Honda is a manufacturer diving headfirst into the world of battery-powered models and has already committed to electrifying its full range of mainstream vehicles by 2022 – a date that certainly isn’t far away. It’s already a good way there, what with its popular Jazz supermini now being hybrid-only, and also with its CR-V SUV being available as a hybrid, too. We also can’t forget the funky ‘e’, either – the brand’s first EV. But next up in the line-up to be electrified is the HR-V crossover, which will arrive in showrooms by the end of the year. Let’s take a look at what it has to offer.
As we’ve already highlighted, the cabin of the HR-V is packed with tech. But Honda has also included a variety of safety assistance systems to ensure that the HR-V keeps on the straight and narrow at all times.
Packaged within Honda’s ‘Sensing’ setup, the systems include features such as hill descent control, which can help when travelling down steep slopes. A variety of blind-spot monitoring systems are also included
As to be expected from a modern car, the HR-V’s interior is packed with technology. The bulk of this is centred around a nine-inch infotainment display, which houses all of the car’s media and navigation functions. You also get both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto fitted as standard, regardless of which specification you opt for.
A new feature being used in the HR-V’s cabin is an ‘Air Diffusion System’. It uses L-shaped vents which help to spread the air throughout the cabin, rather than directly at the occupants.
The exterior of the new HR-V is a radical departure from the look of the old one. The body-coloured grille is a particular highlight as it gives the car a futuristic appearance and this is helped to no end by the inclusion of a full-width light bar.
The rear of the car is particularly striking too, thanks to a full LED light strip which looks fantastic at night. Black wheel arch extensions give the car a more chunky look, too.
The new HR-V is only going to be available with a hybrid powertrain, showcasing Honda’s commitment to electrification in its cars. It combines a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine with a pair of electric motors attached, allowing for a certain degree of electric-only run time.
It pushes out 129bhp and 253Nm of torque, but the real focus here is on efficiency. In fact, Honda claims that it’ll return 52mpg, while CO2 emissions stand at 122g/km - respectable for a car of this size.
What is it?
Honda is a company that is really pushing hard for electrification. In fact, by the end of the year, everything the firm offers will be either a full EV or hybrid. So it’s only part of that process to see the HR-V arrive with a hybrid engine. Now into its third generation, this is a particularly important car for Honda, given that the SUV segment is currently experiencing huge popularity. It does also mean that the HR-V has quite a lot of competition.
This isn’t some mid-life refresh. No, this new HR-V has very little carryover from the model it replaces, while a striking new exterior design means that this latest model looks significantly different to the older one. You’ve got a wide variety of driver aids, too, as well as a new infotainment system which looks to replace the rather creaky one fitted to the older HR-V.
What’s under the bonnet?
The HR-V utilises a similar powertrain to the one you’ll find in the latest Jazz, but has more power to ensure that there’s still plenty of performance. It’s based around a 1.5-litre petrol engine, which is then linked to two electric motors for a combined output of 129bhp and 253Nm of torque. Efficiency is the name of the game here, of course, and the HR-V does well. Honda claims up to 52mpg and CO2 emissions of 122g/km - not bad for a car of this size.
What’s it like to drive?
Honda has been able to pack more cell-rich batteries into the HR-V. As a result, you’re able to travel on electric-only power for more of the time - particularly around town and at slower speeds. It’s in urban areas that the HR-V feels surprisingly capable, thanks to good visibility and well-judged suspension. But the HR-V is just as well suited to life on the open road, too, thanks to relatively little body roll and smooth, linear acceleration
How does it look?
The previous HR-V wasn’t exactly a masterclass in exciting design, so it’s pleasing to see that this new version has some real theatre when it comes to the way it looks. The body-coloured grille is a standout feature and helps to give it a particularly futuristic appearance. Standing on 18-inch alloy wheels the HR-V has quite a lot of presence, while a sloping rear window helps to give the car a more coupe-esque look.
What’s it like inside?
Honda has really upped the level of quality that you get inside the HR-V, with top-spec Advance Style models feeling particularly upmarket thanks to high-end materials and a classy grey upholstery. The new nine-inch touchscreen is a huge step up compared with the older version, with Honda saying that new shortcut buttons help to significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to conduct certain functions. A new air diffusion system channels air around you, rather than firing it directly at your face, too.
What’s the spec like?
There are three trim levels to choose from with the HR-V - Elegance, Advance and Advance Style. Priced from £26,960, all versions boast heated front seats, LED headlights, a digital dial display and a nine-in touchscreen. Move up to Advance and you’ll find a heated steering wheel added alongside LED front fog lights and a blind-spot monitoring system. Top-rung Advance Style models, meanwhile, get a two-tone paint scheme, roof bars and a grey and orange interior theme.
The Honda HR-V feels like a big step up for the firm, ideal for drivers who maybe want something larger than a Jazz, but not as big as the firm’s CR-V. It’s comfortable and well-finished too, while its excellent level of standard equipment means that the HR-V is well worth considering if you’re in the market for a mid-size SUV.