The changes Honda made when it refreshed its HR-V for 2019 have earned the small crossover a Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, when equipped with optional LED headlights and front crash avoidance technology.
Honda made some structural changes to its Hi-rider Revolutionary Vehicle that IIHS says help to better protect occupants in small overlap and moderate overlap front crashes, which replicate a vehicle clipping a stationary object on its front corners. Previous models earned an acceptable rating for the driver-side small overlap front crash test, and weren't tested for passenger-side small overlap. IIHS gave the 2019 model good ratings, the highest possible, in all six crashworthiness tests.
Honda also made its collision mitigation braking system, part of its Honda Sensing suite of safety technologies, standard on the EX, EX-L and Touring models. That helped the 2019 HR-V notch a superior rating, helping it avoid collisions in track tests at 12 mph and 25 mph. New LED headlamps that come with the top Touring trim earned an acceptable rating, although the base halogen headlights were rated poor.
It's the sixth Honda model to receive at least the Top Safety Pick award from IIHS, joining the 2019 Accord, CR-V, Pilot and Odyssey, while the Insight hybrid won the coveted Top Safety Pick+ designation.