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2019 Honda HR-V RS Review | carsales

2019 Honda HR-V RS Review | carsales

Slapping an RS badge on a car and it traditionally
represents sporty handling and boosted power. However, in the case of Honda’s new HR-V
RS model, it stands more for design features than outright performance. The Honda HR-V range has been updated with
the new RS model taking the place of the VTi-L to sit under the range-topping VTi-LX in the
new line-up. Now, given the RS tag, buyers might reasonably
assume that the HR-V RS follows the same configuration as the Civic RS and include a 1.5-litre turbo
petrol engine under the bonnet. But with the HR-V the RS gets the same 1.8-litre
naturally-aspirated engine as the rest of the range. Paired with a continuously variable automatic
transmission, the drive is more attuned to the city environment than the open road. Uphill overtaking does take some prior planning
as there’s little mid-range grunt available. At least it’s pretty nippy on the flat. For an SUV it’s quite agile too. The power steering has been retuned and the
suspension has been fettled, resulting in more direct steering and slightly flatter
cornering. Bear in mind, however, this is in comparison
with the rest of the HR-V range. It’s not exactly a dynamic powerhouse. And while the CVT does get these paddle shifters,
you really need to use them as it does sound pretty laboured on hard acceleration. Now, I have found the HR-V has a pretty sharp
ride. There’s not very much damping and I think
you wouldn’t notice that quite so much in the city but out in the countryside it’s
quite a hard ride. So, what do you get in the HR-V RS that helps
it stand out from the rest of the range? As you’d expect in an SUV, there’s lots
of practicality too and loads of room for four adults. While at the rear there’s plenty of accommodation
for all their luggage too. And if there’s just two of you along for
the ride, boot space can be maximised thanks to the HR-V’s folding rear seats. And when it comes to safety tech, the HR-V
is reasonably well appointed. There’s low speed autonomous emergency braking
across the range as well as reverse cameras. All models, with the exception of the base
HR-V have parking sensors. However, the RS does miss out on lane departure
warning and high beam assist, which is only available on the range-topping model. On the infotainment front there’s satellite
navigation and a touch screen system which is pretty easy to use. The HR-V is now one of the few cars on sale
to not offer Apple CarPlay or Android Auto and for some buyers that might be a deal-breaker. And it’s the same if you want a more sporty
feel behind the wheel. A vehicle like the all-wheel drive Hyundai
Kona offers the option of a much more sprightly 1.6-litre turbo engine and dual clutch transmission. It’s a more enjoyable drive for a similar
price point. But if you like the style and practicality
that this HR-V has to offer, then it’s probably worth a look.

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