Used 6-year-old Honda HR-V for RM 60k, what are the common problems?
Jason · Jul 28, 2021 12:00 PM
In Malaysia, I dare say that the second-generation Honda HR-V is as common a sight as a Perodua Myvi (any generation) on our roads. And I mean it in no bad way at all.
As the time it was launched, the HR-V ticked almost every conceivable box from a buyer's perspective. Svelte looks, a well-packaged and cavernous interior, and plenty of features for the money.
With the all-new third-generation set to make its way here, we ask ourselves this: Is the current Honda HR-V still good value for money in the used car marketplace, after depreciation has done its thing? Let's dive in.
Upon its Malaysian launch in 2015, the B-segment SUV Honda HR-V came in three flavours, S, E and V. Primarily, the differences between the variants are equipment levels, with the V getting all the goodies and toys.
A single powertrain was used across the three variants, which was a 1.8-litre, 4-cylinder i-VTEC engine (142 PS, 172 Nm) paired with a CVT-type transmission.
The Honda HR-V then got a facelift in 2019, featuring sharper looks and running improvements. Honda Malaysia then streamlined the HR-V line-up four variants: E, Sport Hybrid i-DCD, V and RS (the S variant was dropped).
The 1.8-litre i-VTEC engine and CVT combo was retained for the E, V and RS variants, while the hybrid variant was equipped with a 1.5-litre petrol engine, a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission with integrated electric motor, and a lithium-ion battery (152 PS, 190 Nm combined).
Honda HR-V powertrain options
142 PS, 172 Nm
152 PS, 190 Nm
Used examples of the Honda HR-V range from RM 55k for a 2016 unit (E variant) to RM 110k for a 2019 RS-spec one. Interestingly, you can still buy a brand new Honda HR-V at the time of writing, as listed in Honda Malaysia's website.
If you haven't noticed, you can also get a brand new Perodua Ativa starting at RM 61,500 (SST discounts included, valid till 31-December), albeit the base-spec model. But today, we'll outline why a used Honda HR-V is just as sensible a purchase, if not the better option.
For my money, I'd plump for a 2015 model, but it has to be the range-topping V variant (RM 60k). This is because it has all the features and ameneties one would want in a modern car, whilst still maintaining the brilliant attributes of the HR-V.
It is for this reason that I personally have a top-spec 2015 Honda HR-V sitting in my driveway (it belongs to my wife, by the way).
What's so special about the Honda HR-V?
The magic of the Honda HR-V is that it is a one-car-solution to solve anyone's motoring needs. Regardless of variant, it's easy to drive, looks pleasing to the eye, and packs a ton of practicality that can rival SUVs from a segment above.
The interior execution is where the Honda HR-V shines the brightest. Build quality is typical Honda: high-quality with a mixture of plush materials. The cabin is neatly laid out with near-perfect ergonomics too.
Then, you get to the topic of space. The Honda HR-V is cleverly engineered to maximise storage space. The boot is a massive 437 litres (hybrid is 404 litres), with a superbly thought-out low loading lip and wide aperture. Hauling stuff has never been more effortless.
In the event 437 litres is not enough, the HR-V has another trick up its sleeve that can unlock even more space: its Ultra Seats. It can fold flat or upwards to fit even the most awkward of items.
Specifications wise, the Honda HR-V doesn't have some of the more advanced ADAS features that its newer rivals have, but for a model that's been around since 2015, it's rather well equipped.
Honda HR-V pre-FL equipment
The facelifted 2019 Honda HR-V gained a quite a lot more standard equipment from the factory as well, as detailed in the table below. Even with the facelift model, the HR-V received many running improvements.
In a word, serene. The HR-V goes about its business in a very unobtrusive manner. The steering is well-weighted for most driving scenarios, the 1.8-litre i-VTEC engine and CVT calibration slick and effortless. It's the perfect vehicle to get stuck in traffic with, or to munch miles.
Just like the hybrid Honda Jazz (GP5), the HR-V Sport Hybrid i-DCD brings a more zesty driving experience, compared to the regular petrol-powered variants. The surge of instant torque, in tandem with the lightning shifts of the dual-clutch gearbox brings a satisfying grunt to proceedings.
That being said, it is my conviction that a car of the HR-V's profile is more suited to the more relaxing and long-legged character or the 1.8-litre i-VTEC engine and CVT gearbox. Just don't drive it in a hurry.
How much to budget for maintenance and repairs?
When new, the Honda HR-V comes with a five year/unlimited mileage warranty, so that's something to keep in mind when looking for a used unit. Our personal HR-V is a 2015 one, so we are no longer covered by Honda's warranty.
On the maintenance front, the Honda HR-V is generally a really easygoing companion in this aspect. Here is a breakdown of the regular ownership costs.
Honda HR-V ownership costs
Issues or major problems? Speaking from my own personal experience, there has been nothing at all that is of major concern. Our Honda HR-V has proved to be reliable, dependable and problem free.
The only thing I have ever claimed warranty for in our HR-V was the gearlever panel in the center console (the gearshift indicator light had stopped working), which would otherwise cost RM 1,200 out of warranty.
Ray Wong of Ray Car Care can attest to the mechanical integrity of the Honda HR-V as well (he takes care of our HR-V's maintenance, post-warranty). So far, it's been nothing but regular engine oil and CVT fluild changes.
With the HR-V Sport Hybrid i-DCD variant, there has not been much to report as well, with owners telling me that they've been rather happy with their experience with this powertrain.
It also helps that Honda offers an eight-year warranty (with unlimited mileage) for the hybrid battery. Seeing that the HR-V Sport Hybrid i-DCD was first launched in 2019, your battery warranty will last till 2027.
While it is no longer the segment-busting product it once was, the second-generation Honda HR-V still has many qualities that are very much relevant today. I am continually astounded at how cleverly packaged it is. Let's not forget, this is a B-segment SUV.
While we look forward to the arrival of the all-new 2021 Honda HR-V, let's not forget that there's still plenty if life left in the outgoing model. As far as ownership experiences go, it has been close to flawless for me.
Jason's foremost passion is all things automotive, where he spent his formative working years as a Product Planner and Trainer. An Advanced Driving Instructor by training and an all-round enthusiast, Jason loves going into intricate details about driving dynamics. Will drive anything with 4 wheels and a steering.