After eleven years, Honda has returned to the massively popular compact SUV market with its all-new HR-V. The Japanese firm claims that the new model combines stylish coupé looks with the tough stance of an SUV, the space and versatility of an MPV, sophisticated-yet-fun driving dynamics and fuel-efficient performance.

From first glance, standout features of the new HR-V are the boldly-sculpted lines running down the car’s flanks, while the taller stature, combined with a solid design and strong presence, provides a feeling of robustness.

The new HR-V is available with a choice of 120PS 1.6 litre i-DTEC diesel or 130PS 1.5 litre i-VTEC petrol engines, both part of Honda’s Earth Dreams Technology series. The diesel has a six-speed manual while the petrol has a six-speed manual or CVT. All variants are front wheel drive only unlike many rivals which offer the option of all-wheel drive.

With the 1.5 litre i-VTEC petrol engine, the new HR-V powers from 0-62 mph in 10.7 seconds (manual) and 11.2 seconds (CVT). Fuel economy can be up to 54.3mpg (combined cycle) with CO2 emissions 120 g/km – both achieved with  CVT. Keener drivers will prefer the manual gearbox, as it feels more responsive and engaging.

Powered by the 1.6 litre i-DTEC diesel engine – which generates 120 PS at 4,000 rpm and 300 Nm of torque at 2,000 rpm – the HR-V can accelerate to 62 mph in 10.0 seconds. With manual transmission, fuel economy is an impressive 74.3mpg (combined cycle) with CO2 emissions of 104 g/km. Performance wise it does lack some fizz at lower revs but is punchy in the midrange, so good for overtaking.

Refinement levels in both HR-V models are on par with class average, with some engine and road noise being noticeable. The HR-V is one of the more enjoyable handling cars in the compact SUV class. Its steering combines good weighting and responsiveness, while the suspension is taught allowing the Honda to feel direct and nimble. The ride is on the firmer side, although it’s not uncomfortable.

Equipment levels are pretty generous across the range, with all cars getting alloy wheels, auto lights, climate control, CD player, Bluetooth, DAB radio and multifunction steering wheel. However, SE trim offers the best balance of kit and value and comes with a 7.0 inch touch screen infotainment system as standard, rear parking sensors and additional active safety equipment.

Honda’s designers have married expansive spaciousness with the feel of a sporty, enclosed cockpit. The expansive, airy cabin is fitted with high quality, soft-touch surfaces, subtly accented with brushed chrome highlights to provide a quality-feeling ambience. The dashboard combines a solid feel with premium detailing, including a piano-black feature panel. Facing the driver, a three-dial instrument binnacle features ‘floating’ illumination rings and Honda’s ECO Assist function, which changes the backlight colour of the speedometer from white to green during fuel-efficient driving.

The driver gets a good view of the road through the HR-V’s big windscreen and slim front pillars. Side vision is good too, while rear vision is about average for the class.

Inside, the new HR-V offers occupants class-leading interior space and – thanks to Honda’s innovative Magic Seat® system – high levels of versatility. This system allows each of the 60:40 split second-row seats to adopt numerous configurations to maximise the people and load carrying versatility of the cavernous interior. Occupants will appreciate the class-leading cabin space, with headroom, legroom and shoulder room in the front and rear so generous that they match the dimensions more commonly found in larger vehicles.

The cargo bay also offers impressive space of 470 litres with the rear seats upright, increasing to 1,533 litres with rear seats folded. The new HR-V’s wide tailgate opening (1,180 mm) and low loading height (650 mm) ensure that the capacious cargo space is easily accessible.


The HR-V sees a welcome return to the compact SUV market for Honda. The new model boasts sharp styling, impressive interior accommodation and load-carrying flexibility, along with decent road manners.

Tech spec

HR-V SE 1.6 i-DTEC
Price from: £22,440
Engine: 1.6-litre turbo diesel
Power: 120 PS @4000 rpm
Torque: 300Nm @ 2000 rpm
0-62mph: 10.2 seconds
Top speed: 119mph
Fuel economy (combined): 68.9 mpg
CO2 108g/km