We had a bit of time to take the 2022 Honda HRV around some streets in the Philippines. Here’s a list of the things that stood out the most to us during this short duration.
The Exterior Design Retains Its Quirkiness
There is no doubt that this updated version of the Honda HRV garners some design cues from its predecessor. That is not at all a bad thing since the previous version was a looker already – 2022 brings some modernity through sharper features that mesh more with the vehicle’s body lines than stand out. Dominating the front fascia is a gargantuan honeycomb grille featuring a Honda logo at its center.
On the grille’s sides are Full LED headlights with LED Daytime Running Lights (DRLs) that are shaped much more aggressively than before. It is akin to a predator stalking its prey in the wild, which is unexpected from a subcompact crossover SUV.
Standing from the side of the vehicle, you can see how the dark plastic trim contrasts the HRV’s lighter color. It is not overdone in such a way that it could be considered tacky, and further highlights the car’s ground clearance which isn’t anything to scoff at.
The rear LED tail lamps meanwhile are interconnected by a lightbar, giving off a seamless and modern vibe. Minute bits and pieces establish this as a city cruiser through and through, but it can also get rough when necessary.
Another interesting touch is that they kept the iconic embedded rear door handles found on the previous generations of the HRV.
Saving the best for last, the paint is spectacular. Honda lists this as “Premium Opal White Pearl” specific to this high-end variant. It appears to be a common shade of white at first, but shine a bit of light and you’ll see specks that reflect the colors of the rainbow.
The Style Continues Inside
Moving on to the interior of the 2022 Honda HRV and you’d know that this is a cabin you wouldn’t mind spending traffic in the Philippines in. Everything feels amazingly solid and futuristic, with design cues similar to that of the all-new Civic.
The gauge cluster is half-digital with a traditional speedometer taking residence on the right side, while the left adapts to whatever you need it to do. It also shows which occupants within the vehicle aren’t wearing their seatbelts so you can call out those rowdy ridealongs.
Knobs on the center control the climate within the interior. These feel unmistakably well-made, along with the various touchpoints in the cabin that exude a more expensive feel. Cold air comes out through vents that run along almost the entirety of the front dash, inspired by visual trends in Euro markets. The vents near the doors are unique because they give you the choice between vents that directly blow onto the passenger’s face or those that disperse air more evenly across the cabin.
At the center is a huge display with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay functionality, with more USB ports to play with.
Practicality and comfort are also priorities as seen in ample space for your wallet/smartphone as well as comfortable leather seating and well-placed cupholders.
Not forgotten are the rear passengers in this vehicle. USB Type-A ports and airconditioning vents adorn the center armrest, while legroom is more than enough for most. Headroom could be an issue for those standing above 6 feet tall but we believe that to be a minor issue for the 2022 Honda HRV in a country such as the Philippines. Three adults can fit sitting side by side, although expectedly two adults and a child make for a more comfortable ride.
Despite the fact that there is a little more piano black than we’d like within the interior, it is still a comfortable place to be.
Confident Driving Dynamics
On the front, just below the grille, you’ll find a tiny curvature in the pattern. Looking at it closer, it resembles a heartbeat. We understand why.
The version we have is the top-model 4-cylinder VTEC Turbo variant, pushing out 174 ponies to the crank. There is absolutely no lack of power here – stepping on the gas pedal propels you forward, although it’s definitely a more refined experience than you’d feel in a Civic Type R. Smoothness and continuity in acceleration is ensured by the CVT, bringing you to highway speeds in a matter of no time. On the expressway, the vehicle exudes confidence much like a European automobile engineered for autobahn cruising. Long drives to the province should be hassle-free for both the driver and passengers.
Switching between the three driving modes also alters throttle response, giving the car a twist on its familiar personality.
Moving through twisties in the Philippines, the 2022 Honda HRV surprisingly is in its element. We’re now sure that cornering performance was somehow taken into the equation when tuning the suspension here since it also gracefully glides through bends. There’s undeniable DNA here that can only really be performed by decades of trial-and-error, and that heritage bloodline streams through every vehicle that rolls out of the Honda factory.
A mental breather is also present for all occupants of the vehicle since Honda Sensing safety features can be found onboard. This includes Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS), Road Departure Mitigation (RDM), Lane Departure Warnings, Lead Car Departure Notification System, and a bevy of other advanced features to keep you safe on the road.
We didn’t have the chance to try out the base S variant with the 121 HP 1.5-liter NA engine, but we’re somehow certain that these characteristics remain since they share the same front McPherson Strut and Rear Axle suspension setup.
Overall, we have no doubts that the 2022 Honda HRV is a fine example of an everyday driver in the Philippines. We would definitely select it over others in its segment, quite easily cracking the Top 3.