Saturday, July 13, 2024
ADVT 
Auto

2023 Honda HR-V:Urban crossover gets a new look

Benjamin Yong Darpan, 30 Jan, 2023
  • 2023 Honda HR-V:Urban crossover gets a new look

Honda’s answer to the Mazda CX-30 and Nissan Kicks, the HR-V, returns for a second generation completely redesigned for 2023. Longer, wider and boasting the same platform and engine as found in the Civic the vehicle has matured nicely offering a good option for small families.

"The new HR-V is the perfect size for those looking for a SUV that can park in tight spaces and carry all their gear while delivering a fun and sporty driving experience," said Honda Canada vice president Steve Hui in a press release. "HR-V's upgraded and enhanced features will solidify its position as a segment leader that will attract a new generation of Honda customers. We expect it will be popular with young and diverse consumers representing a variety of lifestyles."

Design takes a sharp detour from the global model that finally arrived in the U.S. and Canada back in 2016, deleting quirks like the hidden rear door handles and flip-up interior Magic Seats seen in the Fit hatchback. The front fascia adopts a contemporary appearance wearing sleek LED headlights, complemented by similarly slimmed down units at the back, and a traditional centre-set black grille painted gloss black on Darpan’s EX-L Navi grade tester. 

The aforementioned 221-millimetre longer length and 70-millimetre increased width provide more athletic proportions, and adding to the performance aesthetic are unique 17-inch Shark Gray machined-finished alloy wheels, gloss black door pillars and bumper trim, and a painted window spoiler.

Sharing a similar interior as the Civic, the same polarizing metal honeycomb decoration runs across the entire dashboard and conceals the air vents behind. The leather steering wheel and heated seats have a premium feel to them given the entry-level segment though curiously feature complete manual adjustment even on the driver’s side. 

The nine-inch colour touchscreen is nice to look at but Honda infotainment remains one of the less intuitive examples on the market and could really use some type of rotary control knob found in many competitor vehicles. Having a larger footprint allows for the implementation of a widened bench so second row passengers are more comfortable, as well as an expanded cargo area affording either 691 litres of space when the seatback is upright or 1,559 litres if folded.

A 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine shared with the base Civic is found under the hood producing 158-horsepower and 138 lb-ft of torque, a rather small improvement of 17 and 11 respectively compared to the outgoing 1.8-litre. Sadly, a slightly whiny CVT is the only transmission option as the former six-speed manual gearbox has bit the dust. 

The EX-L Navi receives an enhanced all-wheel drive system as standard now capable of sending additional torque to the rear wheels in low traction scenarios. Grip was admirable during the wet week I drove the crossover, and a fresh, fully independent suspension has really tightened up the handling over the previous version. 

Four trims of the 2023 Honda HR-V are available, starting with the front-wheel drive LX ($28,730 MSRP) and topping out at the EX-L Navi ($39,080). 

Highlights (as tested): 

MSRP: $39,080

Motor: 2.0-litre inline-four cylinder

Horsepower: 158 @ 6,500 rpm

Torque (lb-ft): 138 @ 4,200 rpm

Gearbox: CVT    

Layout: all-wheel drive   

Fuel economy:  9.9 L/100 km mixed city/highway (observed)

MORE Auto ARTICLES

Jeep Wrangler 4xe: Green and Mean Wrangler

Jeep Wrangler 4xe: Green and Mean Wrangler

A 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, is complemented by two electric motors and a 400-volt battery pack. The resulting performance is nothing to scoff at: a total of 375 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. 

2022 Infiniti QX60 review: Climbing the luxury ladder

2022 Infiniti QX60 review: Climbing the luxury ladder

The level of premium appointments in the interior is absolutely stunning. The cabin in our near grade-topping Sensory tester, slotting under the $67,995 Autograph, was draped in gorgeous melt-to-the-touch Saddle Brown semi-aniline leather with complementary hits of open pore ash wood looking elegant rather than gaudy as the trim sometimes can.

Mazda CX-50: New adventure-inspired SUV

Mazda CX-50: New adventure-inspired SUV

The most immediately noticeable outdoorsy aspect is the use of copious amounts of black body cladding on the bumpers, wheel arches and side sills. The addition of the off-road-ready armour complements the wind-swept lines of Kodo styling language surprisingly well, particularly in the desert-esque Zircon Sand Metallic paint colour of Darpan’s press loaner.

Major makeover: 2022 Lexus IS 300

Major makeover: 2022 Lexus IS 300

The already-excellent Lexus Safety System+ suite of technologies benefits from a few additions such as enhanced camera and radar equipment to help the pre-collision detection spot not just oncoming vehicles but preceding cyclists and pedestrians as well.

2022 Volvo XC40 Recharge still setting EV benchmark

2022 Volvo XC40 Recharge still setting EV benchmark

Formerly offering an already healthy range of 335 kilometres on a single charge of the 78 kilowatt-hour high-voltage battery, minor digital tweaks to energy and thermal management ups the number by 24 to a total of 359 kilometres. Owners of 2021 vehicles are also eligible for the upgrade.

2022 Mercedes-AMG E 53 Coupe

2022 Mercedes-AMG E 53 Coupe

Though the fifth generation E-Class is now getting a little long in the tooth, a replacement is coming soon. To tide enthusiasts over, however, Mercedes-AMG revealed a face-lifted E 53 last year highlighting fresh styling, a revised cabin and the introduction of the company’s high tech Mercdes-Benz User eXperience (MBUX) infotainment system.