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Has Honda done enough with the HR-Vs facelift to ensure its midsize crossover keeps its edge in this large market segment?

They offer more for less. That’s why the level of interest in (and, consequently, sales of) midsize crossovers have risen in the past few years. Not only are they more spacious than hatchbacks of the same length and width, but their raised ride heights and elevated seating positions are very appealing.

Honda’s HR-V, which arrived on the local market in 2015, has garnered a notable share of Honda South Africa’s monthly new-vehicle sales. In some months, Honda sells as many units of the HR-V as the Jazz small hatchback, which is surprising given the latter is more affordable and also particularly practical for its size.

The revised HR-V incorporates aesthetic upgrades, plus improvements to the range’s specifications, both of which are part and parcel of product-cycle updates.

From the front, the HR-V features revised headlamps (adorned with LED elements and daytime-running lights on this Elegance model), as well as a mildly reshaped bumper and bonnet. The vehicle’s flanks still incorporate flush and hidden rear door handles, while the 17-inch alloy wheels (wrapped in 215/55 tyres) are of a fresh design and the taillamp clusters have smoky lenses.

The interior has been suitably smartened up, too. The leather seats (specific to this derivative) are comfortable and supportive, while soft-touch materials adorn the upper parts of the door trims and the outer armrests. The stylish divider between the driver and front-passenger seats affords a pair of cupholders and two small storages spaces. Below the centre console (adjacent to the edges of the front footwells), another oddment storage space with a 12 V socket is provided. As it is not easily visible from the outside, it’s a near-ideal space to recharge devices.

The infotainment system, with its 6,8-inch touchscreen display (as in the pre-facelift range, but now also standard on the Comfort model) is an ex-factory unit. It takes a while to become familiar with the system but it does offer Bluetooth connection/streaming, USB and HDMI ports, plus screen-mirroring for smart devices. However, a number of team members found it clunky to use; we would prefer a more modern, integrated unit with contemporary graphics. Below the infotainment screen, the climate-control system’s flush piano-black buttons have a sophisticated feel.

As for the aft accommodation, occupants are afforded decent headroom, an abundance of legroom and an additional 12 V socket. The Magic Seat system remains the HR-V’s strongest trait; it allows the front-passenger seat to fold backwards (to create a bed), while the second-row squab can fold down to create a flat surface or flip up to offer luggage space behind the front seats.

A niggle in the cabin was the trip-computer button, which is an antiquated push stalk sited just below the instrument cluster. It’s irksome because, on many contemporary vehicles, a steering wheel button performs that function.

Apart from the Honda’s spacious and practically configured cabin, its drivetrain combination (a naturally aspirated, 1,8-litre four-cylinder petrol motor mated with a continuously variable transmission) impressed us more than we anticipated. Eager throttle mapping gives the HR-V a brisk nature; progress is not overly dulled by the sensation of elasticity created by many CVTs. What’s more, the Honda never feels ponderous, it handles nimbly and is easy to manoeuvre in most driving situations. Upon selecting reverse, the rear-view camera, which is standard on this model, makes it even easier to park this midsize crossover.

There is admittedly a whine from the drivetrain when you plant the Honda’s throttle pedal but, when you relax your right foot’s input, the revs drop and, at an indicated 120 km/h, the rev needle hovers just above 2 000 r/min, which is a laudable for a 1,8-litre petrol engine. The powerplant is not particularly torquey, however (a middling 172 N.m is available). This means you need to make use of plenty of revs for urgent acceleration but, fortunately, there is the option to utilise the steering-wheel-mounted paddles to override the transmission to access the CVT’s seven “virtual” gears. Plus, the 1,8 Elegance will reward a measured driving style: the test unit consumed 7,10 L/100 km on our fuel route.

