Honda Automobile Western Africa Limited (HAWA), local assemblers of Honda Motor vehicles in union with The Honda Place (THP), on Thursday unveiled the all new made-in-Nigeria 2019 Honda HR-V entry level SUV in realization of the company’s objective of becoming Africa’s leading manufacturing hub.
This accomplishment, which also corroborates the Federal Government’s National Automotive Industry Development Plan comes on the heels of the Accord, which was earlier rolled out on line from the HAWA plant in July 2015 in furtherance of the production of Honda automobiles from Africa’s first Honda SKD (semi knock Down) facility at Ota – Ogun State Nigeria.
It is expected that the introduction of Honda’s entry level HR-V sport utility vehicle would affirm the manufacturers’ demonstrative goal of supplying products of the highest quality at reasonable price for the joy of mobility to as many customers as possible.
Uniquely styled for individual driving comfort, the new Honda HR-V will cater to the growing demand for functional and affordably priced entry level SUV, while also closing the gap between upscale Honda variants including 3.5liter Pilot and 2.4liter CR-V.
Corroborating these assertions, Managing Director Honda Automobile Western Africa Ltd. Akihiro Daido said the presence of the new Honda HR-V marked the arrival of entry level SUV from the Honda stable.
“Now, Nigerian customers can experience the power of our three SUVs: Honda Pilot 3.5litre, CR-V 2.4Litre and all new HR-V 1.8Litre.”
He said: “The Hi-Rider Revolutionary-Vehicle (HR-V) is a five-seater vehicle, proudly assembled in Nigeria with adherence to the Honda global production standards.”
Honda HR-V is sporty and combines luxury with affordability to change the industry norm, Mr. Daido added.
Earlier in his keynote address, THP Managing Director Arun Rishi said: “We thrive not only in guaranteeing the joy of buying for the customers or the joy of selling for the dealership or the joy of creating for the manufacturer, but essentially, the joy of sustaining the product useable history, using our unrivalled after sales service support facilities located strategically across the country.”
HAWA and THP became technical partners 26 years ago, when the later was appointed exclusive distributor for Honda automobiles in Nigeria.
Also speaking at the event, the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC) Director General Jelani Aliyu (MFR) said efforts are ongoing to commence the implementation of the National Automotive Industry Development Plan soon as it is reviewed and assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said: “The Nigerian government through the NADDC is already working to accelerate the process of transition from the importation of used cars to the manufacture and distribution of new passenger vehicles, while providing a conducive legislative environment that would encourage the manufacturing of motor vehicles in Nigeria.”
He hinted on the new auto finance fund that would enable more Nigerians and corporate organizations access low interest loans to acquire new cars and re-fleet their pool of vehicles with new ones, just as the development of automotive laboratories for safety tests are at 70% completion stage, Mr. Aliyu affirmed.
“The council’s focus and commitment remains on initiating policies, implementing strategies and bringing in world class approaches that will make Nigeria become and remain the center for automotive development in Africa.”
The HR-V Exterior Styling
The All New HR-V receives exterior styling that expands its appeal to the millennials. The grille for instance is enhanced with a new interpretation of the “flying wing” rendered in dark chrome and extending over the new projector-style headlights.
Under the chrome band, the grille opening has been restyled to emphasize a wide look, with enlarged fog light housings that give the HR-V a more aggressive stance.
Also in the front is a sporty front bumper that gives an elegant yet rugged look combined with LED headlights and Fog lights while in the rear, the taillights with Integrated LED Light Bars give the HR-V a distinctive sporty look.
New to the B-segment HR-V is the Panoramic Sunroof in the EX grade, making the HR-V deliver the feel of a larger sporty SUV that is ready for the next adventure.
Above all, the all New HR-V is flanked by 16” alloy wheels for the Fabric grade and 17” Alloy wheels for the Leather grade.
The intuitively designed HR-V cockpit ensures that everything is where you need it especially the elegant dashboard that incorporates the very latest technology and unique styling touches.
This is in addition to the black aesthetic combination (Fabric & Leather Grade) which gives the interior of the HR-V premium comfort feel beyond its class when compared to vehicle above its segment.
Designed to adapt to individual lifestyle, the HR-V gives you a clever, comfortable and spacious interior.
A centrally-mounted fuel tank however ensures ample boot space and a novel second row Magic Seat, which are further evidence of smart thinking that is configured to increase its cargo capacity.
It is now easier than ever to access HR-V’s cargo space of 1456 liters – thanks to the new stay-spring mechanism for the hatch HR-V which offers up to 100.1 cubic feet of passenger space and abundant rear seat head and legroom.
Other notable features include 6.8-inch Display Audio with Touchscreen, USB and HDMI ports that allow you to connect your smart phone and use its features to play favorite music while using the phone book to make calls to your contacts.
A Multifunction steering wheel puts the audio and cruise controls at your fingertips, making it a driver friendly interface.
The HR-V EX Grade features comes equipped with automatic climate control that allows you to adjust the temperature of the cabin with the touch of a button.
Standard on both grades is the Smart Entry and Push-Button Start, and with a touch of the door handle, the door opens without the key, same way a push on-the button which is strategically located for easy sighting will ignite the engine either ON/OFF as required.
Features like the Electric Parking Brake (EPB) provides easy braking in a full stop park position just as the Automatic Brake Hold (ABH) is useful during Stop and Go traffic situation in busy cities.
And with the push of ABH button, the vehicle brake holds even after disengaging the foot brake and the vehicle moves only when the driver accelerates without necessarily disengaging the ABH. This happens throughout the drive time until ABH is disengaged or engine turned Off.
Powered by a spirited low running costs engine, the HR-V features a responsive 140hp@6500rpm with a maximum torque of 172Nm@4300rpm on a 1.8L i-VTEC petrol engine which maximizes economy and efficiency, achieving 16.9 km/L, with 50Litre tank capacity.
The HR-V is powered by a front-wheel drive system that is driven by a six-speed fully-automatic CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) that reassures relaxed and automatic mode.
At full throttle, the CVT features revised shift mapping and at hard acceleration, it resembles the stepped gear changes of a conventional fixed-gear transmission. This “stepped” feel gives HR-V a more familiar feel during acceleration, while also helping to reduce interior noise levels. The HR-V’s CVT uses a more refined and natural feeling engagement, staying at lower revs more often.
Chassis and Suspension
The chassis incorporates a centrally mounted fuel tank, which provides perfect weight ratio and concentrates the mass in the center couple with reactive dampers that give the HR-V excellent driving dynamics and minimizing body roll.
Safety and Driver Assist Technologies
The 2019 HR-V benefits from a standard list of active and passive safety features such as Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) with traction control, standard driver and passenger front airbags on all grades, side airbags and side curtain airbags on the EX Grade only.
Couple with these are Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD), Hill Start Assist (HSA) and Honda’s next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure. The EX Grade features a multi-angle rearview camera with wide view feature.
Grade and Colour Availability
The All New HR-V is available in two grades LX (Fabric Seats) and EX (Leather Seats) and one interior colour – black combination with various exterior color options including Lunar Silver Metallic, Modern Steel Metallic, Crystal Black Pearl and Passion Red Pearl.