The Brazilian compact SUV market has received a flood of news in recent times. But so far, none has come up as good as the Honda HR-V Touring. We were able to prove the superiority of the top-of-the-line HR-V in a 1,200 km trip. Thanks to the 1.5 turbo engine and a CVT gearbox specially tuned for it, the HR-V Touring proved to be fast, comfortable, safe, connected and economical.
The Honda HR-V has always been highly regarded by Brazilian consumers. It was the leader of the category in the first years, even with only the 1.8 engine aspirated. There were two occasions (2017 and 2018) when Honda launched a Touring version of the HR-V, but with the 1.8 hp flex aspirated engine of 140 hp and not with the 1.5 turbo of 173 horsepower (gasoline only). Those who expected to find the same turbocharged engine that made the Civic Touring famous have ended up being disappointed. It was a mistake and in the 2019 line the version disappeared.
Not now. In the 2020 line, the HR-V Touring differs from the rest of the range by its excellent engine-shift set. It’s not just power, it’s driving pleasure. Right away, the top-of-the-line version, to justify its very salty price, brings a superior finish. The seats are excellent and practically embrace the body of the driver and front passenger. Behind, comfort is also great. Although the HR-V has a high H point (otherwise it would not be an SUV), the driving position can go from comfort to sports, with multiple adjustments in the steering column and the seat.
The instrument panel is simple and analog. Some may consider it outdated, but the fact is that it owes nothing to certain fads that arise out there. The handle of the steering wheel could be a little thicker, but it doesn’t bother. With just 8 kg / hp of weight / power ratio, the car accelerates vigorously (0 to 100 km / h in 8.9 seconds) and has good speed upturns. The exchange is of the CVT type, but offers something more. Normally, he is in Drive and working to save fuel, but accepts manual shifts by the flywheel. In Sport mode, however, it locks the pulleys in a certain position and only releases them for the next gear following the manual control.
The CVT 7-speed gearbox for the Honda HR-V Touring is not quite as good as the AT6 with conventional gears for the Volkswagen Nivus and T-Cross. But 173 horsepower makes a difference compared to the 150 on the Nivus / T-Cross. Not to mention that the HR-V is dynamically superior and much more beautiful than the T-Cross. The Citroën C4 Cactus also has a great 173 hp turbo engine and the AT6 gearbox is better than the HR-V Touring CVT, but the Honda is more of a car – it accommodates much better in the seat and has far superior solutions in terms of digital panel and multimedia center. Among other reasons, driving was pleasant and efficient because the gearbox was specifically adjusted for the HR-V, although it is the same as the Civic Touring.
Good news for the Honda HR-V 2020 is that multimedia has physical buttons. They are to be pressed and not to be rotated, but it is already a step forward compared to the old multimedia center with a fully touch screen from Honda. The system is very intuitive and access to Android Auto is easy, but you have to have the car stopped, the gearshift lever in P (Parking) and the parking brake set. Unfortunately, the USB port is in a position that is difficult to access, behind the center console. In fact, there are two, as one is to charge the cell phone. The multimedia also offers GPS navigator and reverse camera.
The Honda HR-V Touring is very economical. We achieved a range of 14.0 km / l on the road and an average city / road of 13.1 km / l. Few cars offer this range with so much power and still moving fast. According to Honda, the HR-V Touring uses a low inertia turbocharger, direct injection, variable valve timing on the intake and exhaust and electronic wastegate valve. Maximum power comes at 5,500 rpm. In accelerations, the turbo lag is discrete, with a linear torque of 220 Nm between 1,700 rpm and 5,500 rpm.
Running at 120 km / h in 7th gear, the engine spins at just 2,000 rpm. In Sport mode, the speed rises to 3,250 rpm. This leap in the tachometer pointer shows how the transmission parameters really change when the driver decides to walk in a sporty way. However, there are no changes to the steering wheel and suspension settings. The rear suspension is by torsion axle and not independent, as in the Civic. Of course, you can’t compare the dynamics of the two Honda in the corners, because the HR-V is much higher; however, he has good balance and rolls little. Compared to two rivals, the Honda HR-V is tougher than the Volkswagen Nivus and softer than the Chevrolet Tracker 1.2 Turbo (133 horsepower).
In addition to all these features, the HR-V Touring is still very beautiful, although the wheels of the HR-V 2020 have a very poor design and are less attractive than those of the old aspired Touring version. Long before coupe SUVs became a fever, the Japanese car arrived in a stunning design. It is certainly the most “coupe” of conventional SUVs. A visual solution that was very pleasing was the handle of the rear doors embedded in the region of the C column, as it gives the impression that the HR-V has only two doors. The very rising waist line also gave movement to the design. The slightly bulky shape completes the HR-V style. But…
Well, as far as we know, the second generation Honda HR-V is going to undergo a radical design change. The car should follow the style trend that Honda has adopted for its future electric SUVs. A concept car was recently presented at the Beijing Motor Show and will serve as the basis for the new HR-V design. A test model was photographed in Japan, all in disguise, but the rendering of the image showed a completely different HR-V, with straight lines, more square, much like the current Hyundai Creta. We hope that Honda does not miss a hand in a car that pleases in all aspects.
As for the HR-V Touring, it is also a very safe car. It is impressive how simple and intuitive controls on the steering wheel, like the autopilot. The roadster character of the HR-V was further enhanced by the turbocharged engine. Yes, he is not very off-road – but that is a good thing! About five years after the invasion of compact SUVs in Brazil, it is clear that people do want cars with an elevated driving position, but they do not necessarily want to take dirt or mud roads with the vehicle. For these cases, models like Jeep Renegade, Nissan Kicks, Caoa Chery Tiggo 5X and even Peugeot 2008 with terrain selector are more suitable.
The Honda HR-V Touring is not cheap. It costs R $ 142,700, that is, R $ 25,300 more than the HR-V EXL, top of the line with 1.8 aspirated engine, which costs R $ 117,400. The huge difference in price is due to the engine imported at a time of devalued Brazilian currency. Anyway, here we are not judging the cost-benefit, which has a lot to do with the pocket of each consumer, but rather what the car offers as a whole as a car. Yes, we are talking about the best compact SUV in Brazil. Still.
Price: R $ 142,700
Engine: 1.5 turbo
Power: 173 hp at 5,500 rpm
Brand: 220 Nm from 1,700 rpm;
Exchange: 7 CVT gears
Length: 4.329 m
Largura: 1,772 m
Height: 1,586 m
Wheelbase: 2,610 m
Free span: 177 mm
Tires: 215/55 R17
Weight: 1,380 kg
Trunk: 437 liters
Tank: 51 liters
0-100 km/h: 8s9
Maximum speed: 210 km / h
City consumption: 11.5 km / l
Road consumption: 14.6 km / l
CO2 emission: 103 g / km