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Review: Reevaluating the Honda HR-V RS e:HEV - A pleasant surprise


Review: Reevaluating the Honda HR-V RS e:HEV - A pleasant surprise

A few months ago, we had the opportunity to test the Honda HR-V Turbo, which left us thoroughly impressed with its excellence among small crossovers. 

However, we must admit that our initial impression of the Honda HR-V e:HEV RS hybrid was less than favourable. Oh, how mistaken we were! The HR-V RS e:HEV has gracefully proven us wrong and exceeded our expectations.

Our journey to rediscover the HR-V RS e:HEV began in Thailand, where we initially experienced the third-generation Honda HR-V in its hybrid form. 

2022 Honda HR-V Thailand

Although we appreciated the striking new exterior and interior design, we were somewhat put off by the constant hum of the engine in the e:HEV variant.

However, our perception changed entirely when we encountered the Malaysian-spec Honda HR-V hybrid, which showcased a remarkable distinction from its Thai counterpart. 

For some reason, it exudes an essence that closely resembles that of an electric vehicle, captivating our attention.

2023 Honda HR-V RS Malaysia

The Malaysian-spec HR-V RS e:HEV has redefined our understanding of its hybrid capabilities. It feels remarkably different, elevating the driving experience to one that closely resembles the grace and tranquillity of an electric vehicle. 

The incessant engine noise that hindered our enthusiasm in Thailand has been transformed, unveiling a newfound harmony and poise.

In retrospect, our initial dismissal of the HR-V e:HEV as a lesser vehicle compared to the HR-V Turbo has been gracefully overturned. This hybrid variant has proven to possess its own unique charm and allure, providing a refreshing alternative to its Turbo sibling. 

2023 Honda HR-V Turbo Malaysia

It beautifully combines the best of both worlds, blending fuel efficiency with a refined and fun driving experience.

If you're here considering in purchasing the 2023 Honda HR-V e:HEV, let us tell you that it can inject some serious fun into your urban adventures. 

This zippy little car is undoubtedly one of the best city rides you can get your hands on. Thanks to its hybrid powertrain and remarkable fuel efficiency, the HR-V e:HEV is like a pocket-sized superhero ready to conquer the concrete jungle.

2023 Honda HR-V Malaysia

Let's talk about the HR-V e:HEV's fun factor. The RS e:HEV is equipped with a 1.5-litre naturally-aspirated Atkinson-cycle petrol engine + electric motor that produces 131PS and 253Nm (240Nm in the turbo) of torque in total. Its powertrain delivers a punchy performance that will have you grinning from ear to ear. 

2023 Honda HR-V RS e:HEV Malaysia

With instant torque and seamless acceleration from 0 rpm, merging into traffic becomes a breeze, and darting through city streets feels like a thrilling game. The best part? You'll be zipping around town while sipping fuel like a dainty tea party guest.

Picture this: From the moment we embarked on our week-long escapade with it, not a single drop of fuel was added to its reservoir. Yes, you read that correctly. 

2023 Honda HR-V RS hybrid fuel consumption

Throughout the memorable period, the HR-V e:HEV remained steadfast in its commitment to deliver an extraordinary range, surpassing all expectations. With astonishing finesse, it gallantly glided across the pavement, gracefully surpassing the 600-kilometre mark without so much as a single refuelling pit stop.

For those who yearn for the freedom to explore without being bound by the necessity of frequent refuelling, the Honda HR-V hybrid stands as a testament to Honda's future of automotive ingenuity. 

Its ability to traverse vast distances without interruption defies the norm and embarks on a bold path of its own, setting a new standard in the realm of fuel efficiency and long-range capabilities.

2023 Honda HR-V RS

While our admiration for the Honda HR-V e:HEV knows no bounds, it is essential to approach this assessment with a balanced perspective, acknowledging its imperfections alongside its commendable attributes.

When you hit the open road, the HR-V RS e:HEV does lose a bit of its oomph compared to its beefed-up sibling, the Honda HR-V Turbo. If you crave that extra boost of power for highway cruises or daring overtakes, the Turbo might be more your speed demon. 

But fear not, because the HR-V e:HEV still deserves your attention and admiration.

2023 Honda HR-V RS interior

Why, you ask? Well, it's all about that overall refinement, thanks to the hybrid powertrain. This beauty seamlessly transitions between electric and petrol power, creating a serene and whisper-quiet ride. 

The cabin is a haven of tranquillity, shielding you from the chaos of the outside world. Plus, you'll be saving the environment one joyful ride at a time, with reduced emissions and a smug eco-friendly smile.

Speaking of cabin, the Honda HR-V distinguishes itself from its Civic counterpart, showcasing premium elements that contribute to an immensely gratifying and inviting driving environment.

2023 Honda HR-V dash AC controls

The ergonomics of the cabin set a new standard, with every switchgear and piece of brightwork exuding a top-tier quality. Honda's thoughtful approach is evident in the knurled dials and knobs for the climate control, allowing for effortless adjustments to individual airflow preferences.

But it's not just the impeccable ergonomics and intuitive controls that earn our enthusiastic approval. The air conditioning system itself has been ingeniously designed to deliver a gentle breeze throughout the entire cabin, courtesy of Honda's innovative 'Air Diffusion System.' 

2023 Honda HR-V air diffuser

Positioned in L-shaped vents at the top corners of the dashboard, the airflow creates a natural and refreshing ambiance, deviating from the typical direct blasts of air. It's a small detail that makes a remarkable difference, and in the HR-V, it's an effortless experience—no need for meticulous adjustments.

Moreover, the driving position in the HR-V surpasses that of any other small SUV in recent times. It exudes a commanding presence, akin to a mid-size SUV. The redesigned front seats which feels elevated contribute to this commanding perspective. 

Now, here's an interesting tidbit. In the quirky realm of automotive mysteries, the Honda HR-V hybrid in the Thailand market didn't quite live up to its electrifying reputation. 

The engine seemed to have a constant hum, like a never-ending chit-chat session. But fear not, because the HR-V e:HEV in our neck of the woods is a whole different ballgame. With a gentle touch on the throttle, it's like cruising in your very own electric wonderland, and sticks true to its EV mode.

2023 Honda HR-V Hybrid Malaysia

So, should you consider the Honda HR-V e:HEV? Absolutely! It's the ultimate urban companion, bringing fun, efficiency, and refinement to your city escapades. 

While it may not have the same grunt on open roads as its Turbo sibling, the HR-V RS e:HEV makes up for it with its electrifying charm. Just throttle moderately, and you'll feel like you're piloting your very own electric superhero. 

So, grab the wheel, buckle up, and let the HR-V RS e:HEV take you on a joyride through the concrete jungle. Fun awaits!

Adam Aubrey

Adam Aubrey

Content Producer

Wants to live the simple life, especially when it comes to cars and bikes. That's what tech is for he reckons, to make motoring simpler

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