The 2024 Honda HR-V and 2024 Volkswagen Taos are subcompact SUVs that deliver great fuel economy and a surprising amount of cabin space, given their modest dimensions. 

Having undergone a complete redesign for the 2023 model year, the HR-V is a roomy and refined means of getting around. Based on the same platform used in Honda’s Civic sedan and hatchback, the HR-V boasts agile steering, making it easy to maneuver in bustling city traffic. Good outward visibility and a comfortable highway ride also help set the HR-V apart from rival small SUVs. 

One of those would be the Volkswagen Taos, of course. Serving as VW’s smallest and least expensive SUV, the Taos is similar to the HR-V in that it’s easy on your fuel budget, has adult-friendly levels of headroom and legroom, and is adept at darting around corners. In fact, during our time behind the wheel, the Taos stood out for its fun-to-drive nature.  

Let’s look at some highlights of the Honda HR-V and Volkswagen Taos.

2024 Honda HR-V

The 2024 Honda HR-V is offered in three trims: LX, Sport, and EX-L. Standard features on the HR-V include a 7-inch touchscreen, wired smartphone connectivity, a trio of USB ports, a 4-speaker audio system, and automatic climate control.

Every HR-V is powered by a 158-horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is optional. Pricing starts at $25,950, including factory-to-dealer destination charges.  

Honda HR-V Highlights

Safety ratings and Honda Sensing: Standard on the HR-V is the Honda Sensing bundle of driver aids. This includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, forward collision warning, and lane-keeping assist. It’s worth noting the HR-V earns Top Safety Pick+ status, the highest possible score, in crash and safety testing conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto: Want to leave your phone cords at home? Wireless smartphone connectivity is available on the HR-V. It comes as standard equipment on the range-topping EX-L model. 

Noise cancellation: Using the audio system’s speakers, the Honda HR-V’s active noise cancellation keeps the interior a calm and quiet place to spend your time. This is standard on every model. 

HondaLink: The HondaLink smartphone app lets an HR-V owner schedule upcoming service appointments, track the vehicle should it be stolen, send alerts if a crash is detected while parked, and set geofenced boundaries for other drivers. 

Check this week’s Fair Purchase Price or see the HR-V models for sale near you. 

2024 Volkswagen Taos

2024 Volkswagen Taos in blue at Joshua Tree.

Introduced for the 2022 model year, changes to the 2024 Taos are relatively minor as this model is still fresh. Most notable is that the IQ.Drive suite of driver-assistance features is now standard on all three available trims. Pricing starts at $25,420.

The Taos gets down the road courtesy of a 158-hp turbocharged 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine and 8-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is available on the S and SE trims and standard on the top-of-the-line SEL model. The SEL also trades the 8-speed gearbox for a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. 

Volkswagen Taos Highlights 

Peppy performer: These two small SUVs have exactly the same horsepower rating from their 4-cylinder engines. Yet the higher torque rating from the turbo engine in the Taos makes it feel more fun and energetic. Taut handling and a balanced ride also boost this VW’s driving appeal. 

Cargo space: Just because you want a small SUV doesn’t mean having to pack light for every journey. Behind its split-folding rear seat, the Taos provides 27.9 cubic feet of cargo room. Fold the rear seat down, and this expands to more than 65 cubic feet. 

Digital instrument display: Called Digital Cockpit, this sleek instrument display was first used in high-end luxury vehicles by Audi (VW’s corporate cousin). Now, this tech touch is standard in the Taos. It comes in two sizes: 8 inches for the two lower trims and 10.25 inches for the SEL. 

IQ.Drive: Like Honda Sensing, this is VW-speak for its own grouping of standard safety items. Every Taos comes with active blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and more.

Check this week’s Fair Purchase Price or see the Taos models for sale near you. 


The HR-V and Taos deliver a lot of value and versatility. They each provide a nice balance of performance and fuel economy, plus the option of all-wheel drive for those times when roads turn slick and treacherous. Driving refinement is another trait these two share; they can handle any city or highway task thrown at them. 


This is a tough one to call. We appreciate many aspects of the Honda HR-V and Volkswagen Taos. They pack many features, given their reasonable prices, and have attractive cabins with more than enough space for adults in the first and second rows. 

The Taos does feel more engaging to drive; its turbocharged engine outshines the HR-V when passing power is needed. You also get a little bit more cargo space in the Volkswagen.

Yet the overall feeling of refinement and longevity keeps the HR-V near the top of our ranking of the Best Subcompact SUVs. It boasts an attractive and hard-wearing cabin that feels spacious and airy. 

The price gap across the HR-V trims is also considerably less than the Taos. For example, an HR-V EX-L hovers around $29,000 versus about $35,000 for a Taos SEL. 

  2024 Honda HR-V  2024 Volkswagen Taos
Starting Price  $25,950 $25,420
Popular Powertrains      
Engine  2.0-liter 4-cylinder Turbocharged 1.5-liter 4-cylinder
Horsepower  158 hp @ 6,500 rpm 158 hp @ 5,500 rpm
Torque  138 lb-ft @ 4,200 rpm 184 lb-ft @ 1,750 rpm
Transmission  CVT  8-speed automatic
Fuel economy MPG 26 city/32 highway/28 combined 28 city/36 highway/31 combined 
Also Available  AWD 7-speed DCT, AWD
Basic Warranty  3 years/36,000 miles  4 years/50,000 miles 
Powertrain Warranty  5 years/60,000 miles  4 years/60,000 miles 
NHTSA Overall Safety  5 stars  4 stars
Max Seating Capacity  5
Wheelbase  104.5 inches  105.9 inches 
Overall Length  179.8 inches  175.8 inches 
Width  72.4 inches  72.5 inches 
Height  63.4 inches  64.4 inches 
Turning Diameter  35.1 feet  37.6 feet 
Headroom, Front  39.4 inches 40.7 inches 
Headroom, 2nd Row  38.0 inches  39.8 inches 
Legroom, Front  39.4 inches  40.1 inches 
Legroom, 2nd Row  37.7 inches  37.9 inches
Shoulder Room, Front  56.6 inches  56.5 inches 
Shoulder Room, 2nd Row  55.2 inches 55.2 inches
Cargo Volume rear seats up/down 24.4/55.1 cubic feet   27.9/65.9 cubic feet 

Source link