If you live in Ghana and own a sedan(saloon) vehicle then it’s most likely that the undercarriage of your vehicle has suffered greatly from the poor road networks.On the main roads, which tend to be tarred your vehicle is able to go about its duties sufficiently.The story changes when you are maneuvering your way through the dirt roads in the suburbs of Accra, Kumasi, Takoradi and the other cities, towns and villages in Ghana.It is only when your small vehicle with low ground clearance has been brutalized by this rough terrain that one would begin to appreciate the need for a vehicle with high ground clearance, i.e. Crossover Utility Vehicles (CUV) and Sports Utility Vehicles(SUV) which are broadly referred to as 4×4 (4-Weel Drive) vehicles in Ghana.
4x4s are no longer for a select few!
In Ghana, during the 1990s, 4×4 vehicles were the reserve of government officials,state agencies, NGOs and a few wealthy individuals.I know a majority of Ghanaians still remember the Mitsubishi Pajero, which was the preferred vehicle of the then Head of State, Flt.Lt Jerry John Rawlings.In recent years there has been a proliferation of 4x4s in Ghana thanks in part to the Americans’ love for vehicles with high ground clearance, high seating position and all season capability.Ghana imports a high number of used cars from the American market, hence the cars on our roads tend to mimic those on US roads.
Honda is cashing in
For 2016, Honda added the HR-V, a small 4×4(subcompact CUV) to its fleet of 4×4 vehicles–which included the CR-V( compact CUV) and the Pilot(SUV).For us in Ghana, this was a welcome addition to the Honda family.Our excitement is due to the following reasons:
- Reasonable price
With a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price(MSRP) starting from $19,215 in the US, the Honda HR-V is reasonably priced. The MSRP of the 2016 Honda Civic sedan is $18,640, which means the HRV’s import duty will be about the same as the Honda Civic. Mind you, the MSRP is what the Ghana Revenue Authority refers to as Home Delivery Value(HDV) which is used to calculate your import duty. A lower HDV is always good news for any importer as it usually translates into a lower import duty cost.
- Superb fuel economy
The Fuel Economy rating for the Honda HR-V is 28mpg in the city 35 mpg on the highway. The 1.8-liter four-cylinder provides fuel-economy ratings near the top of its class, with front-wheel-drive CVT models achieving a combined rating of 31 mpg. That is very impressive for a mini-4X4. It is note-worthy considering that in Ghana fuel prices keep rising consistently but with the HR-V you can afford to disregard the news on fuel price increases. An added bonus of this impressive fuel economy rating is that you can enjoy the air-conditioning system on most days and spare the interior of your HR-V from dust.
- Beautiful and roomy interior
The interior of the HR-V is pleasant and roomy as can be seen in the picture below .The Honda HR-V may appear small but with its up to 58.8-cubic-feet of cargo space, the Honda HR-V Crossover stores more than just the essentials. Loaded with luxuries including: available buttery-soft leather-trimmed interior, and a one-touch power moonroof, making it easy to get a breath of fresh air on cool days.
- High ground clearance
The Honda HR-V has an impressive ground clearance of 6.7 inches compared to the paltry 6.1inches of the Mazda CX-3 which is a direct competitor.Even more interesting is that the HR-V’s bigger sibling, the 2016 Honda CR-V also has 6.7 inches of ground clearance.This means that you would be able to maneuver your way through all those rough roads in your neck of the woods without enduring that heart-aching pain–which the scratch of your saloon car’s undercarriage usually brings.
- Reliability and overall package
When it comes to reliability and dependability of a car, nobody does it better than Honda.Kelly blue book summed up the virtues of the 2016/2017 Honda HR-V well in one sentence “If you’ve been looking for compact car with good gas mileage, a low price, strong resale and reliability ratings plus the ability to tackle deep snow and carry all your toys, the 2017 Honda HR-V subcompact SUV should fit you like a glove.” All you need to do is to replace the ‘deep snow’ with ‘dirt roads’ and the sentiment applies directly to all prospective owners of the 2016/2017 Honda HR-V in Ghana.