January 01, 2016 By Nicolas A. Calanoc

2015 Honda HR-V EL MUGEN

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Words and photos: Nicolas Calanoc

I used to have this conflicted relationship with SUVs ever since I hopped in and started driving sports cars. The part of me that loves an athletic drive screams “why would I choose a sports car over an SUV?” But then there is another part of my personality that can’t help but drool over the practicality of the SUV. The compromise: a crossover.

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Right off the bat, the HR-V is a visual testament to a sports car. The upper half resembles that of a 2-door sports car while still having the viability of 4-doors. As for the bottom half, it has a high stance that makes it handle the average pothole with ease. If you want to take its looks to the next level, an extra PhP 160,000 gets you the MUGEN Body Kit that gives it its edgy look while still looking OEM. If you want to be a sure standout from the rest, it is worth considering buying.

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Inside, Honda is able to shake and stir the themes of being futuristic, understated, and easy on the eye. The materials used are great with its hard plastics, tactile buttons, and glass touchscreens. It comes with a 7″ Touchscreen Display, a dynamic reverse camera with rear sensors, Hill-Start Assist, and an Auto Brake Hold function. This results in a premium feel against its competitors that justifies its higher price.

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Because of the crossover’s utilitarian nature, they are inherently good to drive in a practical sense like an SUV. The HR-V, on the other hand, feels as athletic as a Honda Civic, where it can be genuinely driven for fun at its paces.  And just like the Civic, it can drive efficiently and smoothly with its CVT. Most crossovers in the market are impressive in their own way, but the more practical it is, the more it pushes the ‘fun’ out of the equation. The HR-V manages to slip out of that stigma and is able to talk the talk and walk the walk when it comes to being sporty while still being a great practical crossover.

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Engine:Inline-4, 1799 cc, sohc, 16V, i-VTEC, CVT
Max Power: 141 bhp @ 6,500 rpm
Max Torque: 127 lb ft @ 4,300 rpm
0-100 km/h (0-62 mph): 10.1 sec.
Top Speed: 198 km/h (123 mph)
Fuel Mileage: 13.7 km/L Overall
Price as Tested: PhP 1,500,000.00
+ A genuine, fun car to drive, a great crossover, the standard equipment.
– Very pricey in its class

C! Editors Rating: 9.0 / 10

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