Back with a bang

By: Brian J. Ochoa September 01,2015 - 11:52 AM
The HR-V’s exterior design would sit well with the younger generation.  (CDN PHOTO/BRIAN J. OCHOA)

The HR-V’s exterior design would sit well with the younger generation.
(CDN PHOTO/BRIAN J. OCHOA)

If there’s one segment in the country’s automotive industry that looks really promising, it should be the subcompact crossover category.

In the said segment belongs some of the most good-looking and top-performing vehicles such as the Mitsubishi ASX and the Subaru XV.

Honda recently joined the competition with the release of its all-new HR-V last June.

According to a report in motioncars.inquirer.net, the HR-V is Honda’s take in the B-segment-size SUV. The name stands for Hi-rider Revolutionary Vehicle.

Honda Cars Cebu, located along A. Soriano Avenue at the North Reclamation Area in Cebu City, recently allowed Cebu Daily News a weekend drive aboard the hip crossover.

The new HR-V is a far better-looking crossover compared to its boxy predecessor, which didn’t gain popularity when it was sold here in the late ‘90s.

This one’s more attractive and its styling is quite interesting.

There are windswept-looking creases on the hood, bumper and doors, and sharp dynamic lines that gives the crossover a forward-moving stance that would sit well with the younger generation.

There’s a unique exterior feature that some may find tricky, though. The HR–V’s rear door handles are neatly hidden at the edge of the C-pillars to create a clean look. As cool as it is, some may find it difficult to find, forcing them to believe the crossover is a three-door vehicle.

Like the recently-launched Mobilio MPV, the HR-V is also built on the Jazz platform. This means the HR-V combines the fuel economy and maneuverability of the subcompact hatchback and the taller driving position and larger cargo area of an SUV.

 The HR-V is back, this time looking sexier than its boxy predecessor. (CDN PHOTO/ BRIAN J. OCHOA)

The HR-V is back, this time looking sexier than its boxy predecessor. (CDN PHOTO/ BRIAN J. OCHOA)

The HR-V’s interior is one of the most spacious in its class and it also features Honda’s trademark ULT rear seat layout. Same with the Jazz, the rear seat can fold in various ways to change to Utility, Long or Tall object mode.

Another thing we liked is the HR-V’s interior styling, especially its high-tech dashboard.

The driver faces a three-spoke steering wheel with integrated audio controls. Air-conditioner controls use a touch-screen panel, and a 7-inch touch-screen audio unit sits on top of it.

Climate controls use touch-screen interface. (CDN PHOTO/ BRIAN J. OCHOA)

Climate controls use touch-screen interface. (CDN PHOTO/ BRIAN J. OCHOA)

Multiple HDMI and USB power ports are hidden below the center console.  Again, this is interesting, but kind of tricky. Those who are not into cars would definitely have a difficult time looking for this area in the car.

But once found, this area would really amaze as it could also be a safe storage area for small gadgets.

The air-conditioner vents also stretches across the entire passenger side of the instrument panel to optimize cool airflow throughout the compact yet roomy cabin.

The center console houses a sporty slim gearshift and the parking brake push-button switch.

A compartment beneath the gear shifter in the center console is extremely useful once it is found. (CDN PHOTO/ BRIAN J. OCHOA)

A compartment beneath the gear shifter in the center console is extremely useful once it is found. (CDN PHOTO/ BRIAN J. OCHOA)

Under the hood, the HR-V is powered by a 1.8-liter SOHC i-VTEC engine, good for  139 horsepower and 172 Newton-meter of torque. The engine is mated to a continuously variable transmission.

This may not be a forte of the HR-V, considering the high numbers of its competitors but this engine does perform and is fuel efficient. And above all, it’s a Honda, which means you know you’ve got a top quality engine.

Other interesting features include 17-inch wheels, daytime running lights, LED headlights (top cariant) and a reverse camera.

With all these, we believe the Honda will compete well in the crossover segment that is also expecting the arrival of the Mazda 3 and the Chevrolet  Trax. When all are out, the war in this segment will prove to be really interesting.

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TAGS: Honda, HR-V, motoring

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