2023 Honda HR-V review – Turbo or RS Hybrid, and how does it fare against the Corolla Cross, Proton X50

2023 Honda HR-V review – Turbo or RS Hybrid, and how does it fare against the Corolla Cross, Proton X50

The Honda HR-V is an easy car to recommend. Upgrading from a City or Vios? Want in on the SUV trend but prefer a non-national brand? Daily runner for the family/school run? You really can’t go wrong with the latest HR-V, more so when there are four variants and three 1.5L engine options – naturally aspirated, turbocharged and hybrid – ranging from RM115k to RM141k.

The previous generation HR-V was a phenomenon in Malaysia, kickstarting the SUV craze back in 2015 and selling well even at the end of its lifecycle. The latter part of the RU generation’s life saw its position challenged by the likes of Proton’s X50 and Toyota’s Corolla Cross. This new RV, launched here in July 2022, aims to re-establish the HR-V as the compact SUV segment leader.

Does it have enough to go straight back to the top? Is the new HR-V better than its rivals in every single department? The short answer is no, it’s not perfect. Watch our video review where Hafriz Shah compares the Honda to its predecessor, the Corolla Cross and the X50.

If you’re already set on an HR-V and are willing to wait for one (there’s a long line, of course), which variant should you get? We’re also comparing the pretty RS and the powerful Turbo side-by-side in this multi-pronged video review.

After checking out the video review below, also read our written review, launch report, spec-by-spec comparison and an old vs new gallery of the HR-V.

GALLERY: Honda HR-V RS Hybrid vs HR-V Turbo V

GALLERY: Honda HR-V Turbo V

GALLERY: Honda HR-V RS e:HEV hybrid

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Danny Tan

Danny Tan loves driving as much as he loves a certain herbal meat soup, and sweet engine music as much as drum beats. He has been in the auto industry since 2006, previously filling the pages of two motoring magazines before joining this website. Enjoys detailing the experience more than the technical details.



  • Mnazrix on Feb 20, 2023 at 1:22 pm

    Nearly 10 months to wait to get this car, sorry

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3
    • Spetnaz on Feb 20, 2023 at 1:38 pm

      so by the time we collect car, already got face lift model

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1
      • Ramli Burger on Feb 20, 2023 at 1:46 pm

        in 10 months, already got other new cars from other brands to consider.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1
      • Yeahsure on Feb 20, 2023 at 1:52 pm

        Competitors will have new FL models as well…, also, every 3 months u have to go bank renew loan agreement…

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0
        • What a huge PITA. Bad time to be a car buyer unless you have connections to expedite the wait time.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  • honda factory on Feb 20, 2023 at 2:00 pm

    ni made in Alor gajah, melaka, ye?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0
  • Paultan team please make a full comparison between HR-V, Corolla Cross, X50, CX-30, XV.

    I am starting to see a lot of CX-30 on the road lately. Is this mazda any good?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3
    • Starting to see because Mazda delivery is super slow. My friend booked 13 months ago and still no update on delivery.

      Frankly, car reviews only provide you with a general impression of the car, from the reviewer’s perspective. You should test drive it and then decide which you prefer. You’re spending the money and you’ll be living with the car you buy. Everybody have different priorities. There’s no right or wrong. Don’t let others influence what your heart is telling you.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1
      • Suffering waiting 13 months for a 2020 January Launched CX-30? It’s now 3 years old with very outdated digital display now, original used car trade in value dropped further – suffering top up down-payment lagi.

        Then the CX-30 2nd row cannot recline, passenger also dont get spacious legroom.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1
    • I test drive both CX30 and HRV. Actually it depend personal choice and what they want.
      CX30 give comfort and nice interior quality and HRV give smoother driving experience (CX30 gear shifting little delay). After 2 weeks test drive CX30, my mind tell me should go to test HRV. So when testing the car, I already have the answer in the HRV. So after that I cancelled CX30 CKD (later Mazda call and tell me they have car for me already but still i cancel it).
      CX30 is more bumping behind and personally i cannot get use to the break, it is so “stiff” and you will feel like you need to hit harder to make the car stop (believe it will overcome over some times; HRV break is much more make sense). HRV is much easy to drive and enjoying (put aside the noise, haha.. same.. you will get used it as well). Overall HRV handling is also highly acceptable.

      We can’t get the perfect car with nice interior, comfort, power car right now in the same segment (maybe Cross is the most balance). X50 is nice honestly and balance overall but personally don’t like it even you can save more money. Give and takes. Some people may not sensitive on how the engine run and some people may have more demanding on the comfort part. So which one?

      Regarding quality, yah.. Honda might still has big room to improve but at least they are keep innovating and keep trying new things instead staying in the comfort zone (personal opinion). So you get something new from Honda and you take some risk as well =P

      So now I am waiting my HR-V V….

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0
  • Low Income Netizen on Feb 20, 2023 at 4:36 pm

    Honda HRV full of plastics, Toyota Corolla Cross with foot pedal brake. So both need to be avoided. Mazda CX5 is a good option but this Malaysia dealer dont want to bring in the facelift… all money suckers only.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1
    • Linda on Feb 21, 2023 at 9:13 am

      CX-5 2.0L only got low spec, missing Adaptive Cruise Control.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

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