the updated 2019 honda hr-v receives two notable updates that address areas of pause we had with honda's previous cute 'ute: the media control system and available safety features. for 2019, the hr-v is available with honda's display audio touchscreen system, now featuring a physical volume knob as well as apple carplay and android auto. on the safety side, honda sensing, featuring forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, is available for the first time, but not on all trims: it's standard on hr-v ex and above. in 's inventory, however, the ex is the most prevalent trim among the 2018 lx, ex and ex-l with navigation trims; 2019 sees the addition of sport and touring trims to the lineup. honda sensing also includes lane keep assist and adaptive cruise control.
the hr-v is a size below the venerable cr-v and two sizes below the honda pilot, and is front-wheel drive with available all-wheel drive. the hr-v finished third out of seven subcompact suvs in our last comparison where we knocked it for not having a forward collision warning system with automatic emergency braking, not even as an option, and a touchscreen that was difficult to use without a physical volume knob or traditional buttons.
honda's subcompact suv competes with other small suvs including the jeep renegade, mazda cx-3, subaru crosstrek, fiat 500x, chevrolet trax, nissan rogue sport and hyundai kona. out of breath yet? the subcompact segment suv is booming — oh, there's also the ford ecosport — so honda made a few additional changes to keep up with its new neighbors. we suppose you could also throw in raised ride-height hatchbacks like the toyota ch-r and nissan kicks, which we hesitate to call suv's without the availability of all-wheel drive.
honda's other updates to the 2019 hr-v include an updated continuously variable automatic transmission, which the automaker claims offers a more refined experience, bulked-up sound deadening and the addition of a variable-ratio electric power steering system, which should make a difference in how the honda hr-v drives — which we'll explore closer to when the hr-v goes on sale july 24.
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