NEW FOR 2016:

– All-new model.

Following a trickle of entries over the past few year, the subcompact crossover space has exploded with new offerings for 2016. Honda’s new HR-V is definitely one to watch.

More conventional looking that Nissan’s Juke, more affordable than Buick’s Encore, and decidedly more mainstream than the off-road friendly Jeep Renegade or Fiat 500X, the Honda HR-V could very well be the ticket for folks who want a small crossover without spending big bucks – at the dealer or at the pumps.

The HR-V is based on the Honda Fit’s platform, which means you’ll find the same mid-mounted fuel tank, but the engine is a larger 1.8-litre unit that makes 141 hp and 127 lb-ft of torque. Front-wheel drive models come with either a six-speed manual or a CVT transmission. Honda’s RealTime all-wheel drive is also offered, and comes paired exclusively to the CVT.

You’ll also find the Fit’s Magic Seats here, as well as plenty of rear-seat legroom and cargo space. In fact, there’s more room in the second row and in the cargo bay than most small SUVs and crossovers the next class size up.

The HR-V is available in three trim levels: LX, EX, EX-L Navi. All-wheel drive is an option on the LX and EX, and comes standard on the EX-L Navi.

Features for the LX include Eco Assist driving coach with Econ driving mode, 17-inch alloy wheels, body-coloured spoiler, electronic parking brake, tilt and telescoping steering column, steering-wheel mounted controls for audio and cruise control, rear heating ducts, floor mats, three 12-volt power outlets, LED brake lights, front wiper de-icer, heated power side mirrors with expanded-view driver’s side mirror, heated front seats, multi-angle rear-view camera, climate control, keyless entry, Display Audio with seven-inch screen, Honda Link with text message and Siri Eyes Free functionality, and 160-watt AM/FM/CD stereo with Bluetooth, aux-in and two USB inputs.

The EX adds dual-zone climate control, proximity key with push-button start, a 180-watt stereo system with six speakers, Honda Link smartphone integration, LaneWatch blindspot display, fog lights, cargo cover, illuminated vanity mirrors, privacy glass, mirrors with turn signal indicators, chrome interior accents, and a power sunroof. On models equipped with the CVT, paddles are included for manual shifting.

The EX-L Navi builds on EX equipment levels with leather upholstery, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and leather-wrapped shift-knob, rear-seat centre arm rest, SiriusXM radio, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, roof rails, and satellite-linked navigation. The EX-L also gets active safety technologies including lane-departure warning, and forward collision warning.

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