Honda has been a major player in SUVs for many years and the HR-V is a small to
medium sized model that is being chosen by quite a few buyers in this burgeoning market
The third generation of the HR-V is offered with a two-motor e:HEV (hybrid electric vehicle)
powertrain technology for the first time on this model.
It comes in two specification levels with two different powertrains starting with the Vi X
that’s powered by a 1.5-litre i-VTEC petrol engine, and the HEV L hybrid powertrain. Our
test was the petrol-only model.
The new grille design melds the intakes with the bumper and when combined with the
sleek headlights, gives the HR-V a futuristic look. The rear is a cross between an SUV and
a coupe in its lines. It has an attractive look that pleased those who we asked to give their
The lower-side panels are painted in black which makes them harder to see and therefore
adds to the apparent ground clearance and SUV look.
An interesting feature is that it appears to have no rear-door handles. There are handles,
but these are blended into the dark side-rear window glass.
The dashboard has the instruments in a binnacle with a curved top. The nine-inch central
screen is landscape and shape and therefore doesn’t give you a view ahead as is offered
in a portrait screen.
Honda’s versatile ‘Magic Seats’ allow you to fold the base of the rear seats up to take taller
The rear seatbacks fold completely flat which is a surprisingly rare feature in SUVs.
Indeed, the Honda HR-V was on our short list of vehicles to buy because we wanted to be
able to carry our dog Bailey in the back. (We tossed in a fair bit of extra cash and bought a
Volvo XC40 instead, but it was a relatively close call.)
This is a four-seat vehicle as it has two bucket seats in the rear and therefore does not
have a seat belt in what could have been a rear-centre seat. Between the twin back seats
there is a padded armrest.
The centre screen is a nine-inch touch unit but rather too shallow to give a long view
ahead when using the satellite navigation. The problem for the interior designers is that
there simply wasn’t isn’t enough room in the lower dash area for a better screen.
It has wireless Apple CarPlay, but Android users will need a cable to make use of Android
ENGINES / TRANSMISSIONS
The four-cylinder engine isn’t turbocharged and has capacity of 1.5 litres with 89kW of
power and 145Nm of torque. It is happy to run on standard unleaded petrol which can
make a real difference given some of the crazy prices being asked for petrol at the
It drives the front wheels through a continuously variable transmission.
The Australian ANCAP safety rating gives the Honda five stars. The Honda suite of driver-
assist and safety technologies includes forward collision warning, collision, mitigation
braking system, lane keep assist system and lane departure warning.
The engine is relatively small and doesn’t produce as much power as we would like. It’s a
typically Honda unit in that it likes to have a plenty of revs on board before it really likes to
get up and boogie. As keen drivers we actually like that and once it’s given a bootfull it’s a
really pleasing unit.
Handling is excellent, with plenty of feel through the steering wheel. It’s able to easily take
corner at speeds far higher than those who would be done by the typical family driver.
But if you want a sporty machine to fang around in it might be better to have a look at
Ride comfort is a little on the firm side but after a couple of hours on our extended-drive
part of our road test review the Honda HR-V we still felt comfortable so, again, the
designers have done an excellent job.
Honda HR-V VI X is an interesting machine that, while it doesn’t have the straight-line
performance that we like it does have handling that we really enjoy. However, the lack of
three seats in the back could make it difficult to sell when the time comes to do so.
AT A GLANCE
HRV 1.5 Vi X: $36,700
HRV e-HEV L: $45,000
Note: These are drive-away prices.
SPECIFICATIONS (Honda HRV Vi X 1.5-litre petrol five-door wagon)
Capacity: 1.498 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders in line
Maximum Power: 89 kW @ 6600 rpm
Maximum Torque: 145 Nm @ 4300 rpm
Fuel Type: Standard unleaded petrol
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 5.8 L/100km
CO2 Emissions: 133 g/km
DRIVELINE: Continuosly variable automatic
DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:
Length: 4335 mm
Wheelbase: 2610 mm
Width: 1790 mm
Height: 1590 mm
Turning Circle: 11.0 metres
Kerb Mass: 1267 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 40 litres
Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Solid disc
Five years / unlimited kilometres