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Honda HR-V Sport vs LX

1. Overview

To start, the Honda HR-V Sport sits between the LX and EX trims of the popular subcompact crossover. What makes the Sport different from the LX? The Sport is priced at $22,520 (manual transmission) and $23,320 (CVT) compared to the LX at $20,520 (2WD) and $21,320 (AWD). The $2,000 price difference between the two is justifiable with the amount of exterior and interior upgrades. Keep in mind that the MSRP does not include Destination and Handling fees ($940). The front and rear lower bumpers on the Sport are to be admired with its edgy, sporty feel. The front grille is designed with a high-gloss black and the headlights are of the LED type with an auto-off feature. Coming to the sides of the car, the Sport has gloss black underbody spoilers and 18-inch matte black alloyed wheels. The LX doesn't even come close to the wheels on the Sport as it utilizes 17-inch alloyed wheels. As for the rear, a tailgate spoiler has been mounted for the Sport. Both trims have a single exhaust. Jumping to the inside, the Sport has been equipped with a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. The Sport pedals are of aluminum and the driver's seat has an 8-way power adjustment. The LX has a manual seat adjustment with no fancy aluminum pedals. The Sport and LX audio systems share the same head unit but the Sport has an extra speaker bringing the total to six. Both trims have the same TFT gauge and LCD screen but the Sport has an electrostatic touch screen, customizable feature settings, and Honda LaneWatch. (Newstead et al.2020)

1.1. Exterior Design

The 2019 Honda HR-V is a perfect mix of a coupe and a sport utility vehicle, or SUV. It possesses the elevated exterior styling that is unique to an SUV but has the sleek, coupe-like styling that other Honda models carry. The 2019 Honda HR-V Sport makes this a reality with its gloss black lower body side molding, 18-inch black alloy wheels, and exclusive roof rails. It also features a sport exclusive exhaust finish and an Aero kit including a front and rear underbody spoiler. Although this is a pretty sweet look, this only applies to the Sport trim. With the LX trim, you get a 17-inch silver painted alloy wheel but don't possess many options to really elevate the exterior appearance of your HR-V. You can always put these features on after, but Honda just gives those with upper tiers more reasons to purchase them. Both the Sport and the LX share a 141 horsepower CVT 2WD drivetrain but have available AWD as well.

1.2. Interior Features

The Sport and LX are equipped with a 60/40 split second-row Magic Seat that allows for various cargo and passenger mutability. The HR-V Sport comes with dual-mode paddle shifters, Sport exclusive pedals, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob to add to the thrill of driving. With the sport pedals, you can add powerful performance and style with a very sporty touch. These are not offered on the LX model. There are additional interior features that are offered on the Sport model while not available on the LX model such as the 180-watt audio system with 6 speakers, roof rails, and fog lights. The audio system in the Sport has more power and quality than the LX audio system with 160 watts and 4 speakers. The fog lights are an excellent additional safety feature and the roof rails will give you more options when traveling with additional cargo. All this included, the Sport model offers more features geared towards the consumer with an active lifestyle and it offers a modern and aggressive look for a great price.

1.3. Performance

Meanwhile, HR-V LX still uses Continuos Variable Transmission, but it is a regular CVT, not an Earth Dreams Technology. This CVT is a continuation of the previous torque converter CVT that does not seem to contribute much to the driving experience of the car. There is no significant difference in the performance of the old CVT compared to conventional automatic transmission, and the fuel consumption is still less efficient than manual transmission. The ordinary CVT transmission is not as responsive as the torque converter and is less suitable for uphill or overtaking.

The most significant performance difference can be seen when engaging the engine. HR-V Sport is equipped with Earth Dreams Technology CVT (Continuos Variable Transmission) that uses a torque converter. This transmission creates better gear changing and acceleration. Honda claims that CVT Earth Dreams Technology is more efficient than conventional automatic transmission and provides fuel consumption similar to manual transmission. This transmission is the most advanced transmission technology in its class. Paired with the Paddle Shift, this technology makes HR-V Sport have better acceleration and more responsive gear changes.

