Written by: Don Cheng
Photography by: Don Cheng
When Honda first announced the HR-V, everyone’s first thought was a CR-V that’s been zapped by a shrink ray. Even the name bears a striking resemblance to Honda’s popular compact crossover. While the CR-V bears its crossover roots from the Civic, the HR-V’s foundation comes from the diminutive Honda Fit.
Honda took the Fit platform and stretched the wheelbase out by 81mm. The front track is wider by 53.3mm and the rear track by 66mm. On the outside, Honda continues its trend of designing cars that everyone can get behind the wheel of. Featuring an angular front fascia and a swooping beltline, the HR-V manages to appear aggressive without pushing the envelope.
Under the hood, Honda has equipped the car with a 1.8-litre 4-cylinder engine. Those familiar with Honda’s power plants will recognize this as the same workhorse found in the Civic. The motor produces 141 hp at 6,500 RPM and 127 lb-ft of torque at 4,300 RPM. It’s chief competitor, the Mazda CX-3, produces similar peak horsepower figures but a butt load more torque earlier on in the power band.
Admittedly, compared to the HR-V’s cute ‘ute rivals, the 1.8-litre is down on the “go” department. The engine is mated to a CVT for the AWD models, but the option of a 6-speed manual transmission is available for those who want a slightly more engaging driving experience. Regardless of which you choose, the engine and transmission combo will do just fine in the city with the lack of power only rearing its ugly head when merging on 400 series highways.
What the HR-V lacks in power it more than makes up for in versatility. One of the things that made the Fit such a huge hit among consumers was its class leading interior packaging - something that I’m happy to see carried over into the HR-V. The interior is roomy and has much better quality materials than the Fit. Piano black trim adorns the steering wheel and I’m particularly fond of the HVAC console that does a great job of classing it up. Honda’s signature “Magic Seats” makes an appearance inside the HR-V too.
For those who aren't aware, Honda’s Magic Seats are bench styles rear seats that fold flat in a pinch. Sounds pretty typical right? But what makes them different is the option for them to fold upwards, transforming the rear foot well into a lot of extra usable space. Honda’s done a great job with packaging the cabin to maximize the available space and for those young couples moving in together, the well thought out interior will be a great selling point for the HR-V when it comes to moving day.
I always loved the extra little touches Honda went through to extend the practicality of their vehicles. For example, in the CR-V the spare-tire cover doubles as a picnic table. Likewise, in the HR-V, Honda has a “refresh mode” where if you remove the front headrest and fold down the front seat, the rear seat transforms into a couch for you to stretch your legs (after a hard day of moving things in and out of the new apartment of course).
What I dislike however is the lack of buttons on the dashboard. Everything is touch-sensitive and is almost impossible to operate without taking eyes (and focus) off the road for a split second. Personally I’d prefer to keep my eyes where they should be instead of fumbling with the heated seats button or volume slider.
Sitting behind the steering wheel of the HR-V really highlights the crossover nature of the vehicle. One quick glance from the outside suggests SUV-like driving dynamics but when you’re actually behind the wheel you feel like you’re just in a slightly taller sedan.
The steering is light to the touch but loads up well once the car is underway. In fact, the electric steering on the HR-V isn’t half bad at all. The rack transmits quite a bit of road feel and it behaves very sedan-like too in the turns. The suspension is well tuned to give a cushy ride on the highway, in the city, and even through the most pothole-ridden streets. The HR-V is very reminiscent of the early days of crossovers when they all had the drivability of a sedan mixed with the practicality of an SUV.
The HR-V can be had in three different trim levels, the base LX offers a rear view camera, heated front seats and 17” alloys for $20,690. The mid-tier EX offers Honda’s blindspot camera (dubbed LaneWatch), push button start and a proximity key amongst other things for $23,190. The top trim EX-L NAVI (as this tester came equipped with) offers navigation, AWD, leather wrapped trim surfaces, lane departure, and forward collision warning systems all for $29,990.
While the competitors offer up more driving fun, the Honda has them all beat on sheer versatility. The HR-V takes the winning formula of the Fit and emphasizes the larger size and storage options. Pragmatic young couples and young families alike will appreciate the car’s practical approach and great bang for buck value.
型号 Model: 2016 Honda HR-V EX-L Navi
顏色 Paint Type: Misty Green Pearl
廠方建議售價 Base Price: $29,990
軸距 Wheelbase(mm): 2,610
長闊 Length/Width/Height (mm): 4,294 / 2,044 / 1,605
車重 Curb weight (kg): 1,413
引擎 Engine: 1.8-litre, 16-valve, SOHC, i-VTEC 4-cylinder
最大馬力 Horsepower: 141 hp @ 6,500 rpm
最高扭力 Torque: 127 lb-ft @ 4,300 rpm
波箱 Transmission: CVT
擺佈 Engine & Drive Configuration: Front engine, AWD
前懸 Suspension-Front: MacPherson Strut
後懸 Suspension-Rear: Torsion-Beam
煞制-前 Brakes-Front: Vented disc
煞制-後 Brakes-Rear: Solid disc
油耗 Fuel Consumption ( City / Highway / Combined ) L/100km: 8.8 / 7.2 / 8.1
輪胎尺碼 Tires: P215/55 R17