Review: Honda HR-V Turbo, the best HR-V ever?

Honda HR-V Turbo

Tester’s note:

Where Malaysia Price from RM129,800 (OTR, excl. insurance ) On sale now Engine 4-cyl, 1498cc, petrol Power 174bhp Torque 240Nm Gearbox CVT Kerb weight from 1380kg Top speed 200km/h  0-100km/h NA Fuel economy 15.4km/L (claimed) CO2 NA Rivals Toyota Corolla Cross, Mazda CX-30, Subaru XV

What is it?

The Honda HR-V Turbo are mid- and upper-spec variants of the HR-V crossover. There are four variants in the range, the entry-level 1.5-litre naturally-aspirated S-spec, followed by the Turbo E then the higher-spec Turbo V and finally, the HR-V e:HEV RS hybrid at the top of the range.

What is it like?

The HR-V Turbo is incredibly smooth with quiet and effortless acceleration. There’s power when you want it but no CVT gearbox whine when driving with urgency nor a sudden thrust as the turbo kicks in. The refinement extends to the handling which is very steady along with stable road holding.

Overall, the car is quiet. There is a bit of road noise – not a complaint about NVH which is really almost always faintly present unless you’re in the Bentley-market range. However, it is not intrusive, as attested to by two hearing aid wearers. We could have conversations with ease and enjoy the audio system.

Should I get one?

We personally think the HR-V Turbo is the best version of the HR-V, ever.

So the question is, Turbo E or the Turbo V? Is it worth paying RM5k more to get the HR-V Turbo V?

Both the E-spec and V-spec are fully equipped where it counts the most – safety features. The passive and active safety equipment across the variants are identical: six-airbags, anti-locking brakes (ABS), emergency brakeforce distribution (EBD), stability control, full Honda Sensing features like autonomous braking, collision warning along with adaptive cruise control and hill descent control. Don’t worry, it’s safe.

The convenience features like remote engine start to cool the car remotely, keyless entry, walkaway auto-lock, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, reverse camera, single-zone automatic air-conditioning are in both E and V.

Externally both turbo variants look the same: black chequered-styled front grille and ‘Turbo’ badge at the rear. The front and rear lights are LED. The reflector headlights have automatic high beam. The V has sequential indicators, the E has flashers. The E has 17-inch rims while the V’s is 18-inches.

Power-wise, the HR-V Turbo E- and Turbo V-spec have an engine and gearbox in common with Econ, Normal and Sport drive modes.

Side note, the lower spec HR-V Turbo E is a split second faster than the V – and two whole seconds faster than the e:HEV RS. With less equipment and smaller rims, it weighs 23kg less. Not noticeable behind the wheel but it’s still bragging rights, the fastest Honda HR-V.

Our verdict, the HR-V Turbo E is lower spec where it doesn’t really matter. Smaller rims, urethane-covered steering wheel and manually-adjusted fabric upholstered seats, unpainted plastic trim in the cabin… It also does without variable ratio steering, sequential indicators and Honda Connect app.

Whichever you choose, you would have the best version of the Honda HR-V, ever.