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July 16, 2022

Review: 2022 Honda HR-V V Turbo Honda SENSING

Having driven the base Honda HR-V before (read my full review), I bemoaned the lack of power from its normally-aspirated engine. Now, having sampled the top-of-the-line HR-V V Turbo, does a forced induction motor really rectify all complaints about Honda’s compact crossover? Well, read on and find out.

First, let me get one thing out of the way: that normally-aspirated 1.5-liter I’m complaining about wasn’t shoehorned into the HR-V for third world countries as you might have been led to believe. That L15B is actually a properly engineered global engine that’s even available in the HR-V’s home market of Japan. However, that’s not to say I wished for more power. The 121 horsepower, 145 Nm outputs are adequate, but they’re about as exciting as watching paint dry.

So, what happens when you add a turbocharger to the same vehicle? Well, what do you think happens when you add 56 more horsepower (177 horsepower) and 95 Nm (240 Nm) more torque? An exciting driving position, that’s what.

The HR-V V Turbo’s curb weight is slightly up (101 kilograms more than the HR-V S), but that’s easily countered by that wonderfully responsive engine. Even without toggling through the Drive Modes, this clearly unlocks the HR-V’s full potential. Peak torque arrives at just 1,700 rpm and stays put all the way to 4,500 rpm so it makes easy work of any overtaking maneuver. Tap the gas, and you’ll see the speed rise even if engine revs stay put at around 3,000 rpm. Progress to highway speeds is effortless, and getting fined for over speeding in an HR-V becomes a real possibility.

The added grunt though means that the suspension has more to deal with. Tuned more for safe, predictable, and sensible motoring, the added jolt can have some unexpected results. At times, a sudden jab of the throttle, especially when taking an off-camber turn can cause the front wheels to momentarily screech in protest before digging down and getting to work. It’s not really alarming, but it can catch you off guard. This is especially true since throughout its different generations, the HR-V has never been the sharpest tool in Honda’s shed.

Keeping your throttle inputs sensible though, and this particular HR-V makes short work of long drives. Oh, and get this: fuel efficiency ends up exactly the same as the non-turbo HR-V so it’s like you’re getting your cake and eating it too. Twice over.

Of course, all that delicious cake comes with calories, and here, it bites you back in the form of a hefty price premium. At P 1,598,000, it’s P 348,000 more expensive than the base HR-V S. And so that begs the question: is it all worth it?

Well, that entirely depends on how you look at it. With Honda Sensing standard across the HR-V family, the difference (turbo motor aside), all boils down to added trimming. That trimming includes a slightly revamped exterior complete with some “Amp Up” Easter Eggs, a fancier instrument panel, leather seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and more USB ports. That’s about it. Now, is all that worth P 348,000?

If you’re dead set on the HR-V S in the first place, probably not as the base model’s got most of the features you’d look be looking for in a sensible urban commuter. But, if you’re cross-shopping this with the Civic V Turbo, then you’d be in a pickle because the price difference is just P 30,000 (the Civic V Turbo is now P 1,568,000 with the newly implemented price increase).

Honda’s interlocking pricing strategy for the Civic and HR-V is clearly meant for them to keep potential buyers within their showrooms, but it can also make it confusing for the indecisive set. And yes, there are tradeoffs between the two. I’m shamefully plugging my full review of the Civic V Turbo, but in summary, by going with the Civic, you’re trading leather seats, added ground clearance, and a more flexible cargo hold for sharper handling, a better infotainment system, and a more spacious interior.

As good as the HR-V V Turbo is, personally, I’d steer you back to the Civic V Turbo if you want the power, or the HR-V S if you really want the crossover body style. Why? I simply couldn’t get comfortable in those leather seats; they’re just too firm for my tastes. It was torture for me to drive more than two hours continuously which is quite a surprise because I never had to deal with this issue with the HR-V S’s fabric seats. Also, I don’t like that the headliner’s always in my field of view; it’s downright distracting and off-putting.

Mind you, I don’t have a family, so my needs are well served by the Civic V Turbo. Nevertheless, I understand the flexibility that the HR-V’s crossover body style offers, specifically its expansive cargo hold, so if that’s really important, get the HR-V S. Also, being a motoring journalist, I’m not exactly a perfect physical specimen, so if you really want the HR-V V Turbo, I suggest you try those seats out for yourself to see if you’re alright with them.

Okay, so while I’m clearly on Team Civic for this one, those going for the HR-V V Turbo will be happy to know that that turbo engine did indeed solve one of my misgivings about the base HR-V. However, its existence also happens to raise more questions. While the HR-V is one well-packaged crossover, with the turbo, I don’t fully agree with its price positioning. Again, it’s all about Honda trying to cover all its bases when it comes to luring in buyers, but at the same time, I can’t help but think that the HR-V V Turbo should have been priced at around P 100,000 to P 150,000 less. A P 1,450,000 to P 1,498,000 price tag could have made it reasonable. Plus, it gives them enough breathing room to perhaps introduce a RS version.

