Honda HR-V
(2015 - 2022)

  • Superb practicality and packaging
  • Showing typical excellent Honda reliability
  • Maintaining value on the used market
  • Enjoyable driving experience
  • Lacking in some infotainment tech
  • Lower specs miss out on some safety tech
  • CVT transmission not to everyones tastes
Overview

The original boxy Honda HR-V, the GH version, is a rare sight on Aussie roads. It survived seven years globally (1999-2006) but only lasted two years on local roads, a pint-sized, small-engined crossover anomaly in its era, largely shunned by buyers and arguably well before its time.

The HR-V nameplate – ‘Hi-rider Revolutionary Vehicle’, for the curious – disappeared, then resurfaced in 2013, in Japan initially, as the second-generation RU. Sporty, matured and contemporarily styled, this reimagined HR-V caught the upswing of baby SUV popularity and has prospered since to eventually become Honda’s top seller in Australia. Quite the turnaround, right?

This new HR-V, based on stretched Jazz underpinnings, arrived locally in early 2015, eschewing its predecessor’s three- or five-door choice with a sole five-door body that looks as if it only has three doors, its rear door handles hidden, to some extent, in the C-pillars.

Its fetching coupe-like styling, face-lifted in 2018, has remained resilient to ageing, spawning hybrid and electric versions in some markets and remains on sale at the time of writing, albeit well into the runout phase of its lifecycle, due to be replaced soon by an all-new third generation.

Australia skipped the 1.5-litre engines, both naturally aspirated and turbocharged, that were offered overseas, instead opting for a one-powertrain-fits-all N/A 1.8-litre i-VTEC petrol four – shared with Civic – backed exclusively with a continuously variable transmission driving the front wheels. Nor was the foreign six-speed manual offered on the local HR-V menu.

It was (and remains) advertised as 105kW and 172Nm, its engine DNA harking back to 2006, an unpretentious if frugal unit that’ll happily run on crappy 91RON with favourable 6.6L-6.9L/100km advertised combined consumption, depending on which variant you chose.

Initially, there were three versions to choose from, a base VTi, mid-spec VTi-S and flagship VTi-L, spread across a $25k-$32k price range save for the clumsily named VTi-L with ADAS, essentially a thousand-dollar option pack that brought the fullest safety suite.

That’s right, despite its five-star ANCAP rating, not all old HR-Vs are equally safe. Initially, autonomous emergency braking was absent on the base VTi, and you needed to stump for ADAS to add forward collision and blind spot alert systems. Tip: avoid the early VTi stuff. As of July 2018, though, all versions of HR-V fitted AEB s standard.

Unlike its exterior, the gen-two’s cabin hasn’t aged all that gracefully, particularly early examples’ increasingly redundant infotainment system with clumsy and defunct smartphone connectivity.

The highlight, though, is practicality, the RU considerably roomier than its sardine-can GH forebear, complete with Honda’s excellent Magic Seat system offering a claimed 18 different seating and storage combinations, allowing its large 437-litre boot to expand to a 1437-litre-capacity van if need be.

Another strong suit is the drive. Honda milked a fair bit of spunk from the chassis, with decent steering and handling imbuing a fundamentally enjoyable character that rides nicely too. The downside is that its engine’s high torque peak (4300rpm) means it and its paired CVT one-speeder do conspire to a racket getting a hustle on.

The mid-2018 nose job (MY19) brought sharper looks and a smattering of updates, including cruise control, sat-nav, reversing cameras and the aforementioned AEB fitment across the range.

A new semi-sporty RS (circa-$32k) arrived, sat just above the VTi-S and bringing 18s as well as fettled suspension and steering, albeit powered by the familiar 1.8 rather than the feisty turbo 1.5L offered elsewhere globally. And a new tree-topper, the (partially) leather-dipped VTi-LX, would emerge at just under $36k. Meanwhile, the VTi-S upsized wheels to 17-inch and added LED headlights.

However, those wanting/needing modern Apple CarPlay/Android Auto compatibility do need to sniff out versions built for 2020.

Worth a look used? Let’s find out.

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What goes wrong

Mechanically, not very much. There are sporadic reports of CVT issues but this is generally apparent on poorly maintained examples.

However, it is critical that the HR-V has been regularly serviced and maintained. Be sure to check if the servicing has been performed at least at every 10,000kms or every 12 months.

There are occasional reports of paint defects, which includes peeling or flaking. This can most commonly be seen on the roof.

Also on some examples the plastic trim around the windows can be seen having a rough or bubbly effect.

