Wednesday 21 March 2018

Honda promise 'magic' moments as they reveal details of their new compact 'soft-roader' HR-V

Honda HR-V
Honda HR-V
Honda HR-V cabin
Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

Honda are today revealing more details of their latest Crossover/SUV the HR-V as they steadily ramp up the number of new and revised models for the market here.

The new HR-V is not a bit like the old ones we still see on our roads.

The only similarity between the two lies in the name.

This new motor will be shown at Geneva next month before wending its way here by the summer.

The distributors expect it will be in good time for the 152 plate which is now such an important new juncture for buyer and seller alike.

In terms of size, the HR-V comes in beneath the popular CR-V soft-roader, though one of the things they emphasise is how much room theyhave managed to generate in the cabin.

Powering it will be the excellent 1.6-litre i-DTEC diesel and a 1.5-litre i-VTEC petrol.

The 1.6-litre diesel will have 120bhp on tap while the 1.5 litre i-VTEC petrol develops 130bhp.

It will be front-wheel drive only and will have a 6spd manual transmission.

But there will be the option of an automatic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) with the 1.5 litre petrol. That sounds like an interesting combination.

As I've said, the brand is facing into a busy, busy time.

Apart from the HR-V, there is the TYPE R (300bhp or thereabouts) we told you about last week as well as a facelifted Civic.

Then there is the CR-V getting the new 160bhp 1.6-litre diesel which has now become a cornerstone of so many of Honda's models.

It is good to see so much activity from a buyer's point of view too.

Back to the HR-V. Honda are making a big noise about the fact it will have their so-called 'Magic Seat' system.

It means you can extensively juggle combinations of passenger and luggage space.

And the company's Connect infotainment system will be on all grades except entry level.

This works through a 7ins touchscreen right in the middle of the dashboard.

Honda say it allows for internet browsing, traffic, weather and music streaming as well as real-time news.

As a line to describe the new car, the following is not new - but I like it nonetheless: they say the interior brings the "virtues of an MPV into the crossover segment for the first time".

The basic ability to generate so much space stems from the company's global B-segment platform.

It allows, for instance, the fuel tank to be placed under the front seats.

That frees up space under the rear seats which enables them to use the 'Magic Seats' system.

The substantial number of configurations you can generate with the 60:40 split seats stem from three broad modes.

There is 'Utility' mode where the rear seatback folds forward and the base creates a long, flat floor.

Then there is 'Tall' mode where the rear seat-base is locked vertically so you get floor-to-ceiling space.

And with 'Long' mode, all the front and rear passenger seatbacks fold forward horizontally.

They are claiming lots of space for legs, shoulders and heads - front and back.

The boot has 453 litres of carrying capacity with the rear seats up; and 1,026 when they are folded away.

As far as drivers are concerned the first thing in their line of vision will be a three-dial instrument binnacle showing basic information.

But in the middle of the dash is the 7ins touchscreen (not on entry level as I said - it gets a 5ins one if you want it).

The 7ins device runs the android 4.0.4 system with the 'pinch, swipe and tap' functionality of a smartphone.

The screen also shows trip meter, fuel economy and journey time etc.

It also syncs with smartphones and other multimedia devices through MirrorLink, WiFi, Bluetooth, HDMI and USB.

They are claiming that their acoustic insulation package significantly reduces the amount of noise that gets into the cabin so you can enjoy your music, or whatever, without intrusion.

Some versions will have a one-touch tilt and slide panoramic sunroof.

And they are flagging an Advanced Driver Assist System package, which uses a camera and mid-range radar.

This system is standard on everything above entry level.

It includes a fair number of 'systems' such as Intelligent Speed Assist, City Brake Active Assist, Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Traffic Sign Recognition system, and High-beam Support System.

Importantly, the City-Brake Active system will be fitted as standard.

As of now there are no indications of overall spect/trim levels or, crucially, of price.

Indo Motoring

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