2022 Honda HR-V 1.5 V Turbo

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Ownership 2022 Honda HR-V 1.5 V Turbo Honda SENSING
Year Introduced 2022
Vehicle Classification Compact Crossover
Warranty 3 years / 100,000 kilometers
The Basics
Body Type 5-door SUV
Seating 5
Engine / Drive F/F
Under the Hood
Displacement (liters) 1.5
Aspiration Turbocharged
Fuel Delivery EFI
Layout / # of Cylinders I4
BHP @ rpm 177 @ 6,000
Nm @ rpm 240 @ 1,700-4,500
Fuel / Min. Octane Gasoline / 91~
Transmission CVT
Cruise Control Yes, Adaptive
Fuel Economy @ Ave. Speed 9.61 km/L @ 18 km/h
Dimensions and Weights
Length (mm) 4,385
Width (mm) 1,790
Height (mm) 1,590
Wheelbase (mm) 2,610
Curb Weight (kg) 1,363
Suspension and Tires
Front Suspension Independent, MacPherson Strut
Rear Suspension Torsion Beam Axle
Front Brakes Vented Disc
Rear Brakes Disc
Parking Brake Electric, w/ Auto Hold
Tires Goodyear Assurance TripleMax 2 215/60 R 17 H (f & r)
Wheels Alloy
Safety Features
Airbags 4
Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) Yes, with EBD
Traction / Stability Control Yes
Parking Sensors No
Parking Camera Yes, Rear
Front Seatbelts 3-pt ELR w/ pre-tensioners x 2
Rear Seatbelts 3-pt ELR x 3
ISOFIX Child Seat Anchor Yes
Other Safety Features Hill Descent Control
Hill Start Assist
Collision Mitigation Braking

Lane Keep Assist
Lane Departure Warning
Road Departure Mitigation
Lead Car Departure Notification
Exterior Features
Headlights LED
Fog Lamps Yes, Front (LED)
Auto Lights Yes
Rain-sensing Wipers No
Tailgate Manual
Interior Features
Steering Wheel Adjust Tilt/Telescopic
Steering Wheel Material Leather
Seating Adjustment (driver) 6-way, Manual
Seating Adjustment (front passenger) 4-way, Manual
Seating Surface Leather
Folding Rear Seat Yes, 60/40
Sunroof No
Trip Computer Yes
Convenience Features
Power Steering Yes
Power Door Locks Yes
Power Windows Yes
Power Mirrors Yes, w/ Fold
Rear View Mirror Auto-dimming
Proximity Key Yes
Climate Control Yes, w/ Rear Vents
Audio System Stereo
Smartphone Connectivity Apple CarPlay
Android Auto
# of Speakers 6
Steering Controls Yes


  1. Uly, which of the cheaper crossovers that you have tested can be considered a good alternative to the HR-V turbo?

    1. If you're squarely looking at compact crossovers (meaning something between a sub-compact SUV and a compact SUV), the HR-V is a good proposition. In fact, it still is a good balance overall. The Seltos is probably the only other decent compact crossover that's cheaper than the HR-V (and not by much).

      However, I feel that the turbo's just a tad overpriced. I'd probably stick with the HR-V S if I were in the market for one. Again, it's HR-V S for me, or Civic V Turbo if I wanted the power.

      On the other hand, if I could spend a bit more, I'd probably get the Corolla Cross Hybrid. If the Kicks e-Power is priced well, that's also another crossover to consider.

    2. Can you recommend the GAC GS4 or the Geely Coolray?

    3. Obvious leading question again from the Chanis-style crapola car fangheys. No, we don't consider the C00lr4y here or any of the others.

  2. Got the MG ZST for 1.07m(discounted). Similar power to the HR-V turbo and equipped with a 6AT Aisin transmission, not a CVT. Superb value for the features & specs compared to the HRV turbo if you ask me.

    1. Yeah d 6sped aisin trans has good reputation.

    2. I think the Aisin transmission is a major advantage. All GAC vehicles have Aisin transmission. The Changan CS75 also has Aisin tranny.

    3. Conventional torque converter ATs gave significantly higher power losses from the crank to the wheels. So even if the nominal engine outputs are the same as measured at the crank, wheel HP is significantly lower, like 30% power loss. So the HR-V still puts out more wheel HP. The only ones who can make a very efficient conventional geared AT is Mazda with the Skyactiv 6AT because of the wideband torque lockup clutch.

  3. Looks more refined than the corolla cross...but the indicated prices does not cover the whole picture...wonder what's the projected total cost of ownership for a 5 year period.

    1. The Corolla doesn't even have half the features of the base S model. It's interior belongs in a Wigo or Vios. So hell no.

