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Honda HRV LX vs Sport

1. Key Differences

The differences in style carry on to the interior of the cars. A good example of this is with the LX and Sport AWD models. The LX uses its display audio system which, to put it simply, looks like a tablet glued to the dash. Below the display, there is an analogue style climate control which then has the gear shifter and various control buttons below that. The Sport model does away with the dual screen and uses a 7-inch touch screen as well as a more simplistic single zone climate control with the previous gear shift and controls being replaced with a center console reminiscent of the Civic and Accord. The LX takes the practicality approach with its dual screen setup but some might say the single screen suits the car with its more modern and sporty feel. The Sport also has a higher quality of materials used for the upholstery with a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. [1]

The HR-V LX’s style is reflected in its more relaxed, sleeker form. The front grille and rear tail lights are relatively simple, with no piano black body kit. Comparatively, the Sport’s body style is much more aggressive. The front grille is replaced with a bolder and angular matte black style. Piano black can be found around the deeper air intake and running along the lower part of the front bumper. It gives off a distinctive sports car feel similar to the Type R. At the rear, the black body kit is continued with more aggressive body lines and a deeper bumper. While some may not have a preference, there is no doubt that the two styles cater to different audiences.

1.1. Exterior Design

The Honda HRV LX and the Honda HRV Sport have substantial differences in their design since they belong to two different trims. The Honda HRV LX has 17-inch alloy wheels, auto on/off headlights, remote entry, LED brake lights, security system, rear roofline spoiler, and body-colored side mirrors with power and heat features (Honda Weymouth, 2018). These are all base features and nothing that stands out to be something completely new or different from the previous model. Now taking a look at the Honda HRV Sport, there is a new version of 18-inch alloy wheels, roof rails, gloss black exterior mirrors, and underbody spoilers on both the front and the back on both sides (Honda Weymouth, 2018). The new wheel design is an eye-catcher and definitely stands out much better than the base 17-inch alloy wheels on the LX trim. Moving down, we see that the Sport trim has roof rails which are lacking on the LX because many customers use roof rails for things like bike racks or snowboards, so this is a key feature that may steer customers onto the sport model. A big eye-catcher on the sport model would be the exterior color, which is Orange Burst Metallic. This color would not be available on the LX trim, and this would stand out to someone who is looking for a more flashy and head-turning color. There are also several different added accessories that can also be purchased for the Honda HRV Sport, such as fender emblems, a car cover, body side molding, a nose mask, door visors, and a moonroof visor. In a nutshell, the Honda HRV Sport has a more rugged and custom design compared to the Honda HRV LX.

1.2. Interior Features

The last thing to mention is the paddle shifters only available on the Sport model, as well as the Sport having DCR (Dependable Compact Routing) steering system, although we're still unsure how the DCR system specifically affects steering feel. Both of these features are for the driving enthusiast, so they're very welcomed options.

Noise and sound have always been what Honda does best, and the Sport trim does have some slight improvements over the LX. Both are very insulated cars with very minimal road noise getting into the cabin. The LX is standard with a 160-watt 4-speaker system, while the Sport comes with a standard 180-watt 6-speaker system. Both systems are very capable, but the extra speakers and watts on the Sport help with a fuller sound throughout the cabin.

The interior features of the LX and Sport HRVs are a little more different between the two trims. The LX comes with standard manual seat adjustment with cloth material, and the Sport comes with a standard 8-way power driver seat capability as well as having leather seating. Keyless access is standard on all HRVs, but the LX doesn't have the walk away auto lock, which means if you're not used to locking your doors, you could potentially lock your keys in the car. The Sport comes with this feature. The LX HRV doesn't have standard auto climate control; it has simple dials for control, whereas the Sport comes with a touch screen climate control interface.

1.3. Performance

The second major difference is the inclusion of steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters on the Sport versions. This little feature, included in vehicles, has been something that any potential buyer testing a car with them has raved about, and it is a great little addition to cars in terms of resale if the vehicle doesn't get used by all people who may prefer automatic gears. Paddle shifters assist manual gears up and down without a clutch, great for changing gears without using your left foot on automatic cars, and also useful for driving/retaining control of the car in certain situations such as towing. In vehicles where paddle shifters are included, one should always consider driving with the paddles instead of selecting D if wanting to maintain better control and fuel economy of the vehicle.

