As one of the countries in the world where Honda has captured one of the highest market shares, Malaysia is high on the ‘radar’ of the Japanese carmaker. And to help maintain its leadership position (it’s the leading non-Malaysian brand) in the market, Honda provides models and technology which it does not offer to any other market. For example, it introduced the Intelligent Dual Clutch Drive (i-DCD) in the Jazz Hybrid in June 2017 – the only country outside Japan with the transmission. The City also got the same advanced transmission, in line with Honda Malaysia’s strategy to focus on Next Generation Advanced Technology for this market.
Now, the HR-V also gets the i-DCD as well as a hybrid powertrain and again, Malaysia is the only country outside Japan to offer this variant of the HR-V as well as the first brand in the country to sell a compact SUV with a hybrid powertrain.
Launched in 2015, the HR-V has been extremely popular with more than 72,300 units sold up till the end of 2018. According to Honda Malaysia, the model has had an average of 81% market share in the compact SUV segment since its launch, maintaining its No. 1 position in the segment for three consecutive years. On average, it has accounted for 20% of Honda’s total sales volume each year.
While the other HR-V variants have a 1.8-litre engine, the new HR-V Sport Hybrid i-DCD is powered by a 1.5-litre DOHC i-VTEC engine with direct injection for high fuel efficiency. The i-DCD has an integrated High-Power Electric Motor (shown above) which is powered by a high-energy lithium-ion battery pack. The combined system output is 152 ps/190 Nm which is higher than that of the 1.8-litre engine and comparable to 2-litre engine performance. The i-DCD has 7 speeds and provides smooth and very quick shifts.
The HR-V Sport Hybrid also has an Electric Servo Brake System for improved energy regeneration to recharge the battery pack and an electrically-powered compressor for the air-conditioning system. The compressor not only reduces the load on the engine (so it can perform better) but can also maintain the coolness of the air into the cabin even if the engine has automatically been shut down by the Auto Stop system to save fuel.
Other features exclusive to this variant include a 3D Illuminated Meter Cluster Multi Information Display, Shift by Wire linkage to the transmission and a Sport Mode for enhanced acceleration.
The cabin is similar to that of the other variants but due to the presence of the battery pack, the boot volume is reduced. With the rear seats in use, the volume is 404 litres, about 8% less and when the backrests are folded down, the volume expands to 991 litres (6% less). To save space and weight, there is no spare wheel provided but owners get a kit for temporary repairs in the event of a puncture.
The HR-V Sport Hybrid is priced from RM120,800 (excluding insurance) and comes with a 5-year/unlimited mileage warranty. As with the other hybrid models distributed by Honda Malaysia, the battery pack has a separate 8-year warranty. Owners also enjoy free labour service for 5 times within the first 100,000 kms or 5 years (whichever occurs first).
Besides the hybrid variant, the HR-V range is now also joined by the new RS variant, priced from RM124,800 (without insurance). This variant was previewed at the KL International Motor Show 2018 and since then, Honda Malaysia has received over 4,600 bookings.
The technical specifications of the RS variant are similar to the other variants and it is also powered by a 1.8-litre SOHC i-VTEC engine combined with Honda’s Earth Dreams Technology CVT. Its electric power steering has a Variable Gear Ratio steering system for more responsive handling.
Other equipment specific to the RS are 18-inch Dual-Tone alloy wheels, a sporty design front grille and black front and rear bumpers. It also comes with LED headlights, foglights and rear lights which include LED guidelines.
Visit www.honda.com.my to know more about the HR-V and where to try one.