What’s the Difference Between the Honda CR-V and the Honda HR-V

July 10th, 2020 by

A well known Honda SUV, a red 2020 Honda CR-V Touring, is parked on a hill with a city in the distance.

It should come as no surprise that at Honda of Newnan, we offer the full line of Honda SUVs. Honda currently offers five SUVs, each one with a unique set of features sure to please many drivers. That being said, our customers often ask us what the difference is between the Honda CR-V and the Honda HR-V. These are two crossovers that, at first glance, look awfully similar and have a similar name; however, they offer an incredibly different driving experience. To put it simply, the CR-V is a compact SUV and the HR-V is a smaller subcompact. While the results of this size difference can be difficult to notice at first, it actually plays a big role in how each of these vehicles performs. At Honda of Newnan, we’re all about being transparent and honest with our customers, providing them with the info they need to make an educated car buying decision. For that reason, we’ll unpack the differences between the Honda CR-V and the Honda HR-V and what you can expect from either model.

A Discussion of Trims and Pricing

For the sake of this post, we figured it’d be a good idea to focus in on the latest model of each of these vehicles, the 2020 Honda CR-V and the 2020 Honda HR-V. The Honda CR-V is clearly the larger of the two crossovers, and it should come to no surprise that it is also the pricier option. That said, this higher sticker price has some pay off that extends beyond just sizing. When you step into a baseline model of the Honda CR-V, you’ll have an MSRP of $25,050.1 Although, if you’re looking for an upgrade, you’ll find plenty of options to choose from as drivers can opt between the LX, EX, EX-L, and Touring. There are also hybrid variants of the Honda CR-V, which include the Hybrid LX, Hybrid EX, Hybrid EX-L, and Hybrid Touring.

Meanwhile, the Honda HR-V starts at an MSRP of $20,820, which makes a lot of sense considering its more compact appearance.1 While there aren’t any hybrid powertrains available for the Honda HR-V, drivers will be able to choose between the LX, Sport, EX, and EX-L. While price and trim configurations are certainly huge differences that separate the CR-V and HR-V from one another, the contrast runs deeper than just the outer appearances.

A white 2020 Honda HR-V LX is parked in front of a cafe near Newnan, GA.

How the Engines Compare

Step into a base model of the Honda CR-V, and you’re guaranteed to find a much more robust engine than the one you’ll find in the Honda HR-V. Although considering the size difference, the Honda HR-V requires far less power to propel it forward, which results in a smaller engine. That said, the power output of the Honda HR-V doesn’t fall that far behind its bigger cousin.

The entry powertrain of the Honda CR-V utilizes a 1.5-liter turbo-4 engine that produces 190 horsepower and 179 lb-ft of torque, with the help of a CVT or continuously variable transmission. This model can be configured with both front-wheel and all-wheel drive. When properly equipped, the CR-V can tow up to 1,500 pounds, and while the hybrid variant has a far higher estimated fuel economy, when equipped with FWD, the Honda CR-V earns 28 MPG in the city and 34 MPG on the highway.2

Speaking of the hybrid powertrain, the 2020 Honda CR-V has an EPA-estimated rating of 40 MPG in the city and 35 MPG on the highway, which is quite impressive considering the size of this SUV.3 The gas-electric powertrain is also the more robust option within the Honda CR-V lineup, as it utilizes both a 2.0-liter inline-4 gas engine, an electric motor, and a lithium-ion battery. All of that gear combined amounts to 212 horsepower total.

So, what about the performance of the Honda HR-V? All models use a 1.8-liter inline-4 engine that makes out 141 horsepower and 127 lb-ft of torque with the help of a CVT. This combination makes for some reasonably zippy performance when pushed to its limits, and the EPA-estimated fuel economy of 28 MPG in the city and 34 MPG on the highway doesn’t hurt either for front-wheel drive models.4 That said, you can improve handling if you trade out the standard front-wheel drivetrain for a more versatile all-wheel drive.

While there may be some pretty distinct performance differences, both of these vehicles reach similar marks in terms of interior quality.

Stepping Inside the Honda CR-V and Honda HR-V

The black interior and seats inside a 2020 Honda CR-V Touring are shown from the passenger side.

No matter which model you purchase, both the Honda CR-V and the Honda HR-V provide a pretty substantial interior. While the Honda CR-V is far bigger, you’ll still get plenty of room for passengers and cargo in the Honda HR-V. The Honda CR-V sports a pretty spacious cabin, with a max cargo capacity of 68.7 cubic feet of cargo room in hybrid models and 75.8 cubic feet in gas-powered models. Rear seat passengers get a healthy amount of legroom, as there are 40.4 inches to spread out in. And with cloth in base models, and leather in higher trims, riding in the Honda CR-V is quite the luxurious experience. The same can be said of the Honda HR-V.

While the HR-V is a subcompact crossover, the max cargo room of the Honda HR-V expands to 58.8 cubic feet of cargo room when you fold down those rear seats. Legroom also exists on a similar level, as rear-seat passengers will get 39.3 inches of legroom to thoroughly enjoy. And just like its bigger family member, cloth upholstery is standard while higher-tier materials are optional in top-end trims.

What about interior tech? Well, neither the Honda HR-V nor the Honda CR-V skimp in this area either. The Honda CR-V comes standard with a decent 5.0-inch analog infotainment system; however, you can quickly upgrade that to a 7.0-inch touch display that is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. High end trims also throw in a premium audio system, and a wireless smartphone charger for good measure. Safety in the Honda CR-V is another clear tech highlight, as all models can expect to find a healthy suite of equipment, including automatic emergency braking.

The Honda HR-V shapes similarly to its bigger counterpart, getting the same 5.0-inch non-touch display in base models. That said, a simple upgrade will result in a 7.0-inch infotainment touchscreen that gets Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Tech only accelerates from there, adding in heated seats, a sunroof, keyless ignition, and an advanced navigations system. Safety is another huge highlight for the Honda HR-V as all models get automatic emergency braking. Step up to higher trims, though, and you’ll find more advanced features such as adaptive cruise control and active lane control.

As you may already be able to tell, no matter which model you step in, both the Honda HR-V and the Honda CR-V provide a pretty incredible interior experience.

Purchasing Your Dream Honda SUV at Honda of Newnan

If you’re interested in buying the Honda HR-V or the Honda CR-V, you should seek services from an auto retailer that will always put you and your automotive interests first; and you can find exactly that at Honda of Newnan. We’re more than your basic dealership, and will push the envelope in everything we do from the cars we sell to the services that we provide. And if you’re still on the fence, don’t worry, our team will be your partners throughout the car buying process. At Honda of Newnan, we make it our number one goal to ensure that you feel 100% satisfied with the car you drive home in.


1 MSRP excluding tax, license, registration, $1,120.00 destination charge and options. Dealers set own prices.

2 (Non-Hybrid CR-V) 28 city/34 highway/30 combined mpg rating for 2WD trims. 27 city/32 highway/29 combined mpg rating for AWD trims. Based on 2020 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions and other factors.

3 (Hybrid CR-V) 40 city/35 highway/38 combined mpg rating. Based on 2020 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, battery-pack age/condition and other factors.

4 28 city/34 highway/30 combined mpg rating for 2WD trims. 27 city/31 highway/29 combined mpg rating for AWD LX trims. 26 city/31 highway/28 combined mpg rating for AWD Sport, EX, EX-L & Touring trims. Based on 2020 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions and other factors.

Posted in Honda SUVs