Plain sailing in style

Have you have ever wondered what the ‘RS’ means in the Honda range?

Well, it means ‘road sailing’ and is applied to the company’s sportier looking vehicles. It’s about adding the glitz and glamour and some cool, extra features to the basic models.

Recently, Honda added an RS model to the HR-V range and it certainly lives up to the reputation of its badge in both ride comfort and good looks.

As we leave the car yard and head out onto the road, it becomes immediately apparent this is going to be a relaxing drive.

The new HR-V RS really is smooth sailing, both on the highway and around town. A relaxed and calm cocoon away from the hustle and bustle of the outside world.

It’s the sort of car that turns heads, and is packed full of features that will appeal to those seeking an economical SUV with aggressive good looks, comfort and space.

The RS pops in its exclusive Phoenix Orange Pearl, and the 18” RS alloys also set the car apart from the rest. It features daytime running lamps, along with LED head, tail and fog lamps.

Sports tuned steering and suspension gives the driver a more responsive, direct feel.

The RS model is powered by a 1.8L i-VTEC engine, coupled with an automatic CVT transmission. There are paddle shifters on the steering wheel for a bit of extra fun, should the driver desire it.

All the extras on the RS model brings the starting price in at $37,500 plus ORC - slightly less than the top spec HR-V Sport NT, but not much more than the rest of the line-up. Strangely, for a sports-tuned vehicle, the RS edition uses less fuel than most of the range, at just 6.7L/100km.

The interior of the RS is typically sleek and stylish, with a gorgeous curved centre console and touch screen controls for environmental functions and entertainment.

It shares an interior with the rest of the range, and a fine one too.  Honda’s build quality oozes through the cabin.  Everything has that distinctly Honda look, and nothing is so much as a millimetre out of place.

Instruments are well positioned and easy to use and read, including the navigation system.

Out on the road, the HR-V RS is an incredibly smooth ride for this class. Often, smaller SUVs can be a bit jiggly over the bumps, but the HR-V irons out the road beautifully. Coupled with the RS tuned steering and suspension, it also handles like a champion.

The HR-V RS is certainly a stand-out in the looks department. There’s nothing to dislike and it’s a very attractive vehicle. It’s also comfortable, capable and comes with all the toys.

The biggest thing separating the HR-V from its competitors, aside from the overall outstanding reliability of Hondas, is its incredible ride quality. Not even some prestige cars are as smooth and enjoyable as the HR-V, and when you add in the RS tuning, you step way out from the crowd.

There’s no compromise in space either. In the back is Honda’s ‘Magic Seat System’, which includes 18 seat folding configurations.

In tall mode, the back seats flip to give you the full advantage of the height of the car from the floor to the ceiling.

Utility mode is where the back seats fold down like a regular hatch, but Honda’s engineers solved a little problem here as well – the seats fold completely flat, so you can slide in a chest of drawers without it snagging on the seats.

Long mode is great for all those surfers. The passenger seat folds down to fit in objects up to 2.4m in length.

There are plenty of other combinations too, which make this SUV very versatile for pretty much anything you can think of.

All of this adds up to a car for quite a few occasions. Those morning commutes and school runs will be a lot more enjoyable in a vehicle like this.

This is the sort of car you need to see to believe and drive to appreciate so, if its sounds like you, head on down to Bay of Plenty Honda on Elizabeth Street and try it out.


Model: HR-V RS

Engine: 1.8L 4 Cylinder i-VTEC

Transmission: Automatic CVT

Fuel Economy: 6.7L/100km

Price: HRV starts from $29,990 plus ORC. As tested $37,500 plus ORC


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