In a recent drive with Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. (HCPI), Sales Division Head Atty. Louie Soriano shared that new cars coming this year will all be equipped with Honda SENSING. The suite of safety toys is a must-have and so far, the all-new Civic, CR-V, and Accord are all equipped with the said features.
After a few weeks, HCPI announced the arrival of the all-new HR-V, set to happen on April 19, 2022. As promised, it will arrive with Honda SENSING available across the range and an available turbocharged gasoline engine for the top-spec trim.
Apart from these two, what are the things I expect from the third-generation Honda HR-V? I had the car for a few days for a refresher, as well as a farewell drive to Honda’s smallest SUV yet.
Same superb handling
My favorite trait of the outgoing HR-V is its superb handling. The steering’s assisted but not light, which makes for a composed and confident cornering. It isn’t too heavy, as well, allowing me to easily weave through tight spaces. It’s something that I really wish to see in the upcoming model as the emergence of SUVs and electronically assisted steering doesn’t necessarily mean that cars will have to lose their souls. The outgoing HR-V is the prime example of that.
Same sporty design
The HR-V is the smallest crossover in the local lineup but has a sporty design that makes it stand out in the lineup. It has a youthful vibe, and that’s something that I wish to see in the third-generation model. The hybrid models I’ve been seeing on the global stage aren’t exactly that, but good thing Indonesia got the sportier-looking versions, which should be the same ones we’ll see here. And yes, those distinct hidden door handles on the C-pillar should still make their way with the all-new model.
Same flexible seating
The outgoing HR-V makes use of the U.L.T.R. flexible seat configuration, which is also found in the City Hatchback and formerly with the defunct Jazz. This means the rear seats are configurable to various positions and settings, which is pretty nifty since the HR-V isn’t exactly a spacious car. That said, whether you’re hauling long, tall, or wide items, the crossover can still do the deed.
Same notable riding comfort
The HR-V’s suspension isn’t tuned for sporty drives, but Honda was able to find the sweet spot between fun and comfortables drives, contributing to the HR-V’s notable riding comfort. It’s one of the things that make up for the vehicle’s limited creature space, bringing me to my next point…
Better headroom and legroom
As mentioned, the HR-V is not a spacious vehicle, but if the occupants are below 5’6” in height, it’s sufficient. However, one can still wish that you have the luxury of space, especially in the rear seats. If the next-generation HR-V has better legroom and headroom, then that’s something that taller customers can laud about. After all, the 2022 HR-V is taller and wider than the outgoing model, so we think this one’s not too far-fetched.
Better, integrated head unit
Don’t get me wrong; the current HR-V does have a good head unit, but since it’s a third-party product from Kenwood, it isn’t integrated well into the car. The USB ports are like afterthoughts shoehorned into the glove box, plus the display of the rear camera needs a lot of help. Good thing it has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, which should also make its appearance in the all-new model.
Better center console
Another pain in the outgoing HR-V is its center console. It’s dressed in piano black plastics, which are prone to dust and scratches. It’s hard to maintain – and that’s evident with the aging media unit.
Another problem is that the storage points and cubbyholes on the outgoing HR-V’s center console are limited. There is a space for smartphones underneath the center tunnel, but it’s way too out of the way.
Rear air vents, please?
In this day and age, rear A/C vents are becoming a selling point among new cars, and rightfully so. The Philippines is a tropical country, so good air-conditioning is essential for cars. If small, affordable models under P1-million can have rear A/C, I’m expecting the third-generation HR-V – priced in between P1.3 million to P1.6 million, according to HCPI – to also have this nifty feature.