The Honda HR-V is only available as a hybrid. Honda praises the technology with radio spots in which the link is made with Max Verstappen. But even the well-to-do Formula 1 driver will be shocked by the high price…
What is striking about the hybrid Honda HR-V?
That we hear anything from Honda at all. The brand is dying in the Netherlands. Even after Max Verstappen’s Formula 1 victory, Honda did not take any action. No commercials, no marketing campaigns, nothing. While you would say: shout from the rooftops that Max owes his victory to your engines, Honda! The Japanese could use some excitement, because 2021 was the worst sales year for Honda in the Netherlands.
The new Honda HR-V is now at the dealer and Honda finally has commercials on the radio. Cringe-inducing, that is (“I’ve figured it out since that crazy victory by Max Verstappen. We’re going for Honda. The winning formula!”). But still, buzz!
What are the advantages of the hybrid Honda HR-V?
Honda always manages to magically juggle space. For example, you can fold up the seating area of the rear seat, so that a handy space is created between the floor and roof for large items. Your recently purchased houseplant looks great and there is also room for a small bicycle. Despite a modest size of 4.3 meters and a sloping roofline, the space of the Honda HR-V is fine. Even in the back you sit surprisingly well if you are 1.90 meters tall.
Honda already introduced hybrid technology with the Honda Jazz. They have continued with the HR-V, with the technicians working up a sweat. “Why do it easy when it can be difficult”, sometimes seems to be the credo for Japanese brands. In ‘ordinary’ hybrid cars, an internal combustion engine is assisted by an electric motor, with Honda it is actually the other way around.
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The electric motors provide the drive. They use power from a generator, which is powered by the combustion engine. At higher speeds, the petrol engine sometimes also drives the wheels directly. This is done via a fixed transmission, so there are no gears. Together, the 1.5-litre petrol engine (107 hp) and the two electric motors (131 hp) produce 131 hp and 253 Nm.
All the tech sweat does not provide impressive performance, but it does for a very neat consumption. The sprint from 0 to 100 km/h takes 10.7 seconds and the top speed is 170 km/h. Those are not Max Verstappen values. Honda’s winning formula can be found at the gas station: the test consumption is 5.7 l/100 km (1 in 17.5) but 0.3 liters higher than Honda itself states (5.4 l/100 km; 1 in 18 ,5).
What are the downsides of the Honda HR-V e:HEV?
A minus that you can also see as a plus: the design is remarkably well-behaved for a Honda. The first HR-V from 1998 was already an SUV when that concept barely existed. It was square, fun-looking, and it came with three and five doors. The HR-V from 2015 mainly had a very Japanese appearance, while the current one fits neatly into the prevailing fashion with its appearance. Especially at the back you have to look carefully to see if a Kia logo is stuck on it.
In terms of comfort, it is the details that cause just a little too much irritation. The fuel tank is placed under the front seats, so that you feel a bit ‘on the buck’ is. The very firmly tuned chassis should just be your taste, although a long journey is fine to do in the hybrid HR-V e:HEV.
When will the Honda HR-V e:HEV come to the Netherlands and what is the price?
The Honda HR-V is only available with a hybrid powertrain and is now available at the dealer. Don’t be alarmed by the price: it costs at least 34,740 euros! And that for a car that competes with cars like the Peugeot 2008 and Volkswagen T-Cross. The difference with these competitors quickly amounts to 10,000 euros.
What do I think of the hybrid Honda HR-V?
The winning formula? Not with this exorbitant base price.