Sprint Review: 2020 Honda HR-V

The middle Honda SUV sibling recently received a slight update in the hope of being more competitive within the compact SUV department. We tested this model to see if it can stand its ground in this very competitive market.

The previous HR-V showed true potential as it entered the market with an abundance of interior space, making it very practical as a new family vehicle. The new model certainly continues this trend as it has 393 litres of space at the rear. With the rear seats folded flat, the HR-V can certainly swallow a surfboard.

Secondly, the HR-V also brings with it comfortable leather (heated front) seats, keyless entry, a reverse camera, climate control, 17 inch alloys, auto lights and wipers as well as a 6.8 inch infotainment system with USB and HDMI.

However, the interior is somewhat old fashioned, with the infotainment system not having Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Similarly, the system also struggles to recognise USB and Bluetooth inputs, while the infotainment screen produces glare in the sun.

While the HR-V looks more modern on the outside, Honda skimped a bit on the interior design and features.

Luckily, the HR-V does have a healthy safety package as it comes with ABS (and EBD), Emergency brake assist, stability control, Hill start assist, ISOfix child seat anchors and six airbags.

The driving quality is nice and relaxed, but is surely not built for speed. Rather, the CVT gearbox in the HR-V is relaxing and quiet on the open road.

However, within the city itself, the 4-cylinder engine isn’t as lively as you would have hoped. Peak power outputs will only be reached within the higher revolutions; thereby not making it the ideal drag racer.

While the HR-V might not have the latest technology, it does provide a solid and comfortable ride quality. It has been built for its main purpose, which is, to carry four adults comfortably on both tarmac and gravel roads for a weekend getaway.

For now, the HR-V will receive stiff competition from the Nissan Qashqai, Toyota C-HR, Mazda CX-3 and Mitsubishi ASX. Each of these competitors may fall behind in terms of practicality, but will make drastic leaps in terms of technological inputs. With added technology in the future model, the HR-V should be one of the ‘must-have’ cars in this segment.

Full Speclist

Engine:1.8- litre 4-cylinder naturally aspirated petrol
Transmission:7-speed CVT
Max. Power:105kW
Max. Torque:172Nm
Avg. cons.:7.6L/100km (claimed)
0-100km/h:10.1 seconds (claimed)
Top speed:188km/h (claimed)
List price:R 419 900
(5-year / 200 000km warranty &
4-year / 60 000km service plan)

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