2016 Honda HR-V - Safety and Driver Assistance

Like other Honda vehicles, the 2016 HR-V targets a high level of active and passive safety protection for vehicle occupants, as well as for the occupants of other vehicles and other road users, including motorcycle and bicycle riders and pedestrians. Standard and available driver-assistive technologies such as Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®)1 with Traction Control, Hill Start Assist, and the Honda LaneWatch®2 feature help HR-V drivers avoid collisions. While standard passive-safety features such as SmartVent® front side airbags and side curtain airbags with rollover sensor help protect occupants in a collision. The next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body-structure makes the HR-V more compatible with other vehicles in a collision, while also incorporating numerous design features designed to mitigate injuries to pedestrians in the event of a collision.

The HR-V was engineered to earn top-class collision safety ratings, including a TOP SAFETY PICK rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and a 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in its New Car Assessment Program (NCAP).

Safety and Driver-Assistive Features

  • Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body-structure
  • SmartVent® Front Side Airbags
  • Side Curtain Airbags with Rollover Sensor
  • Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren (LATCH)
  • Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) with Traction Control
  • Motion-Adaptive Electric Power Steering (EPS)
  • Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
  • Honda LaneWatch® (EX, EX-L Navi)
  • Hill Start Assist (HSA)
  • Expanded View Driver's Mirror
  • Multi-Angle Rearview Camera with Guidelines

Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™)
The 2016 HR-V utilizes the next-generation version of Honda's proprietary Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body-structure to enhance occupant protection and crash compatibility in frontal collisions. ACE utilizes a network of connected structural elements – with extensive use of high-tensile strength steel – to distribute crash energy more evenly throughout the front of the vehicle. This enhanced frontal crash energy management helps to reduce the forces transferred to the passenger compartment and can help to more evenly disperse the forces transferred to other vehicles in a crash. It is expected to help the HR-V achieve top-class crash test ratings. The ACE body structure also helps mitigate the potential for under-ride or over-ride situations that can happen during head-on or offset frontal impacts between vehicles of varying size and ride height.

Unlike most conventional designs that direct frontal crash energy only to the lower load-bearing front body structures, ACE actively channels frontal crash energy to both upper and lower structural elements, including the floor frame rails, side sills and A-pillars. By creating specifically engineered pathways that help distribute these frontal impact forces through a greater percentage of the vehicle's total structure, ACE can more effectively direct those forces around and away from the passenger compartment to help limit cabin deformation and further improve occupant protection. And like other Honda models, the HR-V has an impact-absorbing front body design to help attenuate energy in the event of a frontal collision with a pedestrian. (See Body section for more information.)

Pedestrian Injury Mitigation Design
The HR-V has an impact-absorbing front body design to help dissipate energy in the event of a frontal collision with a pedestrian. Research by Honda shows that the following features can dramatically improve a pedestrian's chance of survival if struck by a moving vehicle:

  • Impact-energy absorbing hood
    Space is provided between the underside of the hood and key powertrain components, allowing the hood to bend and deform if contact is made with either an adult or a child pedestrian.
  • Deformable hood hinges
    Hood hinges are designed to deform easily.
  • Energy-absorbing fender mounts and supports 
    Front fender mounts and brackets are designed to deform easily to help absorb impact energy.
  • Deformable windshield wiper pivots 
    Wiper pivots are designed to deform and break away easily.

Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren (LATCH)
All HR-V models are equipped with a child seat-mounting system called LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) in the outboard rear seating positions. The LATCH system provides two lower anchors and an upper tether anchor. When used with a compatible child seat, the LATCH system provides attachment points between the child seat and the vehicle seat without having to use the vehicle's seat belts. A tether anchor is available for the remaining middle seating position in the second row. All seat belts except the driver's are equipped with a locking retractor that can be used to help secure any child seat. Both rear side doors are also equipped with childproof door locks for added protection.

Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) with Traction Control
Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA®) is an electronic stability control system that works in conjunction with the HR-V's Drive-by-Wire™ throttle and anti-lock brake systems to enhance control capability while the vehicle is accelerating, braking and cornering, or when the driver makes an emergency maneuver. VSA® functions by applying brake force to one or more wheels independently while also managing the throttle, ignition and fuel systems to help maintain the vehicle's stability and fidelity to the driver's intended path of travel.

The VSA® system continuously analyzes data from sensors that monitor wheel and vehicle speed, steering input, lateral G forces and yaw rate. It compares the driver's control inputs with the vehicle's actual response. Whenever the actual response falls outside of a predetermined acceptable range, VSA® intervenes with a corrective action. For instance, if VSA® detects an oversteer condition, the system may apply braking force to the outside front and rear wheels to counteract the unintended yawing effect. In the event of understeer, VSA® may apply braking to the inside rear wheel while reducing engine power to help return the vehicle to its intended course.

VSA® also provides a limited-slip differential effect for the front wheels by applying braking force to a slipping wheel, thereby redirecting driving force to the wheel with more traction. VSA® is calibrated to function in a near-transparent manner, and in many cases a driver will not even be aware of its operation. However, anytime the system is enhancing vehicle stability, an indicator light on the center instrument cluster will flash. While the driver can deactivate the VSA® stability enhancement and traction-control functions via a button on the instrument panel, ABS remains fully operational at all times.

Motion-Adaptive Electric Power Steering (EPS)
The HR-V's standard Motion-Adaptive Electric Power Steering (EPS) is a sophisticated system that can initiate steering inputs that prompt the driver to steer in the correct direction during cornering and in slippery road conditions. Using vehicle speed and steering angle data, Motion-Adaptive EPS works with Honda's Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) and Electric Power Steering to detect instability in slippery road conditions both during cornering and under braking and automatically initiates steering inputs aimed at prompting the driver to steer in the correct direction. This advanced technology supports the driver's action in operating the vehicle more safely and comfortably.

