The third generation Honda HR-V is a global SUV, despite the fact that North America gets another model with the same name. We only had the opportunity to test the EU-specific version of the self-charging hybrid available and see how well it compares to many competitors in the small and compact SUV segment.
Premium design and market positioning
Let’s start by saying that the new HR-V is an even more important step in terms of styling, which looks more sophisticated than before. Honda’s latest design language has brought a clean profile with a longer hood, a single horizontal marking line, a beautiful roof, standard 18-inch wheels and an aerodynamic roof line.
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The LED headlights look quite aggressive, the body-colored grille (additionally painted black) hints at the electrified nature of the model, and the sculptural bumper, reminiscent of a larger CR-V. The steep sloping rear window obscures the lines between SUVs and coupe SUVs, while the high-width full-width LED taillights give it a sexy position and look higher than before.
Honda has rated the HR-V against the compact SUV segment, giving it many standard kits and the aforementioned premium look. However, its mechanical connection to the Jazz / Fit makes it suitable for the top of the small SUV segment. The HR-V track has grown and now measures 4340 mm (170.9 inches) in length, 1790 mm in width (70.5 inches) and 1582 mm in height (62.3 inches), with a wheelbase of 2610 mm (102.8 inches). . This makes it slightly larger than all competing B-SUVs like the Peugeot 2008, but smaller than major C-SUVs like the Nissan Qashqai. The closest competitor in terms of footprint is the Toyota C-HR, which comes with a self-charging hybrid power unit.
Room cabin, high level of feeling
Entering the interior, the high-level feel is distinguished by the minimalist design of the control panel. The driveway is much higher than the previous generation, with good visibility and a slightly lower roof. Despite the hard plastics on the control panel, everything has a horizontal line connecting the climate openings and increases the perceived quality. In general, the interior of the HR-V looks much higher than the Jazz / Fit, which brings it closer to the premium feel that the Honda e gets.
Ergonomics are excellent, the physical controls of the air conditioner are stylish and easy to use. You need to get a little used to the buttons on the steering wheel, but they allow you to access many features. Honda infotainment system has a very simple menu structure, always-on touch keyboard shortcuts, physical buttons for “Home” and “Back” functions, as well as a real volume control. The standard high-end 9-inch touchscreen – like the Jazz – responds, though not as beautifully as the Honda e’s multi-screen setup.
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In terms of connectivity, the HR-V has everything you need, and unlike the Android Auto wireless Apple CarPlay, it’s just wired. Our mid-range Advance trims had four USB ports for charging (two for the rear passengers), but no wireless charging panel, which is standard not only on the Advance Plus flagship, but also a beautiful packaging color combination and preferably a sound system. However, our six speaker sound was good enough, especially for Honda standards.
What is less impressive than other SUV competitors is the cluster of semi-digital devices, which does not offer many customization options. You can select the information you want to display on the left disc, as there is no rotation counter, but you won’t get beautiful graphics like the Ford Puma, different layouts like the Skoda Kamiq, or 3D style dials. Like the Peugeot 2008.
Cabin space and practicality are very important for SUV buyers, and the HR-V is better than average in this regard. There are rear passenger foot mounds that can also access rear climate fans, but are more limited for people with long backs due to the slope of the roof line. Anyone up to 6 feet tall will be very comfortable in the back, except for the middle seat, which is not comfortable due to the impact on the back seat. Another thing we didn’t like so much was the central support, which felt a little uncomfortable while resting in the back seat.
The back doors don’t have proper bins, but the seats have nice pockets with extra space for a smartphone. Honda’s signature Magic seats also have the ability to rotate individually, creating space for larger objects. The seats are also completely flat, creating a van capacity of up to 1,305 liters (46.1 cubic feet). In the five-seater configuration, the cargo volume is 335 liters (11.8 cubic feet), which is not noticeable on paper, especially if you compare it with 500 liters (17.7 cubic feet) of C-SUV models such as Nissan. Qashqai or Peugeot 3008. In fact, it looks bigger than the numbers due to the practical shape that families appreciate. It also has an additional compartment hidden under the floor, with the exception of the top finish, which takes up space subwoofer.
Hybrid for smooth drivers
The e: HEV system in the Honda HR-V has an improved power output and a larger lithium-ion battery compared to the Jazz / Fit. Thus, you get a 129 hp combined with a 1.5-liter i-VTEC four-cylinder naturally aspirated engine and smaller electric motors. (96 kW / 131 PS) and 253 Nm (187 pound-feet) of torque. Civic e: HEV. Don’t be fooled by the number of engines, as the HR-V is only FWD in Europe (AWD versions are only available in Japan). Often, one of the electric motors powers the front wheels, and the ICE automatically turns on and off, acting as a generator when needed.
