Honda’s HR-V was the original mini SUV but how does it stack up against rivals asks Hannah Gordon
What is it? A mini SUV that goes head-to-head with the popular Nissan Juke, Vauxhall Mokka and Renault Captur.
Who is it aimed at? The Honda HR-V benefits from bundles of interior space which overshadows its rivals, it also has the added extra of the ‘magic seat’ system which gives even more space. Perfect for a small family or people who just need more space and comfort.
Styling? A well designed small SUV that keeps the distinctive Honda styling which leads to a fairly awkward rear end, apart from this the HR-V has a coupe type shape aided by hidden door handles in the C pillars. In standard specification the HR-V benefits from 16” alloy wheels and a tailgate spoiler, head higher up the range to the top and the EX trim gets LED headlights, panoramic sunroof, 17” alloys and roof rails.
Under the bonnet? Two engine options are available keeping the decision simple, there is a 1.5-litre i-VTEC petrol which produces 128bhp and the 1.6-litre i-DTEC diesel which generates 118bhp. The diesel does look a better option when reading through the economy figures. The manual gearbox is available for both the petrol and diesel engines and gives a slick and precise change on progress, the CVT automatic option is only available with the petrol engine currently.
What about inside? The HR-V’s main selling point has to be the abundance of space inside, compared to the Nissan Juke its like Narnia’s wardrobe with a boot space of 470 litres, that is even larger than the Nisan Qashqai. Interior quality feels good and the dash set up feels unique and driver focused. Plenty of gloss black inserts and easy to use switchgear that seems to have been taken from the Honda Civic makes the cabin a pleasant place to be. The infotainment system is a small let down as its not as easy to use and seems slightly dated.
Driving position feels more hatchback than SUV as you sit lower, whilst many people buy an SUV to have a higher commanding seating position.
On the road? The Honda HR-V is comfortable and handles well, body roll is minimal whilst the steering is light, responsive but with limited feedback. The HR-V feels well set up even though it is taller than a hatchback anyone who purchases it will enjoy the drivability whether in town or motorway tarmac. The diesel engine grumble is noticeable but wind noise is kept to a minimum, the petrol is more refined but not as quick to 0-62mph.
What about safety? To get the full range of safety features choose the SE trim level which includes the Driver Assistance Safety Pack as standard, with this you will get forward collision warning, intelligent-speed limiter, lane departure warning, high beam support system and traffic sign recognition system. Cruise control with speed limiter comes as standard from S trim and the HR-V benefits from a full 5 star Euro NCAP test result.
What are my options? The usual extras of different paint choices are available from Honda, the pearlescent paint costs £525. To get added options it is best to go up the trim level as there are four available from S, SE, SE Navi and EX. The SE will prove popular as it includes as standard front and rear parking sensors, Driver assistance safety pack and dual zone climate control. The SE Navi then includes Garmin Satellite Navigation.
Will it break the bank? With just two engine choices it is easy to compare the economy figures, the 1.6-litre diesel has a CO2 output of 108 g/km and a combined MPG of 68.9 whilst the 1.5-litre petrol manual CO2 output is 134 g/km and 49.6mpg, the automatic gives slightly better results with 125 g/km of CO2 and combined MPG of 52.3.
So the verdict? An attractive package that has a stylish exterior and spacious interior, a simple choice of engines and trim levels that makes comparing easier. An extremely competitive market that the Honda HR-V is in, it is slightly more expensive than its rivals and the infotainment system lets the interior down but Honda have a great reputation for quality and reliability.
The Honda HR-V is extremely versatile and well worth a look if you’re in the market for a quality, spacious, economical and safe small SUV.
Why you’ll buy one? Safe, spacious, economical
Why you won’t? Pricey; infortainment system is a lit down
Honda HR-V 1.6 i-DTEC
Max speed: 119 mph
0-62 mph: 10.2seconds
Emissions: 108 g/km
Model price range: from £20,820 (1.6 diesel S)
No of Doors: 5
Euro NCAP : 5
Fuel type: diesel
Fuel Economy (combined cycle): 68.9 mpg
Boot Capacity Seats up: 470 litres
Length: 4294 mm
Width: 1772 mm
Height: 1605 mm
Wheelbase: 2610 mm
4th December, 2017