It took Honda about 20 years to get the hint, but now the latest Honda HR-V has finally been launched in our market with prices starting from AED69,900 in the UAE
Ever since Honda launched the HR-V compact crossover in 1999 we in the Middle East have been missing out. The first-generation was an interesting prospect – a two-door crossover back when such niches weren’t fashionable yet. Some mocked the idea at the time, but look at them buying all sorts of stupid things now.
The HR-V nameplate took a hiatus in 2006 and only reappeared again on the decidedly less interesting-looking second-generation model four years ago, which went on sale around the world as Honda’s B-segment crossover. It’s such a hit, Honda manufactures the HR-V in nearly a dozen countries and exports globally.
Well, except when it comes to exporting some HR-Vs our way. It took Honda a while to finally get the hint and realise that compact crossovers are some of the best selling cars in our market.
At a launch event in Abu Dhabi, Honda Middle East at long last revealed the GCC-spec HR-V and even though it’s extremely late to the party, the Japanese haven’t gone easy with the pricing. It’ll be interesting to see if the HR-V can take the fight to the cheaper Koreans.
Going up against rivals like the AED59,900 Kia Soul and AED62,000 Hyundai Kona, this Honda HR-V starts from AED69,900 for the entry-level DX trim, rising to ED76,900 for the mid-range LX, and then topping out with the HR-V EX which costs AED86,900. Additionally you can consider the Nissan Kicks (AED63,000), the Chevrolet Trax (AED67,000), and the Mazda CX-3 (AED70,000).
In a way we’re already familiar with the HR-V since it’s basically a lifted Honda Jazz, except where you’d find a 1.5-litre engine in the little hatchback the new crossover gets by with a bigger 1.8-litre four-cylinder producing 139 horsepower and 172Nm of torque. Here’s hoping you’re not in a rush – zero to 100km/h comes up in about 10 seconds and the top speed is 190km/h.
Otherwise there are niceties like a touchscreen, LEDs, and a CVT. No, wait, that last bit isn’t very nice… Anyway, it’s an automatic, and in the top-spec Honda HR-V EX you also get fog lights, sunroof, auto air conditioning, and some chrome around the door handles. The HR-V, then, will spearhead the company’s attack on the compact crossover market in the region. Whether it’s too expensive or not will be resolved by your pockets.