Friday, June 02, 2017

A photographer's insights of the Honda HR-V

  I recently purchased a 2017 Honda HR-V (LX model) which is built on the Honda Fit platform, so essentially a Honda Fit on steroids.

  Some background, I'm a photographer, I work for a small newspaper in Kelowna, B.C. which requires me to use my personal vehicle to get from assignment to assignment and I also use my vehicle for to take me on road trips for my personal fine art work that I do on my time off which is featured on this blog. I love to photograph the Canadian landscape. Also I might add I am no professional car reviewer, nor do I want to try and present this review as such, but just a enthusiast who likes to drive and has driven my share of various cars and small trucks over the years. I'm not going to provide a lot of technical information on engine specs and other technical data, most people reading this online will be be able to get quick answers to those questions by Googling the latest Honda HR-V.

  Prior to my owning the HR-V I owned a 2008 Honda Fit. I was extremely impressed with this car, although not bough new, I purchased it in 2010 when it had only 22,000 km's on it , when I recently traded it in, it had close to 255,000 km's on it. It was a good reliable car theatre served me well and owed me nothing. One of the reasons I decided to buy a second Honda was because of its solid build quality and reliability. I thought the rear "magic" seats are just the best and most versatile car invention ever made for storing and fitting things in. As a photographer, at times I can have a lot of gear to cart around, especially with my large format cameras, add in the occasional camping trip and related gear and thats when cars like the HR-V with their generous stowage capacity show their worth. There is really no comparison between my old Honda Fit and the new Honda HR-V as I mentioned its built on the Fit platform. The HR-V is heavier, wider and longer and the driver sits up higher behind the steering wheel. Its also quieter while driving and has a much smoother drive, especially going over bumps in the road, the interiors is well appointed and comfortable.

 The new HR-V has the same rear "magic" seats, so it was a big selling feature for me, with the Fit I was able to get a men's size mountain bike with the front wheel removed stowed with the rear bottom seats folded up. With the HR-V there looks to me significantly more room so the bike should be no problem.

 Before purchasing I read quite a few reviews by professional auto writers, a number of those reviews indicated that it was somewhat under powered with a 1.8 litter engine. Coming from the Fit, the HR-V is quite a bit more powerful in that regard, mind you it's no speed demon, and perhaps if one owned say a Porsche 911 previous to the the HR-V they might find it a tad slow.

 Since I am Canadian and I often drive in winter conditions even in the Okanagan here, it has some nifty winter features, like heated front seats, and a heated front windshield, just where the wiper blades sit in their resting position, I am eager to try this during the upcoming winter, but for now I am enjoying the warmer summer weather where the air conditioner does a decent job of keeping me cool, the EX and the EX Navi have dual climate controls.

 The HR-V has good gas mileage for a small SUV, maybe not in the same territory as the FIt but still not bad, although I have only had it a week for a combination of city and highway driving I have averaged around 8.65 litres per 100 km or about 24.20 MPG, with the Fit I was getting around 7.66 litres per 100 km or around 30.72 MPG. The HR-V also has a long list of technical features, I am still learning all the that the car has to offer. My car is the base LX model, (white orchid pearl) but with the all with the Real time AWD option which comes with the CVT automatic transmission. So far I have no issues with the way the transmission shifts, compared to the Fit it shifts very smoothly and evenly.

 The car is a joy to drive and I plan to update my blog entry here from time to time, I am planning a road trip soon and will have a better idea of what the gas mileage and performance is like going over the Coquihalla highway in Southern British Columbia. Plus further into the year I will test it's winter performance.

This part of the review was posted June 2, 2017. 

More to come as I put it though it's paces.

June 16 to 22, 2017: Vancouver Island and Hornby Island Road trip.

I recently took my new Honda HR-Vthat that had just cracked the1000 kilometre mark on the odometer on a 1620 long road trip from my home in West Kelowna to Vancouver Island and then on to Hornby Island north of Naniamo, for a few nights of camping. The HR-V was packed with camping gear and photo gear, the rear magic seats proved very useful for cramming stuff in. There was even room to spare. I thought the car performed well, for example leaving my home, there is a rather long hill of about 30 kilometres in length with grades of 6%, although no speed demon, it got me up and over the hill with no problems. For a small SUV it gets excellent fuel economy on one segment of this trip driving around Hornby Island for three days, I was able to achieve 6.5L/100 km, or very close to 36 mpg which I thought was very good.

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