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Honda Battered By Supply Chain Issues, Competitive Challenges

Twenty years ago Honda reached a US sales milestone selling about 1.2 million cars in a single year. And while Honda still rides high with 2021 sales record of 1.4 million units, and a traditionally high level of consumer confidence, the brand has been battered over the years by increased competition, a messy airbag recall, and most recently severe supply chain shortages.

The latest Honda HR-V is the smallest of the brand’s crossover SUVs, which have held the line while the company’s traditional car business continues to erode. And in many ways it perfectly defines the challenges of a market leader in a widening pack of competitors.

Bumped up to 158 horsepower, from the earlier 141, this HR-V 4 cylinder is built for efficiency with 27 city and 30 highway mpg stats. And though Honda has great street cred for exciting factory and custom tuner performance, even with steady technology improvement the latest Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) is a disappointment.

At a base price of $28,950 the Honda HR-V is a roomy 5-door hatchback challenged by tech, glitz and glam approach of more aggressive competitors.