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LAST UPDATED:  April 22, 2021

Common Honda HR-V Problems

You've got questions on Honda's HR-V, we've got answers.

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PUBLISHED ON April 22, 2021

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Like seagulls to a school of fish, consumers have flocked to SUVs as infrastructure crumbles and demand for utility has become paramount. In response to the market-dominating trend, Honda aimed to own the space with a host of offerings, one of which is the HR-V compact SUV. 

Since the model’s introduction in 2015, Honda has sold nearly 500,000 HR-Vs, making it a huge success for the Japanese brand that prides itself on its reliability. However, as with new models that don’t have the benefit of hindsight and years of quality assurance, there have been a handful of reported problems, failures, and issues with Honda’s HR-V SUV. 

Don’t hyperventilate just yet. The Drive’s crack informational team is here to breakdown (pun intended) the common issues and problems associated with Honda’s HR-V so you can make the most informed decision when considering purchasing one new or used.

Allons-y!

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Checking Honda HR-V engine
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Checking Honda HR-V engine

What Makes a Reliable Brand?

Reliability depends on a host of variables, but the two biggest structural supports are the development and manufacturing of a vehicle. When auto manufacturers spend the time and money developing a car and its manufacturing line, a car tends to last longer. Hastily designed, poorly manufactured, and cheaply constructed materials will all reduce a car’s longevity and reliability.

There’s also a work ethic variable that cannot be ignored. Honda and Toyota’s cultures of reliability-over-all embody that ethic and have thus kept each’s legendary reliability in the minds of consumers for decades. Lexus spent 15 years creating the perfect paint, for goodness’ sake. Add longer-than-normal warranties and good customer service, and it’s easy to see why these Japanese companies have enjoyed their strong standings for so long.

Yet, once a car leaves the dealership lot, outside factors impact a car’s durability.

What Impacts a Car’s Reliability

Short answer, you. The longer answer is a car’s reliability and longevity are inextricably tied to how you take care of your vehicle, your maintenance schedule (if you have one), your conservative or brash driving habits, and whether or not you live in climates where extreme weather could affect the car’s construction.

Preemptive maintenance like regular oil changes, fluid flushes, tire rotation, and fuel system cleaners, along with keeping the exterior and underside of your car clean, will all increase the life expectancy of your car. Keeping it out of the harsh desert or tropical sun, as well as away from the rust-inducing salted roadways of winter, will also extend its life.

And lastly, keeping the Mario Andretti driving antics to a minimum will keep your brakes, engine, tires, and chassis under-stressed and happy for far longer compared to hitting every trip to the grocery store like it’s the Indy 500. 

Honda HR-V Specs

Vehicle Type: Compact Crossover

Doors: 4

Engine options: 1.8-litre SOHC i-VTEC I4

Total internal combustion range: 383

Is the Honda HR-V Reliable?

As detailed above, reliability is generally something that depends on the person, the car, and the situation, so we can’t make a definitive statement that the HR-V’s is reliable or unreliable. 

To better assess its reliability, however, we’ve assembled several data points from numerous sources to present you with as much information as possible. Let’s start with common problems, as told by comments listed in the Honda HR-V’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) archives.

Close up of a clean motor block
DepositPhotos

Close up of a clean motor block

The Honda HR-V NHTSA History

As collected by the NHTSA, these are the Honda HR-V’s issues throughout the years.

2021

Recalls: NA

Complaints: 1

2020

Recalls: NA

Complaints: 4

2019

Recalls: Fuel Pump May Fail, Fuel Pump May Fail, Coating on Rear Brake Caliper Pistons/FMVSS 135

Complaints: 25

2018

Recalls: Fuel Pump May Fail, Coating on Rear Brake Caliper Pistons/FMVSS 135

Complaints: 35

2017

Recalls: NA

Complaints: 53

2016

Recalls: Missing Tire Placard/FMVSS 110, Coating on Rear Brake Caliper Pistons/FMVSS 135

Complaints: 124

Common HR-V Problems and Repair Costs

As with other car brands, not all Honda models are built to the same exacting standards as the reliable vehicles mentioned above. Here’s a quick rundown of problematic HR-V offerings, including the issues, customer complaints, and repair costs that will help you make the best decision when purchasing your next car.

Poor Paint Quality 

Many customers have had issues with the HR-V’s paint quality, with some reporting that huge swathes of the roof paint chips away after a few years of use. Others have reported that paint has bubbled, while others have noticed rust coming through.

Customer Complaint:

Customers are understandably not happy with Honda’s paint quality for the HR-V. One complaint states, “I've had the car less than 4 years and the paint is bubbling up and peeling off. I'm not sure what kind of cheap (expletive) paint they put on these cars. But I will trade it in and not on a Honda.”

Repair Costs:

Repainting a car can cost between $50 and thousands of dollars, depending on how much of the car needs to be repainted. 

Honda HR-V grey model on a motorshow
DepositPhotos

Honda HR-V grey model on a motorshow

Accelerator Issues

Honda HR-V owners have reported two different issues in regards to the car’s accelerator. When the throttle is lightly applied from a stop, the vehicle will suddenly leap forward, as if the driver stomped on the gas. In other cases during highway driving the throttle will lose steam and begin to slow the vehicle, even when the driver applies more throttle. 

