Front profile of the Honda HRV 1.8-litre V variant. Pix by Goh Thean Howe
The side profile of the Honda HRV 1.8- litre V variant. It measures in at 4,294mm in length, 1,772mm in width, 1,605mm in height and weights 1,249kg. Pix by Goh Thean Howe
Hidden rear door handle. Pix by Goh Thean Howe
Dashboard features wide-flow air conditioning. Pix by Goh Thean Howe
Front passenger space. Pix by Goh Thean Howe
Rear profile of the Honda HRV 1.8- litre V variant. Pix by Goh Thean Howe

Honda Malaysia Sdn Bhd launched its HRV in early 2015. It didn’t take long for the company’s sales to shoot up and the roads in Malaysia flooded with the sport utility vehicle (SUV).

Thanks to its sporty and elegant design coupled with a comfortable interior, as well as an attractive price of below RM120,000, many Malaysians bought it.

We had the opportunity to test drive Honda HRV 1.8-litre V variant. It is powered by a 1.8-litre i-VTEC single overhead cam (SOHC) engine that produces 142hp at 6,500rpm and 172Nm of torque from 4,300rpm. It is paired with a 7-speed continuous variable transmission (CVT).

It comes equipped with LED headlamps, LED daytime running lights, hidden rear door handles, LED rear combi lights, 16-inch alloy wheels, shark fin antenna, multi-function steering, 7-inch display multimedia system, ambient meter and touch panel auto air-conditioning system.

Keyless smart entry, push start button, econ mode, cruise control, high deck centre console with armrest and a wide-flow air conditioning at the passenger dashboard is also part of its equipment list.

As for safety, the HRV comes with six airbags, electric parking brake, auto brake hold, emergency stop signal, multi-angle rear view camera, hill start assist, vehicle stability assist and Isofix points.

The HRV is about 4,294mm in length, 1,772mm in width, 1,605mm in height and weighs about 1,249kg. It has a 50 litre fuel tank capacity and 470 litres of boot space.

It is priced at RM118,606.03 without insurance and inclusive of six per cent goods and services tax. All HRVs come with a 5-year unlimited mileage warranty.

THE DRIVE

We clocked about 600km on the Honda HRV 1.8-L V, driving on highways, cities, urban, rough and damaged roads. On the highway, it has sufficient power to overtake vehicles comfortably and cruises easily.

The HRV sits well on high-speed corners, and it didn’t feel bouncy driving on wavy roads. The medium hard setting suspension absorbs most potholes and bumps well, however, some sharp and big potholes were felt.

Its medium weighted steering turns into corners sharply and accurately. It gives responsive feedback to the driver.

In terms of engine, wind, and tyre noise, it was pretty quiet at low speed. We realised the engine roars loudly at high speed especially when it is above 4,000rpm.

The 7-inch multimedia system is friendly to operate, but the sound system lacks clarity and solid bass. We did not have any issue with space in the HRV, as Honda designed it with very generous headroom, legroom and boot space.

We managed to record 14.8 to 17.2km per litre of petrol while cruising on the highway. On average city and highway driving, it clocked 9.6 to 10.7km per litre. After a pedal to the metal driving, it showed that it was capable to travel 6.8 to 8km per litre.

Overall we liked the design, its spaciousness, the comfortable cabin, the hidden charging socket, the hidden door handle, its door visor, its wide-flow air-conditioning, and the instrument panels.

However, we felt that there is some room for improvement as well, such as providing an electrically operated boot, auto locking system that locks the car when it starts to move, and auto folding mirrors that folds the side mirrors when the alarm is activated.

We felt that it would be better if the HRV comes with electrically adjusted seats, and a blindspot warning system would help to increase safety of the SUV.

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