JOHANNESBURG, Gauteng – Honda’s HR-V urban crossover has undergone what the automaker says is ”a significant upgrade” that involves new front and rear styling, enhanced interior and generally upgraded equipment levels,
The HR-V first reached South Africa in 2015 with what Honda calls ”a sleek, coupé-like. design with the robust attitude of an SUV, and the space and versatility of an MPV”.
The 2018 version is said to still have these characteristics but with new styling elements, front and rear. There are model-specific upgrades to the upholstery, fabrics and finishes and a ”full-featured” infotainment system has become standard.
Safetywise, the SUV has six crash bags, auto stability control and turn indicators that flash under emergency braking.
There are still two trim levels, Comfort and Elegance, and a choice of 1.5 or 1.8-litre engines whose torque is transmitted to the road through a continuously variable transmission.
CONFIDENT ABOUT SALES
Honda Motor Southern Africa Toshiaki Kusakari told The Corner in a media release: “The HR-V is a worldwide success whose global popularity also exists in South Africa, slotting s it does between the larger CR-V and the more compact BR-V.
”We’re convinced these latest updates will entrench the urban crossover as one of our top-sellers locally.”
The new nose has all-new front bumper, a re-profiled bonnet, and redesigned headlights. The 1.8 Elegance model has recessed apertures for diode-lit foul-weather lights and new headlights and daytime running lights are also diode-lit.
Comfort units have projector-styled halogen units.
Updates at the back include smoking of the light cluster covers. The flagship 1.5 Comfort still has 16” alloy wheel rims but the 1.8 Elegance now has 17” rims.
The cabin has continued, Honda SA says, to build of the models’ premium feel through the use of better finishes and materials. Soft surfaces and gloss-black detailing continue but Comfort units have been improved with new fabrics – the Elegance getting perforated leather upholstery with double- contrast-stitching.
Honda’s unique Magic Seat System® continues with its almost unique, space-producing ability to create what Honda calls ”an almost infinite variety of seating and load-carrying configurations”.
FULL HOUSE OF CONVENIENCE GOODIES
Basically, the split rear bench can fold forwards to increase the normal 393-litre luggage bay’s volume to 1002 litres and its squabs raised or lowered to create a tall central cargo volume to accept large and awkward objects.
Comfort and convenience features in each/various models include power window lifts and mirrors, remote central locking, air-conditioning, cruise control, multi-function steering-wheel and a trip data computer.
Comfort and Elegance models now have a 17cm touchscreen to display details of the infotainment system, Bluetooth hands-free telephony and audio streaming, extended connectivity via USB and HDMI, and ”smart device” screening of video and photo files and satnav.
The system also incorporates a FM Stereo/AM radio though a number of speakers. The 1.8 Elegance now has a reverse-parking camera.
”The rest of the standard-equipment,” Honda says, ”remains – including the auto-release electric parking brake.”
LOTS OF EMERGENCY PROTECTION
The Honda HR-V continues with comprehensive active and passive crash protection features: front, side and curtain crash-bags, head restraints and inertia-reel seat restraints for each seat.
Active protection comes from anti-lock brakes supported by equalising pressure distribution, emergency pedal-pressure assistance, and flashing indicators. IsoFix child-seat anchors are also standard.
The 1.5 Comfort CVT has a 1497cc, four-cylinder, engine with i-VTEC variable valve timing and electronic fuel-injection. It can generate 88kW and torque of145Nm.
SHIFT PADDLES, TOO
The 1.8 Elegance CVT has a 1799cc four-cylinder, also with i-VTEC variable valve timing and electronic fuel injection. Power and torque data reads 105kW / 172Nm. Each has constantly-variable auto transmission but with steering-wheel shift paddles to select pre-set ratios.
The 1.5 Comfort, Honda says, is capable of 6.3 litres/100km. *, the 1.8 Elegance 6.8 litres/100km. Your driving style and routes may give greater fuel consumption.
PRICING, WARRANTY AND SERVICE PLAN
Honda HR-V 1.5 Comfort CVT – R354 900
Honda HR-V 1.8 Elegance CVT – R419 900
Prices include a five-year or 200 000km warranty, a four-year or 60 000km service plan, and three years of AA Roadside Assistance.
Services intervals 15 000km.