Customer Complaint:

One owner reported that “[The driver] attempted to ease forward by lightly tapping the accelerator pedal. Upon lightly tapping the accelerator pedal, the vehicle accelerated forward independently without warning. The [driver] crashed into another parked vehicle in front of her. The [driver] was finally able to place the vehicle into park and shut off the engine.”

Customer Complaint 2:

A second complaint describes the HR-V slowing, saying, “Car loses acceleration at high rates of speed while driving on the highway. On at least 4 occasions even with my foot on the gas pedal it just slows to unsafe levels while attempting to enter on the highway. This past Saturday while in the fast lane, it just slowed to 30 mph with cars slamming on brakes behind and to the right of me.”

Repair Costs:

If you experience either, the dealership will have to diagnose what the issue could be, as the accelerator is linked to a handful of systems. It could be as simple and free as an ECU update, or it could be a part buried in the engine bay that will cost a few hundred dollars.

Loose Window Gaskets

According to a number of complaints, one of the most common issues with the Honda HR-V is that the window gaskets, the rubber that keeps the windows weather-tight when rolled up, can become loose or completely dislodge itself. Not great. 

Customer Complaint:

One complaint described the repeated issue as “3 months after purchasing the car, the driver's side window gasket dropped down and fluttered in the wind when the window was wide open. Brought it to the dealership and they simply popped it back into place and said "fixed". Umm - don't you think I tried that?? I told them it just pops out again. They asked if I was pulling on it to make it fall off. Sure - I just love spending time in car garages over bogus problems! [And] as predicted, the gasket flopped down again and they decided to replace it. But they ordered the bottom gasket by mistake, so I had to come in yet a third time to finally get the correct replacement.”

Repair Costs:

The window gaskets are actually four different parts, which total about $100 if you need to replace all of them. Professional installation will require additional labor costs.

Honda HR-V 2020 model
DepositPhotos

Honda HR-V 2020 model on sale

JD Power Consumer Reliability Score

According to JD Power, this score, “Measures the level of defects, malfunctions and design flaws experienced by vehicle owners. Covers the entire vehicle from engine to infotainment system. A higher rating means fewer problems.” 

2021: 78/100

2020: 78/100

2019:76/100

2018: NA/100

2017: NA/100

2016: NA/100

2015: NA/100

2014: NA/100

FAQs About Honda’s HR-V

You’ve got questions, The Drive’s informational team has answers!

Q: How Many Miles Can a Honda HR-V Last?

A: As with every car, truck, and SUV on the road, how you maintain it will determine your mileage. Hondas are built to last and it’s not unheard of for models to last well-past 200,000 miles. Some have even clocked 1,000,000 miles

Q: Is Honda HR-V Underpowered?

A: The Honda HR-V is powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 141 horsepower and 127 lb-ft of torque. The compact SUV weighs about 3,000 pounds. Combined, it reaches 60 mph in about nine seconds, which is adequate for its class. So, no, the Honda HR-V is not underpowered. 

Q: What Does Honda HR-V Stand For?

A: HR-V has two definitions depending on the person asked. The first is High-rider Revolutionary Vehicle, with the second being a Hybrid Recreational Vehicle. You’re free to pick which one you like more.

Q: What’s the Difference Between the Honda CR-V and HR-V?

A: The Honda HR-V is a compact SUV, while the Honda CR-V is a larger medium-sized SUV.

Q: Is The Honda HR-V Bigger Than the CR-V?

A: The CR-V is bigger than the HR-V. The CR-V is 180 inches long, 66.1 inches tall, and 73 inches wide. While the smaller HR-V is 169 inches long, 63.2 inches tall, and 69.8 inches wide. The CR-V has more cargo capacity too, with 39.2 cubic feet with all the seats up, and 75.8 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down. That’s compared to the 24.3 and 58.8 cubic feet of the HR-V. 

Q: Which Is Better? The Honda CR-V or the HR-V?

A: That depends on the customer. If you need more space, the CR-V will be the better option. If you don’t, the HR-V offers excellent gas mileage and is a great daily driver. 

More Information About Honda’s HR-V

The Drive has put together a few more resources you can use to educate yourself about Honda’s HR-V. Check them out below:

NHTSA: Honda HR-V SUV AWD

Honda: Recall Information for Safety & Defects

EXTENDED WARRANTY COVERAGE MORE … FOR LESS

Endurance

Save $350 on an Endurance warranty plan with coupon code: DRIVE350

Going with a factory extended warranty is a good option for basic protection, but you can get more and save more with Endurance, ranked the top extended warranty provider by Consumer Advocates, Consumer Affairs, and Retirement Living.

Get a Free Quote

Save $350 with coupon code: DRIVE350

EXTENDED WARRANTY COVERAGE MORE … FOR LESS

CarShield

CarShield — USA’s #1 Auto Protection Provider

CarShield pays claims directly to a US or Canadian ASE-Certified® repair facility of your choice. Our contracts have low or no deductibles to prevent stress to your wallet at a critical time. Never worry about being stranded somewhere after a breakdown. All of our vehicle repair contracts include towing services to transport you and your vehicle to a safe repair facility.

Get a Free Quote

EXTENDED WARRANTY COVERAGE MORE … FOR LESS

Carchex

Nationwide coverage for cars new and old

CARCHEX has something for everyone. Have an old car? No problem. Live in California? Not an issue. CARCHEX 's plethora of warranty plans includes options for cars up to twenty years old with up to 250,000 miles, regardless of any existing or expired warranties. Click below or call 1-877-207-3304 for a free quote.

Get a Free Quote