The compact SUV market is blooming at its great potential and the Honda HR-V is definitely here to make a statement. The HR-V is not rough and rugged looking, in fact it is stylish and premium across the range. You would call it the adult size of a City. Despite the HR-V has that coupe-esque outlook, it is still performs like a compact SUV. The rear passenger door handles are being mounted on top instead on the conventional area making the HR-V looking like a two-door coupe. The overall streamlined design is appealing, making it hard for one to decide between the Honda HR-V or the European Peugeot 2008.
Stepping into the cabin of HR-V, the use of black theme material and glossy black panel have given the HR-V a premium sense of style. The combination of hard plastic and leather upholstery are surprisingly pleasant to touch and feel while driving. The ‘floating’ center console is designed to look like a cockpit, furthermore one can really make use of the cubby spaces to store phones and wallets if not their Starbucks coffee. Underneath the gear level, there is a storage area which houses the USB, 12V power sockets and HDMI port which smartly hide away all the wiring hassle. The high spec HR-V is being equipped with touch screen air con controls. The driver gets two air vents while the front passenger gets three air vents leaving none for the rear passenger. Even though Honda said that the air vents are being designed for wide flow of air but not quite conducive for Malaysia hot weather.
The HR-V is pretty good to drive thanks to the smooth CVT and acceleration is done gradually. However, the CVT made quite a bit of low hum when pushing the pedal to the floor. Similarly with the CX-3, the ride position is great with wide commando view for the driver. The high spec HR-V V variant gets paddle shifter which could spice things up a little while driving on the highway. However, HR-V do not perform as sporty as the Mazda CX-3, it might be a letdown for car enthusiast. The HR-V offers plenty of functional kits, the high spec HR-V V variant gets keyless entry, push start and 7 inch touchscreen infotainment system with multi-angle reverse camera. HR-V is compact in size, however it is the roomiest crossover in its class, there are adequate knee rooms for the comfort of rear passengers. Also, the Magic Seat from Honda Jazz is being adapted into the HR-V making it better to store tall items into the car.
The HR-V is powered by 1.8 litre four cylinder engine producing 140 hp and 172 Nm of torque. Consider the car is only 1,249 kg in weight, the HR-V could be tailgating most of the sedan out there. However, as far as we concern, stomping hard onto the accelerator will not bring the car up to its maximum capability but the speed will gradually developed from the CVT gear box. The HR-V remain fixated onto the road with minimal body-roll when throwing into corners. The HR-V do not like the bumpy ride, the firm suspension might cause some discomfort to the rear passengers when driving on uneven road surfaces.
On the standard trim, the HR-V S comes with dual airbags, ABS with EBD and brake assist, Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA), hill-hold assist and rear Isofix child seat anchors. The top spec V variant gets additional side and curtain airbags making it total six airbags. Keyless entry and push start button features are reserved for E and V trims, only V trim will get cruise control. Also, the HR-V is being awarded five star ratings for both Euro NCAP and ASEAN NCAP making it one of the good choice for the family car.
To sum up what we think of the Honda HR-V, the Honda HR-V is stylish and comfortable to drive, making it a great overall package for one that looking for family friendly car. One can fully utilize the HR-V technology such as cruise control, paddle shifters and electronic parking brakes to make the long drives less stressful. We would prefer to have the HR-V with hybrid i-DCD as option which will be more fuel effective and less noisy during high speed. Nonetheless, the HR-V fun to drive element has definitely making it to be one of Malaysian’s top pick car of the year. Check out the quotation for HR-V S, HR-V E and HR-V V.