California received record-setting rainfall this past winter. So much rain that it has virtually erased the driest period in California’s history. With the rain comes snow, and with the skies puking fresh pow like there’s no tomorrow, my buddies and I had to hit the slopes. I offered to drive, but even with the HR-V’s Magic Seats, there was no way it would fit four people and our gear. I turned to Thule for a solution and came away with a rack and a Thule Force cargo box. After a simple install, it had no problem swallowing all our gear. Plus, I think it really adds a more purposeful look to the HR-V.
After a day of shredding the knar, we packed up and headed home. We spent hours on the mountain, and my body was paying the price. My legs were especially sore, so the HR-V’s super-light clutch and shifter felt like a blessing. Going downhill required a lot less shifting, so the cruise down was a lot more relaxed. As the sun was setting, we rolled the windows down, cracked the sunroof, and blasted Kendrick Lamar via Bluetooth. It was a great way to end a successful weekend.
Once packed, we headed to Big Bear. The roads leading up the mountain are steep and curvy and would’ve been fine, even fun, in the HR-V. But loading it with people and gear exacerbated its lack of power. I constantly had to downshift to second and sometimes to first to catch up with traffic. Even though Big Bear Lake is only at 6,700 feet above sea level, the little 1.8-liter felt every foot and pound we packed in. Seriously, Honda, slap your 1.5 turbo in the refreshed HR-V, or at least make it an option.
Other than that recurring complaint, the HR-V had no issue getting us up the mountain. Our particular HR-V has Michelin all-seasons and no AWD, but it still handled the occasional patch on snow with ease. I would feel confident driving it through some weather with proper tires, even more so with the optional AWD.