Sporting new front and rear styling, the Honda HR-V has been quite significantly tweaked for the 2019 model year.
While the updated model retains all of the outgoing model’s core characteristics and benefits, it delivers new, striking styling elements that transform the front and rear appearance.
The interior retains Honda’s Magic Seat System, which allows exceptional space utilisation, but features model-specific upgrades to the upholstery, fabric and finishes. In addition, the HR-V’s full-featured infotainment system has been standardised across the range.
Safety remains an HR-V priority with a full complement of active and safety systems that includes six air bags, vehicle stability assist, hill start assist, and emergency braking indicators.
The updated HR-V model range still offers a choice of Comfort and Elegance trim levels, as well as 1,5-litre and 1,8-litre drivetrains featuring Honda’s i-VTEC technology and Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) gearboxes.
“The Honda HR-V has been a worldwide success since its introduction, establishing a strong position in the ever-growing SUV category,” says Toshiaki Kusakari, Head of Automobiles at Honda Motor Southern Africa.
“The HR-V’s global popularity is also reflected here in South Africa, where it is one of the key models in the local offering. It slots in perfectly between the larger CR-V and the more compact BR-V. We are convinced that these latest updates will further entrench the urban crossover as one of our top sellers locally.”
While the silhouette of the latest Honda urban crossover remains unmistakably HR-V, the front end now features Honda’s latest ‘solid wing face’, which incorporates an all-new front bumper, a reprofiled bonnet, and redesigned headlights.
The more aggressive front bumper design includes a new licence plate garnish, as well as recessed apertures for LED fog lamps now standard on the 1.8 Elegance model. The new headlights feature LED elements and LED daytime running lights on the Elegance version, while the Comfort derivative headlights employ projector-type halogen units.
The taillight clusters gain a smoked appearance, while the licence plate garnish has also been redesigned to match the front’s more aggressive styling approach.
While the 1.5 Comfort model retains 16-inch alloy wheels, the 1.8 Elegance is now fitted with new 17-inch wheels.
Inside it gains new fabric designs, while the Elegance gets smarter perforated leather upholstery with double-contrast stitching.
Less obvious but significant in overall comfort terms, noise and vibration dampening has been upgraded, further enhancing the HR-V’s already impressive refinement levels.
Standard across the board are electrically operated windows and mirrors, remote central locking, air-conditioning, cruise control, a multi-function steering wheel and a multi-information trip computer.
As part of the upgrade package, Honda has standardised the touchscreen-based infotainment system, which means that both Comfort and Elegance models now feature a 6,8-inch touchscreen display, instead of the 5-inch screen previously fitted to the Comfort version.
The infotainment system features list includes Bluetooth-based hands-free telephony and audio streaming, extended connectivity via USB and HDMI and smart device screen mirroring for access to device-specific functions such as video and photo files, as well as GPS navigation.
In the case of the 1.8 Elegance model, a rear-view parking camera is linked to the parking sensors to make reverse parking more convenient.
In active safety terms, the HR-V offers anti-lock brakes with Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), Emergency Brake Assist (EBA) and Emergency Stop Signal (ESS) activation.
Further peace of mind is provided by Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA), Hill Start Assist (HSA) and a high-mounted, third brake light. IsoFix child seat anchors are also included.
The 1.5 Comfort CVT is powered by Honda’s 1 497cc four-cylinder engine, featuring i-VTEC variable valve timing and electronic fuel injection. The engine is credited with 88 kW of maximum power, attained at 6 600 r/min, together with a torque peak of 145 Nm at 4 600 r/min.
The 1.8 Elegance CVT employs a 1 799 cc four-cylinder engine, again featuring i-VTEC variable valve timing and electronic fuel injection. Power and torque maximums come to 105 kW at 6 500 r/min and 172 Nm at 4 300 r/min respectively.
The 1.5 Comfort boasts a combined-cycle fuel consumption figure of 6,3 litres/100 km, linked to CO2 emissions of 151 g/km. The 1.8 Elegance model achieves 6,8 litres/100 km in the combined cycle, coupled to 162 g/km of CO2 emissions.
PRICING, WARRANTY AND SERVICE PLAN
HR-V 1.5 Comfort CVT R354 900
HR-V 1.8 Elegance CVT R419 900
The retail prices include a five-year/200 000 km warranty, a four-year/60 000 km service plan, and a three-year AA Roadside Assistance package. Services remain at 15 000 km intervals.