HONDA launched its third-generation HR-V Down Under this month with drive-away pricing beginning at $36,700 nationally.
With a design the Japanese manufacturer says was “conceived to meet the exacting needs of modern customers”, the HR-V is now offered with petrol and petrol-electric hybrid power, and with only two trim grades, each unique to the model’s driveline offering.
That means the “entry grade” Vi X, which is positioned between the outgoing VTi-S and RS grades, is powered by a 1.5-litre i-VTEC petrol engine, while the high-grade e:HEV L (from $45,000 drive-away) combines petrol and electric power, and is positioned above the outgoing VTi-LX variant.
In keeping with the tone set by Honda’s newly launched eleventh-generation Civic, the HR-V small SUV offers a strong level of equipment with no true entry-grade variant offered in the line-up.
Even the lower-specified Vi X is packed to the gills with convenience and safety equipment, including Honda Sensing technologies such as forward-collision warning, collision-mitigation braking system, lane-keep assist and lane-departure warning, road-departure mitigation system, adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow, high-beam support system, traffic-sign recognition, agile-handling assist system and hill descent control.
Furthermore, the Vi X is fitted with walk-away (proximity) locking, privacy glass, 18-inch alloy wheels, satellite navigation, and a 9.0-inch infotainment cluster with wireless Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto connectivity.
The e:HEV version’s L grade adds a blind-spot information system, rear cross-traffic alert, intelligent speed assist, handsfree powered tailgate with walk-away close function, acoustic vehicle alerting system, electrochromatic rear-view mirror, rain-sensing wipers, heated and power-adjustable wing mirrors (with auto reverse tilting function), a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel, acoustic windscreen, as well as rear air-ventilation outlets and USB ports.
Honda says the new-generation HR-V features a more rigid body structure than the outgoing model and “benefits from extensive suspension, steering and braking enhancements”.
A slightly longer wheelbase is further set to improve the model’s ride quality, while an “all-encompassing approach to NVH management” will improve noise insulation and overall cabin refinement, the brand asserts.
The HR-V is said to offer comparable interior space to mid-size SUVs with the rear seats positioned 30mm further rearward to extend second-row legroom, while the model’s rear backrest offers an additional two degrees of recline compared with that of its predecessor.
The HR-V duo is available in a choice of five exterior colours, three pearlescent options – including premium opal, platinum white and crystal black – and two metallic colours – meteoroid grey and premium crystal red.
The new model is offered with a five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty and eight-year battery warranty. Service intervals are pegged at 12 months or 10,000km (whichever comes first), with the first five services capped at $125 each.