Sedan vs SUV Face-off: Honda Civic vs Honda HR-V

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It's not just about price!

Sedan vs SUV? Sedans used to be the majority of new vehicle sales. The market has shifted to the point where SUVs are almost as popular as full-size pickup trucks. So let’s see what you’re getting, and giving up by purchasing Sedan vs SUV, and vice versa. We’ll look at two popular vehicles; the Honda Civic Sedan and the Honda HR-V SUV.  They’re roughly around the same price and match up generally in terms of size. 

Why do people buy SUVs? They want a little more space, a higher ride height which can yield better visibility, they’re generally easier to get in and out of, and are offered with all-wheel drive. Sedans often have better fuel economy, and tend to be more sporty to drive because you’re not carrying around as much weight. A sedan has a lower centre of gravity than an SUV, and usually has a better ride.

 Let’s put our two contenders into the Automobl Comparison Tool and see what happens.

As expected, there’s a price premium to the HR-V.  By adding in all-wheel drive, you get better traction. Bigger alloy wheels help make HR-V look more substantial. SUV features you expect such as a tonneau cover to hide objects in the cargo area, tie-downs to anchor larger cargo, hidden storage under the rear floor and a remote release for the liftgate are all here. Civic is a little more sporty, with more horsepower and stabilizer bars on both the front and rear suspensions. Metallic interior trim accents lend an upscale appearance to Civic. 

Now let’s see how these two vehicles measure up.

HR-V is a taller vehicle which gives it more front and rear headroom. Plus there’s that 1,631L of cargo capacity that Civic simply can’t match. Civic rides on a longer wheelbase, which will give it a more comfortable ride. Civic is nimbler too with a smaller turning circle. The biggest payoff? Civic wins the Automobl Value Comparison, and has a $286 lower annual fuel cost.

Just for fun, I wanted to see how Civic fared against the next SUV in the Honda line-up, the CR-V. This perennial best seller is very well equipped, but is $8,500 more than the Civic. However, how does it measure up? Civic is still longer, wider and has a longer wheelbase than CR-V. Civic has a smaller turning circle than CR-V, which will make it easier to park.

Back to the case at hand: Civic vs. HR-V. Now you need to ask yourself a few questions. Do you need to haul a lot of cargo on a regular basis? Civic’s 428L trunk is spacious for a vehicle of this category. But it’s tough to beat the functionality of flipping the rear seats down in the HR-V to open up its cargo space.  Is all-wheel drive absolutely necessary? Is it worth the premium in price, weight and fuel economy?

Make sure you ask yourself these questions if you’re considering making the leap from a sedan to an SUV. You’re not alone. You may already know that Ford is almost completely out of the sedan business, GM is paring back its offerings and there seems to be a new Jeep every few days.

We’ll be along for the ride with you. You can cross-compare SUVs with sedans, full-size SUVs with compact SUVs and more, all with the Automobl Comparison Tool  We hope it makes new vehicle shopping more fun. After all, it’s a big purchase. You’ll know you have it right when thinking about your new vehicle puts a smile on your face.


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