Automotive

First Car - Honda HRV or Crosstrek

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  • Aug 14th, 2019 7:43 am
[OP]
Newbie
Aug 8, 2019
12 posts
6 upvotes

First Car - Honda HRV or Crosstrek

Hey folks,

I'm looking at buying my first non-beater car before I move out and I have the following offers:

1) 2015 Subaru Crosstrek Sport (with Sunroof, Spoiler & HID Headlights) - for $17,500 with ~111,000KM. The car was in a $4,000 rear accident and has its share of scratches on the paint. This is an offer from a dealership (Kia). Apart from the scratches the CarFax is a little troubling because there's no records of any maintenance on the car.

2) 2014 Subaru Crosstrek Touring (base trim) - for $16,500 also with ~111,000KM. The car was originally purchased in the Quebec but the seller claims to have undercarriage rust protection. Also comes with a fairly new set of winter tires. Otherwise, it's a clean title and a private sale... so I can likely save some $$ on tax.

3) 2016 Honda HRV EX 2WD for 15,000 with 114,000KM. The car was in a minor rear accident ($2200) which I don't think is a red flag. Over all it's a pretty bland car but I think it's quite reliable and I'm getting a fairly good price since it's from a neighbour/family friend so I can also save some $$ on tax.

All of these cars are >100,000KM so most the warranties are expired. HOWEVER, it looks like Subaru extended their CVT warranties to 160,000 or 8 years.

Would love to hear what you think.
50 replies
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Feb 11, 2007
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Do you have kids? Why are you looking at SUVs? You'll get better mpg, lower purchase price, better handling, easier to drive, and lower cost maintenance, cheaper tires/brakes, etc with a car.
If you must have an SUV, HRV is just too small to be useful as an SUV. Anything smaller than a CRV is pretty pointless. May as well get a Honda Fit.
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Feb 2, 2018
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Montreal
Here's a nice comparison from 2015 of sub-compact crossovers. Spoiler alert, Crosstrek and HRV finished 1-2. http://www.autos.ca/car-comparisons/com ... uvs/?all=1.

What I'd like to add is that Hondas will likely develop less issues vs Subarus over the long run, and return better real-world fuel economy. Subaru dealers also charge a lot for maintenance. The Crosstrek's AWD is the best in segment, while the HRV's is likely the worst. If you live somewhere with a lot of snowfall / unplowed roads, the Crosstrek is a no brainer.

Among your choices, I would cross out the 1st option. Besides the accident, if the owner caused a lot of scratches on the exterior, he/she may not have cared for other aspects of the car either. The HRV is tempting as it's a higher trim and offers more features such as the extremely convenient keyless entry / start. Make sure to ask the sellers for maintenance records.

^ I agree with Engineered for considering a car vs a SUV. You'll save a lot of money for basically the same vehicle. In the case of the Crosstrek, it is the exact same body as the Impreza hatchback, just raised with bigger (and more expensive) tires. The Impreza has the same excellent AWD system. The Fit is a bit smaller than the HRV, and lacks the (meh) AWD, but is peppier, handles better, cheaper to run, while remaining superbly practical. The only reason I'd get one of these sub-compact CUVs is for the easier use of a car seat.
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Nov 4, 2008
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What is it about the HRV and Crosstrek that you like? Do you want something higher up? Do you want the cargo space? Brand?

Honestly - I wouldn't get any of the three. I'd reco a RAV4 or CX5 from roughly the same year, at roughly the same price and mileage. If its just space you're after, get a hatch
When given enough time, all threads on RFD can and will go off on a tangent.
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Oct 24, 2018
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CloudReader wrote: Here's a nice comparison from 2015 of sub-compact crossovers. Spoiler alert, Crosstrek and HRV finished 1-2. http://www.autos.ca/car-comparisons/com ... uvs/?all=1.

What I'd like to add is that Hondas will likely develop less issues vs Subarus over the long run, and return better real-world fuel economy. Subaru dealers also charge a lot for maintenance. The Crosstrek's AWD is the best in segment, while the HRV's is likely the worst. If you live somewhere with a lot of snowfall / unplowed roads, the Crosstrek is a no brainer.

Among your choices, I would cross out the 1st option. Besides the accident, if the owner caused a lot of scratches on the exterior, he/she may not have cared for other aspects of the car either. The HRV is tempting as it's a higher trim and offers more features such as the extremely convenient keyless entry / start. Make sure to ask the sellers for maintenance records.

