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Car Advisor Tamotsu Todoroki

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Honda's CR-V and HR-V -- They May Sound the Same, But They Are Quite Different - Vol.265

Honda's CR-V and HR-V models may be both crossovers with similar names, combining the convenience and value of a family sedan with the power of a SUV, but they are different models, and if you're thinking about buying one or the other, you should know the differences. But first, let's note the similarities. Before getting started, keep in mind that we are comparing the latest generation of the vehicles.

The Similarities
We already said that both the CR-V and HR-V are crossovers, that is, they are built on a car platform and empowered with SUV features, making them safe and practical options for most drivers. Both models are available with automatic or manual transmission and offer you the choice between a front and an all-wheel drive. Judging from professional and customer reviews from around the world, as well as from market performance, both the CR-V and the HR-V offer utility and value while remaining economical, proving to be good choices for most drivers.

The Differences
Now let's look at the differences. Whereas the CR-V is based on the compact Civic, the HR-V springs from the sub-compact Fit platform, which makes it smaller and less powerful. However, the HR-V features an ingenious Magic Seat system, which enables drivers to ingeniously fold up seats to increase the cargo space; in this regard, the HR-V beats the CR-V. On the other hand, the CR-V retains the larger interior, and comes with more optional equipment. The new CR-V has some really exciting features for a vehicle in its class, including driver-assistive technologies such as automatic emergency braking and a power tailgate. The CR-V is actually the best-selling crossover in the United States.

Here's a breakdown of some of the key differences between the CR-V and the HR-V

- The CR-V is ten inches longer, measuring 179 inches. Their width is quite close, the CR-V measuring 71.6 inches while the HR-V 69.7 inches. The height is also close, the CR-V being 65.1 inches while the HR-V 63.2 inches.

- With all seats up, the CR-V has naturally more cargo space, 35 cubic feet compared to HR-V's 24 cubic feet.

- The CR-V has a more powerful motor, a 2.4 liter capable of 185 horsepower. The HR-V's with its 1.8 liter motor offers only 138 horsepower, but you must take into account the car's smaller size.

- Because of their advanced automatic transmissions, both models use fuel effectively. The HR-V provides the better fuel economy, being smaller and having a smaller engine. The interesting thing is that on the highway, the CR-V burns less fuel than the HR-V, probably because of its superior aerodynamics.

- The CR-V incorporates 'Honda Sensing', a set of smart safety technologies featuring emergency steering and braking. While these are not guaranteed to save you from accidents, they can come in handy on the road, and especially in the hectic city traffic. The HR-V comes without these safety technologies, but does offer a rear back up camera, as well as an extra option called Lane Watch, which shows a side view on your screen through a blind spot camera.

Bottom Line
When the CR-V and the HR-V are similarly equipped, the difference in price between them is somewhere around $3,000 to $4,000. If you need the CR-V's extra power and larger storage space, and want the sense of security that comes with the built-in smart emergency braking and steering, you may want to pay the extra bucks. Otherwise, the HR-V can be a great choice, offering excellent performance at a good price for a car in its class.