Car Life Nation

When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

A red 2022 Honda HRV is shown driving in the rain during a comparison of the 2022 Honda HR-V and 2022 Jeep Renegade.

Reinventing Family Road Trips: 2022 Honda HR-V and Jeep Renegade

The family road trip brings a few clear images to mind—suitcases tied to the roof, some bumbling amusement park, and Chevy Chase. Worst of all, though, is the stereotypical family road trip vehicle. The precursor to the soccer mom van, the classic family car is a gentle giant, with a pointy front end and low ride height. An egregious number of seats are lined in linty fabric upholstery, and cupholders crowd any chance of getting decent legroom. Between the 2022 Honda HR-V vs. the 2022 Jeep Renegade, this may change.

These two popular, affordable auto brands are here to ask—when did family travel become synonymous with American chintz? Why does traveling with your loved ones limit you to the tamest, most unappealing vehicles in the market? Don’t your loved ones deserve more than sheer cargo capacity? The latest Honda HR-V and Jeep Renegade models reinvent family travel, inspiring a fresh take.

The last-known refresher of family road trip vehicles was the ceiling-mounted DVD player. But now, it’s time to enjoy what you drive. In 2022, superior performance, enhanced efficiency ratings, reinvented safety, and infotainment tech now dominate a formerly sterile market. Here are the latest possibilities in the new HR-V and Renegade.

Honda’s Unlikely SUV

In Honda’s populous family of SUVs, including the Pilot, CR-V, and Passport, the HR-V may be overshadowed. At the same time, it fits right in with its siblings, offering a comfortable ride quality, competitive fuel, and insane longevity. You can very well clock into size-figure mileage before needing any significant repairs.

However, the HR-V is noticeably compact, with sleek headlights, a lean front grille, and a satisfying swoosh-like design up the side doors. It’s not the most off-road-capable Honda (that would be the Passport), nor the largest (that would be the Odyssey). So what would make you lock eyes with the HR-V in a family portrait, then load it up for a family vacation?

The 2022 Honda HR-V LX is an incredibly affordable vehicle with a starting MSRP of $21,870. Plus, it has quite the ambition. This subcompact SUV is a redesigned, rebranded successor to the Honda Fit. That affordable, do-it-all vehicle was a certain success due in part to its marketing aimed at trendy young adults shopping for their first car. Now, the more mature 2022 HR-V is stepping in to take over its market.

All Grown Up

The 2022 Honda HR-V appeals to young, modern families, who are noticeably smaller than they used to be. Perks beyond its low price include intelligent all-wheel drive with Honda’s Intelligent Control System, available on all trims. This technology adjusts how the HR-V directs power to the wheels, responding to road conditions in real-time. The HR-V is a solid companion in rainy, icy, muddy, poorly constructed, and other hazardous roads.

This is alongside a host of other excellent safety fea


tures courtesy of Honda, including a suite of driver-assist tech. Sure, you’ll get your fill of the expected, like adaptive cruise control and automated emergency braking; however, higher-end trims host the Honda Sensing Suite—a collection of smart features that continuously gauge your surroundings. It stays vigilant so white-knuckling dads can lighten up.

Top features of this suite include the Collision Mitigation Braking System, which responds to possible collisions on your behalf. It also packages some less groundbreaking yet essential features, including lane departure warning and blind-spot detection.

Family Travel Made Easy

Other family-friendly options include the Magic Seat second row, fully adjustable seats that are spacious for passengers and can adjust into various cargo-friendly formulations. You’ll have the ability to squeeze in cargo that even bulky, van-esque crossovers would struggle to fit. The top cargo capacity of 58.8 cubic feet is impressive on its own, yet fails to mention the HR-V’s intelligent dimensions.

By design, it appears smaller from the outside than its stout, optimized interior would let on. And that’s not to mention the new HR-V’s host of cargo-friendly tools. These include UV-resistant cargo covers and a guide to various storage configurations, like Tall Mode to maximize storage height. This 5-seater certainly hauls like an 8-seater.

