The Warsaw Voice » Society » Monthly - December 13, 2015
Honda HR-V 1.5i – VTEC Elegance
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Back to the Roots
The second-generation HR-V now entering the market is another Honda model from the increasingly fashionable crossover segment. Will the automaker’s experience in producing this type of car prove sufficient to outpace other automakers?

Few know that Honda was one of the precursors of the small crossover segment. In 1999, its HR-V model made its debut, a small car that looked like an all-terrain and slightly elevated station wagon, with a roomy, multifunctional interior. Despite its undeniable handling and performance advantages, it did not win over customers; as a result, the car was withdrawn from the automaker’s range in 2006. Today, it seems that not only the design, but the whole concept behind the car was too innovative for its time. Almost a decade after production of the HR-V model was discontinued, Honda is returning to the roots and unveiling a second-generation HR-V. This time the environment is more favorable because the crossover segment is developing rapidly. A fashion for small, multi-purpose vehicles has grown on all automotive markets.

What does the new HR-V have to offer? First, an attractive design: the vehicle looks compact and dynamic. The impression is enhanced by a molding strip running from the front fender to the rear pillar and by a sloping roof similar to that seen in coupes. Second, the vehicle has a lot to offer in terms of functionality. Despite its compact dimensions (4.29 m.), it has a spacious interior with compartments of different size and various arrangement options (including the “magic seat” system, a popular feature in the Honda range that allows for multiple rear seating configurations) and a 470-liter luggage compartment. After folding down the back seats the floor becomes flat and the capacity of the luggage compartment increases to a respectable 1,533 liters. The car is ideal for transporting oversized items with a length of up to 245 cm. Few other cars on the market can boast such clever solutions, without compromising the esthetics of the interior and the high quality finishing materials. Third, the HR-V is fitted with a very good engine and boasts fine handling. Its 1.5-liter/130 hp gasoline engine with direct fuel injection is responsive and flexible. It takes 10.2 seconds to accelerate to 100 kph and hits a top speed of 192 kph. You don’t need to keep it in high revs to drive dynamically. The engine is responsive even at low revs. Beyond 4,000 rpm you can expect some fun from your Honda, though that also means that the engine and suspension become a bit loud.

How will the HR-V cope with its rivals? Competition is stiff and most models in this segment have been on the market for years. Apart from that, the Honda costs a bit more than its rivals. Will the qualities of the car and its legendary reliability be enough to win over customers? Time will tell.

Bartosz Grzybiński