After nearly six months of delays, the new Honda HR-V facelift is now available at Honda showrooms nationwide. Before you blame Honda Malaysia for the delay, we should make it clear that the delays were caused by the government, and there was nothing that Honda Malaysia could have done to fix the delays, as explained by MAA President Datuk Aishah Ahmad earlier today.
In terms of features, the new HR-V now sees six airbags offered as standard. The V and RS variants also get an eight-way power adjustable driver's seat. Previously, the driver’s seat was manual adjusting while curtain and side airbags were only available on the V variant. LaneWatch camera to minimize blind spots is also now available for the V and RS variants. However, speakers count has been reduced to four across the range. Previously, the range topping V variant had 6 speakers.
On the outside, the new HR-V is identified by its new grille, a different pair of LED headlamps and LED tail lamps with tube-like patterns plus LED front fog lights (V and RS variants), and a tailgate garnish.
Previously, the HR-V range had three variants – S, E, and V. Prior to zero-rated GST, prices of the pre-facelift HR-V ranged from RM98,060 to RM117,430.
The updated range has since dropped the entry S variant, while adding a sporty RS and a full-hybrid variant. Prices are as follows:
- HR-V E: RM108,800 (previously RM107,410 with 6% GST)
- HR-V V: RM118,800 (previously RM117,430 with 6% GST)
- HR-V RS: RM124,800 (new addition)
- HR-V Sport Hybrid i-DCD: RM120,800 (new addition)
The hybrid variant is powered by the same engine as the City Hybrid and Jazz Hybrid – the familiar 1.5-litre petrol-electric full-hybrid engine paired to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission driving the front wheels. Unlike the City Hybrid and Jazz Hybrid, the HR-V Hybrid comes with six airbags, two more than the petrol-electric City/Jazz.
However it's still not the range topper, with most of the features mirroring the lower E variant - making do with halogen headlamps and front fog lamps, half-leather seats instead of full-leather, and a smaller 6.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system (0.2-inch smaller than V or RS).
The hybrid variant also features a different, shift-by-wire gear knob, which takes up less space and frees up the lower-tier of the HR-V's signature two-tier centre console.
Being a hybrid, it also has a slightly different instrument panel that also displays, among other things, the energy flow/split between the wheels, petrol engine, and lithium-ion traction battery.
Slightly more than a year ago, we reviewed the Japanese-market HR-V Hybrid. Some of the features are not applicable to our local HR-V, but the driving experience shouldn’t differ too much. You can read the review here.
As for the sportier RS variant, it features a Variable Gear Ratio (VGR) steering system that promises to deliver a sharper steering in the corners while at the same time keeping the car stable enough on straight, long distance drives. Outside, the RS variant adds 18-inch dual-tone alloy wheels, RS front grille, and RS bumpers in front and behind.
Inside, the RS variant also gets ivory coloured leather upholstery.
Mechanically the petrol-powered variants remain unchanged, using the same 1.8-litre i-VTEC naturally aspirated petrol engine paired to a CVT-type automatic transmission.
A new Passion Red Pearl colour replaces the previous Dark Ruby Red Pearl, bringing the total colour options to five - including Modern Steel Metallic, Lunar Silver Metallic, Ruse Black Metallic, and White Orchid Pearl.
Honda Malaysia has set a monthly sales target of 1,000 units for the petrol-powered HR-V variants, while the target for the hybrid variant is at a modest 100 units per month.