Published on May 15th, 2017 | by Subhash Nair0
How Well has the Honda HR-V Aged?
About two years ago, Honda Malaysia introduced the HR-V and completely changed the local automotive landscape. The team at Honda had correctly deduced that Malaysian buyers preferred SUVs and crossovers to sedans – and many would avoid buying hatchbacks unless they were on a tight budget. With that, they put together a package that few could say no to.
When first introduced, the HR-V came in at just under RM100,000. The 5-figure entry price tag certainly helped to draw the crowd in. A very small price hike (of about RM670) hasn’t really changed things since its launch, and the car still has a selling price of RM97,374.63 – RM116,750.99, depending on the variant you’re looking at.
We had the pleasure of revisiting the HR-V on a recent trip to Penang. This was essentially the same car as the one we reviewed previously, but with a couple of key visual improvements.
Dark Ruby Red Pearl
The first big change is the introduction of a new colour – Dark Ruby Red Pearl. This finish replaces Crystal Black Pearl, and certainly brings out the HR-V’s modern lines a lot better. We first saw Dark Ruby Red Pearl on the pre-facelifted City and it looks even better on the HR-V thanks to its constrasting black panels and skirts.
17″ Alloy rims
Adding to the contrast are the new 17″ alloy rims. These bear a two-tone black-on-chrome look that definitely makes the crossover look a lot more premium.
So how well has the HR-V aged since its introduction? Very well from our experience. There are many aspects that other manufacturers have yet to catch up to. Keyless entry, dual projector LED headlights, a very well integrated multimedia system – everything that Honda originally put into the HR-V is still relevant to today’s market. In fact, if Honda had released the HR-V as a new product today it would probably still be a huge sales success.
And it’s still a very practical car. Our weekend trip to Penang had us travelling with 4 in tow and we had loads of room for everyone and their luggage. Plus, when it came time to visit the sights, the HR-V was compact enough to navigate Penang’s traffic and tight streets. The reverse camera was extra helpful when parking with its multiple viewing angles. Stop-start traffic was also easily managed with the integration of Brake Hold. Brake Hold essentially locks the brakes on once you come to a complete stop.
What’s this for? Well, in heavy traffic, you’ll notice quite a number of drivers put their cars in neutral with the parking brake on or just shift to park for what could be a 10-second hold up. This sort of behaviour further slows down traffic and can lead to premature wear on the gearbox. Brake Hold provides a solution that feels natural, especially on Malaysian roads.
In summary, a couple of years on, the HR-V still drives, looks and feels as fresh as ever. Competitors are still clambering to provide an alternative and we’re sure it’ll be sometime before a worthy opponent can arise.
Honda HR-V 1.8L V Specifications
Engine: 1.8-litre SOHC i-VTEC
Max power: 142PS @ 6500RPM
Max torque: 172Nm @ 4300RPM
Selling Price with GST: RM116,750.99