There are a few reports of water leaking through the windows, the usual cause being badly fitted window/door seals.

Model range, pricing & features

VTi

  • Price when new: $24,990 - $31,300
  • Price used: $13,500 - $32,990

The base spec VTi comes with a 1.8 litre 4-cylinder petrol engine, mated to a CVT gearbox.

Key features included a 5-star ANCAP safety rating (awarded in 2015), 6x airbags, ABS, EBD, halogen headlights and daytime running lights, electric park brake, cruise control, multi-functional steering wheel, electric windows and mirrors, 6-speaker sound system with a 7-inch infotainment system as well as Honda’s Magic Seats that can fold down 60:40 or the seat squabs can be lifted to provide more storage in the back seat area, especially handy for tall items.

Updates over the generation include satellite navigation, AEB (marked as City-Brake Active System) and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Adds:

16-inch alloy wheels
Tailgate spoiler
LED indicators integrated into the side mirrors
Halogen headlights
Daytime running lights
LED tail lights
Auto off headlights
5-star ANCAP safety rating (tested 2015)
6x airbags: driver and front passenger, front side and full-length curtain airbags
Seatbelt pre-tensioners for the front seats
ISOFIX child seat anchors with three top teather points
Anti-lock braking system (ABS)
Electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD)
Traction control system (TCS)
Emergency stop signal (via hazard lights)
Hill start assist
Tyre delation warning system
Vehicle stability assistant (VSA)
Electromechanical parking brake
Brake hold function
Reversing camera
Central locking
Cruise control
Intermittent Wipers – Variable
Tilt and telescopic adjustable steering wheel
Multi-functional steering wheel
Electric mirrors
Electric windows with auto up/down for driver and front passenger
Remote down for all windows via key
Single zone climate control
Black fabric seat trim
Magic seats
Multi-functional driver’s display
Trip computer
Six speaker audio system
7-inch infotainment system
AM/FM radio
CD player
Bluetooth phone and audio streaming connectivity
2x USB ports
HDMI port
Siri Eyes Free mode
12-volt power outlet
4x cup holders – 2x in front row and 2x in second row
Vanity mirror for front passenger
60:40 split folding seats
Rear cargo blind

2017 updates:
Satellite navigation

RU.II (MY19) updates:
Autonomous emergency braking (AEB) – marketed as City-Brake Active System

2020 updates:
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

Limited Edition

  • Price when new: $26,490 - $31,490
  • Price used: $16,000 - $30,000

The HR-V has regularly seen the “Limited Edition” model available on a yearly basis, offering additional cosmetic and convenience features such as larger alloy wheels, roof rails, side steps, rear parking sensors, keyless entry and push button start.

Adds:

17-inch alloy wheels
Roof rails
Side steps
Rear parking sensors
Keyless entry
Push button start/stop

50 Years Edition

  • Price when new: $28,990
  • Price used: $26,000 - $32,000

To commemorate its 50th anniversary celebrations of being in Australia, Honda released a limited edition – 50 Years Edition model of the HR-V and featured additional styling features and rear parking sensors over the VTi model it was based on.

Adds:

17-inch alloy wheels
“50 Years Edition” badging
Side steps
Alloy sports pedals
Rear parking sensors

VTi-S

  • Price when new: $35,100 - $41,000
  • Price used: $14,500 - $36,000

The VTi-S is the mid-spec model in the HR-V range.

It gains larger alloy wheels and roof rails, whilst also gaining additional safety items such as AEB, Blind Spot Monitoring, LED headlights, auto headlights and rain sensing windscreen wipers.

Furthermore, the VTi-S adds more comfort and convenience features to the vehicle.

Updates over the generation include satellite navigation, new design 17-inch alloy wheels, rear parking sensors and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Adds:

17-inch alloy wheels
Roof rails
Autonomous emergency braking (AEB) – marketed as City-Brake Active System
Blind spot monitoring – marked as LaneWatch
LED headlights with auto-levelling feature
LED daytime running lights
Auto headlights
Rain sensing wipers
Reversing auto-tilt side passenger mirror
Keyless entry
Push button start/stop
Leather steering wheel
Leather gear shift knob
3x 12-volt power outlets
Driver back seat pocket

2017 updates:
Satellite navigation

RU.II (MY19) updates:
17-inch alloy wheels (new design)
Rear parking sensors

2020 updates:
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

+Luxe

  • Price when new: $29,990
  • Price used: $29,000 - $35,000

The +Luxe was a limited edition model based on the VTi-S and included additional luxury/comfort features usually found on the VTi-L or VTi-LX.

