Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Driveway - Bill Buys

HONDA’S first HR-V, back in 1999, was ahead of its time and the jus­tar­rived new Thai-built model also has some novel fea­tures.

It’s in a mar­ket sec­tor that has grown to be much tougher than the orig­i­nal three-door, all-wheeldrive model, but has the goods to be one of the front-run­ners.

Now with five doors and fron­twheel drive, but still equipped with the smooth auto-like CV trans­mis­sion, the four model vari­ants range in price from $24,990 to $34,565.

There’s the VTi, VTi-S, VTi-L and VTi-L ADAS, with our test­mo­bile be­ing the VTi-L, which Honda thinks will ac­count for about onethird of HR-V sales.

It’s a good-look­ing ve­hi­cle with sharp styling, a wide, se­cure stance, a sur­pris­ingly spa­cious in­te­rior and the aptly-named 18way Magic Seat sys­tem that al­lows all man­ner of seat­ing and/or cargo con­fig­u­ra­tions.

The boot alone is 437litres – big­gest in its class – but can be more than dou­bled with a bit of that magic.

It’s a full five-seater, with am­ple room for four adults, five at a squeeze, with an at­trac­tive cabin lay­out.

Stan­dard fare in­cludes 17-inch al­loy wheels, a panoramic sun­roof, al­loy ped­als, leather trim with heated front seats, auto-on lights and wipers, and a 7-inch dis­play au­dio touch­screen in­ter­face that also dou­bles as a wide-an­gle re­vers­ing cam­era.

It’s also an ex­cel­lent safety fea­ture in that it screens a shot of what’s trav­el­ling be­hind when chang­ing lanes or turn­ing left.

It ef­fec­tively re­moves the blind spot that plagues most ve­hi­cles and is es­pe­cially use­ful for spot­ting cy­clists zip­ping by on the left.

VTi-L mod­els also get front and rear park­ing sen­sors.

There’s no satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion, but that’s avail­able if paired with a mo­bile phone and the Hon­daLink iTunes app.

The HR-V uses the Civic’s 105kW/172Nm 1.8-litre four­cylin­der en­gine that has a claimed av­er­age econ­omy fig­ure of 6.9litres/100km, which we achieved on a four-up run to Northam and back.

It’s a well-proven light­weight, low-fric­tion pow­er­plant, per­haps a tad low in torque, but it has more than enough poke for tour­ing, quick over­tak­ing or just plod­ding through the me­trop­o­lis.

A turbo-diesel model is ex­pected to join the range later.

The HR-V is a smooth, easy driver with good com­fort lev­els and road man­ners. It has a fairly tight turn­ing cir­cle, is easy to park and ser­vic­ing is now needed only once a year.

A fine new ver­sion of an old Honda favourite. It should find many fans de­spite the plethora of class ri­vals.


Honda’s classy new HR-V.

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