Crossover clash: Honda HR-V vs. Subaru XV
Are you considering to, well, cross over from your current ride to the Honda HR-V or Subaru XV? These crossover SUVs aren't bad choices. After all, both brands have motorsports cred that trickled into their road-going offerings.
The Subaru XV carries the all-wheel-drive (AWD) quality that made the brand famous in rallying, while the Honda HR-V has an engine with i-VTEC technology, just like the power plants of hot Honda cars such as the Civic Type-R.
But surely, if you're in the market for cars like the HR-V and XV, you'd be more interested in its features, practicality, and other qualities that will be more useful in the real world.
The first-generation HR-V came to the local market in the late '90s with a stick shift, a radio with four speakers, and not much else. But consumers demand more kit in cars now, so today's HR-V offers just that in its base 1.8 E CVT (P1.296 million) and RS Navi CVT (P1.515 million) variants.
The 1.8 E features LED lights front and back, 17-inch wheels, and power folding side mirrors. Once the HR-V is accessed with the smart key, there's a seven-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and push button start, all for the driver's convenience.
The RS Navi adds LED fog lights, black 17-inch wheels, RS badges, and rear sensors to help in parking. Inside, the seats and tiller are leather wrapped, and the seven-inch touchscreen features a navigation system.
Both HR-V cars have Honda's signature ULT (Utility, Long, Tall) seats, which allow three different adjustment modes for flexible seat configurations.
Aside from the ULT seats, they're both powered by a 1.8-liter i-VTEC engine, with Honda Earth Dreams Technology, that produces a maximum power of 140 horses and 172Nm of torque. The engine is mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that drives the front wheels only.
The first XV called its funky looks and AWD its trump cards when it was introduced locally in 2012. Now, the second XV installment carries those qualities, while offering more features, in its base 2.0i (P1.618 million), 2.0i-S EyeSight (P1.908 million), and GT Edition (P1.988 million) variants.
The XV 2.0i covers the basics with 17-inch wheels, fabric seats with orange stitching, automatic aircon, and an eight-inch audio with navigation.
The 2.0i-S EyeSight and GT Edition share 18-inch wheels and a power sunroof. Inside, their seats wear leather and feature dual-zone temperature adjustment in the aircon. That's on top of the same eight-inch audio from the 2.0i.
The upper two XV variants carry the highlight feature: the EyeSight. This safety feature can steer the XV back into its lane should it wander out of it, and steps on the brakes when a collision is imminent. It can also maintain the car's distance from the car it's following.
All XV cars are powered by a two-liter boxer engine with 154hp and 196Nm of torque, which is mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that drives all four wheels.
Which one to go for?
Both the HR-V and XV are decent choices, as they both come from brands known for sporty and reliable cars. It's likely the two crossovers will continue to make Honda and Subaru known in that aspect.
If you're a bit more budget-conscious, then the HR-V is a better bet. Not only is it more affordable to buy, but might be more inexpensive over the long term as well. Its front wheel-drive format will prove to be more fuel-efficient because of its lighter weight, compared to the AWD XV.
If you prioritize a different driving experience, then go for the XV. Its AWD will bring that experience, and will come in handy when the going gets slippery. The XV offers more safety features, too, in exchange for more dough.
Photos from Honda and Subaru