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Honda HR-V brings joy to Honda dealers

HOnda HR-V

Factsheet

Price £27,265
Engines 1.6-litre turbodiesel: 118bhp
Performance 0-62mph 10.5secs; top speed 121mph
Transmission 6sp man
Efficiency 68.9mpg; 108g/km CO2
RV 3yr/30k 45%
Start mileage 8,098
Current mileage 10,014
Rivals Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage, Jeep Renegade, Nissan Qashqai

Review

I was there in 1999 when Honda revealed the original European HR-V – named the Joy Machine – to the press (in Spain, I think). How we hacks snickered at the name, conjuring up images of a wheeled version of Woody Allen’s orgasmatron from his movie, Sleeper.

However, I didn’t laugh too loudly nine years ago as I nearly bought a used purple one, having been won over by its otherworldly looks, practicality and the reassurance of the Honda name. A used one was my only option, as in 2006 the HR-V was removed from the model line-up.

It has been sorely missed as David Cox, managing director of Cox Motor Group and Honda dealer council chairman, explained: “It was a common issue mentioned by dealers, the lack of a model, which meant the larger CR-V had to fill more segments than we wanted it to. Dealers have worked hard to achieve this cross-over, but we always felt the HR-V needed to return to the line-up.”

The new model (introduced in August 2015) is meeting dealer and customer requirements. “We had a considerable order bank when the car arrived on the market and, most importantly, demand still outstrips supply,” said Cox.

Sales figures reflect the popularity of the new car, some of it from pent-up demand for its return and equally, appreciation of the build quality, performance, and roominess – particularly for back-seat passengers – that is winning conquest business from competitors’ small SUVs and other segments.

Honda sold 17,195 of the 1999-2006 HR-V. Since August, 6,066 of the latest model have left showrooms.

Cox said he has seen the Ford C-Max and Volkswagen Tiguan come in as part-exchanges in his business.

Honda reported the average return on sale for its network in April (the latest data available) was 1.4%. Six months ago, in October 2015, it was 1.1%, unchanged from six months before that. Three years ago, it was 1.2%. With the help of the HR-V, the joy is returning to the network and paying real dividends, said Honda.

 

 

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