2019 Honda HR-V Gains Sport Trim, But Loses Stick Shift

Facelift

Honda's subcompact crossover now comes only with a CVT.

Honda has rolled out a series of revisions to the HR-V for 2019. And while they include a new Sport trim level, they unfortunately also do away with the six-speed manual transmission.

That leaves the 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine mated only to a continuously variable transmission, which is about as far on the gearbox spectrum as you can get from a stick-shift as previously offered. But the CVT has been reworked for 2019 for a more natural feel. As before, the engine drives its 141 horsepower and 127 lb-ft of torque to the front wheels or (optionally) all four.

The new Sport model is available in either configuration, slotting in between the base LX and the next-level EX trims. It stands apart with gloss-black lower body trim, wheel arches, and door mirrors, as well as a honeycomb grille, chrome exhaust finisher, and its own set of 18-inch wheels. The interior also benefits from a black headliner, leather-trimmed wheel and shifter, sport pedals, and contrasting stitching.

Also new is the top-of-the-line Touring model, which features similar visual enhancements to the Sport, but body-painted and matched to 17-inch wheels. It also gets LED head- and fog lights, and comes equipped with all the bells and whistles.

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Regardless of which trim level you choose, the 2019 Honda HR-V benefits from updated styling, better sound insulation, and a host of advanced safety and driver-assistance technologies. The full Honda Sensing suite now features, including collision-mitigation braking, road-departure mitigation, adaptive cruise control, and lane keeping systems.

The bumpers, grille, headlights, and taillights are all new. And there's a fresh Display Audio system inside with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. Revised pricing starts at $21,515 (delivered) for a base, front-drive HR-V LX, and tops out at $29,535 for the top Touring model (which comes standard with the all-wheel drive system available at every trim level).

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