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Honda HRR216VKA

*Est. $400
Reviewed
May 2012
by ConsumerSearch
Honda HRR216VKA

Pros
  • Excellent mulching, bagging
  • Meets California emission standards
  • Folding handle
  • Top brand ratings
Cons
  • Steel deck
  • No blade brake override
  • Handle may be too short

The Honda HRR216VKA is a budget self-propelled gas mower that earns high praise for its quiet, fuel-efficient OHV (overhead valve) engine plus a fuel system that meets California's strict emissions requirements. Comparison tests show that this twin-bladed mower excels at both mulching and bagging clippings, and it side-discharges clippings as well as much more expensive models. As a mower brand, Honda also earns top marks for performance, durability and ease of use. If you can afford it, consider stepping up to the similar Honda HRR216VYA, which has a convenient blade brake override that stops the blade without turning off the engine, single-lever height adjustment, more handle adjustment and larger wheels.

We found the most objective tests of the Honda HRR216VKA mower at ConsumerReports.org, where it's rated and ranked in comparison with other self-propelled gas mowers. We found relevant ratings of Honda as a brand in the annual customer-satisfaction survey by J.D. Power and Associates, as well as at Which? magazine, the British equivalent to ConsumerReports.org. Popular Mechanics evaluates the Smart Drive controls on the Honda HRR mowers, which you can see demonstrated at YouTube, and at HomeDepot.com, almost 450 owners share their opinions of this lawn mower. We also found a detailed single-product review in a blog called Random Hardware Reviews.

Our Sources

1. ConsumerReports.org

Based on weeks of testing, the Honda HRR216K7VKA is rated and ranked in comparison with other self-propelled gas mowers and lots of other lawn mowers. The tests are thorough and objective, covering performance, handling and ease of use. A handful of detailed owner reviews and ratings are also published here.

Review: Lawn Mowers, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, April 2012

2. J.D. Power & Associates

As a brand, Honda is the Award Recipient, outranking nine other lawn mower brands in this J.D. Power and Associates customer-satisfaction survey. The survey covers more than 2,000 owners who have bought a lawn mower within two years.

Review: 2011 Walk-Behind Lawn Mower Study, Editors of J. D. Power and Associates, May 2011

3. PopularMechanics.com

This brief review covers the Smart Drive controls on the Honda HRR series, concluding that they can strain the hand and wrist.

Review: Honda's Thumb Operated Lawnmower Controls, Roy Berendsohn, April 2007

4. HomeDepot.com

Based on ratings and reviews by about 450 owners, the Honda HRR216VKA is one of the top-rated mowers at this retail site. Owners say they love the auto-choke and the blades cut grass and mulch leaves very well. Some owners warn that if you're over 6 feet tall, the handle might not be long enough for comfort; it's best to test a floor model to be sure.

Review: Honda 21 in. Gas Variable Speed Self-Propelled Walk-Behind Mower Model HRR216VKA, Contributors to HomeDepot.com

5. Which? magazine

As a brand, Honda earns high marks at this British site, the U.K. equivalent of ConsumerReports.org., though the specific Honda models tested here aren't available in the United States. A November 2011 survey of readers on lawn mower reliability gives Honda and John Deere top ranking, well above Husqvarna and Toro.

Review: Lawn Mowers, Editors of Which? magazine, Nov. 2011

6. Random Hardware Reviews

This enthusiastic review of the Honda HRR216VKA reports that it cut grass eight inches tall without a problem, zipping along at a fast pace even when the bag got completely full. The author also likes how easy it is to remove the bag, though a bit of care is required when reattaching it. An update a year or so later still praises the mower as a great time-saving tool.

Review: Honda HRR216VKA Lawnmower Review, Editors of Random Hardware Reviews, June 20, 2009

7. YouTube.com

This is basically a video ad for the Honda HRR mower series, but it demonstrates the Smart Drive system well. The ad makes clear that some of the features shown are available only on the more expensive HXA model.

Review: Honda HRR Lawn Mowers, The Honda Channel

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