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IIHS names the Honda HR-V as its Top Safety Pick for 2019

The small SUV has made numerous advances from last year

Photo (c) nuttapong - Getty Images
Honda’s small SUV, the HR-V, is the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) Top Safety Pick for 2019, with a few caveats. IIHS researchers specify that the car needs to be equipped with optional front crash prevention and specific headlights.

Honda has refreshed the HR-V model for 2019, and IIHS says those changes have been big improvements when it comes to keeping occupants safe. Updates to the vehicle’s structure improved frontal crash performance, as demonstrated in the IIHS' small and moderate front overlap tests.

Another safety feature, Honda Sensing, is now standard on EX and above trims. It includes Forward Collision Warning; Road Departure Mitigation (RDM) incorporating Lane Departure Warning (LDW); Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS); and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC).

Swept the crashworthiness tests

With these improvements, the HR-V won the highest possible rating of "Good" in all six crashworthiness tests and a "Superior" rating for its available Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS).

Kelley Blue Book’s (KBB) review of the Honda HR-V shows an MSRP range of between $21,515 and $29,535. The editor’s review calls it a small SUV that’s big on interior room, style, and safety.

“For those seeking compact-car dimensions, price, and fuel economy in a SUV-like form, the 2019 Honda HR-V pushes all the right buttons,” the reviewer writes. “Loaded with features and now with more trim choices and options, the HR-V offers more passenger volume than the Mazda CX-3, better fuel economy than the Chevy Trax or Jeep Renegade and, unlike the Nissan Kicks and Toyota C-HR, the option of all-wheel drive.”

Introduced in 2016 model year

Honda introduced the HR-V in the 2016 model year as an option for consumers looking for an entry-level SUV. It has a 1.8-liter I-4 rated at 141 hp engine under the hood. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is optional on all trim levels.

The 2019 HR-V was given an acceptable headlight rating for the LED reflector headlights on its Touring trim. However, the HR-V's base halogen headlight received a poor rating because IIHS said they provide inadequate visibility in multiple headlight test scenarios.

The HR-V made up for it with its showing in the driver-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraint tests, as well as a good or acceptable rating in the passenger-side small overlap front test.

IIHS said those are key elements to making it as the organization’s Top Safety Pick.

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