By Kap Maceda Aguila
HONDA recently reminded people that it has considerable skin in the crossover/SUV game. Amid an undeniable surfeit of car-based sport-utes releases across practically all auto brands, Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. (HCPI) unveiled a refreshed version of the HR-V subcompact crossover.
Still pillared on the current, second-generation model, the HR-V has been “updated with modern sporty styling cues and advanced technology features which aim to give customers a stylish capable crossover,” according to an HCPI statement. It added the car can be useful in a number of ways and has been fitted with convenience features “expected from a Honda.”
The HR-V (which stands for Hi-rider Revolutionary Vehicle) debuted in 1999. The model is now based on the platform of the current Honda Jazz. The second-generation HR-V made its debut at the 2014 New York Auto Show as a concept car, then appeared in production model form at the same year’s LA Auto Show. In HCPI’s lineup, this crossover slots above the BR-V and below the CR-V, with the Pilot remaining as Honda’s largest offering.
The refreshed HR-V features a redesigned front bumper, front grille, and full LED headlights with integrated daytime running lights. At the rear, the vehicle receives new LED “guide-type” tail lamps for enhanced safety. New 17-inch sport black alloy wheels complete the more aggressive look.
In the cabin, a new seven-inch touch screen system features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability for increased and more convenient smart phone connectivity. Retained in the crossover are its ULT (Utility, Long, Tall) seats, which allow for three different adjustment modes — meaning seating can be arranged to allow more space for passengers or for cargo.
The new HR-V is still powered by a 1.8-liter SOHC i-VTEC engine generating 140 hp at 6,500 rpm and 172 Nm at 4,300 rpm. Integrating Honda’s Earth Dreams Technology, the engine and transmission provide “responsive performance, acceleration and improved fuel efficiency,” HCPI said in a release, which added: “Honda’s Eco Assist System, which consists of the Econ mode and Eco-Coaching Ambient Light, helps encourage fuel-efficient driving.”
A new RS variant also debuts for the nameplate, which sportier and looks more dynamic. The RS’s exterior flaunts a new honeycomb grille and LED headlights, with LED fog lamps exclusive to the variant. The RS also receives dark chrome-finish door handles and door trims, plus a two-tone 17-inch alloy wheel designed for it. At the rear, the LED tail lamps have been smoked.
Honda provides the RS with a full leather interior, complemented by piano-black accents on the steering wheel and center console for a more premium feel. The aforementioned seven-inch touch screen comes standard with a navigation system. Finally, an exclusive Phoenix Orange Pearl color only available in other RS models will be debuting in this HR-V variant. Passion Red Pearl color also premieres for the two vehicle variants, and Lunar Silver Metallic is reserved for the 1.8 E CVT.
Both HR-V variants are equipped with electronic parking brake with auto brake hold, ABS with EBD, driver and front passenger SRS airbags, vehicle stability assist, and hill-start assist. The 1.8 RS Navi CVT trim gets additional side airbags.
The HR-V 1.8 RS Navi CVT is priced at P1.495 million; the 1.8 E CVT goes for P1.295 million.