Honda HR-V Review 2024

Honda HR-V At A Glance

3/5
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, brokers can source from £25,783

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

Is there a better alternative than a Skoda Kamiq out there?

"I have a Skoda Kamiq (an excellent motor) but am ready for a change. I don't know whether to wait for the new updated 2024 Kamiq, or to go for something completely different. If I was to change, can you recommend a smallish SUV as good as the Kamiq?"
Take a look at the Toyota Yaris Cross. It's one of our favourite small SUVs at the moment - it's comfortable and easy to drive, while its hybrid system means it's be cheap to run. We'd recommend the Honda HR-V and Ford Puma, too.
Answered by Andrew Brady

My new Honda HR-V has poor sat nav, what can I do to change it?

"At the end of last year my wife purchased a Honda Jazz Crosstar from the showroom of our local dealer. Impressed with its performance, and Honda’s reputation, decided to buy a Honda HR-V Advance, which arrived about four months later. I assumed that this vehicle, like the Jazz, would have Garmin Sat-Nav fitted as standard. This was not the case - the system fitted is basic in black and grey with little refinement. After complaining, and after waiting for some months for a reply from our local dealer, I have been advised that this system is called “Here” and fitted in a number of Honda vehicles and is not compatible with Garmin. Disappointed is an understatement, don’t see why I should have to use my mobile data to access Apple mapping, as advised by the dealer. Are you aware if Honda are likely to remedy the situation? Or can you recommend a system which would be compatible?"
Given that Honda appears to have switched from Garmin to Here, an American-Dutch technology firm, for its in-car navigation, it seems unlikely that it will revert back to Garmin in the near future. You have the option to use either the native navigation app within the system or use Apple CarPlay to use Apple Maps or another navigation app - you can connect your phone to the car's wifi hotspot if you prefer not to use your phone's data.
Answered by David Ross

I'm downsizing from a Honda CR-V - what do you recommend?

"I have a 2021 hybrid Honda CR-V and am looking to downsize while still staying within a small SUV range. I need flat loading rear space, a high up driving position with adjustable front seats (preferably both), comfort, and decent reliability. I'm not concerned whether it is a hybrid or petrol, but do not want a diesel engine. An automatic is essential. I'm looking at both the VW T-Cross and T-Roc. Are there any other obvious alternatives?"
The Volkswagen T-Cross and T-Roc are good alternatives, but Honda also have an ideal replacement for your CR-V with the smaller HR-V. It comes with hybrid powertrain, offers Honda's excellent Magic Seats to give you a flat boot floor with the seats folded and the high driving position you are looking for.
Answered by David Ross

What's the best car for a passenger with arthritis?

"My husband has arthritis of the spine and our Renault Scenic is very suitable for his needs, with the raised seating position making it easy to get in and out. However, it is costing us too much in repairs and we need another car. I need some advice on a reliable small car which will be cheaper to run and maintain but still have the height my husband needs."
Without knowing your budget I can't be very specific, but have you looked at the Kia Venga, Nissan Note or the Hyundai iX20? These are smaller in size than the Scenic but have taller bodies and higher seating positions than normal small cars. It would also be worth looking at small SUVs (again these have higher seating positions for ease of getting in and out) such as the Vauxhall Mokka, Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3, Peugeot 2008 and Renault Captur.
Answered by Lawrence Allan
More Questions

What does a Honda HR-V cost?

Buy new from £25,783(list price from £30,705)