Honda HR-V is a hit and a miss
The HR-V is one car I was excited to sample, as it has such a cool and futuristic look and feel to it. I do however, have some rather strong thoughts on it.
The HR-V is a compact SUV and we all know how that segment is congested, with all brands coming to the fort with these offerings. It has such a stunning exterior, with a lovely raised ride height so it definitely looks the part. The long LED’s headlights, black cladding across the vehicle and the dark grey unit I had made it even more mysterious and enticing.
On the interior, you are met by really great interior quality and the materials used are quite commendable, giving the vehicle a solid and premium feel. I found the infotainment system screen to be misplaced, as it is small and uses buttons and has some touchscreen capability, so the jump between the two was somewhat odd. I always mention that I do not like these volume controls which are buttons you press because what happened to the conventional, easy to use knob? Also, I felt a little cramped in the Honda cabin, seems very small especially considering how large the vehicle appears to be on the outside. It has a glass roof, which uses a flap to close and open – manually. Can you imagine. I was franticly looking for a button to close the thing. Amidst my complaints, the HR-V interior is decent, you will not be disappointed, that I can guarantee. They did their best in crafting it, in my opinion.
The drive is something I will never understand. The HR-V is powered by a 1.5l engine that produces 89Kw/145Nm and it is louder than a generator kicking in during loadashedding. The engine is very sluggish, not as prompt as responsive with the gear changes (it uses a CVT) and whines a lot. This is very prominent on highway driving, making overtaking a tedious task, but surprisingly performs well in inner city driving. I can commend the car for its noise insulation, but the loud engine sound can be uncomfortable. I think there should be a more refined CVT added to this car and a turbocharger to assist it better.
Ultimately, Honda gave it a good shot. The car is decent, it is not all bad, but it is not good either. In a segment where small SUV’s are the rage, you need to come to the playground with something spectacular and unfortunately, this is not it. The pricing starts from R469 000 for the Comfort trim, and the Executive trim will set you back R554 500. With regards to its rivals, there are quite a few, namely the Kia Seltos, Volkswagen Taigo, Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross and Mazda CX-30 which are all good in their own right. For a better driving experience, I would suggest the Mazda CX-30 or Volkswagen Taigo, they might have a bit of turbo lag but they are significantly better to drive than the Honda.
The HR-V is sold with a 5 year/200 000km warranty plan and a 4 year/60 000km service plan.