Honda HR-V: smart in every sense of the word

So right here it’s then, the new Honda HR-V, a compact SUV, as is so modern today, up in opposition to the likes of the Ford Puma and Volkswagen T-Roc. It’s primarily based on the Honda Jazz, hybrid model, which is an effective begin, and a petrol-electric hybrid system is the solely choice – no diesel, of course, but additionally, sadly, no pure electrical variant. The beautiful new child Honda e, which I reviewed a pair of weeks in the past, is an-electric marvel, and exhibits simply what Honda, nonetheless an unbiased participant in an business of agglomerated behemoths, can do. Missed alternative, actually, that, as no hybrid, regardless of how smart, can method an all-electric battery electrical automobile. Honda wants to select up some pace with its transition to electrical energy.

Anyway… speaking about smart, the HR-V is smart in every sense of the word. I like the coupe-SUV styling with the muscly traces and the hid door handles on the rear passenger doorways, which make it appear to be a three-door. There’s not a lot level to doing that, and the handles are a bit awkward to make use of, but it surely provides a bit of visible curiosity. The grille slats are body-coloured, which solely actually works on the crimson model, which is a daring sufficient shade so that you can discover.

The inside can also be smart – pretty uncluttered, a pleasant 9-inch touchscreen, high-quality supplies in every single place and that good exact tactile sensation you normally get on a Honda. It oozes high quality. Even although Honda hasn’t ever fairly made it to “premium” standing most of its merchandise have been extra dependable and a few extra sturdy than its storied German rivals. There’s no sense of event, however nothing will fall off.


Honda HR-V

Price: £32,210 (as examined; vary begins at £29,760)

Engine capability: 1.5-litre petrol 3-cyl + electrical motors, 1-sp auto

Power output (PS@rpm): 131@6,400

Top pace (mph): 100

0 to 60 (seconds): 10.6

Fuel economic system (mpg): 39.4

CO2 emissions (WLTP, g/km): 122

The actually smart stuff goes on below the bonnet and certainly the flooring, the place the Honda engineers have actually proven their prowess. The primary premise of a hybrid is fairly flawed and changing into obsolescent in a world of sensible electrical autos with ranges of 200 or 300 miles – and nearby of the steep costs demanded for the HR-V, some £32,210 in the well-equipped model I sampled. But, provided that, Honda has maximised the potential of the hybrid set-up with some imaginative fixes, and the firm, like Toyota, has been a hybrid pioneer for 1 / 4 of a century. The Honda has two electrical motors, for instance, which function in separate methods to complement the 1.5-litre petrol unit, which is generally reserved for higher-speed cruising.

At decrease speeds the battery pack and important electrical motor drives the entrance wheels instantly, moderately than via a shared transmission with the petrol engine, a uniquely Honda system (they name it IMA – built-in motor help). As with different hybrid inner combustion engines it makes use of the uncommon “Atkinson cycle” to generate its energy, which may be very gasoline environment friendly however compromised on energy – and thus completely tremendous for greater pace high-gear crushing. The lithium-ion batteries are packed densely and now profit kind water-cooling as a result of, as you’ll have observed out of your laptop computer or smartphone, they’ll get jolly sizzling. It at the same time as a “hill descent” operate, aping a correct off-roader, although it solely has front-wheel drive.

The Honda has two electrical motors, which function in separate methods to complement the 1.5-litre petrol unit


The solely disappointment with all that technical excellence is that the automated “transmission”, similar to it’s, is a bit whiny and unresponsive in contrast with a conventional torque-converter automated field mated to a standard petrol unit. But so long as you drive the HR-V gently, in the spirit of our greener occasions, it’s quiet and refined.

High-quality supplies are used in every single place, and the HR-V has the good exact tactile sensation you normally get on a Honda


I can’t say truthfully that it’s a Great Leap Forward from the Jazz that it shares a lot of its persona with, and it’ll set you again round £10,000 further simply so you possibly can sit greater up (there’s not a lot distinction in inside room and boot capability – each Jazz and HR-V being very versatile). You’d additionally have to do fairly a excessive mileage at the HR-V’s optimum working pace of about 40mph to 50mph to get the monetary profit of all that superior mechanical, electrical and software program engineering. Few folks remorse operating a Honda, however I’m unsure the HR-V can be a smart alternative for everybody.

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