After six months of faithful service from a Honda Civic, we’ve swapped over to a HR-V, one of Honda’s most important cars this decade and winner of the reader-voted 2016 AM Award for New Car of the Year.
This car is pretty spacious inside – boot space is 453 litres – and larger than typical B-segment SUVs such as the Nissan Juke and Vauxhall Mokka, so Honda is putting the HR-V in competition with the Nissan Qashqai and Hyundai Tucson in the C-SUV segment. As such, Honda UK has priced the crossover from £18,495. It just undercuts the cheapest Qashqai and Tucson in doing so, albeit for this money the buyer gets a rather noisy 128bhp 1.5-litre petrol-engined model in S trim, whose equipment highlights include front and rear parking sensors, DAB radio, Bluetooth, climate control and cruise control.
Our car is a highest grade EX model with the same 118bhp 1.6-litre turbodiesel used by the Civic, which promises more than 60mpg and a £20 road tax bill. It costs more than £7,000 more than the entry grade HR-V, so will appeal most to the Honda faithful who have plenty of disposable income, but it does come loaded with kit as a result. A panoramic roof, leather interior, rear-view camera and LED headlamps are highlights.
Other useful features are Honda’s ‘Magic Seats’, which allow the base of the rear seats to fold up to free up extra load space in the rear, and the Honda Connect touchscreen infotainment system with navigation and internet access. Collision avoidance courtesy of the City-Brake Active System is also standard and helped the HR-V to secure a five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP.
The HR-V may be an SUV with a coupé’s roofline, but it’s genuinely practical, and Honda’s dealer network shouldn’t struggle to sell the few thousand being shipped across from Mexico. A 5.9% APR PCP promotion is currently in their armoury, and a high value offer of five years’ servicing for £555 is a compelling add-on that will ensure dealers can secure that vital annual contact with the buyer.
What’s being said about the Honda HR-V
In some ways it is actually more practical than the Qashqai, and you get even more active safety aids, including traffic sign recognition and a system that helps you reverse out of your driveway onto a busy road. It’s also predicted to hold on to its value.
It’s a pretty sophisticated thing inside… and the packaging is
something else. Rear space is positively generous. Not as good to drive as we hoped, but the interior design and space make up