^ I agree with Engineered for considering a car vs a SUV. You'll save a lot of money for basically the same vehicle. In the case of the Crosstrek, it is the exact same body as the Impreza hatchback, just raised with bigger (and more expensive) tires. The Impreza has the same excellent AWD system. The Fit is a bit smaller than the HRV, and lacks the (meh) AWD, but is peppier, handles better, cheaper to run, while remaining superbly practical. The only reason I'd get one of these sub-compact CUVs is for the easier use of a car seat.
I would respectfully disagree, the HRV was assembled in Mexico and is the Fit platform, while the XV was assembled in Japan on the Impreza base. The Fit/HRV has not been a well received vehicle while the Impreza is as reliable as the family tractor. I do agree about fuel economy even though lab testing shows they should get about the same with the XV even getting the advantage in some trim levels, real world the HRV would be marginally better at gulping fuel.

I also disagree that the HRV would handle better, in any situation the XV will out handle the horrible suspension of the HRV.

Previous generations of the Fit platform had been marginal at passing safety tests, but in 2015 when they brought out the 2nd generation HRV they did a very good job of redesigning it to pass crash tests with very good results. Both the HRV and XV have great testing records for safety so no worries there.

However the comparison isn't really fair, the HRV and XV aren't in the same category, Subaru don't make a vehicle in the sub-compact crossover category so it is hard to compare the 2 as the XV is in the compact category and designed to compete against similar compact vehicles. Comparing the 2 isn't really fair on the HRV.

The only reasons I could see anyone deciding on a HRV over a XV would be aesthetics, they like the look and interior features of a HRV over the XV. Subaru put very little effort into such things compared to engineering.

I do agree with everyone above, if it were me I'd be looking at the compact car hatchback category instead (hatchbacks are great imho), it brings into play some more contenders. Impreza, Golf, Civic, Mazda 3, Hyundai Elantra GT, all good 5 door cars that are reasonable but enjoyable to drive.
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Feb 29, 2008
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Before you buy any of these three cars I would suggest you get a good look at one in person. Make sure you can live with the size and trunk space. They are far smaller than they look.

The cx-3 is also in the same category.
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Jan 15, 2006
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mr_raider wrote: Before you buy any of these three cars I would suggest you get a good look at one in person. Make sure you can live with the size and trunk space. They are far smaller than they look.

The cx-3 is also in the same category.
Also the kick and quashqai? Lots of dumb little crossovers to choose from lol
Member
Feb 2, 2018
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nffclsr wrote: I would respectfully disagree, the HRV was assembled in Mexico and is the Fit platform, while the XV was assembled in Japan on the Impreza base. The Fit/HRV has not been a well received vehicle while the Impreza is as reliable as the family tractor. I do agree about fuel economy even though lab testing shows they should get about the same with the XV even getting the advantage in some trim levels, real world the HRV would be marginally better at gulping fuel.

I also disagree that the HRV would handle better, in any situation the XV will out handle the horrible suspension of the HRV.
You misread me, I did not write that the HRV handles better than the Crosstrek. I wrote that the Fit handles better than the HRV.

As for reliability, all I can rely on is personal experience. I own / have owned 3 Subarus. I do not buy them mainly for longevity reasons, and I just don't consider them on the same reliability tier as Toyota or Honda despite the latter's recent reputation. Honda small cars kinda feel like they can last forever, I just didn't get that feeling with our old Impreza -which developed random small issues after the 7th year mark. Subarus have also had challenges meeting increased popularity -which has been blamed for recent drops in quality.

The Fit has actually been very well received. Best sub-compact since the 2nd gen. Likely the most practical small car one can purchase. The HRV isn't as popular -though the packaging remains excellent. HRV's cargo is actually superior vs the Crosstrek (see my link in post above).
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Would like to make 2 observations, important to me.
The Subaru all wheel drive is full all wheel drive and far better than Honda.
As well as the CVT on the Subaru is far and away better than the Honda. My Honda CVT always felt like a car with a slipping clutch.
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Mar 28, 2006
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If you are afraid of getting stuck in snow, the Crosstek has an advantage being a real AWD. The HR-V on the other hand may be a better family car. Bigger cargo, more flexible seat arrangement, small enough to fit into the small garage of newer houses.
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Dec 1, 2014
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I've driven both over 1,000KM each and overall enjoy the HR-V more even though the Subaru was a higher trim level.

I found the subaru to have more cabin noise and louder under acceleration. I would go for an HR-V (EX trim maybe?).
Member
Oct 24, 2018
384 posts
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CloudReader wrote: You misread me, I did not write that the HRV handles better than the Crosstrek. I wrote that the Fit handles better than the HRV.

As for reliability, all I can rely on is personal experience. I own / have owned 3 Subarus. I do not buy them mainly for longevity reasons, and I just don't consider them on the same reliability tier as Toyota or Honda despite the latter's recent reputation. Honda small cars kinda feel like they can last forever, I just didn't get that feeling with our old Impreza -which developed random small issues after the 7th year mark. Subarus have also had challenges meeting increased popularity -which has been blamed for recent drops in quality.