The differences in the performance specifications comparing the HRV LX and the Sport are more noticeable in the new Sport, and they directly affect the way the car looks aesthetically. The most notable difference is the change in the rims, up to an 18" diameter for Sport trims as opposed to LX, which is 17". This is something that is directly noticeable on the exterior of the vehicle.

2. Price Comparison

Before any analysis, it is crucial to understand pricing. In the automobile industry, the price of a vehicle can tell us a lot before analyzing any of its specifics. Both cars are fairly close in base price, with a $1,105 difference. The slight price increase can be attributed to the slight upgrade from the LX model to the Sport model. Honda gives a nice breakdown of why there is a difference in price between the LX and Sport HRV. The breakdown tells us that the difference in price could be largely attributed to sharper steering and handling with a slightly more responsive throttle on the Sport model. The upgrade in wheels with the Sport model is said to have improved the overall quality of the ride and increased levels of noise, vibration, and harshness. Finally, they state that with the new electronic parking brake in the 2018 HRV, it saves space in the center console, allowing an extra cupholder and an armrest, which increases the practicality and comfort of the vehicle. This is reflected by the marginal increase in price from the 2017-2018 LX HRV. The HRV is pretty limited in optional packages, with only adding on to the base model of the car with little variation between the four-wheel drive and the two-wheel drive. This makes it easier to compare than the many other vehicles with numerous optional packages that can change the price of a vehicle drastically. [2]

2.1. Base Price

The base prices for the HR-V LX and Sport are the same, and the base model Sport is only available with a 2WD model, which LX buyers can choose between standard 2WD or a continuously variable transmission (CVT) version of 2WD for an extra $800. This CVT version of 2WD will be an extra $670 for Sport buyers compared to the standard 6-speed manual transmission. With these transmissions being the only difference between 2WD LX and Sport and the base price being exactly the same, it would be wiser for a potential 2WD HR-V buyer to buy the LX trim and forgo the added Sport equipment that they may already dislike. This is mainly due to the Honda HR-V being classified as a subcompact SUV and the added Sport equipment being better suited for the AWD model. The real difference between base prices comes when considering the AWD model. Unlike the 2WD, the base model AWD Sport is priced exactly the same as the AWD LX, which is ideal for a potential Sport buyer as they will not be sacrificing any base equipment while upgrading to AWD. When comparing the base AWD model to the LX 2WD with CVT, the price increase will be exactly $1000. The base equipment that the LX 2WD with CVT already includes such as a multi-angle rearview camera, LED taillights, security system, and 160-watt audio system with 4 speakers will also be found on the AWD model. Now adding the $1000 dollar difference, a 2WD LX buyer will essentially be paying an extra $1670 for an AWD version with these extra features, making it a great deal for those content with the LX equipment.

2.2. Optional Packages

The additional package for the Honda HRV Sport is the Technology Package. This includes a Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System. This provides state-of-the-art image guidance with 3D graphics. The system has lane guidance, live search, and the ability to browse the internet. The navigation gets continuously updated and can even lead you to your destination with a walking route. This could be handy for drivers that live in urban areas. This system commonly comes with Voice Recognition while using the navigation system. This will mostly keep drivers safe as they do not need to use the screen and their attention will still be focused on the road. A second part of this package is the Honda HD Digital Traffic. This is an even more advanced service compared to the free traffic updates given by navigation apps on a smartphone. It has over 3 years coverage and provides continuous updates every 30 seconds. The service has a high coverage area and covers surface streets, highways, and even newly built roads. This will allow drivers to avoid traffic or blocked routes in a clear and timely manner.

The Honda HRV LX and Sport both come with additional packages that are only available for the specific trim. The difference, however, is that the HRV Sport has one more additional package than the LX. The optional packages for the LX include the Smart Entry Package. This package includes methods for locking and unlocking car doors. This is beneficial as keys are no longer required, and the driver simply has to carry the remote transmitter for the car. This is also in conjunction with Push Button Start, which adds on an element of convenience for the driver. Using the Smart Entry Remote, the driver can start the engine without actually needing to insert the key. A Security System is also integrated in this package. It adds the element of security as it provides a remote fob that will sound the alarm and flash the lights if the car is detected being opened using any method other than the remote. If this package is installed on a model that has automatic climate control, there will be an Automatic Climate Control with Electrostatic Touch-Screen Package. This upgrade to the climate control comes with a simple to use and more informative touch-screen.