Another advantage is that HR-V Sport is equipped with Paddle Shift, which can make it easier to set a gear. To make driving in the city or on the highway more comfortable, HR-V Sport and HR-V LX use the same suspensions: MacPherson Strut for the front suspension and H-Shape Torsion Beam suspension at the rear. However, HR-V Sport has bigger alloy wheels (17 inches) and 18-inch tire width, while HR-V LX has 17-inch alloy wheels and 17-inch tire width. The bigger wheel diameter and tire width make HR-V Sport have better handling and driving experience.

Both HR-V Sport and LX are in the Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) car category, but they still have different performance. HR-V Sport has a 1.8L Inline-4 engine compared to HR-V LX, which only has a 1.5L Inline-4 engine. It affects the power of the two variants. HR-V Sport produces 141 hp at 6500 rpm and torque of 172 Nm at 4300 rpm. Meanwhile, HR-V LX produces 119 hp at 6600 rpm and torque of 145 Nm at 4600 rpm.

2. Technology and Safety

In summary, the HR-V Sport is only a bump in the LX model in terms of safety, and a potential buyer should consider the LX if they are really concerned about safety and don't want to spend extra for added safety features in the HR-V Sport. A detailed comparison of features in the HR-V LX model and Honda predecessors is not available, so it will be more interesting to see what extra Honda has to offer in the HR-V Sport and whether it is really worth it.

About advanced safety features, it is said that the HR-V Sport and LX are expected to have improved safety compared to their predecessors. Though not much is known about safety features in the HR-V LX, it is expected to have advanced front airbags, an anti-lock braking system, a collision mitigation braking system, electronic brake distribution, brake assist, stability assist, and many more such features. Adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, road departure mitigation, and some other additional features also seem to be installed in the HR-V Sport, but there is no detailed information about safety features in any models.

The information or entertainment system in Honda has more new features to offer like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a 7-inch display touch screen, which are common features offered in the HR-V Sport and LX. The advantage point of Honda is that it has a physical knob to control the volume. In the HR-V Sport, it has a high-quality 180-watt audio system with 4 speakers, compared to the 160-watt audio system with 4 speakers in the LX model, which is slightly better. The HR-V Sport prospective buyer would have a major concern about the playback lighting in the LX model, which seems bright and can't be changed. Is it really bad and will it be improved in the HR-V Sport? There is no detail mentioned about this. The reply is that the playback dummy in Sport is only a notch better, and the LX model has no provisions to change playback lighting.

2.1. Infotainment System

When it comes to the used infotainment system, both LX and Sport trims have a 7-inch display, but that's about where the similarities end. The LX has a 160-watt audio system with 4 speakers, while the Sport has a 180-watt audio system with 6 speakers along with 2 tweeters. It's not earth-shattering, but it's a start. Moving up to the Sport trim adds a bit more with smartphone and Bluetooth integration along with a second USB port in the center console. This may be a point of contention for some as the Sport is the first to add in smartphone connectivity even though the previous infotainment system remained serviceable. This pretty much is the extent of the infotainment system for both trims. The Sport sound system is a step up from the LX, but beyond that, there is not much more to offer in the way of variety of infotainment features. The only other addition to the infotainment system would be the optional all-wheel drive model on either trim, which adds a real-time AWD with an intelligent control system. This is not so much to do with the infotainment system, but it would alter the driving characteristics of the vehicle.

2.2. Advanced Safety Features

High beam assist is a system that will automatically turn on and off the high beam headlights depending on the surrounding light and traffic conditions. The wiper or linkage-linked wiper de-icer is a simple system to heat the bottom of the windshield wiper to prevent freezing and ensure better wiping performance. Last but not least, HR-V has a multi-angle rearview camera with dynamic guidelines that simply have various options on the angle method and guidelines to assist in better parking in a rearview camera that is standard to all Hondas.

Adaptive cruise control is definitely an enhancement to a regular cruise control system. This feature maintains a pre-selected speed and interval from the detected car in front of you. Once the car in front of you slows down, the system will automatically reduce your speed until a complete stop without braking and accelerate back to the pre-selected speed once the road is clear. This system is especially useful to maintain the speed on the highway or to avoid sudden braking in traffic jams. Honda HR-V Sport and LX have these features, but Sport has the advantage of it with Low speed follow. Low speed follow is a system to maintain and reapply the interval that you set for the cruise control on the adaptive cruise control at a low speed and to a stop. Once the low speed follows a stop, it will disengage the cruise control and doesn't require turning it off and on to reactivate. The other features are complementary to the HR-V safety features, and both models don't have a distinct difference on them. (Trimble et al., 2020)

