Honda’s new 2015 HR-V compact sport utility vehicle (SUV) will be officially launched in Singapore on April 17.
The new machine, which was launched in Europe and the USA in late 2014, and Japan in mid-2014, is based on the Jazz compact hatchback. In the Japanese domestic market, the machine is known as the Honda Vezel, and debuted at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show.
The HR-V is slightly larger than the Jazz (see chart below) although powered by a similar 1.5-litre engine mated to Honda’s ‘EarthDreams’ continuously-variable transmission (CVT), as is commonly found through Honda’s model line-up.
With more space between the wheels, as well as height, the HR-V should offer very good interior room, given the Jazz hatchback is already class-leading in terms of compact hatch spaciousness.
As with the Jazz, the HR-V has Honda’s Magic Seat system which allows the second row of seats to fold completely flat for a huge amount of storage space.
Local models will have an exterior appearance closer to US models, unlike the Japanese and European spec cars which have LED daytime running lights. A representative from official dealer Kah Motor says that’s with the aim of reducing overall cost while still delivering a good amount of interior equipment.
That seems to ring true, with the base HR-V packing steering wheel remote controls, a 5-inch monitor audio system with USB and Bluetooth connectivity. For $3,000 more the next spec level is LX, which has the 7-inch Honda Link touchscreen infotainment system with six-speakers, cruise control, paddle-shifters and keyless start. The highest grade LX Premium adds $2,000 on top of that for leather upholstery.
At time of writing, the base HR-V retails for $133,999 with COE, the LX for $136,999 and the LX Premium at $138,999 with COE and Kah Motor is currently taking orders. Update April 17: Kah Motor’s launch promotion means the HR-V pricing starts from $129,999 with COE, a $6,000 launch discount which includes three-years of free servicing too.
HR-V vs Jazz
|Engine||1,497cc inline 4, 120bhp||1,498cc inline 4, 130bhp|
|0-100km/h & Top Speed||11.8s, 179km/h||TBC|
|Fuel Consumption / CO2||6.5L/100km / 155g||5.3L/100km / 127g|
|L x W X H mm||4294 x 1772 x 1605||3955 x 1694 x 1520|
The HR-V caps a strong effort from Honda in the past year – before 2013, it was one of the hardest hit mainstream Japanese manufacturers, where rising COE prices and a strong Yen spelt tumbling sales, at one point being outsold by luxury German sportscar make Porsche.
The launch of the Odyssey MPV, City compact sedan, the Jazz compact hatch and the Mobilio compact MPV have done wonders for Honda’s sales though: As of February 2015, it ranks third in sales in Singapore, behind front-runner Mercedes-Benz and second-place Toyota/Lexus. The brands have sales of 1,161, 1,122 and 555 respectively.