Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Used Car Review - Honda HR-V (2000-2003)

For the very first day of July, Myk Belmonte features a rather unpopular SUV to see it more.

2000-2003 Honda HR-V

First conceived as the Wildful and Joyfull JW-J concept car displayed at the Tokyo Motor Show in 1997, the HR-V was placed in production a year later after its popularity. Based on the smaller Honda Logo while having lower emissions and unique styling, it can be (which is debatable) considered as one of the first crossovers out there.

The HR-V abbreviation stands for Hi-rider Revolutionary Vehicle, which Honda billed it so. Apart from Japan and some Pacific countries, it was also sold in Europe without a diesel engine. You may buy one in either a three or five door configuration until its 2006 discontinuation, with no direct successor.

While the CR-V was an immense hit in the Philippines back then, the HR-V was rather a novelty vehicle that sold less. First made available in the millennium year, the HR-V had fairly a limited market no thanks to a steep price tag due to its made in Japan status. Having no choice and after a limited run, Honda dropped this one in 2003.

Value and Costs
For just between P250,000-P370,000, the HR-V can be yours especially that you will also encounter first and some second generation CR-Vs in the classified block. If you really want one, a local unit is the way to go since there have been imported units from Japan which are converted and can be money pits if not properly maintained.

Since this vehicle isn't a best seller from the start, parts can be hard to come by quickly. With local HR-Vs having 4WD, checking out the drivetrain rigorously is the way. But then, this is a Honda which is reliable plus take care of this and you'll have years of worry free driving.

Exterior and Interior
Its exterior styling can elicit good or bad reactions, especially the boxy shape isn't for everyone and has its own purpose for that. Let me tell you one secret of this car: it boasts one of the best occupant and pedestrian protection ratings in an accident. The bumpers were raised high for aerodynamic reasons, the entire front end was designed to be less fatal for the pedestrian which means the hood absorbs the impact. Nice effort.

Sitting in the driver's seat is a convenience, especially the driving position is upright plus controls are logically placed and easy to reach. On the other hand, the rear seats aren't that comfortable for those who are beyond the average height but if you do not need to haul people all the time, the back seats can be stowed for maximum storage. Unlike other Hondas, the interior design wouldn't win any awards especially it looks plain to begin with.

Powering this crossover is a D16W1 1,590cc carrying 105hp at 6,200rpm and 138Nm at 3,400rpm that does not have any VTEC magic. Despite lacking that technology, it can accelerate with ease plus it has lower emissions that can outpace modern competitors. In other countries, a variant with VTEC is made available.

Driving Impressions
Despite lacking power, it is fun to drive which proves its sports name in the SUV plus it has a predictable steering. The suspension is well footed despite its tall height, the latter an advantage towards everyday driving.

There are reasons for you to get and not to get the HR-V. If you want something unique while conquering the everyday rigors of work, this is for you. If you need something larger and powerful, consider other options.

The Good
  • Sporty than utility
  • Reliable
  • Raised height than other crossovers
The Bad:
  • Engine power can be lacking for some
  • No good off-road
  • Limited availability in the market
The Pick: Any maintained local unit

Engine: 1,590cc D16W1 I4 gasoline
Power: 105hp @ 6,200rpm
Torque: 138Nm @ 3,400rpm
Fuel Consumption: 7-9km/L (city), 9-11km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Suspension: Front independent McPherson strut, rear five link de Dion

Price (New): P950,000-P990,000
Price (Now): P250,000-P370,000
Rivals: Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4
On Sale: 2000-2003 (limited quantities in 2002-2003)

Honda Cars Quezon City - (02) 712-6850
Honda Cars Pasig - (02) 988-1288

Photos from http://olx.ph/44846637

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