Meet the ‘Sporty Spice’ Honda

The all-new Honda HR-V is the compact SUV in the Honda model line-up. It comes in four different model variants and I spent a week with ‘Sporty Spice’; the HR-V RS. My RS was Phoenix Orange in colour, which is exclusively available on the RS, highlighted with a piano black and chrome accented RS body kit and 18” alloy wheels.

The Honda HR-V RS was the least expensive car I drove in 2018, costing just $31,990 plus on-road costs. But it had many features that I would expect to find on more expensive cars like auto dusk sensing LED headlights, smart keyless entry with push button start and automatic wipers. The other pleasing things about the HR-V was that it had a comfortable ride, good handling and nice steering.

All four variants of the HR-V come with a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) and a 1.8L SOHC i-VTEC In line 4-cylinder petrol engine that produces 105kW @ 6,500 rpm and 172Nm of torque @ 4,300 rpm. The engine runs on 91RON fuel and the official combined fuel efficiency is 6.7 litres/100km and for the week I drove the HR-V I averaged 8.2 litres/100km. I did not use the ECON fuel economy mode though; when activated it can conserve fuel with gentler throttle controls and settings for the air conditioning to consume less energy.

The sporty feel of the HR-V RS continues once you step inside the SUV with its black leather-appointed heated front seats. The steering wheel is wrapped smooth in sports leather and has paddle mounted gear shifters, audio selection controls on the left hand side and cruise control on the right hand side for easy access. There is also a leather-wrapped gear shift knob and drilled alloy sports pedals to complete the look.

The driver’s dash has big centre speedo, but no digital speedo read out, except on the bottom left hand side of the satellite navigation. To the right of the speedo is a multi-information display screen with info like a trip meter, instant fuel economy, average fuel economy, range and outside temperature display.

Between the driver and passenger seats there is a place for two cup holders and it can adjusted; deeper for taller drink bottles and then flick a lever and a floor appears about half way up so you can store your cup of coffee. Very handy, but I could see myself losing  my keys under the flap and then spending ten minutes cursing while I tried to find them!

The 7-inch colour touchscreen has an AM/FM radio, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity with a USB port, HDMI port and AUX located next to the screen. But ledge where your phone can be placed is gloss black plastic so it offers no grip and would scratch over time. Under the front of the centre console there is another ledge with a 12V power outlet.

Connecting my phone via the Bluetooth was a bit of a challenge as there was no simple ‘connect new device’ option and I had to go searching in the submenus to establish the Bluetooth connection, but it all worked fine once it was up and running.

The screen displays the multi-angle rear reversing camera with normal, wide, top-down view and fixed guidelines and rear parking sensors. It also displays the LaneWatch camera when the left hand indicator is activated so that you can see what is in your blind spot. Plus the LaneWatch camera can be manually activated via a button on the end of the indicator stalk when parking so you don’t hit the kerb.

I really liked the HR-V satellite navigation as it allows you to either enter a destination address or if you select the ‘Places’ option you can select from destinations ‘around me’, with coordinates, ‘In a City’ or via postcode. This is good for when you don’t know the exact address you want to go to.

The rear seats have good leg room and a 12V power outlet, but no air vents, if you want dual zone air conditioning you will need to go for the top of line model ‘Posh Spice’ model. There are three rear tether points (centre is a top tether) and two ISOFIX child restraint points.

The rear seats have a 60/40 split with fold down and tip up feature meaning you can carry things like tall pot plants in the SUV, great for those weekend trips to the gardening store.

Another good feature was the carpet mat over the transmission tunnel as any parent will know that this area takes a battering from children and is really hard to vacuum clean.

The boot in the HR-V is an OK size and would fit a stroller and the weekly shop. Plus there is a 12V outlet in for a car fridge and a space saver wheel in the base of the boot.

The HR-V has a 5-star ANCAP safety rating with front, side, and full-length curtain air bags. Other safety features include the City-Brake Active System and LaneWatch for blind spot detection. The City-Brake Active System operates when the vehicle is travelling between approximately 5-32km/h to help avoid slow speed nose to tail accidents.

There were a couple of design features I didn’t like on the HR-V including the three air vents in front of the passenger; I thought that could have been styled a bit nicer. I also didn’t like the flimsy rear parcel shelf.

Overall the all-new HR-V RS is pleasant to look at and lovely to drive with many features that you would expect to find on cars costing at least $10,000 more. The HR-V comes with a 5-year unlimited km warranty and 6-year rust perforation warranty giving you long term peace of mind with your new car purchase.

Visit your preferred Honda Dealer and test drive one for yourself and let us know what you think about the all-new ‘Sporty Spice’ HR-V.

Photographs by Driven Women Magazine.

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