18 Mar


The Honda HR-V is the ideal compact family SUV, and is fast becoming a firm favourite among discerning motorists looking for an affordable, practical and modern vehicle. The HR-V ticks all those boxes and more with its iconic shape that is not only compact compared to the average SUV, but it’s also surprisingly spacious thanks to the clever Magic Seats system first introduced into the Jazz models.

Two versions of the HR-V have been launched aimed at young families: the 1,5 Comfort (available since July 2019) and a 1,8 Elegance.

The 1,5-litre Comfort version is equipped with halogen headlights, fog lights, roof rails and colour-coded trim. Inside there’s cloth upholstery, soft-touch surfaces, front cupholders, door pockets, front armrest and illuminated vanity mirrors.

The 1,8-litre Elegance received a number of upgrades such as new alloys, auto LED headlights with daytime running lights, leather trim, leather steering wheel, auto aircon, heated front seats and a rear armrest. The 13cm monitor in the Comfort version has been replaced with an 18cm touchscreen display with reversing camera.

From a styling point of view it certainly is a good-looking crossover. In particular, the front features tapered headlights framing a V-shaped grille and meshed lower air intakes, while the large wheel arches add to its rugged SUV traits along with slim roof rails.

At the rear there are large tail light clusters and – what will aid shopping and loading all the kids’ items a breeze – a tailgate which opens at bumper level. Because of its pronounced roofline curve, the car leans towards a coupe-like impression but the short overhangs, raised height and wide tracks shout typical SUV. The high driving position also gives off a commanding sense behind the wheel.

The 1,8-litre Elegance is a ravenous little creature with 105kW/172Nm. Fuel consumption is rated at 6,8-litres/100km thanks to stop/start functionality.

The 1,5-litre unit has recently been upgraded and is the same engine found in the Ballade and Jazz with 88kW/145Nm, up from 81kW.

It’s mated to Honda’s constantly variable transmission (CVT) and according to Honda SA’s Graham Eagle, the automaker’s customers prefer autos – and judging by the numbers so far, he’s probably right. Honda says the CVT unit has been improved quite a bit, and even though it may not be smooth and seamless, it’s definitely much better than before. However, a manual gearbox would really bring out all the glory of this new HR-V.

The HR-V is packed with equipment such as an electric parking brake, combined with an auto brake hold function which is much-needed in SA’s traffic. Regarding safety features, Honda says the electric parking brake is engaged via a switch on the centre console, and automatically releases when the accelerator pedal is pressed. The auto brake hold function engages automatically after the vehicle has been braked to a standstill, and the brake pedal is released. The hold function is disengaged as soon as the accelerator is activated.

In addition, there are six air bags, head restraints, inertia reel seatbelts for all seating positions, and Honda’s advanced compatibility engineering (ACE) body structure. Driver assistance programmes include: anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution; emergency brake assist and emergency stop signal activation; vehicle stability assist, hill-start assist and a high-mounted LED rear brake light.

The HR-V Comfort 1,5 starts at R376 700 and the HR-V Elegance 1,8 is priced from R445 700. The HR-V comes with a 5-year or 200 000km warranty, a 4-year or 60 000km service plan, and a 1-year AA roadside assistance package. Service intervals are 15 000km.


CMH Honda uMhlanga, 89 Flanders Drive, uMhlanga, Mount Edgecombe. Tel: 031 580 7900

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