Honda HR-V Review 2022

Honda HR-V At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
Low running costs and a much improved interior mean the Honda HR-V is more desirable than ever. Is it good enough to justify that high purchase price, though?

+Cheap to run. Versatile interior with clever Magic Seats. Superb infotainment system. Likely to be reliable.

-Noisy and unrefined (particularly at motorway speeds). Expensive to buy. Small boot.

New prices start from £27,960

The new Honda HR-V is an attractive small SUV that's easy to drive and cheap to run. It looks expensive compared to competitors like the Ford Puma and Volkswagen T-Roc, but you do get a lot for your money – including generous equipment levels and a hybrid powertrain.

You can't buy the Honda HR-V with a conventional petrol engine. Instead, it uses a version of the hybrid setup found in the latest Honda Jazz. Badged the 'e:HEV', this system combines a 1.5-litre petrol engine with two electric motors, each driving the front wheels.

It's a 'self-charging' hybrid so, unlike a Renault Captur E-Tech PHEV, you don't have to plug the HR-V in to extract the best from it. Instead, it automatically switches between drive modes depending on the situation, allowing you to set off under electric power with the petrol engine on hand when you need a little more push. The result is impressive fuel economy, with the Honda HR-V returning up to 52.3mpg in official WLTP tests.

Honda has trimmed the HR-V range down to just three models: Elegance, Advance and Advance Style. While the Honda HR-V's £27,000 start price sounds expensive (you can pick up an Audi Q2 for less), there isn't really a basic entry-level model. Even the most affordable Honda HR-V Elegance comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, heated front seats and a rear-view camera.

The HR-V's interior represents a huge improvement over its predecessor. Not only does it look modern, but there are plenty of soft-touch materials. There are a few giveaways that this isn't a premium SUV (the hard door cards and clunky indicators, for example), but it feels like it should stand the test of time.

The Honda HR-V has a reputation for practicality, but that has been hindered by the placement of the batteries. They're under the boot floor, which means you won't find any useful underfloor storage back there. Indeed, the HR-V can only carry 319 litres of luggage, which is less than a Nissan Juke or Ford Puma.

Despite its sloping roofline, things are pretty good rear-seat passengers, though, with plenty of headroom and legroom. If you need to carry more luggage, Honda's clever Magic Seats are fitted as standard. That means the rear bench can flip and fold down into the floor, leaving a totally flat luggage area.

While the new Honda HR-V isn't going to shake up the small SUV market, it does represent an interesting alternative to the mainstream competitors. If you're looking for a car that's easy to drive, cheap to run and ought to be dependable, the HR-V is now more appealing than ever.

Looking for a second opinion? Why not read heycar's Honda HR-V review.

Ask Honest John

Should I choose the Honda HR-V or Mazda CX-30?
"I am about to change my Honda Civic and would like your thoughts and advice. I drive about 8,000 miles per annum and mainly on A-roads and motorways. Should I got for the Honda HR-V or the Mazda CX-30? I have driven both cars and find they both have strengths and weaknesses. "
I would personally go for the HR-V for its hybrid engine's fuel economy and its newer design. Regarding the differing specifications of different models, it makes sense for you to download the PDF brochure of each car and decide which has the kit that allows it to best fit your needs. In meantime, why not read our reviews of each: Mazda CX-30: Honda HR-V:
Answered by Russell Campbell
What's a smaller alternative to my wonderful Honda CR-V?
"I like the idea of downsizing marginally from my current 2015 Honda CRV - the newer model is wider as well as slightly longer. Its replacement needs to be automatic, while I want something with improved economy (current real mpg is 33.7 on the auto CR-V) and with Honda reliability. What I don't want to sacrifice is the spacious feel and comfort of a bigger car. Do I look at the slightly narrower Kia Sportage, or the smaller Honda HR-V, or one of the Skoda SUVs? Or should I simply stay with a bigger car and have another Honda CR-V?"
The three cars you suggest are all excellent in their own right. The Kia Sportage is very sensibly designed, practical inside and has an excellent seven-year warranty. The Skoda Karoq is even better designed with an interior that feels well built and is littered with smaller storage areas. Its boot is big and practical, its 1.5-litre petrol engine is spritely and will be cheaper to run than your Honda. The Honda HR-V hybrid is cheap to run and has a well designed interior, although you'll like find the boot a little small. Another car I would consider is the Toyota CH-R – it's smart looking and nice to drive, plus its hybrid engines are very good on fuel. Toyota arguably has an even better reputation for reliability than Honda.
Answered by Russell Campbell
What is the best crossover or SUV with an automatic gearbox?
"What's the best automatic SUV?"
From smallest to largest: Ford Puma, Volvo XC40, Toyota C-HR, Honda HR-V, Toyota RAV4, Skoda Karoq, BMW X5, Audi Q5, Skoda Kodiaq, Volvo XC90.
Answered by Dan Powell
More Questions

What does a Honda HR-V cost?