Honda’s HR-V and CR-V are recreational vehicles destined to spend most of their lives in urban carparks instead of nature parks.
CR-V (right, below) has more space, amenities and storage points, but HR-V has excellent equipment anyway, including an electronic parking brake.
MY idea of an RV (recreational vehicle) is diff erent from Honda’s “R-V” concept. To me, an RV is a caravan of love, a motorhome away from home, a happy camper van for even happier campers. I could live in one, and my lifestyle would be a long-running, relaxing road trip – islandwide, Sentosa, across the Causeway, up into Malaysia, and repeat. But Honda’s “R-V” range, the HR-V (Premium version) and CR-V, are not about caravanning or camping. Their preferred form of recreation is in the city area, around East/West Coast Park and on the daily commute. They are outdoorsy crossovers for folks who prefer indoor sleepovers, complete with aircon, cable TV and Wi-Fi. Both chalets-on-wheels don’t have television and a router, but their air-conditioning is automatic and fantastic, with the CR-V also off ering dual-zone “freezing”, plus a built-in filter to prevent outside dust and pollen from entering the cabin.
Both dashboards feature a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system that can be synchronised with your smartphone, but the CR-V’s is more informative thanks to its standard navigation function. Both systems include a reverse-parking camera, but it’s of greater use in the larger CR-V. The CR-V’s body is about 15 percent bigger than that of its Jazz-based sibling, so the cabin is consequently roomier, but it sits on a wheelbase that’s merely 10mm longer (2620mm) than that of the HR-V. Therefore, the smaller vehicle is fairly spacious for its size, with decent rear legroom. Those backseats are versatile, too, thanks to their Jazz-derived Ultra design that can create/configure a “central boot” to supplement the trunk proper, whose capacity of 400 litres is much lower than the CR-V’s 590 litres.
The HR-V’s power output is also much lower, with 120bhp and 145Nm from a 1.5-litre engine, versus the 2.4-litre CR-V with 190bhp and 222Nm. The latter weighs 350kg more, though, so their diff erence in power-toweight and general acceleration is less significant than that of, say, the Jazz 1.3 and Jazz 1.5. As for the driving experience, there’s a semblance of “sports” behind the wheel of the HR-V, which handles exactly like a higher, heavier and tougher Jazz, whereas the CR-V is entirely “utility” in its behaviour, emphasising high cruising comfort, low eff ort and equally low engagement with the driver.
Honda has added another vehicle to its “R-V” range, the BR-V. It’s the cooler crossover derivative of the Mobilio, an “Asean” seven-seater MPV that stretches your Singdollar/ ringgit/rupiah/baht. The new model also accommodates seven people in three rows, and its on-board features appear to be similar to the practical Mobilio’s. According to a Kah Motor spokesman, the BR-V won’t be coming to Singapore, so it’ll just be the CR-V and HR-V in the island’s urban carparks.
There are paddle-shifters in both Hondas, but they override a no-fun CVT in the HR-V and a no-joy 5-speed auto in the CR-V, so playing with them would be pretty pointless. As for going gently off -road in search of gentle adventure, both “R-Vs” are limited by their fueleffi cient front-drive setup, but their 170mm of ground clearance should be adequate for the occasional climbing/clipping of kerbs in our concrete jungle. Nature parks are not the, uh, natural playgrounds of the HR-V and CR-V. Instead, these Honda siblings will clock most of their mileage in urban environments and just a bit of it in the suburbs.