Discover Worst Honda HRV Years to Avoid and Reliable Models to Purchase, Used!

Patrick Oziegbe
Updated On:

Are you in the market for a used subcompact crossover SUV, with proven records to be reliable and efficient that won’t let you down? Look no further than the Honda HR-V!

But before you take the plunge, it’s important to know which model years to avoid. Don’t let potential headaches down the road ruin your driving experience.

In this article, you’ll be empowered with our thoroughly researched facts about the Honda HR-V years that have been plagued with issues, as well facts we garnered from consumer feedback and industry insights.

By the end, reading our resource will give you all the knowledge you need to make an informed decision and drive off into the sunset with confidence with only the best year for Honda HRV worth owing.

Honda HRV Years to Avoid

Honda HR-V Overview

The Honda HR-V is a popular choice in the compact crossover and subcompact SUV segment, offering a practical and stylish option for drivers like you.

Let’s delve into Honda HR-V’s evolution through its two generations, as well as some notable features of the model.

The first-generation HR-V was introduced back in the late 1990s as a unique looking subcompact SUV with prominent, almost car-like dimensions.

Although it wasn’t your typical SUV, it was still capable of tackling various road conditions, offering you a comfortable and reliable driving experience.

The first-generation HR-V was produced until 2006, offering a sportier and more agile option in the SUV market.

Fast forward to 2016 when the second-generation HR-V emerged, bringing a fresh look to the subcompact SUV segment.

With its sleek exterior design and optimization for urban driving, it immediately caught the attention of drivers seeking versatility and style.

The second-generation HR-V also brought an upgraded interior with more space and advanced technology, catering to your modern needs.

As an HR-V SUV owner, you can expect excellent fuel economy, user-friendly infotainment systems, and clever storage solutions for your belongings.

With its agile handling and comfortable ride, this compact crossover completes your daily driving requirements with ease.

Honda HR-V Worst Year and Models

There are a few model years for Honda HRV that you might want to avoid when considering a purchase for a used version.

Here is a breakdown of the worst years for the Honda HR-V, along with some reasons why they’re considered less reliable:

  • 2016 Honda HR-V: This was the first year of the HR-V, and it had some issues worth noting. Mainly, the problems were related to interior accessories and body paint. On top of that, the brakes and transmission also had a fair share of problems, making this year’s model a potential safety risk.
  • 2017 Honda HR-V: The second year of the HR-V didn’t fare much better, with widespread problems and recalls continuing. While improvements were made from the first year, the 2017 model still had its issues and is best avoided.
  • 2018 Honda HR-V: Just like the previous two years, the 2018 HR-V model had its share of complications. Owners reported dissatisfaction with its quality and reliability, making this another year to steer clear of.

Yes, we strongly advice that you avoid the older models of Honda HR-V, specifically, the years 2016, 2017, and 2018. While later years of the HR-V show improvements in quality, it’s these initial years that have developed a reputation for issues and recalls.

Common Honda HR-V Issues and Complaints

We shall now be more specific about common issues and complaints that you might experience with your Honda HR-V.

These problems can range from transmission and engine issues to brake and electrical problems, as well as paint issues.

Keep in mind, not every HR-V will experience these issues, but it’s essential to be aware of them.

Transmission Problems

One of the most reported common problems with Honda HR-V’s is the CVT transmission issues.

You might experience hesitation or unpredictability when accelerating, leading to an uncomfortable driving experience. Here are some aspects to keep an eye on:

  • Unpredictable throttle
  • Sluggish acceleration
  • Jerky shifting

Engine Issues

Engine failures are a less frequent concern among Honda HR-V owners, but they can still occur. Some owners have reported issues with the fuel pump and the push start system. These issues can lead to the following:

  • Difficulty starting the engine
  • Stalling while driving
  • Decreased fuel efficiency

Brake Issues

Brake problems are another area of concern for Honda HR-V owners. One notable issue is brake caliper failure, which has led to extended stopping distances and difficulties depressing the brake pedal.

