The third-generation Honda HR-V has been officially launched in the Philippines. And for the first time, the B-segment crossover gets two engine options and a new standard safety suite called Honda Sensing.
Its predecessor made the segment popular, but the new model is facing a very different landscape, particularly as its Chinese-made rivals have stepped up in terms of pricing, power, technology, and refinement.
So just how much has the HR-V changed over the previous model, specs-wise? To find out, we're pitting the 2018 Honda HR-V RS against the S and V variants of the 2022 Honda HR-V.
In terms of dimensions, the previous generation HR-V RS measures 4295mm long, 1772mm wide, and 1605mm tall.
Interestingly, the two variants of the all-new HR-V have different measurements. The S variant is 4330mm long, 1790mm wide, and 1590mm tall.
On the other hand, the V variant is 4385mm long, 1790mm wide, and 1590mm tall. The change in length is due to the V getting a different bumper design.
As it stands, the HR-V's top-of-the-line variant grew 90mm longer and 18mm wider, but sits 15mm lower than the previous model. The lower center of gravity and wider track should help the new HR-V handle better in the turns. Here's another twist – the wheelbase remains unchanged at 2610 mm, which means the all-new model got its length increase by having longer overhangs.
In the last model refresh of the previous-generation HR-V, we saw the crossover get an updated infotainment system by Garmin that comes standard with GPS, plus Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. The top-spec RS variant was also fitted with seats and door trims wrapped in premium leather.
Over to the new model, the HR-V gets additional rear A/C vents. The fighter jet-like cockpit has been revised to free up more interior space, and the head unit is a bigger 8-inch touchscreen. The media system still supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, as well as Bluetooth and USB connectivity. The S variant only gets fabric seats, while the V gets leather upholstery together with an auto-dimming rearview mirror.
Inside is more of an evolutionary change rather than a revolutionary one for the all-new HR-V as the previous model already has good cabin materials and in-car entertainment systems. Both also have Honda's innovative ULT seat feature. Perhaps the most important addition is the rear A/C vents, which do come in handy in a tropical country like ours.
Replacement for displacement?
True to industry trends of downsizing, the all-new HR-V gets smaller engines compared to the second-generation model.
First off is the HR-V RS from 2018. The 1.8-liter R18Z9 SOHC inline-four i-VTEC engine puts out 141 PS and 174 Nm of torque. It is paired to a continuously variable transmission (CVT) with a seven-speed manual mode and paddle shifters.
Next up is the 2022 HR-V S variant. The naturally aspirated 1.5-liter, 16-valve DOHC i-VTEC engine produces 121 PS and 141 Nm of torque.
Lastly, the engine found on the all-new HR-V V is a 1.5-liter, 16-valve VTEC Turbo engine with 177 PS and 240 Nm of torque. Like the S variant, the V is only available with a continuously variable transmission (CVT).
Power-wise, the 1.5 Turbo is the way to go. And with the new 1.5 N/A just weighing a kilo lighter (1262 kg vs 1263 kg) than the previous model, we can expect the older model to have the edge in terms of acceleration. As for fuel consumption, however, the new model is expected to be better than the previous one. By how much? We'll let you know soon.
Driver assistance and safety tech
The previous-generation HR-V is already loaded with lots of safety features. But the all-new model kicks it up a notch with the Honda Sensing system.
The previous model comes with the following: anti-lock brakes (ABS) with electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD) and brake assist (BA), hill-start assist (HSA), vehicle stability assist (VSA), emergency stop signal (ESS), auto-brake hold (ABH) and a host of airbags. All variants of the 2018 HR-V benefit from a reverse camera, parking sensors, keyless entry and start, immobilizer, and ISOFIX child seat anchors.
Had enough of the safety alphabets? The all-new model has everything the previous model had, but with the addition of these Honda Sensing features: adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow, collision mitigation braking system, lane-keeping assist system, road departure mitigation, lane-departure warning, auto high-beam function, and lead car departure notification.
Quite simply, the all-new model has an extra pair of eyes over the previous one, giving the driver and passengers extra peace of mind.
Here's a surprising take on the all-new HR-V's pricing compared to the previous model. Back in 2018, the second-generation HR-V was priced at PHP 1.295-million for the 1.8 E CVT variant, while the top-spec RS CVT was sold for PHP 1.495-million.
Over to the all-new model – the base HR-V S variant was launched with a PHP 1.250-million price tag, and the 1.5 V Turbo sells for PHP 1.598-million.
To sum it up, the base variant HR-V is now offered at a cheaper price with more intelligent safety functions, while the top-of-the-line is only more expensive by a little over PHP 100,000. And what do you get from that? A more powerful turbo engine and the added Honda Sensing safety suite.
On paper, the all-new Honda HR-V is better packaged and better equipped than its previous model. But the question still remains, will it be able to hold its ground against more affordable and feature-loaded Chinese rivals? Let us know in the comments.