13 JUNE 2022
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To a certain generation Honda meant motor bikes. It very much still does today with 400m built since 1959. For executive aviation users the name is linked to fast and smart 6/8-seat corporate jets. But if you are into motor cars and want something stylish and advanced Honda is surely a brand to seriously consider. The much-improved 2022 HR-V should be on your shortlist for a medium-sized family car.
As a flat dweller I am a fan of hybrids such as the Honda. We are not ready for all electric cars with power supply problems. The virtue of a hybrid was brought back to me recently when I inadvertently left the lights on with a test car. The main battery was flat but the hybrid power unit still had plenty of life and I was able to meander up our very quiet street at around 5mph until suddenly there was enough power in the system to get the whole car going. Relief. This could not have happened in the past. A pair of jump leads were required.
The Honda HR-V is a well-equipped four-seat front-wheel drive mini sport utility vehicle. (SUV) with a smartly styled and nicely finished interior and sits up nicely on the road overlooking lesser saloons. A legal fifth person can sit at the back, but the place is for emergencies only. There are three models available, Elegance, Advance (the test car) or Advance Style which comes with roof rails, LED cornering lights and a wireless charger.
The rear doors do not have handles as such, but a cleverly designed grip built into the bodywork to ensure a smooth exterior. Passenger access is very easy which is not the case with some of its rivals. The handling is sharp and it is a joy to use, particularly around town where it is very quiet. Sad to say once out onto rural roads and on dual carriageways, when acceleration is needed, it is not the quietest car around. Then it is noisy. However, on a motorway, at steady cruising, the Honda is very quiet.
In these days of high petrol prices Honda claim 58.9mpg for the urban cycle but in truth can expect 50mpg for a mixture of suburban and motorway driving and a range of 400 miles. It is a Honda and 0-60 in 10sec in competitive for a medium-sized basically four-seat family car. Honda says that the HR-V has been designed for one foot driving, but my approach is to use two feet except perhaps on a motorway, where I am a fan of cruise control. With both peddles available it must be quicker in an emergency to stop.
Chassis and suspension enhancements deliver a supple ride combined with enhanced dynamics and revised suspension components have increased stability and reduced body roll. With the 2022 model Honda’s ‘Global Small Platform’ has been updated for the HR-V and the ratio of high-tensile steel increased for improved body rigidity. Honda’s Agile Handling Assist (AHA) system further improves the dynamic stability of the car.
The mid-price 'Advance' car came loaded with standard luxuries. The basic Elegance range is also very well equipped and worth looking at.
The test model came with a host of extras, just too many to note here but including a rear-view camera, an air diffusion system, front and rear parking sensors, keyless entry and starting, heated door mirrors, heated front seats, heated leather steering wheel and hands-free power tailgate plus what is called Honda ‘Sensing’, a comprehensive package. This includes adaptive cruise control, a collision mitigation braking system, lane-departure warning (which bleeps and was eventually turned off!) and parking assistance. There is a 9inch touch screen, easy to use and a pair of USB outlets both front and back. No ashtray! The sat nav has voice activation but no head up display for cars in the UK market.
All HR-Vs combine a 1.5-litre petrol engine with two electric motors for a total of 129bhp. This makes for good fuel economy (expect to see high-40s) and a very quiet car in stop-start traffic. However, when you accelerate the petrol engine immediately starts revving very noisily, almost as though you are stuck in first gear.
Honda’s rear ‘Magic Seats’ really do help with stowing luggage. They can fold down for a normal flat load area, or fold up to give a separate storage area in the middle of the car.
The plastic boot liner also helps keep mess to a minimum.
The only extra on the car was the rather smart White Pearl paint work £825, giving a total of £31,035, a competitive price in a well filled market.
This is BTN’s third Honda model road test and we’ve been impressed with all the products including the quality of the interior finish and attention to detail. Next up the tiny futuristic Honda E. Its range is 137 miles but we have solved the charging problem.
Ride and Comfort 8
See BTN 14 June 2021 JUNE ROAD TEST: Honda Jazz. Two cars tested and
BTN 12 October 2020 OCTOBTER ROAD TEST: Honda CR-V 19 Hybrid.
All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum
John Wilson, Colchester
Nice car the HR-V but I settled for the larger CR-V.