"Turns Heads With Every Turn"
In only the past few years’ subcompact crossovers seem to be on the steady incline, we see more and more manufactures adding them to their lineups, all for good reason. They offer the perfect solution for someone looking for a smaller type of vehicle with some of the advantages of a SUV such as great all-weather drive capabilities thanks to the all-wheel drive systems, higher seating positions, bigger cabins and maybe a little more storage all without having to spend the bigger price tags and gaining the overwhelming size.
Hondas attempt to tap into this market is the all-new 2016 Honda HR-V, the smallest of the Honda SUV lineup. The HR-V does somewhat of a collaboration using the Fit as the platform and combining elements and design from the widely popular CR-V, thus giving you a crossover SUV that is going to give you tremendous fuel economy, convenient and practical size, versatility and a pretty sporty drive. Starting at roughly $20,800 depending on where you live the Honda HR-V is only in its first year of production but it seems to be a promising addition the segment.
Although it shares the same platform the subcompact Honda Fit, it has a completely different feel from the somewhat awkward Fit. The windshield sits in a much more natural place compared to a mile ahead of you, a wider cabin that feels open and free as opposed to stuffy in the Fit and the use of higher quality materials everywhere is evident. Available is the leather trimmed seating in a few different shades which adds a level of sophistication and luxury, this comes standard with heated seats upfront. The overall layout of the dash is clutter free with a sleek and futuristic design thanks to the touchscreen dual-zone automatic climate control and the 7” touchscreen multimedia station.
Loaded with technology the HR-V allows you to link up your phone to access informative apps, Bluetooth audio steaming and hands-free and satellite linked navigation system with bilingual voice recognition. A multi-angle rearview camera paired with the available Honda Watch system, a camera mounted on the passenger side mirror that comes on anytime you signal right of push the end of the lever to display your blind spot on the 7” screen.
The HR-V like we said before is a convent little SUV, thanks to the 60/40 split 2nd row magic seat the rear seats are able to fold down completely flat while the front passenger seat can fold all the back backwards allowing for longer ticket items like snowboard, surfboards etc. The HR-V shares the same design with the Fit by strategically putting the gas tank under the front seats to allow for more storage space in the back.
The HR-V comes with a 1.8-litre 4-cylinder engine that produces 141 horsepower and 127 lb.-ft of torque. Mated to either a 6-speed manual transmission or a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) with paddle shifters and ECON. Eco Assist is a system that is integrated into the speedometer, it helps you drive more efficiently by using colored lights on either side of the speedometer, green simply means longer waits till the gas station.
Also available is the real time AWD with Intelligent Control, this system is a smart system that responds to loss of traction by automatically transferring torque to the necessary wheels to keep you straight ahead.
Overall the HR-V was a fun and versatile little vehicle, it proved that it was ready to go where ever you are and could get you there on a minimal amount of fuel. With a combined rating of 8.1L/100KM (7.2 City and 8.8 HWY) the HR-V is one of the most fuel efficient in its class, although it’s not the quickest little car and acceleration was on the slower side it’s really hard to complain because of all the positives.
The sporty and athletic appearance to the HR-V have a lot to do with the size. Honda was able to incorporate more of an aerodynamic styling standpoint because the idea generally was to keep it small. With lots of sharp and dynamic lines running the length of the vehicle, the HR-V has quite an athletic stance to it. The 17” aluminum-alloy wheels are good choice and fit the HR-V’s appearance perfectly. The halogen headlights paired with the fog lights give the HR-V a bold look along with clear visibility. Being the EX-L model this NR-V came standard with the Roof rails and the one touch power moon roof.
“The 2016 HR-V received a 5-star overall Vehicle Score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)New Car Assessment Program” (Honda.ca). Drivers assistance features such as ABS, Brake Assist, Electronic Brake- Force Distribution (EBD), Hill Start Assist, Vehicle Stability Assist with traction Control are standard on all levels of the HR-V, however on the EX-L Navi package we also see the addition of lane departure warning and forward collision warning.
Also standard on all levels of the HR-V are side curtain Airbags, smartvent side airbags, dual stage multiple threshold front airbags, Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure and front 3-point seat belts with automatic tensioning system.