Malaysian HR-V fans are lucky, as they have the luxury to pick and choose a lot more than what our neighbours are getting, there is a 2022 Honda HR-V variant for everyone in Malaysia.
Over its seven-year run, Honda has managed to sell 111,000 units of the HR-V in Malaysia.
The compact SUV from Honda is one of the most favoured compact SUVs in the market, loved because it provides just the right balance of performance, fuel efficiency, comfort, style and most important of all, value for money.
The popularity of the HR-V however started to dwindle at the turn of the current decade as its age was starting to show. The infiltration of Proton's savvy SUVs and the introduction of Toyota's locally assembled Corolla Cross didn't help either.
But Honda Malaysia had a plan up their sleeve to make the Honda HR-V great again. Their plan was to introduce something that would surprise HR-V fans, building upon the new HR-V's versatility.
The new HR-V Large Project leader Yoshitomo Ihashi from Honda Japan said that the new compact SUV is designed to be quieter, safer and more premium while delivering better driving enjoyment than the outgoing model.
He also said that Honda's development team decided that from the very beginning that the new HR-V would be made available with a few different powertrains and that this would make the HR-V more versatile than ever.
While other markets picked a couple of powertrains to front their new HR-V assault, buyers in Malaysia are lucky enough to be offered three powertrain options for Honda Malaysia's latest model.
In comparison, the new HR-V in Thailand only gets the hybrid variant, RS e:HEV, while Indonesia and the Philippines get the 1.5-litre DOHC i-VTEC naturally aspirated engine and 1.5-litre VTEC Turbo.
Malaysia on the hand got all three powertrains, and the reason for this is that Honda Malaysia wants to have the broadest possible customer audience for its HR-V, making it available to pretty much anyone.
So which one is best for you?
For those who love its style but don't need performance - go NA
The 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine used in the S variant is of course the least powerful engine in the line-up, but then again, it is also the cheapest HR-V. This is the same engine used in the 2022 Honda City Hatchback, which produces 121 PS and 145 Nm of torque. Although it is the same, Honda has tuned the ECU to provide more performance in the HR-V.
For comparison, the output of this engine is 21 PS and 27 Nm less than the 1.8-litre engine from the 2nd-gen HR-V. Honda Malaysia however claims that the port injection engine should still be great to drive as it has comparable performance to the outgoing 1.8-litre engine.
For those who love the style and want performance - go Turbo!
Technically, the intermediate variants, E and V are the fastest cars in the line-up. It is powered by the VTEC Turbo L15C3 engine, which produces 181 PS and 240 Nm of torque.
However, all this performance has a price, as it is also the thirstiest car in the line-up, returning 6.5l/100km, which is the worst fuel consumption figure out of the three. So if fuel efficiency is a major concern then this is not the model for you.
For those who want the best of everything - go Hybrid RS e:HEV
Like the Honda City, the top-of-the-range 2022 HR-V is a hybrid. It uses the same intelligent-Multi Mode Drive (i-MMD) power unit found in the Honda City and City Hatchback. The electric motor used on the 2022 HR-V has been tuned to be more potent than the City and City Hatchback, giving an additional 22 PS of grunt.
The powertrain combines a 1.5-litre Atkinson cycle engine as well as two electric motors that provide an overall output of 131 PS and 253 Nm.
The hybrid variant utilises the electric motor more than the petrol engine, which is why it is the most fuel-efficient HR-V in the line-up (4.1 l/100km). The petrol engine is mainly used to recharge the HR-V's lithium-ion batteries when moving at certain speeds.
Although Honda wanted to take the HR-V hybrid up a notch, they had to keep things simple as simplicity is the key to reliability, said Yoshitomo. This is why they have decided to use a tried and tested powerplant but give it a bit more grunt to compensate for its extra weight.
Although the mid-spec HR-V is technically the fastest, Honda Malaysia says the hybrid variant provides a different type of sportiness, as the hybrid system has available torque from the get-go.
Better handling however is available across the board
Furthermore, according to the Large Project Leader of the All-New Honda HR-V, Yoshitomo Ihashi, the excellent handling of the new HR-V is contributed by the rigid chassis, suspension improvements, and dimension changes.
"With the addition of length, height, and lower ground clearance, the new 2022 Honda HR-V is more stable," he concluded.
So as you can see, there's an HR-V for everyone. Malaysian HR-V buyers are fortunate as they can pick and choose between three different price points and powertrains, to suit their needs and budget. All you have to put up with is the wait!