1.5L SE Navi i-VTEC
The HR-V is a thoughtfully designed compact SUV that gives you a bit more equipment and versatility than many of its rivals.
Although it’s a bit pricey, the HR-V has a real feeling of quality and a choice of efficient engines that keep running costs low. It comes with lots of safety features, too, and all versions are good to drive. All this plus Honda’s excellent reputation for reliability make it one of the most well-rounded small SUVs you can buy.
Honda has a knack for versatile, well thought-out car interiors and the HR-V is a great example. Although it’s compact on the outside, the HR-V has a roomy interior with space for five adults.
The boot is especially large for this type of car, and a very useful shape. You can slide the back seats back and forth to prioritise legroom or loadspace, which is perfect if you aren’t carrying any passengers and have a lot of stuff to take to the tip.
Even more ingenious is Honda’s ‘Magic Seat’ system, which allows you to fold up the back seat cushions like you would a cinema seat, to create a tall load space behind the front seats. It’s just the job if want to carry plants back from the garden centre, or shove the kids’ bikes in without putting them on top of things in the boot.
The interior is stylish and well-built throughout and although the infotainment system looks a little outdated it’s very easy to use.
The HR-V is oriented more towards comfort than some compact SUVs and that’s no bad thing. It rides smoothly and the steering is light, which makes it effortless to park. The gearshift on manual versions is pleasantly precise, while a continuously variable transmission (CVT) automatic is available for some models.
All of the engines give you good performance, although the petrols need to be revved harder than the 1.6 diesel, which is a very strong engine. Whichever you choose there’s a bit more engine noise than you might expect, but it’s nothing out of the ordinary. It doesn’t stop the HR-V feeling very civilised on the whole.
Prices for the HR-V are higher than some compact SUVs, but they’re on a par with rivals such as the Toyota CH-R and Volkswagen T-Roc. Running costs are low for all models, thanks to the range of efficient engines. The 1.6 diesel is most impressive, with an official average of well over 50mpg. Unlike some rivals, there’s no hybrid option.
Insurance costs are comparatively low and although Honda’s three-year (from new) warranty isn’t any longer than average there’s a 90,000-mile limit rather than the usual 60,000-mile limit.
Honda’s reputation for reliability is excellent and there’s nothing to suggest the HR-V will be anything other than a very dependable choice. Like all of the brand’s cars, it feels well engineered and built to last.
It’s also very safe, with a maximum five-star rating from safety organisation Euro NCAP. All models have Honda’s City Brake Active system, which can detect a potential collision and apply the brakes automatically to help prevent it.
Best for economy - 1.6 i-DTEC diesel
Best for family - 1.5 SE petrol
Best for fun - 1.5 Turbo Sport
The great thing about the Honda HR-V is that all models have lots of standard equipment. Choose SE or above and you’ll get items like a useful reversing camera and extra safety systems such as lane departure warning, which alerts you if you start to veer from your lane.
The 1.5 petrol will be perfect for most owners but if you are planning on driving over 12,000 miles a year take a look at the diesel. The 1.5 turbo introduced in 2019 provides a bit more power if you need it.