  4. The V does seem overpriced. At that price point I'd expect it to have side curtain airbags.

    1. Exactly. I would have thought they'd have put the two additional airbags, power tailgate, sunroof. They're probably reserving those for an RS variant which is even more expensive.

    2. This prolly explains why there's no RS variant. At that price point you might as well get the gas CR-V or base model V diesel.

    3. yeah, I also noticed the rims are for mid range variants, based on other ASEAN spec HR-V's, the RS rims is different. The cheapest CR-V is also gone, before it used to be 1.6m-ish on the website, now it's 1.7m. Not much leeway anymore for an RS HR-V....:/

  5. Hi Uly. I'm quite sensitive to outside noise. I've driven a few thai made car and notice that they tend to have thinner glass vs cars made in other countries. is it the same with this HRV or thai made cars in general?

    1. The thinner glass is probably to manufacturer spec rather than something to do with being Thai sourced.

      I don't find the HR-V particularly noisy...for me it's good enough even on the highway. If anything, the noise is coming more from underneath the car rather than the glass.

      That said, since you're sensitive to sound, I suggest that you give it a test drive just to be sure that it's to your liking.

    2. What's the brand & model of the stock tires on this thing? Is it the same as on the base model? Tire noise?

    3. Yes. Same tires as the base model. A bit of tire noise, and a bit of road noise...for me not a big deal though.

  6. Uly, I dont see this featured in your youtube channel. We wanted to see you actually driving. Where is it?

    1. The YouTube is just meant as a supplement to long form test drive stories which I consider to be as a lost art form. We'd be doing video reviews every now and then but don't expect me to jump completely in that direction.

    2. I hope Uly doesn't imitate those local YT "reviewers" who take 30 minutes repeating brochureware & marketing PR talking points. May your dreams come true. Lulz.

    3. Well, this site usually does that when it comes to Mazda…

    4. When all local car reviewers praise a brand that means it's valid & well-deserved, all those local & international awards weren't bought. Stick to YT to avoid having your worldview & confirmation bias shattered kiddo. Well-written articles are for the discerning clientele. Vids w/ flashy graphics & sounds are there to attract the tiktok-level sheeple.

    5. Local and international reviewers and journalists praise mazda vehicles (3,cx-30 and cx-5). Its your bias thats the problem. I also remember sir uly calling criticizing mazda 2 hatchback here.

      St***d comments like these trigger me, this is why internet should not be for everyone.

    6. To each his own!

    7. @8:57AM Is probably a Honda ricer fanboi still bitter that the previous gen Civic was shown to be inferior to the Mazda 3 & Kia Forte GT. Other people who are angry at Uly are the Ford fanbois for the bad review of the Chinese Territory, haha.

    8. Can’t believe how triggered the Mazda fanboys are here. There’s already a wall of text typed by angry fanboys. lels

  7. Fully feature packed ford territory vs reliable honda hrv s?

    1. If you value any sort of driving refinement, HR-V.

    2. Don't buy chinese designed cars. Get the HRV.

    3. Ww don't consider Chanis-style cars here. Pang YT comments section lng yun or Reddit echo chambers. Lulz.

    4. Save yourself from some trouble and get the Honda HR-V even with the base variant. Plenty of Ford Territory owners are complaining lately of either the lax and laggard afterservice or significant delay on some spare parts. You may try the Territory for yourself, but I find the transmission very droney and sometimes jerky.

  8. Uly, re: headliner being in your line of sight while driving, is it a case of the roof being too low cut, the windshield too small, the seats/floor too high or some bad combination of all those? I'm taller than you but I still prefer a high seating position for these crossovers.

    Also, is the dodgy handling on the curves down to torque steer from the torquey turbo engine, bad front suspension tuning, poor gripping stock tires or non-independent torsion beam rear suspension or some bad combo again of all/some of those factors?

    1. High seating position (even at the lowest setting, you're perched high in the HR-V)--same issue with the all-new City. That, combined with the sharp angle of the A-pillar and my short, stubby legs.

      The handling's'll just experience the fronts giving way if you push them too hard in certain circumstances. Thankfully, it's got stability control or else it'll probably result in torque steer.

    2. like understeer?

    3. It's a crossover, so you can't exactly push it as much compared to, say, the Civic. But I found the handling to be largely competent.

    4. @12:57. Torque steer is different from understeer. Basically it's an issue for high-powered front-engined, front wheel drive cars because of the unequal length half shafts. It can be largely quelled w/ suspension & ECU tuning. This issue in the HR-V is prolly partly due to the stock tire's grip as well. It's more of a low rolling resistance, economy tire than a high grip performance one.

    5. If you want performance, get a proper 2-door sports car.

  9. I’d pick the HRV Turbo simply for a better crowd of fellow owners.


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