Editor's Note: this is how the Honda HR-V squares up against the competition.
With bold and sporty coupe-like styling, SUV versatility, and Honda’s packaging magic, the all-new HR-V is set to challenge the growing small crossover segment. The HR-V delivers incredible value with a long list of standard features and technologies including 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlamps with daytime running lights, a push-button engine start/stop, electronic parking brake, rear view camera with multiple views and guidelines, and a 7-inch touchscreen audio system among others.
Available in three trim levels: S, E, and EL, the HR-V is powered by a highly-refined and efficient 1.8-liter 4-cylinder 16-valve SOHC i-VTEC engine producing a peak 141 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 172 Nm of torque at 4,300 rpm. The engine, shared with the Civic, is paired solely to Honda’s seamless and sporty Earth Dreams continuously variable transmission (CVT). The E and EL variants get added driver control via paddle shifters and cruise control.
Developed on a new global platform that also underpins the Jazz, the HR-V utilizes a center-mounted fuel tank layout and re-configurable ULT (Utility, Long, Tall) seats that deliver voluminous interior space along with a flexible cabin featuring multiple seating/cargo modes. With the rear seats up, it has 393 liters of cargo room; and with the 60/40 rear seats folded down, the HR-V has enough luggage space that rivals a mid-sized SUV at 1,665 liters. Aside from giving a more spacious and versatile interior, the HR-V’s platform is lightweight and rigid that helps it deliver excellent fuel economy without any detriment to driving performance. Expansive use of ultra-high strength steel (up to 27 percent of the body) contributes to improved rigidity that enhances collision-protection, handling response, and ride quality.
The HR-V features independent MacPherson struts upfront and a torsion beam rear suspension that not only maximizes rear seating and cargo space, but provides outstanding handling and ride characteristics. The EPS or Electric Power Steering provides a refined and sporty feel while minimizing energy requirements. Four wheel disc brakes are standard across the line as are anti-lock brakes, electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD), and hill-start assist (HSA). Plus, it comes with Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) as standard. Unique to the HR-V, is an electric parking brake with automatic brake hold, and 17-inch alloy wheels with 215/55R17 tires. All HR-V models come with dual SRS airbags and ISO FIX child seat anchors as standard with the EL gaining an additional four airbags and rear backup sensors.
The HR-V sporty and dynamic appearance features a solid, coupe-like stance with a powerful tapering face. It has a sporty front grille with Honda’s trademark Solid Wing design. Standard LED headlamps with daytime running lights on the EL model give it an unmistakably techno-vibe, especially at night. It has distinctive side contours with a sharply upswept character line and a deeply sculpted lower body that flows to the tapered rear-end. A shark’s fin antenna gives an uncompromising sense of style while the concealed door handles enhance the HR-V’s coupe-like appearance. At the back, fang-like tail lamp clusters create an unmistakable presence with the EL variant gaining LED guide lamps.
The equally driver-centric and sophisticated interior features an expansive, airy cockpit with an abundance of soft-touch materials and premium detailing punctuated by precise bezels, sophisticated stitch lines, and up-market brushed chrome and piano black highlights. It creates a youthful yet refined vibe. It’s also mighty practical with its Wide-Flow air conditioning that distributes cool air throughout the cabin quickly. The three-meter driver’s instrument cluster features “floating” illumination rings and an ECO coaching light that rewards fuel-efficient driving with ambient lighting that changes from white to green depending on prevalent driving conditions.
And despite slotting below the CR-V in terms of size, the HR-V is not lacking in terms of creature comfort features. Standard across the line, the HR-V comes with a Smart Entry with push button engine start/stop along with steering wheel audio controls. The E and EL variants come with the added convenience of a multi-information display (MID), a 7-inch touchscreen display audio with USB and HDMI power ports, six speakers, a touch panel automatic climate control, and Bluetooth hands-free that’s compatible with Apple’s Siri. The EL adds a dose of luxury with leather seats.
The Honda HR-V is a vehicle that exceeds expectations and re-defines what a car should be. Built for discerning drivers who live well-rounded lifestyles, it combines different vehicle virtues in a stunning package. It’s also filled with smart, user-friendly features. It’s set to be a big hit among crossover-loving Filipinos. It comes in a range of five colors, the availability of which is dependent of variant: Taffeta White (E & S), Carnelian Red Pearl (E & S), Modern Steel Metallic (all), Ruse Black Metallic (all), Morpho Blue Pearl (E & EL), and White Orchid Pearl (EL only).
Pricing is as follows: P 1,190,000 for the S CVT, P 1,230,000 for the E CVT, and P 1,340,000 for the EL CVT. And for added individuality, Honda is also offering both a Modulo and MUGEN appearance package for the HR-V as well. The E CVT Modulo is pegged at P 1,290,000 while the EL CVT MUGEN is at P 1,500,000.