2016 Honda HR-V Does Passenger- and Cargo-Carrying Right


Sometimes changing one thing can change everything. That’s what Honda did when it put the fuel tank in the all-new 2016 HR-V subcompact SUV under the front seats instead of the more common location under the rear seats. The move has helped create one of the roomiest — and most configurable — interiors in the class.

Related: 2016 Honda HR-V Review

The HR-V isn’t a big vehicle — it’s about 10 inches shorter than the Honda CR-V compact SUV — but it lives like one with an extremely comfortable backseat. The seating position is great for adults, especially with its reclining backrest. There’s also generous rear legroom of 39.3 inches and decent headroom. Competitors like the Nissan Juke and Mitsubishi Outlander Sport have 32.1 inches and 36.3 inches of rear legroom, respectively; the Jeep Renegade has 35.1 inches of rear legroom, and the Chevrolet Trax measures 35.7. The HR-V surpasses them all with passenger room that rivals some compact SUVs.


Relocating the gas tank also makes room for a configurable 60/40-split bench seat. Like other competitors, the backrest folds to create an extended cargo area, but the whole assembly drops especially low to the floor, increasing usable cargo space. The seat also has a unique Tall Mode where the bottom cushions flip up like in an extended-cab pickup truck to make a tall cargo space for a bike or flat-screen TV.

2016_honda_HR-V_backseat3_MH.jpg 2016 Honda HR-V; | photo by Mike Hanley

The packaging layout also gives the HR-V more cargo room than its competitors; in front-wheel-drive versions, there’s 24.3 cubic feet behind the rear seats, and with the backseat folded there’s a maximum of 58.8 cubic feet. That’s ahead of the Renegade (18.5/50.8 cubic feet), Outlander Sport (21.7/49.5), Trax (18.7/48.4) and Juke (10.5/35.9).


Subcompact SUVs offer an appealing blend of gas mileage, lower starting prices and fashionable looks, but some shoppers may dismiss them altogether, thinking they don’t have enough room on the inside. That’s true of some in the segment, but not the HR-V. Its space and versatility impress.

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Mike Hanley has more than 20 years of experience reporting on the auto industry. His primary focus is new vehicles, and he's currently a Senior Road Test Editor overseeing expert car reviews and comparison tests. He previously managed Editorial content in the Research section. Email Mike Hanley

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