★★★☆☆ | Honda HR-V 1.6 1-DTEC – A Driver’s SUV
What Have We Got?
Honda’s second-generation HR-V. A small SUV type car wrapped in a coupe body based on the small Jazz.
WHAT! I hear you cry, second generation you say? Yes, that’s right. Honda abandoned the HR-V in 2006 and then brought it back in 2016. So two years into its life, does it still sparkle in the showroom?
I always try and save the best until last. This isn’t the case with the HR-V. The driving is the best part. For a small SUV that’s a little jacked up and riding high, it is quite engaging to drive when you want to push on a bit. The 120 PS of diesel power at 4000rpm was nicely complemented by the high torque of 300 Nm at a low 200rpm. Mated to a rather nice 6-speed manual gearbox with a very tall 5th and 6th gear. This meant that most hurried driving could be carried out with slipping into 3rd and 4th gear.
Despite the pseudo coupe looks, it has stacks of people space inside and headroom isn’t a problem. You certainly couldn’t use ‘adequate’ as a word to describe the rear legroom because it is overly generous. What it does lack is door bin storage and general odds and ends places which aren’t fitting for this kind of car. And it’s all a bit dark inside despite the 50/50 split closed/open panoramic roof option that comes standard on the EX model.
Living With It
At £27,640, you might feel a little out of pocket. It’s not cheap. Then again no SUV is cheap at the moment. Still, for your money, you do get a host of driver aid gadgets and toys in this top of the range HR-V. There are many areas that it could be better in but there are areas that it is much better than expected and that’s driver enjoyment. The ride is soft and comfortable and never leaves you wincing as you take on the worst potholed roads or uneven surfaces.
Despite what I have said, I’m not a fan. Yes, the driving dynamics are rather good for this type of car. Quite a lot better than many if I am honest. It’s just that it lacks showroom appeal. And for the size of the car and the market it is in, it lacks the youth appeal that really is the kind of drivers you would expect to see buy into these smaller SUV’s. This is something VW and Seat do a little bit better. It also lacks innovation and this is something I am rather upset about. Honda is very innovative and yet it seems they have missed many opportunities with the HR-V. Driving and looks aside, you really have to want one to want one. It just didn’t sparkle enough for me.
Lack of innovations
Small door pockets
Car – Honda HR-V 1.6 1-DTEC EX manual
Price – £27,640 (as tested)
MPG – 68.9 mpg (combined)
Power – 120PS at 400rpm
0-62mph – 10.5 seconds
Top Speed – 119 mph
Co2 – 104 (g/km)