To the mountains with the Honda HR-V

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Honda Cars Philippines Inc. recently gathered a group of motoring journalists for an experiential drive of the new Honda HR-V.

Although most updates are aesthetics, it was a perfect activity to showcase the look and comfort this Honda compact Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) offers. The program was a drive from the busy Bonifacio Global City, Taguig to the winding roads of Nasugbu, Batangas. With this writer being an HR-V first timer, it was a perfect opportunity for me to test out the HR-V as an urban roamer and as a highway runner.

Seeing the new HR-V in natural light the first time, it is evident how strong the new fascia appears specially that of the RS model in its special Phoenix Orange color. But for the first day of the drive, our group got the 1.8 E CVT variant.

The drive started in BGC going through the morning metro traffic to SLEX. The first part of the drive was a test of the urban adaptability of the compact SUV. Sitting at the back gave me the chance to experience the ample space of the HR-V. It has leg and headroom comparable or may even surpass some of those mid-sized SUV of today. There was a time during our travel that I needed to get stuff from my bag stowed at the back compartment.

Thanks to the HR-V’s rear seat trunk accessibility, I was able to reach my stuff with no sweat.

One of the things I noticed as we cruised SLEX was how quiet the HR-V’s cabin was. It definitely gained plus points on my list. Most people don’t realize that cabin noise is a factor to consider together with ride comfort and Honda has done a good job with the HR-V’s cabin.

As we exited Carmona, the roads started to become twisty heading towards Batangas. Despite some late braking maneuvers and a bit of fast corner entries, the ride still felt comfortable in the back seat.

We then reached the Victoria Pavilion where we had our lunch break. After lunch was my time to get behind the wheel to feel the driving dynamics of the HR-V. The HR-V’s engine, transmission and suspension were all the same as the last model but it was my first time to drive an HR-V so I was stoked to finally sit on the driver seat.

Overall, it was a car very easy to drive. Body size felt ideal even for newbie drivers and it responds snappy. Power might be a gripe for some but this is a passenger car and it’s not trying to be a Type R, so there’s a need to manage power output expectations. It punches decent pull that is useful for overtaking maneuvers and climbing inclines though.

What are your thoughts?

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