I’ve been driving a few sporty vehicles lately, but when I decided to take a trip over to Salt Spring Island I needed to bit of a larger ride to carry the inevitable excess of luggage, along with my friend Tess (and her bags), ample room for two others that I’d had planned to take with on an apple festival adventure, and possible purchases. More on our apple festival adventures here.
Honda has a new vehicle out this year, and it fit the bill precisely, without the price tag you’d expect from a ride with such attractive and sporty design. The Honda HR-V comes in a basic model, the LX starting at $20, 690, and there’s an EX-L Model in between but we test drove the EX-L Navi model which has features that drives it to the $29,990 price tag; a bit more, but the trims are worth it. The EX-L is all wheel drive and has a continuously variable transmission. All models of the HR-V have a 141 horsepower, 1.8 litre 4-cylinder 16-valve engine and 127 lb.-ft of torque.
The safety features of this car earned it the highest overall score for collision safety from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and fortunately we had no chance to test this out. The Forward Collision Warning and Lane Departure Warning came in handy though, especially on the ferry, and the expanded view driver’s mirror meant far less blind spots.
The interior is rather elegant, with lots of well-thought out details inside, and the HR-V seems far roomier than I expected from a vehicle that is billed as a subcompact SUV. The wheelbase is 102.8 and the car 169.1 in length and the driver seats are super comfortable. There’s a moon roof for sunny days and heated seats for cooler ones. The second row is also ample for two and the seats fold flat should you want to load up the car from the back, and rotate up if there is something taller to pop behind the driver and passenger seats; like a big plant or IKEA furniture.
The Honda starts with a button, which I drastically missed on the next car I drove as I kept leaving the keys in my purse. If you go for the LCD screen you can control everything within reach there, and there’s also controls on the steering wheel, but I didn’t figure them all out. Multiple USB ports meant both our phones stay charge and the camera helped us avoid any back up accidents.
The HR-V hugs corners and zips around precisely. It’s got power but not enough to tow and I wasn’t in need of towing anything, anyhow. Parking is a breeze in this model, even when we were back in the city, and the HR-V barely sips gas; not a guzzler here.