When the Honda Bezel as debuted in Malaysia on 2015 and been named as Honda HR-V, the car model had become an instant hit in the B Segment SUV due to the brand name, and the beautiful design that reflects like a coupe and with a great price. Since then, the Honda HR-V along with their other model like the Honda City, Honda CR-V and the flagship Honda Accord had made Honda Malaysia become the number 1 bestselling car brand in Malaysia.
They are many reviews, comparison with other car model review, walk around on these by the Malaysian automotive website like Paul Tan, Autobuzz, Bobby Ang and many others who had given a good review on the car. Bobby Ang on his YouTube video had mentioned that the car is great and able to deliver an honest performance, Paul Tan had given some walkaround video and also comparing these Honda HRV with other car models in one of their Driven episode, and meanwhile AutoBuzz also had given a review by comparing this car with the Mazda CX-3.
Finally, on January I had gotten my Honda HR-V and based on my driving experience for the past 1 month with these model, this is my thoughts on one of the Honda Malaysia bestselling model and they are some part on the Honda HR-V that is not touched on the car review on the other website and I will like to touch on that too in these articles. First starting with the design, they are 2 words that can describe the design of the HR-V and that is stunning and beautiful.
The exterior design of the Honda HR-V is the first impression that makes most of the car lovers fall in love with the car instantly. With the rear door handle in high side, it gives the car a coupe-like look and if compared with the newly launched Toyota CH-R the door handle of the Honda HRV is far better looking than the C-HR. When I bought mine, it is the highest variant that is called as the V and it had a beautiful and revealing LED daytime running light that is an added beauty on the car. The exterior design and the LED headlight makes the car looking awesome and never felt like it had limitation due to the price because usually the car that sold in Malaysia in the lower price they are some limitation and some specification that will not be included in the car and fortunately the Honda HR-V does not have this kind of shortcoming. Maybe it is because of the heavy competition from Mazda model that provides a good continental like a specification for the car on the same price range. Well, that’s a good thing for the car lovers in Malaysia.
One thing that can be commonly associated with the Honda car is the rear legroom and, in the Honda HR-V, it is quite spacious. Form the Honda City to Honda Accord, Honda car does not sacrifice on the space and in this Honda HR-V, it is the same thing as the car is quite spacious on the rear and it is comfortable for the rear passenger. The touchscreen head unit, high center console, and the optional dashboard light where the user can change based on their preference, the car again does not feel like short in the specification for these price range. But on the bad side, the headroom is maybe not quite spacious for the rear passenger who is tall as the headroom may not suitable for the passenger who is 6 inches or 7 inches taller.
On the performance side with the 1.8 I -Vtec engine that can deliver 140hp and 172nm, it is basically a Honda Civic engine in the B-Segment SUV under his bonnet and mated with the Honda Earth Dream CVT transmission, the love-hate transmission by our car lovers. The combination of these making the car performance silky smooth and never ever feel underpowered. They are some review whether written, forum, and much more who had described the engine as underpowered, but they are no that kind of feeling as the engine does deliver a good power when I press hard on the accelerator pedal. The CVT transmission is smooth and as it characteristic it does not have a gear shifting. However, they are one thing that I dislike and that is the road noise that comes when I accelerate the car hard (maybe because of the OEM tire and the body roll that provide a feeling that the car is unstable although it not that bad).
And they are some myth that I will like to bust on the Honda HR-V. Honda, unlike BMW, always loved to make a different interior for each of their car models. Honda City had a simple design, CR-V had a gear knob right in the centre, and Honda Accord had a dual screen as interior design. The Honda HR-V to has a different interior that they are one thing that makes some myth with regards to this car and that is the triple vent air conditioner right in the front passenger seat. The 3-vent can be adjusted independently, and the results are superb as it can make the cabin super cool in just several minutes. After Mercedes Benz air ventilation design wherein, the some of their model they are 5 ventilators without any rear vent, HR-V is the only car that has 5 ventilation and quite surprisingly is in the car under these price range. The air conditioner flow is superbly designed via this triple ventilator and it had proved Honda claim that these models do not need a dedicated rear air conditioner vent.
Now the infotainment system on this car is one of the things that I dislike about this car as the infotainment is sluggish. It takes so long to start and in some instance like changing music instantly in an MP3 disc or via the Bluetooth, it hangs before changing the track which I found it is not acceptable in these price range cars. Although it does not have the Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Self-Mirroring, and Navigation a better player can be fixed as these players look like from a defect unit.
Although these car does not feel any sort of specification in these price range if compared to the Honda CRV in other markets for example like Australia, it does not have panoramic sunroof, navigation, support of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and does not have the Honda Lane Watch. For now, in our country, the Honda Lane Watch is only fixed in the Honda CR-V high variant and in the Honda Accord and maybe these things can just be installed in the Honda HR-V as optional at least.
Overall, apart from some of the shortcomings, this is a superbly designed, smoothly performed, and a spacious interior car that is adequate in these price range if compared to other car models in the same segment. The facelift Honda HRV that will be launched sooner or later in these year hopes will eliminate some of the shortcomings in this car. The car had been selling like a hot cake for Honda Malaysia and it will be expected to retain his sales in more years to come as they are no adequate competitor for this car in these segment for now and maybe the rumoured Nissan Kick will be a competitor for the car in the future.