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Honda confirms safer, sportier HR-V

BadRS: The HR-V RS is distinguished by its two-tone 18-inch alloy wheels, piano-black bodykit, honeycomb grille, front LED foglights and black side mirrors.

Standard AEB, sporty RS grade highlight incoming Honda HR-V facelift

19 Jun 2018

HONDA Australia has confirmed that the facelifted HR-V small SUV will usher in standard low-speed autonomous emergency braking (AEB) and a sporty RS grade ahead of its launch in August this year.
The HR-V’s AEB system is active at less than 30km/h and enabled via a laser radar built into its windscreen. As a result, the vehicle can detect possible obstructions and automatically apply its brakes if the driver does not intervene.
As a result, the HR-V joins the Mazda CX-3, Nissan Qashqai, Toyota C-HR, Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross and Skoda Karoq as small SUVs that offer AEB range-wide.
However, as previously reported, the HR-V will have to wait until its next-generation model before the full suite of Honda Sensing advanced driver-assist systems – including adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist – are standardised.
Meanwhile, the RS is distinguished by its two-tone 18-inch alloy wheels, piano-black bodykit, honeycomb grille, front LED foglights, black side mirrors and rear license-plate garnish, and dark-chrome accents.
Inside, a leather sports steering wheel and new-look leather seats with heating functionality for the front row feature, while Phoenix Orange pearlescent paintwork is an exclusive option for the RS.
Furthermore, the HR-V’s driving dynamics are enhanced in RS form thanks to the addition of Variable Gear Ratio (VGR) steering – also found in the CR-V and Civic – and front stabiliser bars.
The rest of the HR-V line-up is expected to welcome redesigned headlights, tail-lights, front and rear bumpers, and alloy wheels, as per the Japanese-market Vezel facelift revealed earlier this year.
The front-wheel-drive HR-V will continue to be motivated by a 1.8-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine that produces 105kW of power at 6500rpm and 172Nm of torque at 4300rpm when mated to its continuously-variable transmission.
According to Honda Australia director Stephen Collins, internal expectations are high for the upgraded HR-V given its solid foundations.
“With our iconic Honda Civic and CR-V performing strongly, particularly with private buyers, our focus now shifts to HR-V,” he said.
“It’s been a consistent top-three seller with private buyers since its launch, and with the new car offering more style and more safety, we expect this trend to continue.
“Since HR-V arrived in 2015, we’ve built a very loyal group of owners who have very specific requirements built around space, versatility, and reliability.
“HR-V’s versatility really shines in its ability to nail ‘life admin’ tasks during the week, plus easily fit your mates and gear to get out there on the weekend.
“So the brief for the new HR-V was clear; keep what customers love, like the 18-way Magic Seats and versatile roomy interior, and add some new-found style, sportiness, plus AEB across the range.”
Speaking to journalists in May this year, Honda Australia general manager of customer and communications Scott McGregor revealed that the HR-V’s update is projected to extend this sales success further.
“We’re really excited by it, because … that category’s growing and HR-V’s doing really well in terms of private share, and we think this upgrade will take it even further,” he said.
Sales of the HR-V have steadily improved this year, with 5003 examples sold to the end of May, representing a 5.1 per cent increase over the 4761 deliveries made during the same period in 2017.
The Honda is fifth in the sub-$40,000 small-SUV segment this year, trailing the Mitsubishi ASX (7846 units), CX-3 (6946), Subaru XV (5931) and Qashqai (5015).

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