Additional features included metallic/pearlescent paint, +Luxe badging, black leather upholstery and heated seats for driver and front passenger.

Adds:

Metallic/pearlescent paint
+Luxe badging
Black leather upholstery
Heated seats – front

RS

  • Price when new: $31,990 - $38,500
  • Price used: $26,500 - $43,000

Introduced as part of the RU.II (MY19) updates, the RS was a sports-luxury focused HR-V model based on the VTI-S.

Additional features included a black styling pack such as black/chrome grille, black mirror caps, black body kit, RS badging and sports pedals.

The RS also benefited from a sports steering wheel and heated front seats.

Adds:

18-inch alloy wheels
Black/chrome grille
Honeycomb lower grille
Black side mirror caps
Dark chrome door handles
Black body kit
Rear privacy glass
RS badging
Sports pedals
Sports design mutli-function steering wheel
Heated seats – front

2017 updates:
Satellite navigation

2020 updates:
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

VTi-L

  • Price when new: $32,990 - $33,340
  • Price used: $19,000 - $35,000

The VTi-L is the top of the range model for the HR-V and adds luxury and comfort features.

Key features include sports pedals, front and rear parking sensors, dual zone climate control, leather upholstery, heated front seats, panoramic sunroof and privacy glass.

The VTi-L could also be optioned with a ADAS pack, which features forward collision warning, lane departure warning and Honda’s High-beam support system (which is an auto high-beam feature).

The VTi-L was discontinued with the arrival of the RU.II (MY19) update of the HR-V, and replaced with the VTi-LX.

Adds:

17-inch alloy wheels – sports design
Chrome door handles
Sports pedals
Front and rear parking sensors
Electrochromatic (auto-dimming) rear vision mirror
Dual-zone automatic climate control
Electric mirrors – folding
Electric windows – global auto up/down for all windows
Remote up/down for all windows via key
Leather upholstery
Heated seats – front
Panoramic sunroof
Privacy glass
Rear centre armrest

Optional ADAS pack for VTi-L can have cars fitted with:
Forward collision warning
Lane departure warning
Auto high-beam (marked as High-beam support system)

2017 updates:
Satellite navigation

VTi-LX

  • Price when new: $34,590 - $41,000
  • Price used: $32,000 - $40,000

The VTi-LX is the top of the range for the HR-V range from the RU.II (MY19) update.

Features offered largely stayed the same in comparison to the VTi-L, with the addition of 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat and the previously optional ADAS pack on the VTi-L made standard on the VTi-LX, which adds Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning and High-beam support.

Adds:

17-inch alloy wheels – two tone
Chrome door handles
Sports pedals
Forward collision warning
Lane departure warning
Front and rear parking sensors
Electrochromatic (auto-dimming) rear vision mirror
Auto high-beam (marked as High-beam support system)
Dual-zone automatic climate control
Electric mirrors – folding
Electric windows – global auto up/down for all windows
Remote up/down for all windows via key
8-way power adjustable driver’s seat
Leather upholstery
Heated seats – front
Panoramic sunroof
Privacy glass
Rear centre armrest

2020 updates:
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

Should you buy it?

If you can find a HRV in excellent condition, that has a full and thorough service history and it fits your budget, yes. Even after a few years and loads of kilometres, the HR-V is great.

We’ve found the majority of HR-V’s on the used market have generally been well cared for and are a very low risk purchase but it still pays to be on the lookout for damaged or badly maintained examples.

We’d recommend the most recent, lowest kilometre VTi-S as we see it as the sweet spot of the range but really, which of the HR-V variants you should buy will depend on you and your needs, and wants.

With so many HR-V’s available on the used market, don’t rush into it, be patient and find your perfect one, it will be out these.

Warranty & servicing

Warranty:

3 year/100,000km
5 year/unlimited kilometre (from July 2017)

Servicing:

12 months or 10,000km

Tech specs

Body Style:

5-door crossover SUV

Engines:

1.8 litre 4-cylinder petrol

Power:

105kW – 1.8 litre 4-cylinder petrol

Torque:

172Nm – 1.8 litre 4-cylinder petrol

Transmission & drivetrains:

Continuously variable transmission (CVT)

Fuel Consumption:

6.6 – 6.9L/100km (depending on model)

Length:

4294mm

Width:

1772mm

Height:

1605mm

Kerb Weight:

1274 – 1319kg

Disclaimer

Information correct as of February 4, 2022.

The advice provided on this website is general advice only. It has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this advice, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs.

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