ON THE ROAD- IAN LYNAS DRIVES THE HONDA HR-V
The first Honda HR-V made its debut in its home market in 1997; a year later it made its European debut in Geneva. According to a source, HR-V means Hi-Rider Revolutionary Vehicle; best I stay with HR-V; which I must say after a week behind the wheel I came away impressed. Key features of the latest model, are distinctive styling, practicality and economy. This eye catching vehicle, I discovered, catered for all my needs and it delivered a very enjoyable driving experience.
Honda is famed for its powertrains and with the HR-V, two motor e-HEV technology is part of the package and it delivers 131PS. Performance is okay- I can not describe as sports like, nippy is the better term with the sprint from rest to 100kph (62mph) taking 10.6 seconds, which, I have no doubt, will satisfy the needs of most. Three powertrain modes ensure best performance and efficiency under all driving conditions and one pedal driving can be selected for an EV-like experience. On road, the ride is comfy, not too firm thanks to a number of chassis enhancements. Stability and body roll have been reduced by the employment of new suspension components. The company’s Agile Handling Assist further adds to the overall stability of the HR-V. Of course stopping power is ability and I found braking both positive and reassuring thanks to a bespoke brake servo which smoothly controls regenerative and hydraulic brakes. For me just a little too much road noise, a minor complaint on my behalf.
With the HR-V, the Honda designers have gone down the route of a coupe designed SUV, which adds strongly to the character of this vehicle and which makes it stand out from its many competitors. The compact SUV class is perhaps the most competitive sector of the current market and I do not see that changing as more and more are seeing the benefit of owning such a vehicle. As you drive every day, it seems yet another new entry is before your eyes. The sleek styling of the latest HR-V has been achieved by the design team lowering the roof height over the previous model. The increased wheel and tyre to body ratio delivers a confident stance which in turn gives a helping of on road presence. I did observe a number of people taking a second look at this Honda. Returning to the afore mentioned spaciousness that this vehicle delivers, surprising legroom for rear seat passengers, an increase of 35mm over the previous model and generous load carrying ability; two elements which will be key to many buyers. The operation of the tailgate is hands free with a walk away close. Once you have such a feature you will desire one with each new car going forward.
The interior is well appointed; in fact you get a premium feel when stepping inside thanks to the use of premium fabrics and soft touch materials. Comfort levels impressed a lot, such as Honda’s Air Diffusion System which creates a better internal environment for all who travel in the HR-V. Body stabilising front seats have been cleverly designed to minimise fatigue; something that will be welcomed by drivers who undertake length journeys.