A grey 2021 Honda CR-V is driving past a lake in the fog after leaving a Honda dealer.

How to Choose Between the 2021 Honda HR-V and CR-V models

Honda dealers are proud to offer both the HR-V and CR-V 2021 models on their lots. But as a consumer, what is the best choice? It’s easy to see why consumers might get these crossovers confused or not know the differences. Size, style, and price point are some of the areas to compare in these two recently-redesigned models. Most consumers only see size as the difference between these two models. Yes, the CR-V mid size crossover offers three extra inches of height and a few extra cubic feet of cargo room. It is going to be a bit more spacious than the HR-V compact crossover SUV.


When choosing between these two models, interior space is going to be a huge factor. The midsize crossover CR-V is going to be roomier than the compact crossover HR-V. The CR-V will easily fit five adults and offers ample legroom of 41.3 inches in the front or 40.4 inches in the second row. If cargo space for the family’s luggage or other outings is a necessity, the CR-V comes prepared with 39.2 cu.ft. of cargo space that expands to 75.8 cu.ft. with the rear seats folded down.

The compact HR-V is designed with slightly smaller front legroom of 41.2 inches and 39.3 inches of legroom for back passengers. Its base cargo space measures 24.3 cu.ft. of space, and if the seat backs are folded down, the space is enlarged up to 58.8 cu.ft. Another unique feature of the HR-V is a special Honda design. For drivers who want as many cargo options as possible, this design will accommodate taller items, like a guitar or mountain bike, when the seat cushion is flipped up.

Maintaining its reputation as a solid performer, the 2-row 5-passenger CR-V SUV offers the driver good visibility and a functional layout for its passengers. If you decide to go a step upward to the EX trim level, you’ll gain Smartphone connectivity, a power sunroof, and heated front seats. The EX-L model will be equipped with a power tailgate, leather-trimmed interior, and a power front passenger seat. At the highest trim level, the Touring provides drivers with a hands-free tailgate, navigation, and a heated steering wheel.

Keeping with its theme of fun, the HR-V interior is designed with enjoyable attributes such as a touchscreen and moonroof. The designers also did not forget to incorporate tech-heavy features like the Honda Sensing Safety & Driver-Assistive Technologies, daytime running lights, a tire pressure monitoring system, and a multi-angle rearview camera that allows drivers to get a clear picture of their vehicle and its surroundings. Apple CarPlay integration has also been implemented in the HR-V, as well as a satellite-linked navigation system to help guide drivers to their next destination.

When you are trying to choose between these two vehicles, you need to take into consideration how often you have passengers and how much stuff you usually haul around. Do you drive your scouting or sports team around to various events? Do you need space for vacation gear or items to work around the house? The CR-V might be a better choice with its additional space. If the vehicle is only used for a couple who drive a small number of belongings, then the HR-V would fit their personal lifestyle.

A black 2021 Honda HR-V EX-L is shown from the back driving through an underpass.


While these two vehicles have similar names and share some of the same styling elements, they still look very different. While space is a major decision-making factor between these two vehicles, your personality and personal style will also have an effect. What’s your personality, and how will you use the vehicle? The Honda CR-V is an appealing, classic, refined standard SUV, while the HR-V offers a more compact, sporty, fun design.

The Honda CR-V definitely fits into its class with similar styling features we all look for in a midsize SUV. It has four doors, a shark fin antenna, 17-inch wheels, an aerodynamic and angular design, chrome accents, and a tricked-out grille. Owners will feel like they are driving a safe, sturdy, reliable, suburban SUV.

The HR-V offers a completely different vibe. Honda designers have taken some risks in its design, and it definitely will be noticed on the road. While it too has four doors, it’s been given a more aerodynamic design in which designers hid the rear door handles on the side and added a more aggressive grille. The 2021 designed model flaunts a honeycombed grille and new wheels, providing it with the versatility and cool motif for its owners.


The 2021 CR-V and HR-V have similar fuel economy ratings due to their engines and size. You can get these two SUVs with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, so you don’t have to sacrifice that extra control to get either of these vehicles.

The 2021 Honda HR-V is equipped with a 1.5-liter turbo-four, which generates 190 horsepower and 179 lb-ft of torque. Drivers will appreciate its smooth CVT transmission. With the front-wheel drive HR-V, you will get up to 28 MPG in the city and 34 MPG on the highway. With all-wheel drive, that rating drops to 27 MPG city and 31 MPG highway.

The 2021 Honda CR-V is designed with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine, which produces 141 hp and 127 lb-ft of torque. The 2021 Honda CR-V also comes with Honda’s CVT for maximum fuel efficiency. With the front-wheel drive CR-V, you will get 28 MPG city and 34 MPG highway, while the all-wheel drive gives you 27 MPG city and 32 MPG highway.


Safety is a huge consideration for buying any vehicle, and luckily the HR-V and CR-V both have excellent safety features because both come equipped with the Honda Sensing suite. The Honda Sensing bundle of driver assistance features include a Forward Collision Warning, the Collision Mitigation Braking System, and the Road Departure Mitigation System, to name a few.

A silver 2021 Honda CR-V is parked on a city roof after leaving a Honda dealer.

Color choices

The CR-V has more color choices than the HR-V. With the HR-V, you can choose between the lovely Aegean Blue Metallic, Crystal Black Pearl, Lunar Silver Metallic, Milano Red, Modern Steel Metallic, Midnight Amethyst Metallic, or the Platinum White Pearl. The CR-V offers many of the same colors but switches the Milano Red for Radiant Red Metallic, the Midnight Amethyst Metallic for Obsidian Blue Pearl, and adds Sonic Grey Pearl as an option. So, you do get a couple of different options with the CR-V, but overall the color options are very similar between the two models.

Price Point

Consumers will find that the Honda CR-V offers a similar price to other compact SUVs on the market. There are a variety of options and trim levels all the way to a fully-loaded Touring model. If you travel with multiple passengers and cargo, such as your family and luggage, the CR-V model is the better choice.

If you are a more budget-conscious buyer, the HR-V model might be a better, more attractive option. It has a less expensive base price, but buyers will not feel like they’re missing out on any special features. HR-V owners will enjoy a fully-loaded SUV experience due to the touch screen entertainment feature and climate control systems, along with a push-button start and a moonroof.

In the end, the decision is a personal one of style, price, and usage. Both the CR-V and HR-V have been redesigned and updated with modern features, safety, and the latest technology, giving drivers a smooth ride no matter which vehicle they choose.