Meanwhile, the Honda’s ride quality is commendable: the suspension absorbs road imperfections well and good road-noise suppression is a boon to overall refinement. One tester, who spent a year with the current CR-V, remarked the HR-V’s ride quality compares well with that of its more expensive sibling.
Long-term test (Introduction): Honda HR-V 1,8 Elegance CVT

Comfort: it’s one of the most important car-buying factors when you know you’re going to spend hours behind the wheel of a car stuck in traffic. And my new Passion Red Pearlescent long-termer confidently ticks that box. 

In flagship form (there’s also a 1,5-litre naturally aspirated petrol on sale), the recently revised Honda HR-V is fitted with a 1,8-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine (105 kW/172 N.m) and, as I’ve discovered while driving the CR-V for a year, Honda’s CVT is
a very relaxing transmission. I rarely see the needle move be- yond 3 000 r/min, which helps to minimise any unnecessary noise intrusion into the cabin. 

The interior highlights include snug leather pews, a transmission tunnel sporting partially hidden storage spaces, a 12 V socket up front (with another one in the rear) and two 

cupholders. During fresh autumn mornings in Cape Town, I opted to use the standard seat warmers, if only for the first few minutes of my trip. During our road test of this vehicle (February 2019), we mentioned the infotainment system with its 6,8-inch touchscreen can be clumsy to use. However, I seem to have mastered it and it now connects automatically to my Android phone via Bluetooth. The system also offers a USB port which I use to charge my phone, as well as an HDMI socket. 

The 60:40-split seats in the rear are part of Honda’s Magic Seat system; they fold flush to offer up to 1 112 litres of space, more than some of the HR-V’s competitors. The luggage compartment cover is a lightweight unit that slides in or out of its position with only a few fingers. It’s quiet and notably easy to remove. 

However, it’s the absorbent ride quality and easy-going demeanour that have been the most enjoyable characteristics on my 70 km commute. The steering system is nicely weighted, with some heft to it, which I prefer, and the ride is absorbent across broken surfaces. 

The frugal engine is helping lower my heart rate, too; the average fuel consumption is just 6,97 L/100 km. The onboard computer indicated 7,0, making it one of the most accurate systems I’ve yet experienced. 

After 1 month
Current Mileage: 
 461 km
Average fuel consumption: 
6,97 L/100 km
We like: 
overall interior comfort; frugal engine
We don’t like: 
aftermarket infotainment system


Long-term test (Update 1): Honda HR-V 1,8 Elegance CVT

While I enjoyed the HR-V’s forerunner, the Amaze, I really prefer the midsize crossover over the small sedan. Having more power and torque under your right foot makes all the difference both in town and on the highway. I’ve been able to keep the fuel consumption close to 7,0 L/100 km, resulting in an impressive fuel range of just below 700 km. Although the design of the dated infotainment doesn’t tie in with the contemporary look of the rest of the cabin, it’s proven easy to use, while the heated seats are handy in the Cape’s blustery winter months.

After 2 months
Current Mileage: 
 2 031 km
Average fuel consumption: 7,10
 L/100 km
We like: 
overall interior comfort; frugal engine
We don’t like: 
aftermarket infotainment system