Three examples of how Motion-Adaptive Electric Power Steering (EPS) functions in conjunction with VSA are:

  • Stabilizes Braking – Corrects the driver's steering input to reduce vehicle instability when the driver is braking hard on road surfaces with different friction coefficients (such as pavement that is only partially covered with dirt or snow)
  • Mitigates Understeer – Corrects the steering inputs to mitigate understeer and help the driver trace the curve
  • Mitigates Oversteer ­– Corrects the steering inputs to mitigate oversteer and help the driver trace the curve

The Motion-Adaptive EPS system consists of a rack-and-pinion steering gear with an electric motor installed concentrically around the steering rack. To control the level of assist the Powertrain Control Module receives signals from a speed sensor and, coupled with a steering sensor for torque and rotation, then calculates the optimal amount of assist and sends a signal to the electric motor.

Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
The HR-V is equipped with an anti-lock braking system (ABS), Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist as standard equipment. A power brake booster offers a solid feel with high pedal rigidity. The ABS independently modulates braking power at each wheel to help the driver retain steering control during heavy braking. EBD automatically optimizes braking force between the front and rear wheels, helping to ensure that the HR-V stops in the shortest distance possible, regardless of the number of passengers or amount of cargo that it is carrying. Brake Assist recognizes emergency braking situations, based on the speed of pedal application, and quickly helps the driver apply full braking force.

Expanded View Driver's Mirror
All HR-V models are equipped with an Expanded View Driver's Mirror that increases the driver's field of vision to provide a better view of objects to the back and side of the vehicle. LED turn signals are included on driver's and passenger's side mirrors on the EX and EX-L Navi. (See Body section for more information.)

Honda LaneWatch® (EX, EX-L Navi)
The HR-V EX and EX-L Navi include Honda's LaneWatch® display, which uses a camera located at the bottom of the passenger-side exterior mirror to capture a wide-angle view of the passenger side roadway that is displayed on the 7-inch Display Audio touchscreen. The image is displayed when the right turn signal is activated, or when a button on the end of the turn signal stalk is pressed.

The LaneWatch® display field-of-view is significantly wider than that of a typical passenger-side mirror, helping the driver see traffic, as well as pedestrians, bicycles or other objects, in the vehicle's blind spot. To help make judging distance easier, the display has three reference lines. Drivers should visually confirm roadway conditions prior to changing lanes.

On the navigation-equipped EX-L Navi, when LaneWatch® is in use and a navigation turn prompt is needed, the image changes to split-screen mode so that LaneWatch® and navigation information can be displayed simultaneously. LaneWatch® can also be customized to suit the driver's preferences. Turn-signal activation of the LaneWatch® system can be turned on or off, as can the three on-screen reference lines. Screen brightness, contrast and black level are also adjustable.

Multi-Angle Rearview Camera with Guidelines3
All HR-V models receive a multi-angle rearview camera, viewable on the LX trim's 5-inch color LCD screen and the EX and EX-L Navi's 7-inch Display Audio screen. The camera can show a top view, normal view or wide rear view when the transmission is in Reverse. The camera is located on the rear hatch, just below the handle. The LX trim features static guidelines that help drivers gauge how close they are to an object, while EX and EX-L Navi trims have dynamic guidelines that project the vehicle's future path based on the driver's steering wheel inputs.

Hill Start Assist (HSA)
Hill Start Assist helps to prevent the vehicle from rolling backwards when the driver switches from the brake pedal to the accelerator pedal while the vehicle is stopped on an incline by maintaining brake pressure briefly after the brake pedal is released. Hill Start Assist automatically activates when the vehicle senses a certain incline and is fully stopped in any forward or reverse gear. The system uses a longitudinal G-sensor along with a wheel speed sensor and steering angle sensor to control the hydraulic brake modulator. Once the HSA system has activated, the brakes automatically release when the driver depresses the throttle.

Safety and Driver-Assistive Features

Active Safety Features LX EX EX-L Navi
Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) with Traction Control
Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS)
Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD)
Brake Assist
Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
Daytime Running Lights (DRL)


Passive Safety Features LX EX EX-L Navi
Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body-structure
Dual-Stage, Multiple-Threshold Front Airbags (SRS)
SmartVent® Front Side Airbags
Side Curtain Airbags with Rollover Sensor
3-Point Seat Belts at all Seating Positions
Front 3-Point Seat Belts with Automatic Tensioning System
Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren (LATCH): Lower Anchors (2nd-Row Outboard), Tether Anchors (2nd-Row All)
Driver's and Front Passenger's Seat-Belt Reminder
Child-Proof Rear Door Locks


Driver-Assistive Features LX EX EX-L Navi
Motion Adaptive EPS (Electric Power Steering)
Hill Start Assist
Expanded View Driver's Mirror
Honda LaneWatch®  
Multi-Angle Rearview Camera with Guidelines    
Multi-Angle Rearview Camera with Dynamic Guidelines  

1 VSA is not a substitute for safe driving. It cannot correct the vehicle's course in every situation or compensate for reckless driving. Control of the vehicle always remains with the driver.

2 Display accuracy will vary based on weather, size of object and speed, and the display may not show all relevant traffic. The display is not a substitute for your own direct visual assessment of traffic conditions before changing lanes.

3 Always visually confirm that it is safe to drive before backing up; the rearview camera display does not provide complete information about all conditions and objects at the rear of your vehicle.


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