Honda HR-V 2021 Review
Being one of the earliest examples of a crossover or SUV displacing sedan sales, the Honda HR-V has plenty to offer. This mid-sized vehicle does a fantastic job of delivering on nearly every aspect that your modern day buyer looks for in a car – from practicality, to functionality, to comfort.
While the name is a historic one for Honda – going as far back as 1998 – the modern HR-V is aimed more at the mass market than being a niche lifestyle vehicle. You could argue that the HR-V is an amalgamation of many different vehicles – and perhaps even a spiritual successor to the original CR-V as the CR-V has grown extensively in size and complexity.
This second-generation model was launched back in 2013, and had a local facelift launched at the start of 2019. The number of variants have increased and decreased over time, with the current range being offered in the grades E, V, and RS. For a time there was also a Sport Hybrid variant but that has since been dropped.
Honda HR-V 2021 Specifications
With a streamlined range of variants, the Honda HR-V is offered with but one engine and gearbox: a 1.8-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine pushing 142 PS and 172 Nm of torque, paired with a CVT-type automatic transmission delivering power to the front wheels. There are all-wheel drive variants of the HR-V in other markets, but it is far from a priority for ours.
What’s interesting is that despite the HR-V sharing its backbone with the previous generation Honda City and current generation Honda Jazz, it is drastically different in terms of size and packaging – not a mere lifted body over the same suspension design. There was even some weight added to the floor of the HR-V to better improve the dynamics.
The footprint of the HR-V isn’t huge overall, with a wheelbase of 2,610 mm – roughly 80 mm longer than the platform used for the Honda jazz. It also has an overall length of 4,334 mm and a width of 1,772 mm – not massive numbers, though with Hondas you can expect impeccable interior room for compact exterior dimensions. With the rear seat up, you get 437 litres of boot space – drop it and this expands to 1,032 litres.
Honda HR-V 2021 Exterior
It’s a design that most Malaysians will be familiar with by now – traditional in its two-box design, not overly aggressive with any tapering of the roofline to maintain interior space, and great visibility all round courtesy of clever pillar design and big windows. The Honda HR-V is easily distinguishable by its tail light design, and a front end that looks like a sharper, sleeker variant of the current Honda CR-V.
With three variants to choose from, the Honda HR-V’s entry level E option is slightly diluted with halogen headlamps over LEDs, manual headlight levelling, regular bulbs for front fog lamps, and body coloured door handles. With the V and RS variants sporting the alternatives in the form of LED headlamps, automatic headlight levelling, LED fog lamps, and chrome door handles, there are a couple of things that set the RS variant apart.
The first is the fact that the RS gets a sportier front grille, along with a mesh-type front fog garnish. The RS model also gets black painted bumpers and side sills, as well as 18-inch wheels over the regular 17-inch wheels found in the E and V variants. All models come with a 16-inch spare space saver wheel.
Honda HR-V 2021 Interior
When you think of a Honda, you think of excellence in interior packaging and space – but the Honda HR-V is the masterclass in this particular area and one that should be studied by any automotive engineer or designer looking into mass market vehicles. Owners will be delighted to find cubby holes and storage areas they didn’t even realize existed, even months or years after their purchase – especially thanks to a two-tier centre console over the exhaust tunnel.
It’s clear that while Honda may have adapted the platform from the Jazz and City, they have taken the savings in that department to improve the interior in drastic ways. A large portion of the dashboard is tucked with soft-touch materials and an ample number of air-conditioning vents make it clear that the HR-V is design for those carrying multiple occupants. All units get a 7-inch display audio touch screen head unit with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality, two USB ports, and a four-speaker sound system setup.
Honda HR-V 2021 Safety Features
It’s important to remember that the Honda HR-V belongs to a generation of vehicles that’s technically on the cusp of being succeeded by the next – which means it doesn’t have the next generation safety suite you would find on some other vehicles. That being said, there is only one omission across the variants of the HR-V, and that is the fact that the entry-level E variant doesn’t have the LaneWatch camera system that shows your left side blind spots when changing lanes.
Beyond this, all models get dual front SRS airbags, side airbags, and side curtain airbags. The usual alphabet soup of acronyms is present too: ABH (automatic brake hold), ABS (anti-lock braking system), EBD (electronic brake distribution), HSA (hill start assist), VSA (vehicle stability assist), and ESS (emergency stop signal) are all present and accounted for. Rear seats get ISOFIX, and you get a multi-angle rear view camera as well. It may not be cutting edge, but it’s a far cry from bare.
Honda HR-V 2021 Strengths and Weaknesses
We’ll start with the weaknesses of the Honda HR-V, and it’s very simple: the model is on its way out, and 2021 is probably the last year that we will have this generation of HR-V. It has served us well for almost eight years, providing Malaysians with a great solution and combination of space and practicality, but there is a new one on the horizon. This does mean that you can probably snag a unit with a good discount as dealers look to clear stocks in preparation for the next generation.
The strengths are as we’ve listed clearly – great interior space on top of great interior design, at a very attractive price point. It is an incredibly well thought out, well designed product that caters well not just to Malaysians, but to people around the world – which is no small feat for any manufacturer. It paved the way for a mass movement into this market segment by other manufacturers, and will likely redefine the segment once again with the next generation.
Honda HR-V 2021 Price
Bringing home a Honda HR-V starts at RM 104,000.21 for the entry-level E variant, going up to RM 113,421.92 for the V variant, and topping out at RM 118,581.81 for the RS variant. The V is the best value for money as the RS brings mostly cosmetic enhancements, but all variants of the HR-V are great options to pick depending on your budget.
Honda HR-V 2021 Features
Keyless entry and start, power adjustable and retractable door mirrors, steering wheel audio switches, cruise control, paddle shifters, one-touch lane change signals, an advanced multi-information combination meter, automatic air conditioning, and half or full leather upholstery – these are common across the range of Honda HR-V variants. Where the entry level E variant loses out is in eight-way electrically adjusting driver powered seats – but that’s really the only drawback.
Honda HR-V 2021 Fuel Consumption
The last test that we carried out with a 1.8-litre variant of the Honda HR-V yielded roughly 13.0 kilometres per litre of fuel – which is fairly decent for an SUV or crossover that has both more air resistance and weight to carry around.
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- Body Type: SUV
- Transmission: Automatic
- Engine Capacity: 1799 cc
- Fuel Type: petrol
- Seat Capacity: 5
- Price: RM 104,000 - RM 118,582
15 Sep 2020
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The HR-V gets full marks for practicality and usability. The Subaru XV and Proton X70 might be bigger, but they can't match the HR-V's Ultra seats which flip and fold into a variety of configurations to accommodate long or tall items. Cool joystick-type shifter frees up extra space in the compartment underneath compared to the regular 1.8L model. The seats are comfortable even after hours of driving and build quality, tactility, and fit and finish are all up to par.View full review
20 Oct 2017
2017 Honda HR-V - Versus 2015 Honda HR-V
Approximately two years ago, I had the privilege of sampling the much anticipated Honda HR-V in Thailand, roughly two months before it was due to be launched in Malaysia. All it took was a scenic drive down from Chiang Rai back into Chiang Mai, and a leisurely cruise within the city, roughly one hour of driving - I was smitten.View full review
User Review of Honda HR-V
Excellent car with specific model
Comfortable, meet expectation, nice features.
Comfortable, safety, reasonable
Smart Sporty Lovely
Make fecelift for better loo