The Fit has actually been very well received. Best sub-compact since the 2nd gen. Likely the most practical small car one can purchase. The HRV isn't as popular -though the packaging remains excellent. HRV's cargo is actually superior vs the Crosstrek (see my link in post above).
Yes, you are right, I totally misread what you wrote about handling comparison and I apologize for that.

The Fit/Jazz however gets destroyed in pretty much any review by reputable journalists against most cars in it's category. The Seat Ibiza, VW Polo, Ford Fiesta, Mazda 2, Skoda Fabia, Citroen C3, Renault Clio, Nissan Micra, Toyota Yaris, even the Mini in some trim levels. The only thing the Jazz/Fit is ever praised for is it's spacious interior with the back seats folded down.

It still boggles my mind that most of the cars in it's class aren't sold in Canada, I think many of them would sell well especially the VW Polo/Ibiza/Fabia or VW UP. Canadians like affordable hatchbacks, but I think we get shafted because Americans don't see the value in them (although I get the impression that is changing as fuel prices go up). Still, just because many of the Fit's competitors aren't sold in Canada it does not make the Fit a good car, just my humble opinion though, well, and that of every automotive journalist in countries who actually buy compact "supermini" cars.

https://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/best ... superminis

https://www.autoexpress.co.uk/best-cars ... superminis

https://www.whatcar.com/news/best-small ... oid/n16997

https://www.autocar.co.uk/car-review/honda/jazz

Sorry for getting off topic a bit there.

Back on topic, I've owned a couple Toyota products, a couple Honda, and a few Subaru (plus a handful of other makes). All the cars I've had by the 3 manufacturers had 4 cylinder engines, smaller vehicles compared to many of the monsters on the road today.

The Subaru has hands down been more reliable and well built, and by far easier to work on. The Toyota products were good too, not as easy to work on and parts failed earlier than on the Subaru vehicles. Honda was by far the worst, it was like their engineers gave little thought about mechanics having to work on their products, fit and finish wasn't as good, and I found parts were more expensive. Interestingly, and by choice, all the vehicles I have had by the 3 manufacturers were all made in Japan (as I still put some value in that).

I'm not sure this matters much, but I also found the Honda dealer network were terrible, Subaru dealers average at best, and Toyota seemed to be the best but that is just from my experience with them all.

I always find people's opinions interesting about perceived reliability from their own experiences, and I actually put more value on that over what I read in articles as even so called "long term reviews" by journalists are still basically reviewing a new vehicle.
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Sep 13, 2016
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I own an HRV EX AWD. You would be suprised at how much stuff you car carry around for its size. We have successfully stuffed it once with malm queen bed from ikea with storage, two nightstands and some other junk with 3 people sitting in the car.

More recently, moved a 65 inch tv with packaging, lying flat, from costco for a friend.
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Feb 2, 2018
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nffclsr wrote: he Fit/Jazz however gets destroyed in pretty much any review by reputable journalists against most cars in it's category. The Seat Ibiza, VW Polo, Ford Fiesta, Mazda 2, Skoda Fabia, Citroen C3, Renault Clio, Nissan Micra, Toyota Yaris, even the Mini in some trim levels. The only thing the Jazz/Fit is ever praised for is it's spacious interior with the back seats folded down.
I guess North American auto-journalists just value things differently, as the Fit has been highly-rated here for a long time now. We do have the Yaris and Fiesta here, and those rank lower than the Fit on this side of the pond. The only reason for choosing the Fiesta is driving pleasure, but it's far less spacious and practical, and comes with an atrocious gearbox. There is no reason for choosing the Yaris hatch; it is not competitive in any aspect. My coworker had a Yaris and Fit back to back in a short amount of time. The two cars aren't comparable -the Fit is far superior.
nffclsr wrote: Back on topic, I've owned a couple Toyota products, a couple Honda, and a few Subaru (plus a handful of other makes). All the cars I've had by the 3 manufacturers had 4 cylinder engines, smaller vehicles compared to many of the monsters on the road today.

The Subaru has hands down been more reliable and well built, and by far easier to work on. The Toyota products were good too, not as easy to work on and parts failed earlier than on the Subaru vehicles. Honda was by far the worst, it was like their engineers gave little thought about mechanics having to work on their products, fit and finish wasn't as good, and I found parts were more expensive. Interestingly, and by choice, all the vehicles I have had by the 3 manufacturers were all made in Japan (as I still put some value in that).