Additionally, there have been reports of electronic parking brakes not being usable in emergencies.

Electrical Problems

Electrical issues can be quite frustrating for Honda HR-V owners. Among the various problems reported, these are some of the most common:

  • Power window switch failures
  • Soy-based wires being chewed by rodents
  • Malfunctioning audio systems

Paint Issues

Last but not least, you may experience paint issues with your Honda HR-V. Poor paint quality has been a common complaint among owners, leading to premature chipping or peeling, which can affect the overall appearance of your vehicle.

Make sure to keep an eye on your paint finish and consider applying a protective coating if necessary.

Honda HRV Best Year and Models

Is not all gloom for used HRV car, as there are several model years that stand out as the best options for you.

These years have earned high marks for reliability and overall quality, making them excellent choices for your next vehicle. Here are the top Honda HR-V model years to consider:

  • 2023 Honda HR-V: The 2023 model is highly recommended since it’s the latest version available with the most up-to-date features and improved performance. It’s a frontrunner with high scores in safety and dependability.
  • 2022 Honda HR-V: With the 2022 model, you’ll find it highly reliable and a top contender among its competitors. It offers great performance and durability, ensuring a smooth driving experience for you.
  • 2021 Honda HR-V: The 2021 HR-V is another excellent option with a flawless restyle that adds to its appeal. It has also received high praise for its quality, making it a great choice for your next vehicle.
  • 2020 Honda HR-V: This model year continues the trend of high-quality HR-Vs. It offers a combination of style, performance, and reliability that’s hard to beat.
  • 2019 Honda HR-V: 2019 was a great year for the HR-V, with improvements in design and features. This model is worth considering if you’re looking for a reliable used option.
  • 2017 Honda HR-V: The 2017 model is another fantastic choice, scoring high marks for its spacious back seat, large cargo area, and impressive fuel economy. This used option provides excellent value for your money.

These models have established a reputation for reliability and quality that make them excellent choices for your next vehicle purchase. So, when you’re in the market for a Honda HR-V, keep these years in mind and enjoy the benefits of driving one of the best cars in its class.

Safety and Security

Safety Ratings

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) are responsible for evaluating vehicle safety.

In their assessments, they have given the Honda HR-V mixed reviews. The 2020 Honda HR-V received a four-star overall rating for frontal crash tests by the NHTSA.

The front driver’s side and front passenger’s side both received four stars each. The NHTSA also awarded the HR-V five stars for the overall side crash test.

Standard Safety Features

Your Honda HR-V comes with several standard safety features to help protect you and your passengers. These include:

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Honda LaneWatch
  • Multi-angle rearview camera
  • Blind spot monitoring

These features work together to give you a well-rounded safety package, allowing you to feel more confident on the road.

Potential Brake and Traction Concerns

Despite these positive aspects, you should be aware of potential brake and traction concerns with some Honda HR-V models.

For example, the 2016 Honda HR-V experienced issues with rear brake caliper pistons and rear brake calipers. Additionally, there were reports of problems with the power steering and brake pedal.

When considering a Honda HR-V, make sure to investigate any potential safety issues, particularly with older model years.

Competitor Comparison

You may want to change your mind and purchase a different brand with similar features and price range with Honda HR-V.

So, let’s explore its competitors to help you make an informed decision. In this section, we’ll compare the HR-V to the Subaru Crosstrek, Hyundai Kona, Toyota C-HR, Jeep Renegade, and Mazda CX-3.

Subaru Crosstrek

The Subaru Crosstrek offers impressive fuel economy, with an EPA rating of 27/34 mpg city/highway for its base 2.0-liter engine.

