Sporty and versatile small SUV with Honda practicality at its core
Apparently, the HR-V – little brother to the CR-V – is the world’s best-selling small SUV, with satisfied owners from Vietnam to Vermont. Reliability, ease of use and a side-order of charm make that claim entirely believable. A design refresh keeps it up to the moment.
Honda has put a lot of thought into collision avoidance and their Advanced Driver Assistance System technologies aid the driver by acting as extra sensors, warning and reacting where necessary. These include Lane Departure Warning, Traffic Light Recognition, Forward Collision Warning, Brake Assist and Emergency Stop Signal, which automatically flashes the hazard lights to warn following drivers if you need to brake hard.
The HR-V is claimed to have coupé-like lines with the high driving position and practicality of an SUV. As almost every other car maker is following the same recipe, the difference is in the execution. From the outside the impression is a favourable one; fluid lines create a dynamic impression (though it looks best with larger alloys). Design revisions include a dark chrome grille and sleek headlights to give it a fresh and distinctive face.
Inside, driver and front seat passenger are separated by a high centre console, for a more cockpit-like driving space. Clear analogue dials face the driver and the dash is clear and logically laid-out. In the rear, Honda’s superb Magic Seats offer a wide choice of ways to use the space, as they can be folded flat to the floor or tip up to accommodate the sideways loading of awkward objects like bicycles. If you’ve ever tried loading a bike into a conventional loadspace, you’ll appreciate the thoughtfulness of Honda’s design.
There are three trim levels, S, SE and EX. Depending on your chosen model you can enjoy features like a full colour 7" touchscreen Honda CONNECT in-car audio and information system with DAB digital radio and the Aha™ app. These allow you to listen to internet-delivered music services, radio programmes, podcasts, audiobooks and access your social media accounts.
Bluetooth™ connects your smartphone to the Honda Hands Free Telephone system. Other features like a multi angle reversing camera and heated seats add to the convenience and comforts of ownership.
You probably won’t be planning to take the HR-V on trackdays but it’s an agile and lively companion whether you choose the 130PS 1.5 i-VTEC petrol or the 120PS 1.6 i-DTEC diesel that’s coming next year. A more powerful model, the 1.5-litre VTEC-TURBO is also due in 2019.
Meanwhile there’s a choice of six-speed manual transmission for the petrol engine or a 7-speed CVT. Idle stop is standard and the ECON button helps to eke out extra miles from every drop of fuel. 0-62mph takes 109.2 seconds for the 1.5 i-VTEC manual and it delivers 49.6 combined mpg.
Model shown is HR-V 1.5 i-VTEC S in Platinum White Pearl.
As S plus:
Model shown is HR-V 1.5 i-VTEC SE in Modern Steel Metallic.
AS SE plus:
Model shown is HR-V 1.5 i-VTEC EX in Midnight Blue Beam Metallic.