New Honda HR-V Sport 2019 assessment
The unique Honda HR-V was one of many very first compact crossovers. The self-proclaimed ‘Joy Machine’ offered in comparatively modest numbers between 1998 and 2006, earlier than taking a near-10-year hiatus because the model seemed to realign its mannequin portfolio.
It disappeared till 2015, when it returned primarily based on a platform shared with the Jazz supermini. 4 years later and Honda has gifted the HR-V a much-needed mid-life nip and tuck – introducing an all-new Sport mannequin that includes further equipment, particular damping and a strong turbo petrol engine from the Civic hatch.
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It’s fortunate there’s extra to this facelift than just a few styling tweaks, because the aesthetic enhancements are restricted virtually solely to a brand new ‘solid wing’ grille and a few further chrome trim. The rear mild clusters have additionally been up to date, however that’s your lot.
The brand new engine is the large information, then. Boasting 180bhp and 240Nm of torque, it’s the one turbocharged petrol engine within the HR-V vary. Out there solely in Sport spec, these variations get a dynamic styling pack with high-gloss accents, a delicate physique equipment and 18-inch wheels.
You’ll pay for the privilege, nonetheless – because the automotive we’re driving right here is £2,565 dearer than a top-spec (non-turbo) 1.5 i-VTEC EX. Look a little bit additional down the vary at a 1.5 SE Navi, and that hole swells to greater than £5,500.
The Sport a energetic performer, and also you’d hardly ever need any extra energy in a automotive of this form or measurement. It accelerates strongly, and whereas it isn’t probably the most tuneful motor, there’s at all times loads of torque in reserve for overtaking. Regardless of this, Honda claims the brand new 1.5 Turbo is fractionally extra economical than the usually aspirated i-VTEC.
The quick, notchy gearbox is a pleasure to make use of, too, even when the clutch pedal does sit a little bit excessive. The driving place is a little bit awkward, really, with seemingly little motion in each the seat and the steering wheel.
Due to the HR-V Sport’s ‘Performance Damper’ expertise, physique management is sweet. There’s little or no roll by means of tight bends and the automotive modifications course with goal. However the trade-off here’s a agency experience that by no means really settles. An SUV that requires countless correction on visibly clean tarmac doesn’t make for a calming automotive to drive.
The truth is, round city the suspension set-up borders on insupportable. Most HR-Vs will spend their time operating errands in city environments, and few patrons will put up with such a stiff low-speed experience for the data that it may safely deal with a Swiss switchback as soon as in its lifetime.
Fortunately, the Sport’s efficiency add-ons have carried out nothing to have an effect on the automotive’s practicality – and the HR-V stays one of the vital versatile vehicles in its class. The revolutionary Magic Seats are unchanged, whereas the 470-litre boot places it on par with vehicles from the category above in the case of outright carrying capability. Area within the again is fairly good, too.
The cabin is properly laid out and greater than matches rivals just like the Toyota C-HR in the case of high quality, match and end. The HR-V’s infotainment system isn’t excellent, nonetheless, and you’ll’t even bypass it utilizing Apple CarPlay or Android Auto – as neither is presently out there on the up to date SUV vary. This, regardless of the actual fact each comes as commonplace on all however probably the most fundamental Civic hatchback.