Additionally, it provides standard all-wheel drive and excellent ground clearance, making it a strong competitor for off-road enthusiasts. Here are some key features of the Crosstrek:

Hyundai Kona

The Hyundai Kona is a stylish and well-equipped compact crossover. It boasts advanced safety features, easy maneuverability, and an optional turbocharged engine. Some Kona’s highlights include:

  • Optional turbocharged engine
  • Advanced safety features
  • Sporty handling

Toyota C-HR

The Toyota C-HR offers distinctive styling, a comfortable ride, and Toyota’s reputation for reliability. However, it lacks all-wheel drive and has a somewhat cramped interior.

Key points of Toyota CHR vehicle are:

  • Bold, distinctive styling
  • Comfortable ride quality
  • Lacks all-wheel drive

Jeep Renegade

The Jeep Renegade is known for its iconic looks and off-road capabilities. While not as fuel-efficient as other competitors, the Renegade provides a unique option with genuine off-roading potential.

Main features include:

  • Iconic Jeep styling
  • Off-road capabilities
  • Lower fuel efficiency

However beware of older models with issues and complaints, including the 2015 Renegade with electrical systems and engine cooling problems.

Mazda CX-3

Finally, the Mazda CX-3 offers engaging driving dynamics, refined styling, and impressive fuel efficiency.

However, it might not provide as much space or utility as some rivals. Important aspects:

As you explore your options, keep these competitor comparisons in mind to ensure you find the perfect compact crossover to meet your needs.

Interior and Comfort

Seats and Cargo Space

One major concern is the interior, particularly the seats and cargo space. In some of these years, you might find the rear seats less comfortable than expected, which could be inconvenient for those long drives with friends and family.

The front seats, too, might not offer the level of comfort you would hope for, making your driving experience less enjoyable.

Furthermore, the back seat and cargo space might not be as spacious as you desire.

Although the Honda HR-V generally offers decent cargo space with its Magic Seat feature, some years may not provide enough room for your belongings, causing unnecessary stress when trying to fit everything you need for a trip.

Infotainment and Connectivity

Another area to consider is the infotainment system and connectivity options in the Honda HR-V years to avoid.

You might come across trim levels with outdated technology, making it difficult for you to seamlessly connect your smartphone and utilize features such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Additionally, these models might have a limited number of USB ports, making it inconvenient for you and your passengers to keep devices charged during a drive.

Steering wheel controls could also be less intuitive in these years, leading to frustration when trying to adjust settings while driving.

Overall, the infotainment and connectivity options in some Honda HR-V years might not meet your expectations, making your driving experience less enjoyable and connected.

Buying Tips and Considerations

Consider a Different Year or Model

First realize not buying any of the worst years models is not only crucial to your driving happiness but saves you plenty extra costs and headaches.

If possible, consider focusing on more recent models, like the 2022 Honda HR-V, which has favorable ratings.

If you’re not set on a Honda HR-V, expanding your search to include other models from Honda or different car manufacturers may help you find a more reliable and suitable vehicle for your needs.

Test Drive and Inspection Tips

Before purchasing a used car or even a new model, it’s crucial to test drive the vehicle and inspect it thoroughly.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind during the inspection process:

  • Test the CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) or manual transmission, whichever is available in the vehicle. Listen for any unusual noises or jerkiness while shifting gears or accelerating.
  • Examine the vehicle’s exterior for any signs of body damage, rust, or paint issues, especially in older models.
  • Check the brakes and make sure they respond well during the test drive.

When test driving the car:

  1. Pay attention to the vehicle’s overall performance.
  2. Listen for any strange noises or clunking sounds coming from the engine.
  3. Make sure the steering feels smooth and responsive.
  4. Note any unusual shaking or vibrations.
  5. Assess the comfort of the seats and overall cabin space.

Always be prepared to negotiate the monthly payment and explore different financing options if applicable.

Remember that you have the right to walk away from the purchase if the vehicle doesn’t meet your expectations or if you feel rushed or uncomfortable.

Doing your research, thoroughly inspecting, and test driving any potential Honda HR-V models will help you find a car that suits your preferences and needs while avoiding problematic years and issues.


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