2015 Honda HR-V VTi-L road test and review.
In our second look at the 2015 Honda HR-V we cast our eye over the top of the range VTi-L, it’s performance and additional features.
After gently ripping apart the base model VTi last week and its internal design faults, I was interested to see what the higher spec had to offer.
Unfortunately a model doesn’t change its frame through its range so the little things that irritated me so much last time still exist.
But it’s not all bad news. The HR-V drives pretty well and feels like, well, a Honda. No fuss and reliable, with decent handling and steering.
The suspension was comfortable though a little harder in the VTi-L due to the 17” alloys and lower profile Dunlop SP Sport Maxx tyres.
However the drivetrain is lacking. The CVT tends to over rev and acceleration is limited by the 1.8L engine producing a mild 105kW and 172Nm. You might say that’s still acceptable for everyday driving but that is a max power figure at a ridiculous 6500rpm!
The HR-V’s ticker certainly doesn’t match the aggressive external styling.
Let’s talk about the extra features of the VTi-L. Basic additions include leather heated seats, dual climate control, push button/smart keyless entry with proximity sensor, LED lights, roof rails, extra 12V inputs in the rear and boot and a large sunroof.
From the driver’s seat you’ll find paddle shifters, auto dimming mirror and an auto electric handbrake with auto hold and release.
The interior is highlighted by shiny chrome finishes encircling the dash features and along the door. Map lights are more elegant than in the base model looking handsome on the ceiling with the sunroof controls and are also available for the rear passengers too.
The HR-V is fitted with the unmistakable Honda-style steering wheel and their stock touchscreen system found in many models. What frustrates me is that you not only have to accept the warning message every single time you start the engine but also select your media option which should turn on to your last selection.
The speedometer also annoyed me in VTi and they increased it in the VTi-L. The ring that borders it now changes between green and blue depending on whether you’re stepping on the accelerator making it even more distracting.
One plus point is a feature I’ve never encountered in any other car (nor has anyone else at BTW). There is a blind spot camera mounted on the passenger side wing mirror, which isn’t new, but this turns on every time you signal left. There is also a manual button on the end of the stalk.
So you can see down the side of the car on the touchscreen display when turning corners, parking, or to check out that good looking person who just walked by.
A couple of other negatives though are the absence of isofix anchors, powered seats and an in-built satnav system (as with other Honda models, you’re required to download an iPhone app).
ANCAP is yet to run a safety test on the compact SUV.
Overall, the 2015 Honda HR-V looks great and is pleasant to drive despite all the flaws I pointed out. But you have to nitpick on the small details sometimes especially with other brands really raising the bar in such a competitive market.
NUTS and BOLTS – 2015 Honda HR-V VTi-L
Engine: 1.8 litre petrol at 105kW and 172Nm
Transmission: CVT automatic
Warranty: 3 Years/100,000km
Safety: Not tested
Price: From $33,990