3. Safety and Technology

The Honda HR-V has been a very popular car/van model across the world. It has come in various models and trims, but today we are going to compare the LX and the Sport. Each HR-V model has different features, so if you are trying to choose between the two, this information can be helpful. Coming in four or front-wheel drive, the LX trim's standard features include halogen projector-beam headlamps, remote entry, LED taillamps, rearview camera, security system, cruise control, a tilting and telescoping steering wheel (that now has illuminated control), and a 160-watt 4-speaker audio system with USB and 12-volt outlets. Moving to the Sport trim has added appeal with its feature additions—most notably with the inclusion of both the Honda Sensing features and AWD. Now AWD can be added to any of the HR-V trims, leading into the Sport. Honda Sensing is a suite of safety features that include Lane Keeping Assist that will adjust steering to bring your vehicle back into staying between the lines, Road Departure Mitigation that can adjust and bring the car back to the roadway, Adaptive Cruise Control which is adaptable between 4 settings varying in distance from the vehicle ahead of you, and with a low speed range follow, and finally Collision Mitigation Braking System which will brake the vehicle when an unavoidable collision is determined. Additionally, the sport has added features of roof rails, auto on/off LED headlamps, fog lights, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, push button start, and a 180-watt 6-speaker audio system, vs 160-watt 4-speaker system on other trims. Back to safety, the Sport has the Honda Lane Watch system which activates the turn signal camera mounted in the passenger side mirror when you signal right, left or press the button on the end of the turn signal stalk. This Honda Sensing and Honda Lane Watch combination will definitely benefit those who are more safety and technologically concerned, though it comes at higher price than the base LX but still lower than a top trimmed EX-L Navi with AWD.

3.1. Safety Features

Both the HRV LX and Sport are rather similar when it comes to pricing, but the feature differences are not overly substantial. On the safety front, the LX does come with a few more features than the Sport model. The 2018 HRV Sport has been equipped with Honda's latest safety suits, including an improved front crash and sidemarker to assist headlight. In comparison to the Sport model, the LX comes with Honda's LaneWatch installed on the passenger-side mirror as well as a Forward Collision Warning intertwined with Collision Mitigation Braking System. This is a system which is only suitable for the LX model. Given that the IIHS rated the HR-V 'Good' in all categories of crash testing, these extra features will make the LX model safer than the Sport. Although the Sport would be categorized as safe, the lane watch and forward collision warning are significant inclusions to reduce the severity of accidents. This may be an important factor to the family-oriented buyers that will be leaning towards the HR-V. The only downside is that the LX model only comes with AWD, therefore, buyers that are seeking these extra safety features on an FWD version of the HR-V will not be rewarded.

3.2. Infotainment System

The LX and Sport models both come with a 5-inch color LCD screen in the center console, which is able to stream music, display a rearview camera, or show what you are listening to on the radio. This model of HRV is the last to have this feature, as the 2020 HRV came with a larger, 7-inch touch screen. With that being said, even though the screen size is small, it is still very functional and easy to use. It is user-friendly, and the interface is very intuitive. These models also come with Bluetooth HandsFreeLink and streaming audio as standard features. The infotainment system in the LX and Sport is very similar to the systems in the previous models of the HRV before the 2019 version. With the color display audio, the LX and Sport both have USB audio interface and auxiliary input jacks to plug in your phone or iPod.

The 2019 Honda HR-V LX and HR-V Sport come with different trim levels of the same vehicle, and thus you would expect them to be very similar in terms of features or options. However, one noticeable difference is with the audio systems. The Sport model comes with a 180-watt, 6-speaker system, as compared to the LX model which has a 160-watt, 4-speaker system. This doesn't seem like a significant upgrade, but in terms of audio quality, the speakers in the Sport model produce a clearer and richer sound quality.

3.3. Connectivity Options

By connecting their smartphone to the HRV using Bluetooth, the driver will be able to access their smartphone's functions using the Display Audio interface. The driver will be able to make and answer phone calls using the vehicle's audio system, without having to take their hands off the steering wheel. They will also be able to select music from the smartphone using the vehicle's audio interface. Smartphone functions can also be used by voice command; Apple's Siri Eyes Free is supported on iPhone 4s and later models. In addition to smartphone connectivity, Display Audio also offers a variety of options for playing music and audio from other sources. Bluetooth pairing can not only be used for smartphones, but also to connect many other types of portable audio player; paired devices can be switched wirelessly from the vehicle audio controls. The system also supports the Bluetooth A2DP audio streaming profile, allowing audio to be played from any Bluetooth-compatible device. For direct audio connections, a USB port is located inside the centre console, to which an iPod or iPhone can be connected using a standard Apple USB lead. The USB port can also be used to play music files from a USB memory stick. Owners of the vehicle are strongly advised to check the compatibility of their device on the Honda website, as some devices may not be compatible due to differences in Bluetooth or software standards.

