I think it is fair to say that Honda went through some fairly dull years when it came to design. They seemed to rely on their good name, great engineering and faithful following, so styling didn’t really matter, so played it safe, not wanting to upset or lose their current customers. But the faithful got older, and Honda started losing ground, and customers.
But in recent years, the company has invested heavily in new, more modern designs, out with the old designers, and in with the new.
The all-new HR-V is a great example of this new fresh look from Honda. Crisp lines that run down the sides, a big bold front end, and a ‘coupe-Like’ roof-line in this cleverly styled SUV.
The HR-V is powered by a frugal 1.5-litre petrol engine called i-MMI (Intelligent Multi Mode Drive, and coupled to a smooth e-CVT automatic gearbox, and goes from 0-100kph in 10.7 seconds.
The HR-V has the latest Honda Full-Hybrid system fitted which adds dramatically to improved fuel consumption and reduces emissions. This hybrid systems works quite simply by having additional batteries that charge when you are slowing down, coasting or braking. The energy saved is then used to power the car, so the petrol engine is not used. Living in hilly Yorkshire this system works really well, for every hill you go down, you charge the batteries, and then this energy is used to go back up another hill. During the time I had the test car from Honda UK I got on average 63mpg (4.484 l/100km) so a good result I thought. With this hybrid system, like others on the market, you don’t have to think about doing anything, it’s all done for you automatically, clever stuff, eh…
The interior has also been well thought out with lots of standard equipment and all the on-board systems easy to fathom out and use, all very instinctive.
The seat ride height is higher than a typical hatch, and with it being a small SUV, you do get a better, commanding view around you.
There is plenty of storage space, and although the boot is not ‘over-big’ you can get quite a bit of luggage or shopping in it.
The rear seat has a clever mechanism, so it can lift up to give more storage space, and there is plenty of room under the rear seat for storage also, so much space in fact that you can actually lose stuff under it, I know, because I lost some shopping, it just disappeared in the huge cavity, like a black hole.
The petrol engine combined with the batteries and electric motors produce 131ps, so enough power for the coupe-like SUV.
The cost of the test car, the Advance in the UK costs £31,035 OTR, but you do get a lot of car, and equipment for your money.
During the week I had the Honda HR-V I liked it more and more every time I drove it, and when it was unfashionable not long ago to say you liked a Honda, this had now changed, and you feel good driving one, and seeing the excellent fuel consumption, helps you like it even more.