Overall, what the automobile lacks in performance and infotainment, it makes up with comfort, design and space
These days, picking the right family SUV can be a bit troublesome – similar to choosing what you want to watch next on Netflix. There are so many choices and intriguing options that you end up wasting your time just browsing on Google. So, how are you going to solve this dilemma? If you are willing to take advices, why not try out Honda's HR-V – as poky and sedate as a car can be.
The HR-V is a subcompact, front-engine, four passenger, all-wheel drive crossover SUV, manufactured and marketed by Honda for two generations. The first generation of HR-V was marketed from 1999-2006 featuring two different variants – one with three doors (1999-2003) and the other with five doors (1999-2006).
After a hiatus of seven years, the vehicle made a comeback based on the third-generation Honda Fit. As per the company, the nameplate HR-V stood for "Hi-rider Revolutionary Vehicle".
The second-generation of HR-V debuted at the 2014 New York International Auto Show as a concept car with the production model unveiled later on. The vehicle shares the same platform as the third-generation Fit and similar to the Vezel. When compared with the CR-V and Pilot, the automobile is much smaller in size.
Unfortunately, the HR-V's best engine is reserved exclusively for the top-spec Sport model. The turbocharged 1.5-litre petrol makes 180bhp, which is quite slow. The car has an engine that loves to rev, rewarding drivers who take the automobile over 5000rpm. The non-turbocharged 1.5-litre has 128bhp but much less shove compared to the turbo 1.5. The diesel on the other hand, comes in manual only, but do not put it off, as the manual gearbox has a short, fast action and a mechanical feel that makes it enjoyable to use.
On road, the HR-V is one of the better-handling cars in the small SUV class.
The vehicle experiences a good amount of body lean, which is manageable by simply slowing down a bit. Though, the HR-V's steering is precise and easy to judge, it is too light just off-centre at speed and then weights up noticeably with a little lock on. In contrast, at parking speeds it's actually pretty heavy just off-centre.
Sitting on the driver's seat, the vehicle feels more like a high-riding hatchback rather than a proper SUV.
The seats are comfortable enough with enough adjustment space to them. All Honda HR-V cars come with some soft, squidgy plastics on the doors and centre console alongside a funky touch-sensitive heating and ventilation controls. These look super slick but not having any physical buttons means taking eyes off the road for tweaking the settings for the standard climate control. It's a similar story with the touchscreen infotainment system. It looks pretty sharp, but on-screen buttons and complicated menus make it a real pain to use on the move. The seats are heated and very supportive, while the glass roof helps make the Honda HR-V's interior feel as airy as possible.
Overall, what the automobile lacks in performance and infotainment, it makes up with comfort, design and space. Having said that if you are looking for the perfect SUV for the family, give the HR-V a try. Current generation of HR-V is around Tk39,95,000.