The updated 2018 Honda HR-V has a pile of safety gear added to it, including autonomous emergency braking, which slams the brakes on if the car spots something in front of it. This system is active up to 30km/h, so it’s intended for low speed areas such as around schools and shopping centres – arguably where you need it the most.
There’s also a new model in the range, the NZ$37,500 RS model tested here. Unlike other manufacturers who tend to use the RS nameplate for high performance versions of a vehicle, Honda’s RS strategy is to add sports suspension and pretty much leave it at that.
The result is an HR-V model that rides a tad stiffer and corners a bit harder than standard, but it’s nothing that’s really astounding.
The main strength of the HR-V is interior space and versatility, with the ‘magic seats’ that fold every which way to allow you to throw pretty much the entire household into the back of the vehicle.
The HR-V slots into the Honda range under the much better equipped and higher priced CR-V and you can feel that the HR-V has been built to a certain rather low price. Build quality is still up to Honda standards, but equipment you expect to find, such as Apple Carplay and Android Auto are absent, and there’s only one USB slot, built awkwardly into the infotainment head unit.
And the sat nav display in that head unit has to have the worst colour scheme, with ‘baby poop’ tan and sickly yellow road maps. Also, the time readout on the head unit changed to East African Time halfway through my time with the car. I’m on the other side of the planet from Africa…
The HR-V RS does serve as a reasonably stepping stone in the Honda range, but don’t expect to be bowled over by performance or equipment.