Recently, Honda let us borrow its brand new HR-V so we could take a road trip to Hervey Bay to meet its talking car. Yes, I know, a lot to unpack there. Don’t worry about it too much. And as for Harvey the talking whale, don’t worry about him either, he won’t hurt you.
As long as you stay on his good side…
Oh heavens, I’m doing that thing where I write about everything but the topic of the headline again. I’m sorry, please don’t say anything to my boss, that wouldn’t be very safe – and safety is important. Boom, we’re back on track.
Car safety, it’s a big deal! I thought about it a lot on our road trip through Hervey Bay and its beautiful surroundings. See, I’m used to driving banged-up crapboxes that should’ve retired from road service long before I was born. Cars from a bygone era when seat belts were optional and airbags were considered space-age technology.
Okay, that may be a wee stretch. The point is, driving a car like the brand spankin’ new HR-V did some things to me; made me really appreciate how far we’ve come as a society, nay, as a people. Driving has never been safer, and it’s thanks to companies like Honda who continuously strive to innovate in their comprehensive approach to vehicle safety.
Here are just a few of some really cool features that come equipped in every new Honda HR-V – car features you should consider if you want the safest drive possible.
Multi-angle reverse camera
I’ve said it before, but the camera on this HR-V is the best I’ve ever used. All my life, reverse parking has intimidated me, it’s just something I never practised because I chucked it in the “too hard” basket. But sitting in this car, with this camera guiding me, I felt like I could reverse park into the tightest of spots, in fact, I did, on multiple occasions.
The camera operates with a multi-angle system that you can flick between, giving you a complete dynamic understanding of exactly where you are, with inch-perfect precision. This, along with the handy parking sensors that alert you if you’re about to hit something, are a godsend for not only everyone in the car, but any human or creature outside the car.
Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) with Traction Control
The new Honda HR-V is an absolute dream to drive. It’s smooth like silk and takes to corners like ducks take to water – and one of the reasons for this is the VSA system that’s designed to help keep the vehicle on course and the driver in control during acceleration, cornering, and braking.
So how does it achieve this? Well, essentially, a number of sensors monitor conditions and intervene if the car senses even the slightest loss of traction – helping improve control and drastically reduce the chance of skidding in adverse driving conditions.
An example of this would be the system applying braking on individual wheels to help keep you on track. It’s even able to operate on a split coefficient of friction – one wheel on mud and one wheel on dry road, for example.
Road Departure Mitigation System (RDM)
Long road trips are fun, but they’re also tiring. Drifting off lane even for a split second can prove disastrous, so it’s integral you do your utmost to stay alert and awake. But no matter how prepared you are, accidents happen, and that’s why features like Honda’s Road Departure Mitigation system are so great.
Basically, it does what it says on the tin – if you start to stray from the lane, the RDM will help get you back on track. The car will alert you, and use the electric power steering to guide the vehicle back into the lane – a feature that could save your life and also improves safety for other road users.
Collision Mitigation Braking System
Honda’s Collision Mitigation Braking System is one of the most sophisticated safety systems available on the market. The system makes use of a windscreen-mounted wide-view camera to suss out what’s in front of the vehicle at all times.
It’s designed to give you a heads up if you’re about to collide with something, and if that isn’t enough, it is able to apply brakes to help mitigate the impact of any potential collision if the system concludes that one is about to happen and cannot be prevented. Very handy indeed.
This one is pretty simple – if you spend less time fidgeting with tech, you spend more time focussing on the road. The tech in these cars is just smart – phones connect seamlessly, whether through wireless Apple CarPlay or a cable connection for Android Auto, which means that maps are displayed big and easily, calls can be made hands-free, and Spotify and other music players are just a breeze.
Wanna find out more about Honda’s schmick new HR-V? Check out Honda’s website for more information. And of course, you can always head into your local Honda Centre. Go on then, treat yourself.
All images by Sean Foster.