years.

Let’s dive right in!

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Table of ContentsShow

Honda HR-V Generations

With its second generation in 2015, the Honda HR-V quickly became popular in the compact SUV market. Known for its versatility, the HR-V offered a practical design with its “Magic Seat” system, allowing various cargo configurations.

It also featured efficient engine options and a comfortable, well-equipped interior, making it a suitable choice for city driving and longer journeys.

Here’s a table outlining the Honda HR-V generations from 2016 to the present:

GenerationYears
2nd generation (RU)2016-2022
3rd generation (RZ)2023-Present

Understanding the generational shifts is crucial for anyone considering a Honda HR-V, as it helps decide which model year best suits their preferences and requirements.

Honda HR-V Best, Neutral, and Worst Years

In evaluating the best and worst model years for Honda HR-V, our rankings and categorizations consider numerous factors, including:

  • Owner-reported reliability (surveys)
  • Annual maintenance costs
  • Safety ratings
  • Consumer Reports reliability scores
  • Consumer Reports owner satisfaction scores
  • NHTSA recalls, investigations, and complaints
  • Edmunds owner ratings
  • JD Power owner ratings
  • Kelley’s Blue Book (KBB) owner ratings
  • VehicleHistory owner ratings
  • Cars.com owner ratings

The upcoming graph consolidates ratings from all these sources, providing a comprehensive view of the Honda HR-V’s performance across various years.

Honda HR V Car Smite Score Combined Overall Score

Below, we have categorized each model year of the Honda HR-V into best, neutral, and worst years based on extensive research and data analysis.

GenerationBest YearsWorst Years
2nd generation (RU)2017
2020
2021
2022
2016
2018
2019
3rd generation (RZ)20242023

“Neutral Years” are years that did not significantly stand out in terms of reliability or have significant issues, offering a balanced option for potential buyers.

Some factors, such as NHTSA recalls, contribute negatively to our categorization. A higher incidence of complaints and recalls usually points to lower vehicle reliability.

Let’s dive into the best, neutral, and worst years for the Honda HR-V.

Best & Worst Years for Honda HR-V 2nd Generation (2016-2022)

Honda HR V 2nd generation 2016 model
The 2016 Honda HR-V

The second-generation Honda HR-V was built upon the success of its predecessor with its versatility, fuel efficiency, and interior, making it a popular choice in the compact SUV segment.

2017 and 2020-2022 are the best years for the second-gen Honda HR-V, while the years to avoid are 2016, 2018, and 2019.

The Best Years: 2017, 2020, 2021, 2022

What are the best years for a Honda HR-V? Our research shows that the best years for the second-generation HR-V are 2017, 2020, 2021, and 2022.

These models featured a 1.8L I4 engine delivering 141 hp, paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that offered a smooth driving experience and good fuel economy, averaging around 28 city/34 highway MPG.

These years saw technological improvements, including features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in the later models, enhancing the infotainment experience.

Safety features were also bolstered with the addition of Honda Sensing technologies in the later years, providing advanced driver assistance systems like adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist.

The 2017, 2020, 2021, and 2022 Honda HR-V were well-received for their reliability, fewer mechanical issues, and overall customer satisfaction, making them the best years of this generation.

The Worst Years: 2016, 2018, 2019

The 2016, 2018, and 2019 models of the Honda HR-V are considered the worst years for this generation to avoid.

The 2016 Honda HR-V experienced several issues, including problems with the electrical system, powertrain, and brakes.

Owners reported inoperative start/stop buttons, instrument cluster failures, paint peeling, and issues with the CVT transmission and brake failures. The necessary recall for this model concerns insufficient coating on the rear caliper pistons, which reduces braking performance.

The 2018 and 2019 Honda HR-V models continued to face challenges, particularly with the instrument cluster and brakes, leading to recalls for inoperative rearview camera displays, fuel pump failures, and insufficient coating on the rear caliper pistons.

These issues, coupled with the necessity for recalls, significantly impacted the reliability and appeal of these particular model years, making them less favorable for potential buyers.

See NHTSA 2016, 2018, 2019 Honda HR-V recalls and grievances.

Best & Worst Years for Honda HR-V 3rd Generation (2023-Present)

Honda HR V 3rd generation 2023 model
The 2023 Honda HR-V

The third generation of the Honda HR-V introduced a new design language, improved performance, and advanced technology features, aiming to set a higher standard in the compact SUV segment.

2023 is the most problematic third-gen Honda HR-V model year to avoid, while 2024 stands out as the best year.

The Best Years: 2024

With above-average J.D. Power and Consumer Reports owner ratings, 2024 is the best year for the third-generation Honda HR-V.

This model features a more robust and efficient engine compared to the previous generations, enhancing the overall driving experience.

The 2024 Honda HR-V has a 2.0L I4 engine, delivering 158 hp, and a continuous variable transmission (CVT) that offers a seamless and efficient driving experience. Fuel economy is relatively lower, providing an average of 26 city/32 highway MPG.

Safety in the 2024 HR-V is top-notch, including the Honda Sensing suite as standard, offering features like collision mitigation braking, road departure mitigation, and adaptive cruise control.

The technology inside the cabin is upgraded with a more user-friendly infotainment system, larger touchscreens, and enhanced connectivity options.

The interior trim and build quality significantly improve, making the 2024 Honda HR-V a desirable choice for those seeking a modern, safe, and comfortable compact SUV.

The Worst Years: 2023

The third-generation Honda HR-V year to avoid, the 2023 model year, faced some initial problems related to the vehicle’s structure and steering.

There were instances of the rear windshield spontaneously shattering without any impact, raising concerns about structural integrity.

Steering issues were also noted, with some owners reporting sticky steering, which could affect the driving experience and safety.

This model year saw a recall of unsecured seat belt pre-tensioners, a critical safety component.

See NHTSA 2023 Honda HR-V recalls and complaints.

Honda HR-V Resale Values

Examine this graph showing the Honda HR-V’s average resale values across its different model years.

Honda HR V Average List Price

Conclusion

Which Honda HR-V model is the best?

For those considering a Honda HR-V, the years 2017, 2020-2022, and 2024 are the best years for their reliability and features, while it’s best to avoid the 2016, 2018, 2019, and 2023 models due to the issues we mentioned above.

What features do you prioritize in a compact SUV like the Honda HR-V, and why?

Share your thoughts in the comments!

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Jonathan Eckert

Jonathan is an ASE-certified mechanic with over 22 years of hands-on experience in the automotive industry. His expertise spans a wide range of vehicles, but he specializes in diagnosing and repairing Japanese cars. His previous workplace highly commended his meticulous attention to detail, and that's exaclty what he uses at Car Smite to craft the best guides for each purpose.