Today we’re back with the expert review of the newly launched Honda HR-V The first generation of the HR-V was launched in 2003, Honda named it the High-Rider Revolutionary Vehicle and it has come a long way in these 19 years. This is the third generation HR-V and the first to be locally assembled in Pakistan. Honda Atlas has launched the HR-V in 2 variants, VTI and the top-spec VTI S. In this review, we will review the VTI S variant in detail and find out whether it is good enough to penetrate this crowded crossover market.
Differing from the international hybrid models, the local HR-V gets a naturally aspirated engine. Both the variants get a 1.5 liter DOHC engine pumping out 119 hp and 145 nm of torque. This engine is paired with a CVT transmission which delivers power to the front wheels. Opposing a popular assumption of this engine being the same as in the BR-V, the engine is actually different compared to the BR-V’s SOHC engine.
The new HR-V gets an attractive exterior which stands out a lot. The design reflects Honda’s latest generation cars and is a fresh breeze of air in the crossover market compared to the somewhat homogenous exteriors of competitors. The front is mostly occupied by the large front grill which is complemented by the sleek LED headlights.
It gets 17 inch grey alloy rims with piano black over fenders and the signature high mounted handles for the rear doors. The piano black contrast is continued at the roof which adds a pinch of sportiness. The rear look is very modern with continuous LED tail lamps, a rear wiper and a large silver diffuser at the bottom. Overall, the exterior is well laid out and makes you turn back and look at it while walking away.
The interior is modern yet the design language is minimalistic having similarities with the new Civic as well. The center features a floating infotainment screen and the dash gets a soft padding, unlike other trims which are mostly plastic. The VTI S gets leather seats and interior colour options are also available which include red, grey and the standard black. Instrument cluster is not fully digital, but the MID display between the dials is pretty handy in providing necessary information. Overall, the cabin feels premium with ample space enhancing the travel experience.
The HR-V might miss out on the infamous panoramic roof in crossovers but the other features compensate for that. These include a dual zone climate control, leather interior, automatic LED headlights, a 9 inch infotainment screen with a reverse camera, rear wiper, push start, brake hold, electric parking brake, down-hill assist, wireless charging, rear ac vents, an auto dimming rear view mirror and much more.
The HR-V, however, misses out on some features like cruise control and electric seats which are standard among competitors.
As per our reviewer, the drive of the HR-V initially felt not too exciting but after driving it for a while, it started to grow on him. The engine is not turbocharged like most of the new crossovers but it still provides optimal power. The drive does not feel underpowered within city at all and the engine refinement is impressive.
Cabin noise is minimal with good insulation and the suspension is soft making it ideal for rough roads as well. Being a Honda, handling and road grip is good on high speeds with decent visibility for the driver as well. The overall drive is very comfortable and caters to inter-city travel impressively, though it might not appeal to drivers who want that turbo kick.
After thorough testing, the HR-V proved to be very efficient in fuel consumption. Within city, it gives around 12 km/l on normal driving which increases by a kilometer or two if driven with a very light foot. On the other hand, if the car is pushed, the fuel average comes down to 10.5 to 11 km/l which is still not bad. On highways, the fuel consumption showed minimal difference, giving around 13 to 14 km/l which is understandable for this engine’s displacement.
The air conditioning of the HR-V is very impressive, though it can be better tested in summers. The car comes with a dual-zone climate control along with rear AC vents. It also has a feature of curtain air-flow which enhances air-flow around the cabin and prevents direct throw on the front passengers.
The HR-V does not compromise on safety with an overall strengthened shell and impressive international safety rating. The safety features include 4 airbags, Agile Handling Assist, traction control, ABS brakes, Isofix child seat anchors etc.
Although many questions were raised about several features being paid options, the base price of the HR-V is very attractive considering the current market conditions. The low spec VTI is priced at Rs. 59.99 lacs while the top-spec VTI S is priced at Rs. 61.99 lacs at the time of this review.