The city is quiet thanks to the installation of the HR-V smart hybrid, improved noise isolation and clean ride. It is also very fast and responsive, the light steering wheel makes it clever despite its wide footprint. Fuel consumption in the city cycle can be as low as 3 l / 100 km (78.4 miles / g), as you often drive in EV mode for most of the congestion, and the average we see in different scenarios is 5.6 l / 100 km (42 miles / g). d) was. .
Everything will be different when you start pushing the hybrid power chain on the highway. The former quiet combustion engine is very powerful, the eCVT transmission maintains a constant high rpm to get the maximum integrated product. After an initial acceleration of 0-100 km / h (0-62 mph), which is faster than the advertised 9.7 seconds, you will have more noise and less action. As a result, high speeds of 120 km / h (75 mph) and 170 km / h (106 mph) are much slower than in turbocharged competitors.
The situation is similar on twisted roads, where the driver thinks twice before stepping on the accelerator to avoid a commotion. Sport driving mode responds a little more to the power unit than normal and economy modes, but it doesn’t really inspire you to push. For those who prefer a previous generation manual transmission, eCVT behavior can be frustrating. Unlike other manufacturers that use forged gears in the CVT transmission, Honda’s paddle shifters are designed to select only the regenerative braking level, indicating that they are a comfort-oriented recommendation.
However, the HR-V has good handling capabilities, significant but excessive body wrapping and high maintenance. The suspension is soft from shocks, but not too soft in corners, which is very convenient for the nature of the SUV. Initially, the steering wheel feels good weight around the center, but on the B-lanes it still has a sterile feel, although it is fast and straight. Despite the hybrid nature of the car, the brakes are also good. Off-road, only the FWD layout (as with most SUVs) limits its capabilities, but the 188mm (7.4-inch) wide clearance and good SUV angles give you great confidence.
Overall, the HR-V doesn’t approach the Ford Puma in terms of dynamic capabilities, the AWD doesn’t drive off-road like the Suzuki Vitara, and it doesn’t approach the larger Citroen C5 Aircross’s excellent ride, but it does hit. Good balance for the average driver due to the refined chassis and premium characteristics.
Prices and equipment
Honda HR-V has a very simple collection in Europe, its only power version (e: HEV) and three finishing levels – Elegance, Advance and Advance Style. All three come with many standard kits that support Honda’s high-end traffic. At Elegance, you’ll get the full range of Honda Sensing ADAS, including smooth adaptive cruise control and lane keeping features, a 9-inch infotainment system, heated front seats, rear air vents and 18-inch wheels. Advance includes dual-zone air conditioning, LED headlights, leather-covered and heated steering wheel, automatic rear cover and two additional USB charging ports for rear passengers. Finally, the Advance Plus is visually distinguished by a two-tone exterior with ceiling rails, an orange grille and a special sign, and a leather-trimmed interior. As mentioned above, it gets a premium sound system and a wireless charging board.
Unfortunately, all this equipment is very expensive. When we ride the HR-V in Greece, Elegance starts at € 33,800 ($ 35,555), our mid-range Advance sells for € 36,800 ($ 38,711) and the Advance Plus flagship is eye-catching (€ 39,900)), prices are almost the same in the UK market.
Priced at £ 28,825 (US $ 35,498) in the UK, the HR-V is significantly more expensive than B-SUVs, including a limited number of hybrids in this segment. For example, an ICE-powered Skoda Kamiq starts at £ 21,805 ($ 26,658), while a hybrid Renault Captur E-Tech starts at £ 24,795 ($ 30,539).
Looking at the C-SUV segment, we find that the Toyota C-HR hybrid starts at £ 28,470 ($ 35,066), but in Greece and other European countries the Toyota is much cheaper, starting at € 25,140 ($ 26,447). Other examples of C-SUVs that are more affordable than the Honda HR-V include the Mazda CX-30 for £ 24,645 ($ 30,354) or the larger Kia Sportage for £ 26,775 ($ 32,977). As for the flagship Honda HR-V Advance Plus, it is dangerously close to the high-end and larger Volvo XC40 and BMW X1, which limits its role as a niche product.
Developed in the third generation of the EU model Honda HR-V, it has become a stylish and high-quality SUV, retaining most of its practical features. It is a bit wider than the previous version, but the interior looks beautiful with a lot of hind legs, magic seats and boots that feel bigger than the figures are presented. e: The HEV hybrid power unit is very efficient, but can be noisy when you really push it to the limit. From a driving point of view, the HR-V does not belong to the sports side, it is a comfortable ride with elegant rides and a very wide clearance. It comes with a lot of standard equipment, but pricing is one of the main barriers that puts it against larger and more competent competitors.