3.9 out of 5 3.9
Parkers overall rating: 3.9 out of 5 3.9

Practical, compact SUV ageing gracefully

Honda HR-V (15 on) - rated 3.9 out of 5
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At a glance

New price £20,645 - £29,275
Lease from new From £195 p/m View lease deals
Used price £7,705 - £23,845
Used monthly cost £192 - £595
Fuel Economy 39.2 - 56.5 mpg
Road tax cost £20 - £145
Insurance group 18 - 27 How much is it to insure?
New

PROS

  • Spacious interior
  • Interesting styling
  • Impressive diesel
  • Overall practicality

CONS

  • Lacklustre petrol engine
  • Unsettled ride on larger wheels

Honda HR-V rivals

Written by Lawrence Cheung on

When a manufacturer resurrects a name from its back catalogue, it¡¯s usually because there¡¯s a wealth of brand equity to be tapped into, but the Honda HR-V name is not one many will remember, despite only being away for 10 years.

Launched back in 1999, the first HR-V was a high-riding range of small three- and five-door SUVs, some of which were available with four-wheel drive.

This new Honda HR-V occupies a similar area of the market but with an altogether different proposition. You may refer to it as a crossover as it combines chunkier SUV styling elements, with a coupe-like roofline and interior flexibility similar to an MPV.

Competitor-wise it¡¯s trickier to pigeonhole the HR-V: exterior dimensions place it neatly between the polarising Nissan Juke and its big-selling larger stablemate, the Nissan Qashqai. Despite this the Honda offers more passenger and luggage space than both, as well as the quirky Citroen C4 Cactus; it even gets close to matching the physically larger-still Renault Kadjar.

What the firm's smallest SUV offers

There¡¯s little doubt that crossovers are proving to be big business for car manufacturers, many vying for attention with distinctive styling. It¡¯s a trick the Honda HR-V pulls off well, managing to look fresh and different without being particularly divisive.

Reinforcing the coupe-aping roofline are rear door handles hidden in the trailing edge of the window line, not unlike the solution found on the Toyota C-HR or Nissan Juke.

Despite its rugged looks, there are no plans to bring four-wheel drive-equipped versions to Britain despite the system¡¯s availability in other markets.

Honda HR-V Sport interior 2019

Climb aboard and you¡¯ll be presented with one of Honda¡¯s more cohesive cabin designs, with instruments and controls logically grouped in a manner less haphazard than before. There¡¯s a greater amount of soft-touch plastics employed in the dash¡¯s construction and the centre console is mounted high, to further reinforce this snug, coupe-like notion.

Practicality hasn¡¯t been cast aside, though, with Honda¡¯s famous ¡®Magic¡¯ rear seats making an appearance ¨C the cushions flip upwards to liberate otherwise unutilised space. With all five seats in place there¡¯s 470 litres of regular boot space, just two litres shy of the Kadjar¡¯s offering.

Petrol and diesel engines

Mechanical offerings for the Honda HR-V are restricted to just three different engine and transmission combinations.

Most UK-specification HR-Vs are expected to be ordered with Honda¡¯s well-regarded 1.6-litre i-DTEC diesel, solely available with a slick six-speed manual gearbox. It¡¯s the least powerful of the three motors at 120hp, but 300Nm of torque ensures it performs better than the petrol alternative.

Under the petrol-powered Honda HR-V¡¯s bonnet is a 1.5-litre i-VTEC motor, delivering 130hp and 155Nm of torque to the front wheels.

It lacks the diesel¡¯s lustre, feeling lethargic as you attempt overtaking manoeuvres, requiring a couple of gears to be dropped to bring the engine revs up.

A turbocharged version of this 1.5-litre petrol engine was a late addition to the range, coming along in 2019 in its own ¡®Sport¡¯ trim. The boost in performance available over the entry-level petrol engine makes for a far more cohesive package overall,

The petrols can also be ordered with a CVT automatic transmission which mimics the change action of a conventional seven-speed auto.

Although a hybrid version of the HR-V is available in Japan, there are no plans for that powertrain to reach British showrooms.

Find out more about this attractive and flexible crossover by reading the Parkers¡¯ full Honda HR-V review.

Honda HR-V rivals

Other Honda HR-V models: