Honda HR-V 1.6

i-DTEC EX

Honda HR-V, front static 2
Honda HR-V, full front action
Honda HR-V, front static
Honda HR-V, top action
Honda HR-V, dashboard 2
Honda HR-V, rear action
Honda HR-V, full rear action
Honda HR-V, dashboard

DIESEL might be a dirty word in motoring circles these days but here's something that might turn the tide in favour of the smelly pumps fuel - 60.3mpg.

That's the figure the dash readout proudly proclaimed after hundreds of miles that saw Honda's mid-size HR-V SUV take in two round trips to Heathrow and lots of lower speed town work too.

That economy figure would remain a dream to the owner of an HR-V powered by the car's other available engine, a 1.5-litre petrol, which puts out more tailpipe pollution and gives away more than 20mpg in the official economy test.

But there's another figure you need to consider before plumping for the diesel model; it costs more in the first place. In the case of the top spec EX grade precisely £1,840 more.

And yes, that will buy a lot of petrol before your personal ledger tips over into a loss compared to running the diesel. So this particular version of the HR-V is probably one for the long distance user. Probably on business, you'd guess.

Prices for the HR-V range across three grades from £19,455 for a petrol model to £27,115 of the diesel car on test. Petrol HR-Vs can have a CVT automatic transmission for an extra £1,210.

You'd never guess, but the car is based on the smaller city runaround Honda Jazz underneath. Actually, the instrument panels looks the same but you'd need to be a Honda dealer (or road tester) to note that... or indeed care.

What the Jazz communality does bestow is some clever thinking about the use of space inside the car. So the fuel tank is mounted under the front seats, allowing a big and deep boot and the ability to fold the base of the rear seat upwards - perfect for pot plants and the odd smaller bike.

Sitting taller gives a better view down the road but means firmer springs are needed to keep body roll in check and that means some pattering from below on bad roads.

Like almost every new model these days the designers have tried to make the dashboard feel less like a button fest and more like a tablet computer. So there's a biggish screen that acts as a portal to the delights of features like the sat nav (where fitted) and apps to music streaming services and the like.

As part of a mid-life refresh the latest HR-V gets a modest makeover, with added chrome to the front, a front bumper with deeper air intake sections that house circular fog lights, and headlights now have projector lenses with redesigned LED daytime running lights as standard.

At the rear, a dark chrome garnish across the tailgate mirrors the new trim at the front, and the rear lights sit within darker lens casings.

FAST FACTS

Honda HR-V 1.6 i-DTEC EX

Price: £27,115

Mechanical: 118bhp, 1,597cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 119mph

0-62mph: 10.5 seconds

Combined MPG: 68.9

Insurance Group: 20

C02 emissions: 108g/km

Bik rating: 29%

Warranty: 3yrs/90,000 miles

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