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Malaysia Teaches Us About the HRV

9925 Views 0 Replies 1 Participant Last post by  Kanban

Malaysia offers us one of the first in english, in depth write ups about the HRV.

First up lets start in the back, there has been chatter and concern about HRVs usable rear cargo capacity:

There’s acres of boot space, too – the HR-V features a class-leading figure of 437 litres, which trumps both the Ford and the Peugeot by over 70 litres. Folding down the rear seats boosts space to 1,032 litres, a massive 327 litres more than the EcoSport, but 162 litres less than the 2008. Loading items into that cavernous boot is a cinch, with a wide opening and a low load lip.
Keep in mind that class leading is class leading in Malaysia, not the segment globally.

Staying on the subject of cargo capacity, Honda made every effort to offer versatile solutions within a limited space:

The Jazz’s novel rear Ultra Seats (Magic Seats) make a reappearance here – aside from folding down flat, the seat base can also tip up, providing plenty of space for tall items such as furniture or potted plants. Added to that, there are plenty of storage spaces to stow all your odds and ends, including a compartment that doubles as a pair of cupholders, residing in the space usually reserved for a mechanical handbrake (there’s an electronic parking brake instead).
A large portion of my curiosity still resides in the interior, difficult to determine touch points from pictures without hands on time. However if Honda can keep a semi premium feel inside it will own a large advantage in segment:

Like the Jazz and City, much of the dashboard is made from soft-touch plastic (with faux stitching), but the treatment also extends to the transmission tunnel and the armrests on the doors, while the top part of the door cards are lined with leather (fabric on lower-end models) and feature classy contrast stitching. There’s lots of chrome trim too, and the seats are upholstered in a nice semi-leather upholstery.

Overall, the HR-V’s interior has a much more premium feel than the EcoSport (the cabin in the latter is too reminiscent of the Fiesta on which it’s based, and is lined with hard plastics all over), if not quite as funky or as sophisticated as the 2008’s.
However its not all roses in the cabin:

Some areas of the cabin do frustrate, however – the full-width air vents ahead of the front passenger seem little more than a gimmick, sometimes blowing too much cold air to the face (and not enough towards the rear occupants). The cubby hole underneath the tall transmission tunnel – incorporating the USB and HDMI ports – sounds like a great idea at first, but frequently-used items can be hard to get to.
That may be something to consider for those of you with children in warm climate states, hot and fussy children is no ones idea of a good drive.

Now onto the engine, I'm still not convinced the US market is getting enough power, I'm not looking for a pocket rocket mind you, but adequate or at least mild performance would be appreciated:

Gunning the throttle from a standstill, the HR-V feels brisk, sprightly, surging through the hustle and bustle of urban traffic with ease thanks to the engine’s strong low-end pull and the quick step-off response from the transmission’s torque converter. It can actually be a bit too fast to react to accelerator inputs, making smooth progress a little difficult, but there’s no arguing with the car’s swiftness off the line.
It may feel brisk in Malaysia, but will it still feel the same surround by 300 hp minivans?

Once it actually gets going, however, it starts to struggle in gaining momentum. A number of factors work against the HR-V here – the CVT is slightly hesitant in moving to a lower ratio under hard acceleration, and its insistence of using taller ratios to save fuel can sometimes catch it out, putting the engine out of its power band when it is most needed, such as when powering through a corner.
One thing American consumers will not tolerate is a shoddy CVT, just ask Nissan. However, the HRV does cruise quite well...

Instead, hang back and settle down, because the HR-V does the highway cruise very, very well. The CVT’s aforementioned preference of taller ratios – a bugbear during spirited driving – is a boon here, keeping revs impressively low, at which point the i-VTEC mill becomes barely audible. There’s low levels of wind and tyre noise too; the latter is quite an achievement on the abrasive Thai tarmac we sampled.
And what about the fuel economy?

At least you can expect to achieve decent fuel economy – the Australian model, with the same 1.8 litre engine and CVT combination, is claimed to average 15.2 km per litre. We mustered a real-world figure of between 13-14 km per litre, still a respectable number for a relatively tubby car with a fairly large engine.
In closing, I found this intriguing...

Overall, the 2015 Honda HR-V is a fine package, uniquely suited to life in the city, where it is expected spend the most of its time in. Having experienced the car, the level of thought Honda has put into designing such a car and the depth of its engineering shines through; while the EcoSport and 2008 feel very much like the superminis that spawned it, the HR-V is a markedly different animal from the Jazz and City.
Interesting that they've been able to create two legitimately distinct vehicles from one platform, something that it sounds like the other Automakers have struggled with to date.

While not definitive, interesting insights no doubt, explore the full piece here
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