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  • Writer's pictureAlain Kuhn Von Kuhnenfeld

2019 Honda HR-V Touring

Updated: Jan 2, 2020

This week we are reviewing the 2019 Honda HR-V in the Touring trim. Our vehicle was assembled at the Honda Manufacturing plant in the beautiful colonial city of Celaya, Mexico and has an MSRP of $34,720.00 CAD

Fun Factor: 5

Can it Family: 6

Fuel-Friendly: 7

HWY-warrior: 6

Karaoke Friendly: 6

Baby-friendly: 6

City Cruising: 8

This week we review the Honda HR-V in touring trim. It must be one of the more versatile vehicles we've tested this year with its roomy interior. The HR-V will not win any awards when it comes to its driving dynamics, with its 1.8l i-VTEC 4 cylinders providing 141hp and 127lb-ft of torque. The transmission used is a CVT, to make it feel less like a CVT Honda made it sound like a traditional transmission. All models except the base LX models will have AWD and make the car move forward quite quickly in the city. In our real-life acceleration test, we reached 100km/h in 10.1 seconds with 2 adults inside. Our car was equipped with 17-inch winter tires and could result in a lower test score. With these numbers, the HR-V is not class-leading; however, they're acceptable in this segment as some of its competitors are even slower, and most people will use the HR-V in an urban environment where the initial acceleration is most important. This is where the HR-V takes advantage of its AWD system to get you going in any type of weather. What makes the HR-V shine is it's handling, it feels less like an SUV and more like a car that can be tossed around precisely where you need it to be. In tight space, the steering wheel lets you move the wheels a little more, giving you the possibility to navigate in the narrowest streets of your city.

As a family hauler, the HR-V can seat 4 adults comfortability. The outer rear seats can accommodate adults and will provide enough clearance for your head and feet, something that is quite rare in this segment. The trade-off is the middle seat; we would only suggest it for kids, shorter trips since it doesn't offer much back support and is quite the squeeze. The heated front seats are standard on all trims, while this is a nice option; the temperature of the heated seats is minimal. The bolstering is quite good, in our opinion, on all seats except the rear middle seat. The front seats can be adjusted manually. A special touch in our HR-V is the finish of both pedals in an aluminum finish giving it a sportier look and a better grip when wearing winter boats. The rear seats can fold completely into the floor in a 60/40 fashion thanks to the Magic Seat system giving you a perfectly flat floor. This is especially handy if you're transporting long and bulky items or even as a courier, the HR-V will be your best friend with the number of things you can get into the trunk. In our test, we decided to visit IKEA and get a new bed for our daughter. We were able to fit the mattress and the boxes in the trunk with ease. If it isn't the size that needed the seat can also fold upwards and can be useful for taller items that you wouldn't be able to fit in the trunk, or like one of our followers pointed it out she uses it as a spot where her dog stay without being tossed around. Another detail we found pleasant is that once you walk away with your key, the doors lock themselves, no need to double click to check if your car is closed.

The fuel consumption we observed in the city was 9.2L/100km, and 7.3L/100km on the HWY, with an average consumption of 8.2L/100km. Out test was conducted over a distance of under 400km. With 50% done in the city and 50% done on the HWY. Honda announces the following result for the Honda HR-V with AWD, 9.1L/100km in the city, 7.7L/100km on the HWY with an average consumption of 8.5L/100km. Our fuel efficiency is in line with the numbers Honda announces, and on the HWY we even experienced a lower consumption. Our fuel test were done while outside temperature oscillated between +5C and +14C. On the HWY the vehicule was operated between 105 - 115km/h for this test.

Photo by Marc-Anthony Gonzalez Cruz
Photo by Marc-Anthony Gonzalez Cruz

While on the HWY, the ride is refined, visibility around the car is excellent; rear visibility is a little limited when adults are sitting in the 2nd row. The cabin itself feels spacious and airy; on the other hand, it does let road noise into the vehicle, making conversations more difficult with rear passengers. The fuel efficiency for a vehicle that has AWD is fairly good on the HWY. Maintaining a constant speed without using the cruise control required more effort than we liked. As soon as we reduced our input on the gas pedal, the HR-V begins slowing down quite quickly instead of coasting on a straightway. Honda's are known for all of the additional security systems they offer the suite of Honda Sensing is standard on all trims. These security features start from basics like helping you stay within your lane to some more crucial elements such as breaking when it senses an imminent collision or warning you when approaching a vehicle too fast. Additionally, on Sport trims and above, a practical feature is the Honda LaneWatch™ that gives a video feed of the passing car to your right and also shows how far it is and when it is actually safe to overtake.

The sound system in the HR-V touring offers 6 speakers with an output of 180 watts. The system does a good job relaying a clear sound around the cabin. And yes, the volume can be adjusted by a physical knob instead of a touch screen. Thank you, Honda! Making life so much easier instead of having to tap away to reduce the volume. Base LX models get a 4 speaker system with an output of 160 watts. What every model gets is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto via USB. Both these systems work well in the HR-V and enhance the overall infotainment. The HondaLink infotainment is fairly simple to use and to get acquainted with it, will be done in a breeze.

The doors of the HR-V open wide, so getting your child seat into it will be a child's play. The LATCH system is inside the seat with a contour made around it to gain access to the latch reasonably quickly. We found that the latches itself are quite far inside the seat. We needed to fiddle around for a couple of seconds before we were able to latch our seats properly. The back row gives you the possibility of installing 2 car seats; once 2 seats are installed, space for the middle seat is very limited or almost non-existing depending on the size of your car seats. The rear anchor is easy to find and can be attached while installing the car seat in the back, no need to open the trunk to do that. As for kids getting into the car by themselves, this is not possible in the HR-V; the door handles to need to be operated by an adult as they are quite far up; it reduces drag while driving however makes it difficult for your little one(s) to open. Once inside, the height of the seats makes it easier for children to get onto their seats. The seat belts can be manipulated without too much effort for children, except for the middle seat where it falls from the roof and will require help from an adult if it isn't attached to its base.

The HR-V feels most at home in the city thanks to its maneuverability, compact size, raised height. In short, it will make driving around the urban jungle more pleasant it also double down as the professional best friend since it has tons of trunk space, and if that's not enough, the Magic Seats will give you even more room to place larger items. Practicality is the HR-V's second name, it assumes its personality and makes it a go-to vehicle for anyone that needs the flexibility of a functional design both in the city where it doesn't take up too much space or on their way to outdoor activities to fit a mountain bike or even on your way to your cabin that is hard to get to without an AWD vehicle. Parking the HR-V isn't too complicated either; in our opinion, the camera could get a bump in quality, especially at night, where it does get a little pixelated. All in all, if you need a small compact SUV that has AWD, the HR-V should be one of the first on your list to try.

Why would we buy the Honda HR-V or what we liked about it: We enjoyed the versatility it offers in a compact format, we've tested bigger cars where half of the stuff would not have fitted. Easy maneuverability, good forward visibility, having the option to have AWD is a small form factor.

Photo by Marc-Anthony Gonzalez Cruz
Photo by Marc-Anthony Gonzalez Cruz

Why we wouldn't buy the Honda HR-V or what we didn't like about it: Loud interior at HWY speeds, rear doors hard to reach for kids, a bump in horsepower wouldn't hurt. If looking at the base version without AWD, we would suggest the Honda Fit as it is as versatile as the HR-V and at an equivalent price tag has more features.

Honda has lent us this vehicle for one week as a press vehicle, we have no affiliation with Honda Canada, and the above is a recollection of our personal opinion of the vehicle referred to above.

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