Honda HR-V e: HEV, the proof – stylish look and super efficient hybrid system

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The compact crossover market is undoubtedly the most dynamic, both in Italy and in Europe. Competition is practically total and very heterogeneous, given that the segment is ideally divided into two: on the one hand B-SUVs between 4.10 and 4.25 meters long, with prices between 18,000 and 25,000 euros, on the other hand those up to to

4.4 meters and € 35,000. The new HR-V e: HEV – 4.34 meters long and attack price of 30,900 euros – is positioned in the latter range, where there are many competitors each with its strengths. The new Honda SUV has no awe, first of all for its hybrid system which was born in 2018 with the CR-V and then was evolved on the Jazz into a less powerful variant. With the city multispace the HR-V shares the platform – the Global Small Platform – and the hybrid technology, which however has gained some power. In any case, the full hybrid Honda is different from all the others.

It is made up of an Atkinson cycle 1.5 petrol engine, an electric motor, an alternator, a lithium-ion battery, a lock-up clutch and a power control unit. There are three modes of operation and a gearless transmission like on electric cars. This is not a casual comparison because the HR-V behaves mainly like an electric one: the heat engine is almost always disconnected from the wheels and generates the electricity needed by the electric unit, which has 131 HP and 253 Nm. However, in specific situations such as for example at constant speed and at a certain number of revolutions in which efficiency is maximum, the 4-cylinder is connected directly to the wheels thanks to the locking clutch which closes and forms a closed system between the drive shafts and the internal combustion engine.

Thus, according to Honda, between 0 and 40 km / h the HR-V e: HEV works at 91% as an electric and at 9% as a hybrid; from 40 to 80 km / h the time in full electric drops to 54%, that in hybrid rises to 29% and that in thermal goes to 17%.

Between 80 and 120 km / h it is the thermal that takes the lion’s share with 70% of use, while the other two modes share the rest equally. Above 120 km / h the hybrid system is always engaged. The average consumption approved by WLTP is 18.5 km / l, but with a little attention you can easily go up to 20 km / l. If you are looking for performance, the HR-V reaches 170 km / h and sprints from 0 to 100 km / h in 10.6 seconds, but it also becomes rough and a bit noisy. In these circumstances, however, the excellent dynamics emerge, with precise steering and a well-supported but not rigid structure. Considering the qualities of the previous model, it is no surprise, as is the qualitative leap in style: a linear and minimalist design that follows the coolest shape of the moment, that of the SUV-coupé. The downside are the liters stolen from the trunk, which stop at319 also due to the presence of the battery. There is consolation with the folding mechanism of the rear seats, which is very practical and defines a completely flat load compartment.

The ergonomics of the driver’s seat are also excellent while the space available for the legs of the rear passengers is at the top of the category. Also like the setting of the dashboard that maintains some physical controls revealing itself rational and intuitive. There is also a habit like the knobs to choke the air vents (a component on which many simplify and save).

The 9-inch touchscreen infotainment is improved in speed and precision, while the Honda Sensing suite of driver assistance systems is always standard and includes all the most important functions.

Speaking of equipment, the basic set-up is quite complete and there are no “forced” additions. Consequently, the quality / price ratio is excellent. Honda Italy aims to sell 6,000 HR-V and: HEV per year, practically almost two thirds of its total potential. Given the overall qualities of the car it seems largely achievable.

Honda HR-V e: HEV – the board
What is that
: the second generation of Honda’s compact crossover launched in 2014
Dimensions: length 4.34 meters, width 1.79 m, height 1.58 m, pitch 2.61 m
Trunk: 319 liters

Engine: 107 HP 1.5 4 cylinder Atkinson cycle +

131 PS. System power and torque: 131 hp and 253 Nm
Exchange: automatic, single speed
Traction: front
Benefits: consumption, driveability, value for money, space on board
Defects: trunk, noisy engine at high revs
Production: Suzuka, Japan
Prices: the range of the new Honda HR-V e: HEV starts at € 30,900 and goes up to € 35,900

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