Automatic emergency warning and reducing system is a safety feature that prevents your car from bumping into others or the other way around. This function is running at all times that will warn the driver and, if necessary, apply the brake and reduce engine power to lessen the impact. HR-V Sport, which has this feature, is a plus compared to LX, which doesn't have it. Lane keeping assist and road departure mitigation are effectively systems to keep your car away from unwanted accidents regarding the lane. This feature will apply a gentle force to the steering wheel to keep the car at the center of the detected lane. When the car is at a high risk of straying to the side of the road, it will apply a strong force to get back to the center of the lane, which will also give vibration to the steering wheel.

3. Comfort and Convenience

Modestly priced vehicles such as the base model HR-V are unlikely to be used as a family vehicle. Nevertheless, some parents may have to transport young children to and from various locations. For these parents, having easy access to the child seat anchor is a very important feature. With the HR-V, it seems a little strange that for $1900 more, the base model HR-V LX is the only vehicle to come with the feature. All other trims have it as an optional extra. Finally, if an electronic parking brake is a must-have feature for you, you'll have to fork out the extra cash for the HR-V VTi-L as it's the only HR-V with an electric park brake.

The HR-V LX features a 60/40 split second-row seat while all other trims have a 60/40 split Magic Seat. What's the difference between the two? Well, a 60/40 split seat will allow the seat to be folded down as one piece, whereas the Magic Seat can fold down in a variety of combinations including Tall Mode, Long Mode, and Utility Mode just to name a few. This is made possible by the bottom cushions of the rear seat actually being able to flip upward, leaving a large flat floored area and access to further storage underneath the seats. Another thing worth mentioning is that Magic Seats are only available with the VSA with traction control and rear tinted glass.

Admittedly, there is no huge difference in comfort and convenience features between the HR-V Sport and LX. The main difference is in the form of the seat.

3.1. Seating and Cargo Space

LX: Seating on base models is fabric and the driver's seat is manual. The dimensions are 41.6/39.3 inches of headroom, 41.2/39.6 inches of legroom, and 56.8/49.4 inches of shoulder room. The HR-V comes standard with a 60/40 split 2nd row Magic Seat for added versatility between more seating or more cargo space. The second row Magic Seat on HR-V is key to its class-leading space efficiency. The Magic Seat feature can be operated by using one hand from the rear seat knee area. This seat configuration allows the seat backs to fold down flat, creating 58.8 cu-ft. of cargo space. With the rear seats in the upright position, a low and flat floor is created, enhancing cargo space to 24.3 cu-ft. When tall items need to be transported in the rear seat area, the seat bottoms can be raised by using a second fold located at the corner of each seat. With the seat bottoms raised, the folded seat backs create an added space below the seat for the tall cargo more than 18 inches high. With the complete array of seat conversions and multiple cargo mode, the HR-V features versatility and a cargo space advantage unrivaled by competitors in the subcompact SUV category.

3.2. Climate Control

The touch screen automatic AC panels will come down to personal preference. Some special drivers who have their habits may have chosen the right temperature and have automatic climate control on for the rest of their lives. Dual zone feature is more significant for couples who have different temperature preferences between husbands and wives. This feature, compared to a single climate control panel, is more "economical" in the use of energy and certainly cheaper when the replacement of the climate control panel is damaged because of only one control panel for two climate controls. However, the simple climate control in HRV's basic type is still beyond Toyota's climate control in G type Real Facelift. Both are single control but the AC panel in HRV is fully electronic, while the AC switch on Toyota is still analogue.

Climate control inside the car is chosen and customized specifically for the needs of the driver and the passengers. Automatic air conditioners and touch-screen displays are the most advanced features between the three cars. The displays show the current temperature settings for the driver and the passenger (dual zones) and the system setting. Functions are customized and selected with the touch screen display. All Honda HRV variants are equipped with automatic air conditioner, however only the RS variant, which was launched in 2014, has the touch screen display. All CRV, HRV's big brother, variants are also equipped with automatic air conditioner with touch screen display. However, the differentiator between these two cars is the climate control temperature and the displays. Step above, CRV is equipped with a dual zone display and automatic air conditioner.

