Honda HR-V Review 2023
Honda HR-V At A Glance
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.