TopGear Malaysia joins Honda in Thailand to sample the HR-V and it looks promising
As I write this I'm sitting in my hotel room after just completing a media drive through the best B roads that Chiang Mai has to offer. We will reveal more from this drive in our upcoming issue, but for now here's a quick take on the Honda HR-V.
First impressions – it is a very good looking crossover, and yet not a crossover – combining the looks of a sporty hatch with the characteristics of a sedan and the convenience of a crossover. Designers have thrown away all ideas of symmetry and gave the dashboard a more personal touch for each front occupant, which apparently meant three aircond vents for the front left passenger (I guess people want more aircond). The ULTRA seats, which we loved about the Jazz, are also in the HR-V which is a big hooray for cargo space.
It shares the same 1.8-litre SOHC i-VTEC as the Civic (140hp and 172Nm) with a 7-speed CVT allowing it to perform well within city limits but lacks enough oomph for the B roads, meaning you either have to keep the momentum going or play with the gears. This is where the paddle shifters come in handy and unlikely to find its way into the Malaysian variant, but it shouldn't be a big issue for HR-V owners who spend most of their driving in urban environments. On a positive note, the steering feedback feels more weighted and thus offers a better driving feel to compliment the way it stays planted on the road.
The Malaysian variant will be officially launched very soon and with it details of the specs and pricing. This is gonna be a good one.