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MAKE-OVER; Trendy on-roader gets re-jig.

Byline: BY ROBIN ROBERTS

HONDA'S three and five-door HR-V models, whose unique appeal have made them such a resounding success since launch, are being updated for the 2002 model year.

Nothing has been done to tamper with the fun character of Honda's trendy "on-roader", but a make-over inside and out has suitably refreshed the HRV's looks for added presence.

In place of the current front bumper with its single horizontal opening and "detached" underguard, the new bumper design forms more of a "whole" and the deeper section now has two wide horizontal openings flanked on either side by large, circular "air intakes".

The clean lines are nicely set off by a new honeycomb mesh grille in the style of the Civic Type-R.

The effect is a more determined, purposeful look and the greater volume of the bumper panel adds to the HR-V's wide, "firmly planted" stance.

At the rear a similar design approach features a deeper bumper fully integrated with the underguard. Its single horizontal opening is complemented by a pair of large circular reflectors.

The 16-inch alloy wheels now feature a new design, and as a final detail touch new Honda "H" marks appear on the bonnet and tailgate window.

In the new-look interior, the HR-V shows its sophisticated side with black replacing blue as the predominant colour.

This cool, fresh approach is set off by applications of a sporty silver finish around the cabin, most notably on the centre panel and around the dualcowled instrument binnacle.

Further detailing that gets the metallic look includes the interior door handles, window switches, handbrake button and manual gearshift knob. A pile seat material provides a smooth, high-quality feel and finally, the rear headrests on 5door models are now integrated into the seat structure.

The distinct appeal of HR-V remains undiminished and last year sales of 25,616 were second only to the Honda CR-V in the overall European petrolengined 4x4 market.

Prices for the four-model range, which includes 1.6-litre 16-valve and VTEC-engined 3 and 5-door models, should remain the same.

The new range will go on sale in the UK before Christmas.
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Title Annotation:Motoring
Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Sep 9, 2001
Words:352
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