Honda HR-V (2015 – 2021) Review

Honda HR-V (2015 – 2021) At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
A much more clever car inside than out thanks to its versatile cabin and use of space. Best to steer clear of the CVT automatic gearbox.

+Highly practical and versatile thanks to ‘magic’ seats. Strong i-DTEC diesel engine.

-No four-wheel drive. Drivers expecting sports car performance won’t get on with the CVT-7.

Insurance Groups are between 18–22
On average it achieves 86% of the official MPG figure

The Honda Jazz of the same period was used as the base for the Honda HR-V, so it’s a compact SUV. It also means the Honda HR-V inherits much of the Honda Jazz’s cleverness for the cabin, making it far more versatile inside than the likes of the Volkswagen T-Roc, stylish Renault Captur or big-selling Vauxhall Mokka X. However, the Honda HR-V is not the most enjoyable car in its class to drive, especially if you pick one with the CVT-7 automatic gearbox. Read on for our full Honda HR-V review.

The HR-V is Honda’s take on the compact SUV. Although it revives a name from the early 2000s, this was a brand new model for Honda in 2015.

Based on the clever Honda Jazz, it packs practicality and features into a relatively small space, is decent to drive and boasts affordable running costs. It makes a very strong case for itself as an all-rounder for small families.

The UK range was a simple one. The diesel option is the 1.6-litre i-DTEC – also found in the Honda Civic and the Honda CR-V – which is powerful, smooth and on paper returns mpg in the mid-50s, a figure readers regularly beat, according to our Real MPG data. Impressive for a car of this size.

Petrol power comes via a 1.5-litre engine with or without a turbo. The standard 1.5 i-VTEC is available with a manual or CVT automatic gearbox and will suit most buyers with its satisfactory performance and early-40s mpg fuel economy.

The top-spec Sport model comes with a turbocharged version of the 1.5 engine. It’s a weird combination, slightly at odds with the Honda HR-V’s image as a sensible and practical model.

It’s fairly quick, while fake noise piped into the cabin means it sounds sporty, too. But it’s very low geared, meaning it’s quite noisy at motorway speeds.

Practicality comes in the form of a generous 470-litre boot and the clever ‘magic seats’ from the Honda Jazz, which have been its signature since it was first launched in 2002. Why magic? They fold flat like those in normal cars and split, too, but you can also lift and secure the seat squabs themselves, freeing up space for tall items like plants.

In the UK, the Honda HR-V was only available with front-wheel drive. This will be fine for the majority of buyers, but those wanting to tackle unmade roads and farm tracks will be better served by a Suzuki Vitara.

Ask Honest John

The pre-sale service on my new car was not carried out, can Trading Standards help?

"I bought a Honda HRV from a dealer who said he will give the car a full service and stamped the service book accordingly pre sale. Having got the car home I found out no such service has been done at all. I have photos of the old air and cabin filter and of the obviously old oil filter. Do you think this should go to Trading Standards?"
We would give the dealer the benefit of the doubt in the first instance, and contact them to explain that the pre-sale service has not been carried out as promised. Hopefully they will accept their error and arrange for the service to be carried out at no charge to you. If you give them this opportunity but they do not carry out the work then it would be reasonable to escalate this to a complaint to the dealer and Honda UK if necessary.
Answered by David Ross

What is the best 4x4 for £10,000?

"I have moved to Devon where the roads are hilly and windy. I would appreciate your suggestion for a 4x4 which has a high driving position (as opposed to 4x4 cars), good spacious feel in the cabin (don't really care about the size of rear seats) that can handle the narrow lanes etc but could also handle and be comfortable on the odd long distance motorway journey. Ideally a small version of a Discovery, without the technical problems! And if I was thinking of a Land Rover 2 in the end because there's no other alternative, what would you advise? All for £7,000-£10,000."
We'd recommend a Honda HR-V or Toyota RAV4. Both ought to be very reliable models suited to your needs. Alternatively, a Land Rover Freelander 2 isn't a bad option. It'll probably need more maintenance than Japanese alternatives (check it's had the 10-year service including the cam belt and we'd recommend a Haldex service). Buy carefully, though, and it should be much more reliable than a Discovery of the same age.
Answered by Andrew Brady

Can you recommend a replacement for a Nissan Juke?

"I’m looking to replace a petrol Nissan 2015 Juke in Tekna trim. My wife now needs an electric handbrake. I’d like good all round visibility and a raised driving position, LED headlights and, if possible, parking sensors (although I realise these can be an aftermarket fitting). My original thought was a new Dacia Sandero Stepway in Prestige trim. Our budget is less than £20,000. What else (probably secondhand) should I consider?"
We'd recommend a Mazda CX-3. It's a similar size to your Juke with a high seating position, LED headlights and an electronic parking brake across the range. SE-L models and above get parking sensors, while the Sport Nav has a reversing camera. Also consider a Honda HR-V. You'll get a late example of the last-generation model within budget. Look for an SE, EX or Sport model for front/rear parking sensors and a reversing camera. It comes with an excellent manual gearbox while the latest examples had LED lights as standard across the range.
Answered by Andrew Brady

Which plug-in hybrid small SUV should I buy?

"I'm looking to replace my 2016 1.6 diesel Honda H-RV and I am considering hybrid or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). I am retired and mostly do short journeys (up to 40 miles) but I also do long distance about once a month. I am nervous about going for full electric (should I be?). I like the high up driving position of the H-RV and I want to avoid a diesel engine next time."
A pure electric vehicle might make sense if you can charge at home (i.e. have off-road parking with access to electricity). Take a look at the Hyundai Kona Electric, for example. It's a brilliant small SUV with an official range of up to 300 miles. This'll be slightly less in reality, but the public charging infrastructure is rapidly improving and most motorway service stations will be able to provide a boost in range in the time it takes to grab a coffee and use the facilities. The recently improved MG ZS EV is also worth a look, particularly if you're on a budget. If you'd prefer the safety blanket of a petrol engine, we'd recommend a Renault Captur E-Tech or the slightly bigger Kia Niro PHEV.
Answered by Andrew Brady
More Questions

What does a Honda HR-V (2015 – 2021) cost?