Honda HR-V Used Car Buyers Guide

Crossovers… suddenly they’re everywhere and it would be good to note that the sales boom in Malaysia started with the Honda HR-V. Yes, the ‘gamble’ that Honda Malaysia took some years ago paid off handsomely and helped Honda Malaysia to get right on top of the non-national car sales charts.

Generally speaking, Crossovers have a slightly higher total cost of ownership than cars. This increased cost can be broken out into a number of sub-costs associated with owning a Crossover.

First, since Crossovers generally achieve slightly lower fuel economy than cars, fuel costs tend to be slightly higher due to its taller stance (compared to a sedan) bigger and wider tires and added weight (compared to hatchback) like with the Honda HR-V and its immediate rivals, the Mazda CX3 and Toyota C-HR.

Second, Crossovers might require an added amount of maintenance as compared to a car (beefier suspension and bigger brakes when it comes with a 4×4 system) like with the Subaru XV (the HR-V is not a 4×4. It is a front wheel drive vehicle, like a car).

Third, most Crossovers use larger diameter and wider tires than sedans and so this tire cost is a little higher than that of a sedan just like with the Honda Jazz vs the Honda HR-V. 

All these added up still remains a small cost to pay when you want a stylish vehicle, but after a few years many buyers may question whether the total cost of Crossover ownership is worth it.

For some, it simply may not be, but they want that ‘cool’ image that comes with driving a Crossover. So, this time we look at the used value of the most popular Crossover in Malaysia and the model that started the craze.

Arriving on Malaysian shores in February 2015, the HR-V (Hip & Smart Runabout Vehicle) was a new generation vehicle that fused together the dynamic qualities of a hatchback (Honda Jazz) and driving feel of a SUV (Honda CR-V), which made a perfect marriage of individuality and usability.

Under the hood, the Honda HR-V features a single engine type, a 1.8L i-VTEC SOHC engine (same engine used in the popular Civic) working with a Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT). The HR-V measures 4,294 mm in length, 1,772 mm in width and 1,605 mm in height with a wheelbase of 2,610 mm, so it was not that big.

Honda provided a high level of active and passive occupant protection along with features such as Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA), Hill Start Assist (HSA), Emergency Stop Signal (ESS), Daytime Running Light (DRL), ISOFIX and 6 Airbags (Dual Front SRS Airbags, Side Curtain Airbags and Side Airbags).

The HR-V was launched in February 2015 at a price starting from RM99,000. Then in 2018, Honda Malaysia released a special edition of just 1,020 units with Mugen accessories. Priced at RM118,800 it was sold out in just weeks. Then in January 2021, Honda Malaysia updated the cabin of the HR-V with a new 7-inch display complete with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto with no change in its selling prices.

Now, with more than 99,000 units of this HR-V running on Malaysian roads, its popularity is confirmed and its resale value in the used car market is impressively good after 6 years.

Let us explain. A 2015 unit is still asking RM60k in the used car classifieds. Prices inch upwards as you search online on and there are more than 700 units for sale. That’s a lot.  The high specification, 2016 ‘Enhanced’ version is asking RM66k and this is before haggling. With so many units for sale, you can take your time to pick the colour and condition that you want and there are units in every state for sale. So, with a lockdown, you can still find one to buy.

Our suggestion is to look for a 2017 unit, which will still have an active warranty and is priced about RM73k. At less than 5 years old you can check on its service record and if the current owner has done all the necessary recalls over the years.

Yes, the HR-V did see a number of recalls over the years from suspension, to airbags and gearbox filters – but it was all free and done to make sure your ownership is good. Parts are not a problem with Honda Malaysia’s comprehensive service and parts network nationwide. Most previous owners tend to be families and particularly ladies which means minimal abuse. Do look out for damaged interior trim and abused alloy wheels, if anything.

Replacement trim can be very expensive. Junkyards seem to be lacking in HR-V parts (there are some here and there, not much of a choice) so you will need to look at new parts for most replacements. High mileage is not a real problem as long as a detailed service history from an authorized Honda service center is available.

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  1. Your arguments for buying a 2nd hand HRV is not sensible.
    If you have RM 73 K, why not top up extra RM 20K to get a new car? You get years of warranty and a new car. You can spread the 20K over 2 more years knowing your car will last much longer and have a higher resale than the 2017 2nd hand model.
    If RM 73K is the absolute limit one can afford, I still advise one to consider other new SUV at that price.
    Nothing beats a new car at warranty and reliability.
    And beware lady driven cars, they’re not well known for maintaining cars. Apologies to the women folks.

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