Latest Resutls for Honda HR-V

Was R445 700 Now R405 900

Manufacturer Specifications

Standard - standard Optional - optional
  • Leather upholstery: Standard
  • Seats quantity: 5
  • Split rear seat: Standard
  • Folding rear seat: Standard
  • Air conditioning: Standard
  • Climate control automatic air conditioning: Standard
  • Cup bottle holders: front + rear
  • Front armrests: Standard
  • Heated ventilated seats: front heated
  • Antilock braking system (ABS): Standard
  • Electronic brake distribution (EBD): Standard
  • Brake assist (BAS/EBA): Standard
  • Traction control: Standard
  • Stability control: Standard
  • Driver airbag: Standard
  • Front passenger airbag: Standard
  • Front side airbags: Standard
  • Curtain airbags: Standard
  • Airbag quantity: 6
  • Automatic drive away locking: Standard
  • ISOFIX child seat mountings: outer rear
  • Approach home safe lighting time delay park headlights: Standard
  • Emergency brake hazardlights: emergency-brake flashing hazard lights
  • Start stop button: Standard
  • Hillstart assist hillholder: Standard
  • Alloy wheelsrims: Standard
  • Power steering: Standard
  • Multifunction steering wheel controls: Standard
  • On board computer multi information display: Standard
  • Cruise control: Standard
  • Bluetooth connectivity: Standard
  • Aux in auxiliary input: Standard
  • USB port: Standard
  • Powersocket 12V: front + rear
  • Central locking: keyless
  • Remote central locking: Standard
  • Key less access start hands free key: Standard
  • Electric windows: front + rear
  • Rain sensor auto wipers: Standard
  • Electric adjust mirrors: Standard
  • Heated exterior mirrors: Standard
  • Daytime driving running lights: LED
  • Light sensor auto on off lights: Standard
  • Xenon headlights: LED
  • Frontfog lamps lights: LED
  • Highlevel 3rd brakelight: Standard
  • Rear fog lamps lights: Standard
  • Park distance control PDC: rear + rear camera
  • Camera for park distance control: rear
  • Rear spoiler: Standard
  • Metallic pearl escent paint: Optional
  • Fuel Type: petrol
  • Fuel range average: 735 km
  • Driven wheels: front
  • Driven wheels quantity: 2
  • Gearratios quantity: V
  • Gearshift: automatic
  • Transmission type: CVT
  • Gear shift paddles: Standard
  • Electromechanical parking brake: Standard
  • Front tyres: 215/55 R17
  • Reartyres: 215/55 R17
  • Spare wheel size full: alloy
  • Length: 4347 mm
  • Width excl mirrors incl mirrors: 1772 mm
  • Height: 1605 mm
  • Wheel base: 2602 mm
  • Ground clearance minimum maximum: 170 mm
  • Turning circle wheels body: 11.4 m
  • Load volume / capacity: 393-1002 L
  • Load volume / capacity: 1002 L
  • Unladen/tare/kerb weight: 1274 kg
  • Load carrying capacity / payload: 589
  • Gross weight (GVM): 1863 kg
  • Towing capacity - unbraked: 500
  • Towing capacity - braked: 800
  • Fuel tank capacity (incl reserve): 50l
  • Fuel consumption average: 6.8 l/100km
  • CO2 emissions average: 162g/km
  • Power maximum: 105 kW
  • Power maximum total: 105 kW
  • Power peak revs: 6500 r/min
  • Torque maximum: 172 Nm
  • Torque peak revs: 4300 r/min
  • Torque maximum total: 172 Nm
  • Acceleration 0-100 kmh: 10.1s
  • Maximum top speed: 188 km/h
  • Engine position/ location: front
  • Engine capacity: 1799 cc
  • Engine size: 1.8l
  • enginedetailshort: 1.8
  • Engine + detail: 1.8
  • Cylinder layout: inline
  • Cylinders: 4
  • Cylinder layout + quantity: i4
  • Cam: dohc
  • Valves per cylinder: 4
  • Valves quantity: 16
  • Variable camvalve timing: Standard
  • Warranty time (years): 5
  • Warranty distance (km): 200000 km
  • Service plan: Standard
  • Service plan time (years): 4
  • Service plan time (distance): 60000 km
  • Roadside assistance time: 1
  • Service interval (distance): 15000 km
  • Brand: Honda
  • Status: c
  • Segment: passenger car
  • MMcode: 250722502
  • MMVariant: HR-V 1.8 ELEGANCE CVT
  • Introdate: 2018-09-20
  • DuoportarecordID: HondHR-V2Fe2

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Honda HR-V 1.8 Elegance for sale in Somerset West from one of's apporoved car dealerships
New HR-V 1.8 Elegance availbale from the following auto dealer:
Rola Honda Helderberg New Cars new car dealership located in: Somerset West, Western Cape, South Africa
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