Based on the discontinued Fit subcompact, the HR-V has a versatile, cargo-friendly rear seat with bottoms that can flip up to reveal the second-row floor, or with backs that fold down flat and low.
Considerably smaller and less expensive than the CR-V, the HR-V is loud and the ride is stiff.
Handling is responsive and secure.
Power comes from a 141-hp four-cylinder driving either the front or all four wheels.
But the HR-V feels underpowered, an impression amplified by the continuously variable transmission.
The Honda's strengths include its excellent 29 mpg overall, very flexible interior, and generous rear-seat and cargo room.
The front seats are short on support, however.
The EX is the better choice because it comes with FCW and AEB, along with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility.
A redesign, based on the current Civic, is imminent.