We’ve reviewed the all-new Honda HR-V AWD, and you can check out the video below.
After a ten year hiatus the HR-V has been reintroduced; it’s such an improvement the new vehicle probably shouldn’t share the name. The first generation wasn’t a massive seller here in New Zealand, but this incarnation is likely to change that. It really is a great value all-rounder – if you’re after a hatch, a station wagon or an SUV and are not quite sure which would suit you, then consider this little beauty, because it’s all three.
Most regular hatchbacks are limited in luggage capacity, so it’s worth noting that the HR-V – if you don’t mind comparing apples with pears for a moment – offers so much more. The ‘Magic Seats’ add superior versatility: their ability to instantly fold flat means throwing in plenty of gear is simple. The roomy rear seats also lift up and away from the floor completely, allowing a full height load space for the likes of bikes or small horses or whatever else you need to cart around.
And even with a load packed in, fuel economy would be startlingly good. The HR-V’s 1.5-litre petrol engine sips 5.3 litres per 100km, which means you could fill the 40-litre tank and drive happily from Wellington to Whakapapa and back for a skiing weekend without stopping for gas. As long as you’re driving economically, of course, which the Honda will help you do: it comes with an ECON button that maximises fuel economy.
When you do want to have a bit of fun whipping along winding country roads, the HR-V really comes into its own. Handling and cornering are precise thanks to a lightweight, rigid chassis and some clever German suspension engineering Honda has called Amplitude Reactive Dampers. This works really well and it’s easy to forget you’re in an SUV.
Having drive to all four wheels is a real plus: it’s not only about mud and snow and sand; just getting to work or taking the kids to school in non-slip safety during or after a downpour is something we all need to consider. Rough gravel roads are dealt with efficiently – it doesn’t seem to notice the loose surface at all, just drifting a bit when you want it to and biting when needed.
Inside, the HR-V is simple, stylish and comfortable, with loads of features that belie the moderate price tag of $35,600. There are three infotainment options, reversing camera, USB and HDMI ports and Bluetooth.
Anyone after a stylish, capable compact SUV should take this for a spin. It’s a great size for urban dwellers and will get you and the family exploring. It’s humble, versatile and dynamic and, most of all, it’s exceptional value for money.
Specifications Honda HR-V AWD
Engine: 1.5-litre, VTEC, 4-cyl petrol
Luggage capacity (litres): 437-1462
Towing capacity: 1000kg braked
Fuel economy: 5.3l/100km combined
Three infotainment options
Real Time AWD
Amplitude Reactive Dampers