Honda has just launched their new compact crossover, and the result is rather fetching indeed. Coming into a fairly crowded segment, the Honda HR-V should find a space which is going to suit the company. It comes with standard features across the 2 model range, and this should sway buyers to purchase this model.
The Honda HR-V has really gone all out here, as opposed to its competitors, it has combined the attributes of a SUV, with the space and versatility of an MPV, which should set it apart from the others.
The all-new HR-V looks almost coupe like, but it has a raised stance and looks pretty rugged and SUV like as well.
The front-end treatment is unmistakably Honda, with tapered headlights framing a
V-shaped grille in contrasting charcoal, while a meshed lower air intake adds further visual aggression.
At the rear it has large tail lights, and a tailgate which opens all the way down to bumper level. Alloy wheels and slim roof rails add a classy touch.
With the seats raised, the luggage compartment offers 393 litres of boot space up to window level, while folding the split rear seat flat increases cargo capacity to an impressive 1 002 litres.
Driving in the HR-V is enjoyable with the raised height and the car handled well in fairly windy conditions in the Cape winter weather.
The new HR-V comes with electrically operated windows and mirrors, remote central locking, air-conditioning, cruise control, a multi-function steering wheel and a multi-information trip computer.
Depending on model, the new HR-V’s integrated infotainment system is controlled via a 5-inch monitor, or a 7-inch colour touchscreen display. Both systems feature Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free telephony and audio streaming, USB connections, a CD player, and multiple speakers.
The new HR-V is equipped with an electric parking brake, combined with an auto brake hold function. The electric parking brake is engaged via a switch on the centre console, and automatically releases when the accelerator pedal is pressed.
Safety is addressed with six airbags, head restraints, inertia reel seatbelts for all seating positions.Active systems include ABS anti-lock brakes with Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), Emergency Brake Assist (EBA) and Emergency Stop Signal (ESS) activation, as well as Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA), Hill Start Assist (HSA) and a high-mounted LED rear brake light.
DRIVETRAIN AND CHASSIS
The new Honda HR-V is available with a choice of two efficient petrol engines, the 1.5 four cylinder and a 1.8 four cylinder engine, with a CVT transmission. Many people do not like CVT,sometimes for good reason, but this tranny was superb, it found its gear ratios efficiently and did not ‘’ hunt’’ between gears.
The 1.5 puts out 88 kW and 145 Nm respectively, and the 1.8 puts out 105 kW of maximum power, while maximum torque is 172 Nm. Start/stop functionality benefits economy and CO2 emissions.
The HR-V is available in two models- the 1.5 Comfort which will be on offer initially. This model is comprehensively equipped, with exterior highlights including halogen headlights and front fog lamps, roof rails and comprehensive colour coding.
The interior features cloth upholstery and soft-touch surfaces and finishes, creating an inviting, upmarket ambience. Front cupholders, a glove compartment, door panel pockets and a front centre armrest are all standard as are illuminated vanity mirrors.
The Comfort derivative gets a 5-inch monitor providing the interface between the HR-V’s occupants and the on-board infotainment system. It includes a 150 watt, four-speaker sound system, USB and AUX inputs, as well as Bluetooth connectivity.
An alarm system with integrated immobiliser provides peace of mind.
The 1.8 Elegance will bump up the volume, so to speak, and add larger alloy wheels, and auto-activating LED headlights with daytime running lights.
Inside, the Elegance gains leather upholstery and a leather-trimmed steering wheel, automatic climate control, heated front seats and a rear armrest. The 5-inch monitor makes way for a 7-inch touch screen display with rear-view camera. The display allows access to a raft of advanced features, including a more powerful integrated sound system with six loudspeakers.
Honda’s Smart Entry system allows remote locking and unlocking, and only requires the push of a button to start the engine.
HR-V 1.5 Comfort CVT R299 900
HR-V 1.8 Elegance CVT R354 900
The pricing includes a three-year/100 000 km warranty, a four-year /60 000 km service plan, and a one-year AA roadside assistance package. Services are at
15 000 km intervals.
We found the HR-V an enjoyable drive, with loads of spce and versatility. It has some premium touch points inside the cabin. It also carries Honda Motor Corporations record of reliability and service history. It will definitely appeal to the Honda faithful, and find some converts to boot.