New Honda HR-V evolves in technology, but must charge dearly for it

It was in 2015 that the Honda HR-V helped usher in a new era in compact SUVs. The model was quite successful in bringing modern design, build quality and creative solutions. Even without reaching the success of the rival (and contemporary) Jeep Renegade, it raised the level of the category that was flooded with competitors in the following years.

It’s hard to know if the same can happen with the new HR-V, but qualities abound. The sport utility brings more technology, safety and performance compared to its predecessor.

But, as there is no free lunch, prices should also increase compared to the previous model. The manufacturer has not yet released the values, but expect something around R$140,000 for the entry-level version and R$180,000 for the high-end configuration.

It even has a last name

The new HR-V will be sold in four trim versions: EX, EXL, Advance and Touring. The first two debut in August accompanied by the Honda Sensing surname, in reference to the driving assistance package that will be offered from the factory since the entry-level version.

In October it will be the turn of the Advance and Touring configurations to hit stores. Along with them will come the unprecedented 1.5 DI VTEC Turbo Flex engine, whose specifications have not yet been revealed by Honda.

What’s in each version?

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Honda Sensing EXL version has 1.5-liter naturally aspirated engine

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All versions of the HR-V are well equipped. The equipment list includes items sold as options (or not available at all) in some competitors.

Honda HR-V EX Honda Sensing:

6 airbags, stability and traction controls, Honda Sensing assistance package (with forward collision alert, autonomous emergency braking, lane keeping assistant, blind spot sensor, lane departure alert, among others ), side camera, rear parking sensors and hill start assistant.

It also has speed control on descents, a multimedia center with an 8-inch touchscreen and wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support, full LED headlights, 17-inch alloy wheels, digital air conditioning with rear air vents, Rear USB, reversing camera and Magic Seat system for folding seats.

Honda HR-V EXL Honda Sensing:

Same items as the EX version plus leather-covered seats, keyless door unlocking, electrochromic rear-view mirror, LED fog lights, leather-covered steering wheel with paddle shifts, rear center armrest, 17-inch alloy wheels exclusive sound system with two front tweeters and rear parking sensors.

Honda HR-V Advance:

Same items as the EXL version plus myHonda Connect app, induction cell phone charger, seven-inch TFT digital panel, digital air conditioning with two temperature zones, driving mode selector, sports bumpers, dual exhaust tips, rear view mirrors with electric folding and Tilt-Down function on the right side, front parking sensors and rain sensor.

Honda HR-V Touring:

Same items as the Advance version plus driver’s seat with electrical adjustments, remote engine start, 17-inch aluminum wheels with exclusive design, electric trunk opening by motion sensor with closing function (Walk Away Close), external moldings in glossy black, smoked taillights and two rear tweeters.

Style on another level

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HR-V rear mimics SUV coupe fit

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The design has also evolved considerably in the new generation of the HR-V. Instead of the more robust forms, the model gained a more sporty style – and that refers to SUVs coupes.

At the front, the HR-V features two types of grilles: the EX and EXL versions feature a piece of horizontal fillets, while the Advance and Touring configurations feature a honeycomb-like pattern.

Looking from the side, the slimmer silhouette is highlighted by the design of the “C” columns, which are steeper than before. The ‘camouflaged’ handles on the rear columns, one of the hallmarks of the previous generation, were preserved in the model.

The rear shows a more “clean” and elegant design, with emphasis on the horizontal lanterns joined by a functional bar.

In real life, the new HR-V is more impressive than in photos. Although it looks more compact from some angles, the SUV is pretty much the same size as its predecessor. It is 4.33 meters long (or 4.38 meters in the Advance and Touring versions), 1.59 meters in height (20 millimeters less), 1.79 meters in width and the same 2.61 meters of wheelbase. .

Cabin has changed radically

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Interior brings a lot of City stuff and very good quality finish

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As happened in the City, the cabin gained a more refined look and reduced the distance that existed for the models on the top step – that is, Civic. The lines have become more horizontal and a lot is shared with City. The multimedia center screen (which is not as big as rivals VW T-Cross and Fiat Pulse) is in a prominent position at the top of the console. Just below are the air conditioning controls, which are not impressive for the look, but are very easy to understand.

To the driver’s left is a rotary selector that regulates the flow of air inside the cabin. The good assembly pattern of the parts remains and the quality of the plastics shows a noticeable improvement, although there is still rigid material in some parts.

The interior space, which was already featured in the old HR-V, has increased by 35 millimeters for the legs in the rear seat. Fortunately, Honda has kept the practical Magic Seat modular system, which allows you to fold the back seat in various configurations. With this, the owner can make room to transport long, tall or large objects.

heart of city

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1.5 engine that equips entry versions is the same as the City line

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Our first contact took place on a closed circuit inside the Honda test track, in Sumaré (SP), and only with the EXL version.

In this configuration, the SUV features the well-known 1.5-liter i-VTEC flex engine, which debuted in the new City. The power is 126 hp, delivering maximum torque of 15.8 kgfm with ethanol and 15.5 kgfm when powered by gasoline. The transmission is a CVT type simulating seven gears.

According to Honda, measurements from the Inmetro Vehicle Labeling Program point to average consumption of 8.8 km/l in the urban area and 9.8 km/l on the road circuit with ethanol and 12.7 km/l in the city. and 13.9 km/l on the road when fueled with gasoline.

Sound insulation is better and the suspension seems to work more finely when going through potholes and ditches – like the simulated obstacles on Honda’s test track.

Due to the limitations of the route (which was delimited by cones and with several sharp curves), it was not possible to measure the performance of the HR-V. However, it is noted that the smooth and progressive responses of City are repeated in the SUV, which has evolved considerably in accelerations.

Although a more detailed verdict can only be given when the manufacturer releases the vehicle for a full evaluation, the first impression of the new HR-V was very positive – and the car should be a lot of work for the competition.

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