2022 Honda HR-V Vi-X New Car Review

The previous Honda HR-V small SUV was one of the most popular models in its class, but a sharp price increase for the new version gave a boost to its popularity.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Honda HR-V.

ASSESS

Some brands offer vast choices in their compact SUV lines. Honda has taken the simpler approach for its new HR-V, with the choice of a gas-only Vi-X or a better-equipped e:HEV L hybrid.

The Vi-X we tested is priced at $36,700 drive-through (prices are fixed) for one of five colors. Standard equipment includes smart key entry, a digital instrument cluster, 18-inch alloy wheels, front and rear parking sensors, adaptive cruise control and a rear camera that has three different views. There’s also a 9.0-inch infotainment screen integrating wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

But there’s no wireless phone charging, and this Vi-X’s plastic steering wheel is out of step with the premium price.

There’s no spare wheel either, with only a foam storage divider under the floor of the compact trunk.

COMFORT

The HR-V prioritizes style over space with a coupe-inspired body that conceals the rear door handles. There are also some interesting design touches, including the body-coloured slatted grille.

This style continues in the cabin where there are a handful of user-friendly buttons and dials and the touchscreen placed high on the dash. The dark layout is sleek and there are some useful storage compartments in the center stack, plus easy access to three USB ports up front (but none in the back).

Space in the front is good and the sporty silhouette creates a feeling of cocooning. Legroom is surprisingly generous in the rear by small SUV standards, although headroom is less compelling.

As for cramming in five, forget it. The HR-V has only two rear seat belts, excluding a fifth occupant. There are no rear air vents.

SECURITY

There are side curtain airbags all around while those up front have frontal airbags.

Active safety includes lane-keep assist, speed sign recognition and automatic emergency braking, but blind-spot warning is only fitted to the most expensive hybrid.

CONDUCT

The HR-V Vi-X has a 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine with modest outputs, just 89kW and 145Nm. That’s less than the car it replaces, despite being relatively efficient, using 5.8 liters per 100 km.

Performance is aided by a CVT automatic that constantly adjusts the gear ratio to get the best out of the engine. It works well, even if the revs go up if you want to speed up the tempo. You’ll need to be vigorous with your right foot at times if you want to keep up with traffic, especially once hill or highway speeds enter the equation.

In the corners, the HR-V is composed and reassuring, with good levels of grip.

A hill descent control system (typically used when off-roading on steep grades) is optimistic, given that the HR-V only drives its front wheels.

ALTERNATIVES

Hyundai Kona Elite, starting around $35,700 drive-away

Solid and versatile prices for a car with leather and a Harman Kardon sound system. The cabin lacks flair and the engine is nothing special.

Mazda CX-30 G20 Pure, from around $33,700 drive-away

Clever presentation and a generous number of gear teams with solid driving manners.

Toyota C-HR GXL, from around $35,000 drive-away

The small 1.2-liter turbo works well with the automatic CVT, although it does require super unleaded. Sharp styling and solid dynamics, but side vision in the rear is marginal.

OPINION 3/5

Seats only four and lacks the driving excitement and value to stand out in a crowded SUV segment.

HONDA HR-V Vi X VITALS

PRICE: From $36,700 by car

WARRANTY/MAINTENANCE: 5 years, unlimited km, $635 for 5 years/50,000 km

SAFETY: 6 airbags, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist

ENGINE: 1.5 liter 4-cylinder, 89 kW and 145 Nm

THIRST: 5.8L/100km

BOOT: 304L

Originally published as 2022 Honda HR-V Vi-X New Car Review

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