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Whether you have or you’ve considered replacing your older car with a newer one in the past few years, it’s probably been with an SUV. We say that with a relatively high degree of confidence and that’s because statistics have proven one in every two cars sold across the Middle East is an SUV. With a clear shift towards higher-riding vehicles, this article will guide you through purchasing your next compact SUV (such as the Honda HR-V) by sharing tips, tricks, and things you need to look out for before parting with your hard-earned cash.
Just like with any other car, the first thing you’re likely to notice about a compact SUV is its design. So, how do you choose and why is it important? In general, there are three types of designs that you can find out there: those that the majority of people like. those that the majority of people don’t like, and those that divide opinions – some love them and some hate them.
You should start by looking for things that make the car stand out from the crowd. For instance, since the Honda HR-V is targeted to the youth, it gets sleek lines, a low hood, and coupe-like styling. A few cool elements in the HR-V’s design include the concealed rear door handles that provide the practicality of a 5-door crossover without interrupting its neat design.
While admiring the exterior of any vehicle, the shape of its headlights are hard to ignore. In fact, it’s not just the aesthetic beauty but what’s concealed beneath them that matters the most. LED headlights, which are becoming a norm across the automotive industry, not only look better but also light up more of the road than comparable halogen or xenon lamps, making it safer to drive on any road and at any time. The Honda HR-V receives LED headlights and Daytime Running Lights in mid and full-option models.
The bigger the better, right? Wrong. While larger alloy wheels look nicer and do a better job of filling up the wheel wells, the simple truth is that they create more road noise and are less comfortable to ride on. The 17-inch wheels found on the HR-V hit the ideal mark, balancing stylishness with comfort and provide enough tire around the alloy to soak up imperfections in the road.
Boot space might be one of the main reasons you go out and buy an SUV over a hatchback or a sedan. That’s why knowing the size of your next SUV’s boot is important, and it’s usually measured in liters. To give you an example, the Honda HR-V has 431 liters with the second-row of seats in use and a whopping 1,005 liters with the second-row folded flat. Those are impressive numbers and to put into perspective, that’s 256 liters more than what the Nissan Kicks has to offer.
When looking at what practicality features your next SUV has to offer, don’t just focus on boot space. The Honda HR-V, for instance, offers a flexible and unique cupholder design that allows you to change its depth according to your needs. Meaning, big water bottle? No problem. Two big water bottles? Also, no problem. Your coffee cup? Still not a problem. Two coffee cups? Sure, why not?
While the cupholders and their unique configurations remain the HR-V’s party trick for front seat passengers, the backseats are equally interesting. Inheriting its second row from the Honda Jazz, the second row (aptly named Magic Seats) folds upwards giving you plenty of space to store taller items such as your bicycle, plants, or even your new water dispenser.
An area where manufacturers are constantly trying to outdo their rivals is on the feature front. The good news is that buyers stand to benefit as cars come with more and more tech for lower and lower prices. When analyzing the tech your next SUV has to offer, start by looking at what comfort and entertainment features are available. For instance, the Honda HR-V is fitted with keyless entry and push button start.
When it comes to entertainment, there are a lot of things to keep an eye out for. Start by seeing if there’s a touch screen (as is in the HR-V) and see how easy it is to pair your phone to the car’s Bluetooth system. Speaking of phone, also lookout for how many charging ports are available. In the HR-V there’s three power outlets: one in the front, one in the back, and one in the boot.
Something else you should look out for is whether your next SUV is available with a panoramic roof. Not only does this bring more light into the cabin, but it also gives the feeling of more space, especially for those in the backseat. While on the topic of comfort, it’s also important to look out for features such as an electronic parking brake and automatic brake holding (which are standard on all trims of the HR-V) as they make driving in traffic a whole lot easier.
Finally, if you’re one who spends plenty of time on highways shuffling between emirates, make sure to check if your next SUV is fitted with cruise control. While it is available in mid and full-option trims of the Honda HR-V, a few of its rivals do not offer this feature even in full-option models.
Due to their petite dimensions, compact SUVs tend to have small engines but that is why it’s important to dig deeper and look at their power figures more carefully. For instance, the HR-V produces 140 horsepower from a 1.8-liter engine, which is a lot more than the 118 horsepower that the Nissan Kicks produces.
Worth highlighting is that more power doesn’t only equate to greater speeds, but also a smoother drive and lesser strain on the engine when driving at higher speeds. Adding to that, the CVT gearbox that the Honda HR-V is equipped with offers a quieter drive and is known to offer better fuel economy than a standard automatic gearbox.
Value for Money
Finally, when it comes to the price, don’t just look for the lowest number. Value for money is more about comparing what you’re getting in a car to what you’re paying for it. Remember to add in things such as reliability in the long run, the number of service centers in your city, and resale value before making your next purchase. Speaking of which, the Honda HR-V wears a starting price of AED 69,900 in the UAE and offers you a brilliant design, great features, plenty of power, and years of trouble-free motoring that Hondas are known for.