Earlier this spring Honda rolled out the all-new HR-V five-passenger crossover utility vehicle designed to blend the styling of a coupe with the toughness and space of an SUV.

With a base price starting below $21,000, the HR-V is available in front- or all-wheel drive configuration and offers consumers the option of three trim levels — LX, EX and EX-L-Navi.

All models are powered by a 1.8-liter I-4 engine delivering 141 horsepower and 127 lbs.-ft. torque. Mated to either a CVT or 6-speed manual transmission, it requires regular unleaded gasoline and has an EPA fuel economy rating of 28 mpg city, 35 mpg highway for front-wheel drive models equipped with CVT (27 mpg and 32 mpg respectively when equipped with all-wheel drive with CVT).

Rated as an Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle, where the HR-V shines is with its flexibility.

Developed on Honda’s Global Compact Series platform, the HR-V utilizes a center-mounted fuel tank layout and reconfigurable second-row Magic Seat that provides a multitude of passenger/cargo option. With the rear seat folded flat, the HR-V has the capacity for up to 58.8 cubic feet of cargo room — equal to that of many mid-size SUV models.

One of the things I noticed during my evaluation was how the HR-V is very city friendly. This is an extremely easy to maneuver vehicle on crowded streets and tight parking lots — traits that were very much appreciated as most of my daily driving takes place in the city.

I also noticed the cavernous amount of space inside the cabin. While classified as a compact vehicle, it doesn’t ride like a small car at all.

Utilizing Honda’s next-generation ACE body structure, standard safety features for the HR-V include four-channel anti-lock brakes with brake assist and hill start assist, vehicle stability assist with electronic stability control system, an expanded view driver’s mirror, a multi-angle rearview camera, dual-stage multiple-threshold front airbags, driver and front passenger SmartVent side airbags, side-curtain airbags for all outboard seating positions and tire pressure monitoring system, to list but a few. Honda LaneWatch display is included on EX and EX-L-Navi trim levels.

All three models are nicely equipped. Standard features on the base HR-V LX include 17-inch wheels, tilt and telescoping steering wheel, cruise control, steering wheel-mounted controls for audio and Bluetooth HandsFreeLink phone interface, audio system with 5-inch color display, auto headlights, one-touch turn signals, intermittent wipers, power windows and door locks, also, to list but a few. The list increases as you move up the trim level ladder.

For those in the market for a crossover, add the HR-V to the test drive list.

Neal White has been covering the automotive industry for more than 20 years and is affiliated with the Texas Auto Writers Association.

The Nuts and Bolts

MODEL:

2016 Honda HR-V

5-seat crossover  

Front-, or all-wheel drive

Trim packages:

LX, EX, EX-L-Navi

PRICE RANGE:

$21,000-$29,000

ENGINE:

1.8L I4 (141 hp/127 T)

TRANSMISSION:

CVT

6-speed manual

EPA: 25/28/27 mpg city, 34/35/32 mpg highway (FWD MT/FWD CVT/AWD CVT)

FUEL: Regular unleaded

STABILITY CONTROL:

Vehicle stability assist with traction control

BRAKES: ABS

LENGTH: 169.1 inches

WHEELBASE: 102.8 in.

WIDTH: 69.8 inches

HEIGHT: 63.2 inches

WEIGHT: 2888-3109 lbs.

TRACK: 60.4/60.6

(front/rear)

FUEL TANK: 13.2 gallons

TIRES: 17-inch

CARGO: 24.3/58.8 cubic feet (behind 2nd/1st row).