Small SUVs are some of the most affordable ways to get around. They’re easy to live with, too, packing a lot of space into an easy-to-park form.

The Honda HR-V is that company’s smallest, most affordable vehicle in the U.S. It’s brand new for the 2023 model year and already regarded as one of the best subcompact SUVs on the market. The Toyota Corolla Cross was all new for 2022 – new enough that Americans are still learning that there’s now an SUV with the legendary Corolla name.

Let’s take a closer look at these small SUVs and find the right one for you.

2023 Honda HR-V

The Honda HR-V was completely redesigned for the 2023 model year. The all-new HR-V is bigger than the one it replaced, with a more refined interior and upgraded cabin tech. Pricing starts at $23,800. View listings near you.

Honda HR-V Highlights

Classy interior: Both of these models have handsome interiors. But the HR-V’s feels a cut above its competition. A honeycomb line cuts the dash horizontally, adding a modern aesthetic where other subcompacts feel basic. Available leather seats include interesting stitching patterns. It’s a more polished look than we’re used to seeing in this class.

Rear seat room: Some small SUV buyers rarely use the rear seats. If you’ll be carrying passengers in yours regularly, though, they’ll appreciate that the HR-V has significantly more leg- and shoulder room in the second row than the Corolla Cross. It’s among the largest vehicles in its class now, and Honda used much of that space to be kind to rear-seat passengers.

Active Noise Cancelation: We expect to find active noise cancelation systems on higher-end cars. But they’re arguably not needed there. In a class of cars this affordable, road and wind noise are more common. Honda uses a high-tech system to quiet them, and it shows.

2023 Toyota Corolla Cross

2022 Toyota Corolla Cross

Everyone knows the Toyota Corolla name – it’s history’s best-selling nameplate. Last year, Toyota took advantage of that fact to introduce an all-new compact SUV smaller than its popular RAV4 wearing the Corolla Cross name. The 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross offers legendary Toyota reliability in a compact package with available all-wheel-drive. Pricing starts at $23,060. View listings near you.

Toyota Corolla Cross Highlights

Better fuel economy: The Corolla Cross won’t cost you much to own. Its 32 mpg combined beats the 28 of the HR-V. It doesn’t get there by skimping on horsepower, either. The Toyota has 11 more than the Honda option. This year, a hybrid Corolla Cross becomes available with an estimated 37 mpg combined and 194 horsepower.

Wireless Apple CarPlay/Andriod Auto: Every trim level of Corolla Cross comes with standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The HR-V has them, too, but only on more expensive trim levels.

Rear seat vents: The HR-V may offer more rear seat room, but the Corolla Cross gives its second-row passengers A/C vents. Many automakers skimp on heating and cooling for the rear seats at this price point. Toyota includes a button to switch the rear-seat vents off if you’re not carrying anyone back there.


Americans have debated whether Toyota or Honda offers better reliability and resale value for decades because both brands are fantastic at both. These are the smallest SUVs from the two most bulletproof brands on the market, and they have more in common than different.


The Honda HR-V and Toyota Corolla Cross both make outstanding choices. We’re discussing small differences like a few inches of shoulder room and an extra vent to try to differentiate them because they’re both solid, similar choices. We slightly prefer the interior styling of the HR-V, but you’re not going to go wrong with either.


2023 Honda HR-V 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross
Starting Price $23,650 $23,060
Popular Powertrains
Engine 2.0-liter I4 2.0-liter I4
Horsepower 158 hp @ 6,500 rpm 169 hp @ 6,600 rpm
Torque 138 lb-ft @ 4,200 rpm 150 lb-ft @ 4,400-4,800 rpm
Transmission CVT CVT
Fuel Economy 26 city/32 highway/28 combined mpg 31 city/33 highway/32 combined mpg
Also Available AWD AWD; hybrid
Basic Warranty 3 years/36,000 miles 3 years/36,000 miles
Powertrain Warranty 5 years/60,000 miles 5 years/60,000 miles
NHTSA Overall Safety TBD TBD
Max Seating Capacity 5 5
Wheelbase 104.5 inches 103.9 inches
Overall Length 179.8 inches 175.6 inches
Width 72.4 inches 71.9 inches
Height 63.4 inches 64.8 inches
Turning Diameter 35.1 feet 35.4 feet
Headroom, Front 39.4 inches 39.5 inches
Headroom, Rear 38.0 inches 39.1 inches
Legroom, Front 41.9 inches 42.9 inches
Legroom, Rear 37.7 inches 32.0 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 56.6 inches 52.7 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 55.2 inches 52.4 inches
Cargo Volume 24.4/55.1 cubic feet 26.5 FWD/25.2 AWD


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