The Ford EcoSport can be faintly credited to start the small crossover craze in the Philippines. Too bad for Honda, because before there was a Nissan Juke and a Ford EcoSport in international markets, Honda already had the HR-V in the early 2000s. If they pushed through with the name, they would be the first in this small crossover craze. Since what used to be “compact crossovers” in the market such as Honda’s own CR-V, Toyota’s Rav-4, Subaru’s Forester, have now grown in size, it now makes sense to introduce a smaller, more urban friendly crossover. Say hello to the revival of the Honda HR-V.
EL Shown (Photo May Vary From Actual Unit)
E Shown (Photo May Vary From Actual Unit)
The Honda HR-V is one of Honda’s most daring design efforts to date. With a sporty coupe-like design, wide wing-shaped grille, and large 17 inch alloy wheels on all variants, the Honda HR-V clearly is not meant to be a budget crossover such as the Ford EcoSport. Instead, it rivals the Mitsubishi ASX and Subaru XV. Unlike the Ford EcoSport, which feels like a stripped down small crossover in order to meet a lower price tag, the HR-V is designed to be a more premium product from the development stage, and it certainly shows. Maintaining the coupe-like profile are the door handles that are located in the C-pillar, adding to that unmistakable HR-V look. All variants have LED tail lights, while for the EL Variant, LED Headlamps with LED Daytime Running Lights, LED Tailights done in LED Light Bars, and painted lower body trims instead of rugged black plastic, separate it from its lower variant siblings.
The HR-V’s interior is also one of Honda’s best efforts to date. Generous swathes of soft touch plastics, brushed aluminum, and different types of lovely soft textures are scattered all over the cabin, making the HR-V an upmarket and premium feeling place to be. The stitched dashboard further ups the premium vibe of the HR-V. Being based on the Jazz’s platform, the HR-V’s space is second to none. Magic seats with their impressive practicality is fitted as standard, and the HR-V’s trunk space is also genuinely massive for the class, 393 liters with the seats up, and 1,665 with the 60:40 split seats down. Impressive as the interior are the features equipped as standard on all variants. All variants include Bluetooth telephone and audio, smart key with push button start, and the first ever application of Honda’s Electronic Parking Brake with Auto Hold function. E and EL variants are equipped with Honda’s highly praised Display Audio capacitive touch-based infotainment system, and a touch panel automatic climate control system. Honda’s ECON Mode is standard on all variants, including the gauges that change from white to green depending on how frugal you drive. For the E and EL, meanwhile, the color of the gauges can be changed in seven (7) different colors.
One of Honda’s newfound strengths in the industry is its generous application of safety features in its vehicles. Standard across the line-up are features usually found on higher trim variants of cars, such as ABS with EBD, 2 airbags, Hill Start Assist, ISOFIX child seat anchors, Vehicle Stability Assist, and a segment first Emergency Stop Signal, which works similarly to Mercedes-Benz’s PRE-SAFE rear vehicle collision alert system. The EL gains 4 more airbags, and 4 rear corner sensors, in addition to the Multi-Angle Rear View Camera, already fitted as standard from the E variant.
Under the hood of the Honda HR-V is Honda’s 1.8 liter SOHC i-VTEC engine, producing 141 hp at 6,500 rpm, and 172 Nm of torque at 4,300 rpm, mated exclusively to Honda’s efficient yet sporty Earth Dreams CVT. E and EL variants gain paddle shifters. In terms of the HR-V’s suspension, McPherson Struts are up front, and a Torsion Beam at the rear, which saves a huge amount of space, and delivers a compliant ride and athletic driving dynamics.
Honda could’ve had an edge if they decided to continue the Honda HR-V, and now that Honda isn’t the first in the small SUV segment, are they too late to the party? Not exactly. The Honda HR-V is one of Honda’s best products to date, and from a sales point of view, it clearly shows. The HR-V is now one of Honda’s best selling cars globally, reaching the top 10 in the sales chart in many countries. Will it have the same success here in the Philippines? Only time will tell.
1.8 S CVT: P1,190,000
1.8 E CVT: P1,230,000
1.8 EL CVT: P1,340,000 (+P20,000 for White Orchid Pearl)