I'm not sure this matters much, but I also found the Honda dealer network were terrible, Subaru dealers average at best, and Toyota seemed to be the best but that is just from my experience with them all.

I always find people's opinions interesting about perceived reliability from their own experiences, and I actually put more value on that over what I read in articles as even so called "long term reviews" by journalists are still basically reviewing a new vehicle.
I must admit that my experience with 2 Civics and 3 Subarus + some Toyotas are only a few data points. Subarus do seem more well-built compared to the Hondas and Toyotas -more solid and tanky. At least the older Subarus did. The Civics were light and felt more like tin cans, but the driving feel didn't really alter during the course of ownership (besides acceleration) and the cars remained trouble-free. That's why to me, they felt like they could run a long long time.

Over here, Toyota dealers seem to be the most slimy, and aggressive. Subaru dealers, hard to negotiate with, and does not take well to customers shopping around.
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CloudReader wrote: I guess North American auto-journalists just value things differently, as the Fit has been highly-rated here for a long time now. We do have the Yaris and Fiesta here, and those rank lower than the Fit on this side of the pond. The only reason for choosing the Fiesta is driving pleasure, but it's far less spacious and practical, and comes with an atrocious gearbox. There is no reason for choosing the Yaris hatch; it is not competitive in any aspect. My coworker had a Yaris and Fit back to back in a short amount of time. The two cars aren't comparable -the Fit is far superior.
Yep the idea that the Fit is poorly reviewed is pure FUD and should be disregarded as such. The HRV on the other hand is consistently meh. Perhaps owing to the additional weight and other compromises. But then again who is Car and Driver to say about the Fit “Still the small car to buy if you must buy small.”
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Oct 24, 2018
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cartfan123 wrote: Yep the idea that the Fit is poorly reviewed is pure FUD and should be disregarded as such. The HRV on the other hand is consistently meh. Perhaps owing to the additional weight and other compromises. But then again who is Car and Driver to say about the Fit “Still the small car to buy if you must buy small.”
Did you read the review you just posted? "excessive noise, stiff ride, cabin is loud unfit for long rides, touch screen...constant frustration, seats and driving position aren't very comfortable, slow, buzzy engine, handling isn't as fun as Fits past" Once again, the only thing that gets praised is how you can put the back seats down, even the 33mpg fuel economy they claim isn't very impressive for a small car.

BTW, I noticed the OP is a new member and hasn't bothered to respond at all to the thread they created which makes me think everyone is wasting their time here.
[OP]
Newbie
Aug 8, 2019
12 posts
6 upvotes
engineered wrote: Do you have kids? Why are you looking at SUVs? You'll get better mpg, lower purchase price, better handling, easier to drive, and lower cost maintenance, cheaper tires/brakes, etc with a car.
If you must have an SUV, HRV is just too small to be useful as an SUV. Anything smaller than a CRV is pretty pointless. May as well get a Honda Fit.
We don't have kids, but we are planning to in a few years. We live in a fairly small city (Victoria,BC) so I figured the Subcompact SUV would be a nice compromise between space, safety and size.

I would love to get other's opinions here about the price but from my research, I think those are pretty good? My plan is to keep this car for 3-4 years and then upgrade to something bigger and nicer (perhaps an electric or PHEV car once the prices simmer down a little bit).

From my understanding the HRV is a tad bit larger than the Fit? Meanwhile the Crosstrek is identical to the Impreza (just rides a little taller).
[OP]
Newbie
Aug 8, 2019
12 posts
6 upvotes
aeba7 wrote: What is it about the HRV and Crosstrek that you like? Do you want something higher up? Do you want the cargo space? Brand?

Honestly - I wouldn't get any of the three. I'd reco a RAV4 or CX5 from roughly the same year, at roughly the same price and mileage. If its just space you're after, get a hatch
I was considering RAV4, but as mentioned in my previous post, we live in Victoria so there's a fair share of city driving involved. As for Mazda, I'm not sure how I feel about their reliability from the 2014-2016 years. I remember signing up for CR a few months ago and I wasn't too impressed with how they scored.
[OP]
Newbie
Aug 8, 2019
12 posts
6 upvotes
IndyBeak wrote: I own an HRV EX AWD. You would be suprised at how much stuff you car carry around for its size. We have successfully stuffed it once with malm queen bed from ikea with storage, two nightstands and some other junk with 3 people sitting in the car.

More recently, moved a 65 inch tv with packaging, lying flat, from costco for a friend.
Out of curiosity, how's the reliability on these cars? CR states that HRVs are phenomenal. However, I checked the HRV Forums and there's 15+ pages filled with owners complaining about CVT issues. Apparently, the HRV uses a belt in their CVT and Crosstrek uses a Chain -- making it more reliable.

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