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Review: Honda HR-V

Review: Honda HR-V

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Honda’s HR-V has historically been a sound offering in the mid-size SUV segment, delivering excellent practicality alongside the excellent reliability.

Honda’s HR-V has historically been a sound offering in the mid-size SUV segment, delivering excellent practicality alongside the excellent reliability that comes with any model in the Honda stable. The previous-generation car though, by the end of its life, was starting to look a little long in the tooth, which is why a completely new version has been introduced. 

Promising efficient running as well as a more technology-focused interior, this latest HR-V could prove popular indeed. We’ve been trying it out to see what it’s like. 


What is covered:


What is it?

Honda is a company that is really pushing hard for electrification. In fact, by the end of the year, everything the firm offers will be either a full EV or hybrid. So it’s only part of that process to see the HR-V arrive with a hybrid engine. Now into its third generation, this is a particularly important car for Honda, given that the SUV segment is currently experiencing huge popularity. It does also mean that the HR-V has quite a lot of competition. 


What’s new?

This isn’t some mid-life refresh. No, this new HR-V has very little carryover from the model it replaces, while a striking new exterior design means that this latest model looks significantly different to the older one. You’ve got a wide variety of driver aids, too, as well as a new infotainment system which looks to replace the rather creaky one fitted to the older HR-V. 

Honda HR-V driving on the road.

What’s under the bonnet?

The HR-V utilises a similar powertrain to the one you’ll find in the latest Jazz, but has more power to ensure that there’s still plenty of performance. It’s based around a 1.5-litre petrol engine, which is then linked to two electric motors for a combined output of 129bhp and 253Nm of torque. Efficiency is the name of the game here, of course, and the HR-V does well. Honda claims up to 52mpg and CO2 emissions of 122g/km - not bad for a car of this size. 


What’s it like to drive?

Honda has been able to pack more cell-rich batteries into the HR-V. As a result, you’re able to travel on electric-only power for more of the time - particularly around town and at slower speeds. It’s in urban areas that the HR-V feels surprisingly capable, thanks to good visibility and well-judged suspension. But the HR-V is just as well suited to life on the open road, too, thanks to relatively little body roll and smooth, linear acceleration. 


How does it look?

The previous HR-V wasn’t exactly a masterclass in exciting design, so it’s pleasing to see that this new version has some real theatre when it comes to the way it looks. The body-coloured grille is a standout feature and helps to give it a particularly futuristic appearance. Standing on 18-inch alloy wheels the HR-V has quite a lot of presence, while a sloping rear window helps to give the car a more coupe-esque look. 


What’s it like inside?

Honda has really upped the level of quality that you get inside the HR-V, with top-spec Advance Style models feeling particularly upmarket thanks to high-end materials and a classy grey upholstery. The new nine-inch touchscreen is a huge step up compared with the older version, with Honda saying that new shortcut buttons help to significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to conduct certain functions. A new air diffusion system channels air around you, rather than firing it directly at your face, too. 

Honda HR-V Interior

What’s the spec like?

There are three trim levels to choose from with the HR-V - Elegance, Advance and Advance Style. Priced from £26,960, all versions boast heated front seats, LED headlights, a digital dial display and a nine-in touchscreen. Move up to Advance and you’ll find a heated steering wheel added alongside LED front fog lights and a blind-spot monitoring system. Top-rung Advance Style models, meanwhile, get a two-tone paint scheme, roof bars and a grey and orange interior theme. 


Verdict

The Honda HR-V feels like a big step up for the firm, ideal for drivers who maybe want something larger than a Jazz, but not as big as the firm’s CR-V. It’s comfortable and well-finished too, while its excellent level of standard equipment means that the HR-V is well worth considering if you’re in the market for a mid-size SUV. 

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