Robin Roberts (WheelsWithinWales) test drives the Honda HR-V.
Honda is for humans not robots and it shows in their model range with the HR-V.
The third SUV in their line-up after the Jazz and CRV, the third generation Honda HR-V comes only with a petrol-electric powertrain utilising two electric motors and an Atkinson-cycle petrol engine for greater efficiency as a hybrid and it showed with our overall and effortlessly achieved economy.
It has been produced between 1998 and 2006 and then from 2013 to the present day. The mid-size, five-door SUV is a five-seater with the accent on technology along with comfort.
Honda has fitted a comparatively small 1.5 litre engine but the electric motors give it a useful boost and effective all-wheel-drive.
The system is very smooth and aligned with push-button drive selection for direction or parking there is really little for the driver to do but sit back and smile at the economy.
With a family aboard you possibly will not worry about the modest performance from rest or accelerating mid-range, while its motorway or main road cruising is effortless and very quiet.
The driver can select eco, normal or sport modes and even decide how much regeneration is put back into the system so you decide how efficiently or effectively you drive.
Pushed harder, the engine noise does increase and is more noticeable because of the otherwise quiet transmission and modest road noise.
Steering is well weighted to give good feedback with progressive assistance and a decent turning circle in town without being too twitchy at speed while the brakes underfoot needed only light pressure to effect rapid, controlled and undramatic deceleration. The parking brake securely held on a slope yet smoothly slipped off once the accelerator was depressed.
The split drive system gave the HR-V very good roadholding and surefooted predictable handling over a mixture of dry and damp surfaces while it soaked up bad bits without a problem as well. Overall the ride comfort was good, helped by the large, well shaped seats which gave excellent support and reasonable adjustment range infront.
I would have liked more travel on the front seats for taller users and those behind might find kneeroom to be tight if they are tall.
Honda’s so-called ‘magic seats’ which at a pull on the release can be folded fully flat or flipped up to suit any loading need.
Access to the cabin was easy and the fifth door opened high to reveal a low, flat and wide floor but its nominal capacity was surprisingly modest and anything more than a few cases would necessitate dropping down the rear seat backs, but that was quickly and effectively done and made the total capacity very good.
The seat height has been raised in the new HR-V and visibility is very good over the engine, around the sides and even over the shoulder but the back window has a high bodyline and you rely on the reversing sensors when parking.
The driver will find all controls immediately come to hand and foot around the wheel, across the fascia or on the console.
The instruments are very clearly grouped infront of the steering wheel with the infotainment panel above the console carrying the social media, comms and navigation displays. It’s fully compatible with mobile phones and apps and the links uploaded immediately with very good sound quality output.
Heating and ventilation controls were straightforward, worked well and the system provided good control, output and direction throughout the cabin and backed up with powered windows all round.
Oddments room was fair, not exceptional particularly for larger items, but there were compartments placed throughout the cabin.
The Honda HR-V is a good family car, not really a sporting model in terms of outright performance, but some may find its rear legroom and nominal boot capacity does not meet their requirements.
However, its comfort, technical features and economy are very attractive at the price.
For: Very well equipped, nice handling and reasonable ride with supportive seats, very economical.
Against: Performance disappointing, engine noisy when stretched and interior room average with small boot.
*Honda is helping people to ‘Go Electric’ by offering e:Ny1 Electric Elegance for the same monthly payment as HR-V Hybrid Advance
The new e:Ny1 is available with 5.9% APR and £8,000 deposit contribution with a five-year service plan, five-year warranty and five-year roadside assistance on orders from 1 December 2023 – 31 January 2024.
Price: £33,490 Mechanical: 107 PS 1.5 L, 4 cyl, petrol-hybrid, eCVT Max Speed: 106 mph 0 – 62 mph: 10.7 sec Combined MPG: 50 Insurance Group: 31 C02 emissions: 122 g/km Bik rating: 29%, £200FY, £170SR Warranty: 5 years/90,000 miles Rating: 3 Size: L 4.34 m (14.24 ft), W 1.79 m (5.87 ft), H 1.53 m (5.02 ft) Bootspace: 319 to 1,305 litres (11.27 to 46.09 cu.ft) Kerbweight: 1,401 kg (3,089 lb)
Model: Honda HR-V Advance
Mechanical: 107 PS 1.5 L, 4 cyl, petrol-hybrid, eCVT
Max Speed: 106 mph
0 – 62 mph: 10.7 sec
Combined MPG: 50
Insurance Group: 31
C02 emissions: 122 g/km
Bik rating: 29%, £200FY, £170SR
Warranty: 5 years/90,000 miles
Size: L 4.34 m (14.24 ft), W 1.79 m (5.87 ft), H 1.53 m (5.02 ft)
Bootspace: 319 to 1,305 litres (11.27 to 46.09 cu.ft)
Kerbweight: 1,401 kg (3,089 lb)