4. Price and Options

Hr-v Sport and LX both have affordable price ranges, with Sport's highest price ($24,590) only a little steeper than LX's lowest one ($20,520). Most of the Sport's various trims are each only a couple hundred dollars more expensive than one of the LX trims, with 3 exceptions - the difference between LX AWD and Sport AWD is $2,200, between LX AWD and Sport Touring AWD is $3,230, and between LX 2WD and Sport Touring AWD is $3,240. Potential buyers may wish to carefully examine what many additional features each Sport trim provides and consider whether the higher cost is justifiable. Once a buyer has decided between LX and Sport, the decision could still prove difficult because 4 of the available Sport trims are within $400 of LX AWD. For someone who doesn't want AWD but does want a few extra features, the $800 difference between LX 2WD and Sport is quite modest. However, the consumer who is intent on getting AWD might opt to shell out an additional $1,600 for it in the form of any of the various Sport trims, rather than getting the one and only LX AWD. The cost between an LX AWD and Sport AWD is considerably higher, but potential buyers should bear in mind that there are several more creature comforts accompanying the AWD system in the Sport. The highest end Sport Touring AWD rings in at $29,135, which is a full $8,615 higher than LX 2WD but only $780 more than LX AWD.

4.1. Price Comparison

The base model 2019 HR-V LX with front-wheel drive and a CVT is priced at $20,520 including an $895 destination charge. All-wheel drive adds $1,300 to the bottom line. The Sport trim starts at $22,220 - mostly because AWD is standard. This mid-line Sport AWD we test drove stickers at $23,220. That's a thin $740 premium over an equivalent HR-V LX AWD. Note these prices are less than 2018 HR-Vs. Honda has made a decision to reduce base prices while making Honda Sensing available on more models. The target is to make Honda Sensing available on at least 85% of their vehicles by 2020 and standard on all vehicles by 2022. As of this writing Honda Sensing is not available on any HR-V, but Honda said it should become available some time during the 2019 model year. The availability of Honda Sensing is not mentioned in any official press release and may be available only on certain trims so stay tuned for updates on this. Another option on nearly all subcompact crossovers is a moonroof and the HR-V is no exception. Moonroof availability starts on the HR-V Sport and it is a $1,000 option. There is no option to get a moonroof on an HR-V LX or EX. The only other notable price variation comes from the top-of-the-line HR-V Touring. It's the only HR-V to get 18 inch wheels. This model starts at $28,540 for FWD or AWD. All 2019 HR-Vs use the same 4-cylinder engine so the Touring doesn't give you more power, but you do get an automatic dimming rearview mirror, HomeLink, and an extra 2 speakers for the stereo. The biggest downside to getting an HR-V Touring is that it is the only HR-V that does not offer a manual transmission or AWD. If you are after a manual or AWD you are limited to the LX, Sport, EX, or EX-L. Let's break that information down into chart form for easier consumption: This chart illustrates prices and options described in this section and is based off of Honda's official pricing as of 8/30/2018. Prices are subject to change and it's possible we will update this chart in the future.

4.2. Available Options

Available options for the HR-V are absolutely anything you want, as long as it's either a $1300 CVT or $1250 AWD. What you see is what you get here, and although the obvious disadvantage is that it's impossible to build an HR-V to your personal taste, the advantage is that there's no way to feel like you got ripped off here with options prices that are multiples higher priced elsewhere. Every HR-V gets just a single option/package set, and the already well equipped LX can add the popular Honda Sensing Suite of safety nannies for $1000. Comparing to the base model Fit, HR-V Sport and above grades will sub on the Fit's torsion beam rear suspension with a more substantial and better riding independent set, so no matter what the spec sheet says, always go with the higher grade if you're looking to buy one. At an unknown price point, Honda could very well just eliminate the Sport model entirely and give the LX a couple trims, although it's also possible for the Sport to slide in under the LX with an MSRP around $23,000. Time will tell here.


Newstead, S., Rampollard, C., Budd, L., Keall, M., Watson, L., & Cameron, M. (2022). Vehicle Safety Ratings Estimated from Police-Reported Crash Data: 2022 Update: Australian and New Zealand Crashes During 1987-2020. monash.edu

Trimble, T. E., Baker, S. A., Russell, S. M., & Tidwell, S. (2020). Consumer driving automation system education: A learning and retention assessment. vt.edu

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