The cabin is rife with standard and available features that perfect the art of road trip travel. For example, optional strip lights illuminate the door sill and cargo tray when traveling at night. Climate control is touch-controlled and quick to respond so that you can set your cabin conditions accordingly. Highly researched ergonomics are behind every aspect of the cockpit, including the steering wheel’s position and supportive captain’s seat. This HR-V even has paddle shifters and high-grip sport pedals of the caliber you’d usually find in a performance car.

Other features are what you’d expect of a modern Honda, including the must-have infotainment device. Theirs isn’t revolutionary by any means, but its entertainment gateway can tame the most hyperactive youngsters. It’s also your portal to setting up hands-free features that keep distractions at bay. A sunroof and available heated seats will make any road trip self-fulfilling. When tourist traps disappoint and hotel prices wound, the HR-V at least makes for a satisfying escape.
Overall, the 2022 Honda HR-V doesn’t offer a dizzying driving experience. Why would one go to Honda for such a thing? Instead, it’s quintessentially Honda in pricing, longevity, and conveniences—ideal for the young, modern family searching for 3-dimensional entertainment.

Take Down Imminent Danger in the 2022 Jeep Renegade

This chubby-looking cousin to the ever-popular Wrangler is Jeep’s attempt at a family-friendly, subcompact SUV. Naturally, it’s suited from rubber to ceiling with off-road-capable features, especially when equipped with the Trailhawk package.

It’s similar to the 2022 Honda HR-V in many ways beyond its body style. A simple 4-cylinder powers the ride, while infotainment and seating for 5 accommodate the average family. However, the Renegade is far pricier than the HR-V, with top trims tacking on well over $10,000 more.

The new Renegade is a wonderful off-roader when properly equipped, but it’s overly ambitious. Less comfortable than most family subcompact SUVs, the Renegade is also a less capable Jeep entry. This auto brand is famous for winners like the Grand Cherokee and Wrangler, which seat 5 on a trudge up a mountainside or adventure through unpaved forest trails. However, the Renegade simply plasters a family of off-road equipment onto a distinctly urban SUV.

The plasticky interior is certainly vulnerable to sippy cup spills, and the design elements like imprinted maps and dates are cloying. Worse, the Renegade’s significant roof pillars obstruct blind spots and limit side views. Then, of course, one must consider the limited cargo bay, for which the folding seats do few favors. Other annoyances include the minimal storage compartments, including minimal front door cubbies.

Where the Renegade Shines

Don’t get us wrong—the new Jeep Renegade certainly exceeds its class competitors when taking on unmarked trails. 18-inch wheels are generous enough to sink its teeth into some mud, while all-wheel drive available on all models except the base is a trustworthy companion. Its steering is noticeably quick and agile, which is ideal for treacherous roadways.

The Convenience package upgrade also adds road trip perks, like heated front seats, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, and a 115-volt power outlet. Also, the infotainment screen is generous at 8.4 inches, standard with the ability to sync up with your phone or tablet.

A red 2022 Jeep Renegade is shown from the front while it goes through mud.

Your Family Travel Companion

Honda has revolutionized the family road trip vehicle, making it significantly snazzier, smaller, and seamless. Forget driving a vehicle that represents your parenthood and the end of your youthful exploits (we’re looking at you, soccer mom vans). The 2022 Honda HR-V exudes sporty vitality, even if it doesn’t perform at high-octane figures.

Meanwhile, the 2022 Jeep Renegade is a Jeep through and through. Of course, it’s a reliable off-road trawler; that much is obvious. But what else does it offer in a crowded lineup that includes the better-equipped Wrangler?

The affordable and compact 2022 HR-V has its distinct perks, but the new Renegade seems like a placeholder. It offers less excitement than its fellow Jeeps and fewer road trip essentials than the 2022 Honda HR-V. If you insist on guiding your family into more exciting travels, a Jeep would reduce risk; however, the Renegade isn’t the Jeep you’ll want.

Overall, the new HR-V is a new way to seek adventure. It won’t be the best-reviewed drive of the year, but its innovative take on family travel deserves praise. Best of all, Honda’s host of trims, upgrades, and equipment allow families to tailor an HR-V to their distinct travel tastes.

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