4. Customer Reviews

The LX customer praised Honda. Honda HR-V LX customers are very satisfied with the HR-V, as shown by the positive statement based on the 14 consumer reports gathered. Typically, most Honda products, HR-V LX gain customer satisfaction. A 5 feet 7 man said that he is very impressed with the Audio and Connectivity in HR-V LX, could not believe there is a touch screen in the car at this price, he said. A female in her 30s is very satisfied with the cargo space and feels very detailed about the features, though she might have some difficulty finding the paddle shifter. Still in features, the next customer said that he is very impressed with the ECO Assist feature in HR-V LX. It really makes the car fuel efficient. The fuel efficiency is also supported by the AWD system which has its own module. The customer says that the AWD has a very good efficiency to run for his daily driving through the winter. Last but not least, a man in his 50s appreciates HR-V LX as a well-built car with the features and quality. It must be a mistake, and he is impressed that this car is better than CR-V in all things.

4.1. Pros and Cons

Pros for the HRV LX include the fact that it has a smoother ride than the sport model. The ride in the HRV LX is not as harsh as that of the sport model. The HRV LX is also cheaper. The cost of the HRV Sport model starts at $21,620, this is $3,230 more than the HRV LX. The HRV LX also has better fuel economy. It averages 30 mpg while the HRV sport averages 28 mpg. This could have to do with the fact that the HRV LX is lighter than the sport model. The HRV LX has more space between the wheels 102.8 in compared to the sports 100.4 in. The HRV LX also has more space within the vehicle. It has 5 more inches of front headroom, 3 more inches of front shoulder room, and 1 more inch of front hip room. Finally, there is the delayed player function. At a glance, this is not too important, but for those who like to listen to the radio or iPod, it can be frustrating when plugging in an aux cord or turning on the car to find the radio has started playing music. This is because the navigation that was last used is the same that will be used when the car is on again. This is a simple difference that is only a button, but for many people, this can be quite useful. The HRV LX has a proper on/off function for the audio system.

4.2. Overall Satisfaction

After owning the LX for a little over a year, my expectations of Honda quality and reliability still stay untarnished. I believe that the 'new' 1.8L 4cyl engine connected to a CVT gearbox in the current AWD configuration finally provides a powertrain that's both economical and efficient considering the weight class of the vehicle. The utilitarian interior and comfortable ride make longer road trips quite enjoyable and worthy of Honda's reputation. The AWD system, albeit not as sophisticated as what you'd find in a SH-AWD Acura, gives peace of mind in both dry and snow weather scenarios. As an owner of a Civic Si sedan, I had debates on whether to spend the extra coin upon taking 'stepping down' into an HRV. After much consideration and a couple miles driven in an AWD EX, I knew it was well worth the slight loss in performance for the space and well-roundedness provided with the HRV. The 'magic' seats and the relatively large cargo floor are great for the occasional Costco run and reasonable IKEA furniture.

I am still getting used to all of the technology in the HRV but so far I am happy with it. I find it handles very well. I was concerned about the change to a CVT transmission, but so far so good. With only 27 miles on it, I can't speak about the reliability. The only thing that I question is the change from a timing belt to a timing chain...

I am very satisfied with my purchase of the Honda HRV Sport. I did own an LX but found it to be a bit underpowered. I prefer a more firm and sporty ride. I owned an Acura RDX for 9 years and was more than happy with it but wanted to downsize and still have all-wheel drive. I was considering the new RDX but was frustrated to see that Acura decided to go with a "mouse" to select its options on the display screen. I found that to be a ridiculous distraction to driving. (My husband has a 19 TLX and I hate that mouse).


[1] D. POSTERS, "E200," namwheels.com, . namwheels.com

[2] A. A. B. Buchanec, V. H. Ján-Galanda, and J. Jozef-Péč, "Zoznam publikačnej činnosti UKOLJ140," jfmed.uniba.sk, . uniba.sk