THERE'S a new look about Honda's HR-V range with the introduction of a Sport version that's slick, stylish and quick off the mark.
With a turbocharged petrol engine that boasts 182ps - a whopping 52ps more than the standard model - the newcomer takes this popular SUV range to a new level.
For some years the HR-V has lived in the shadow of its bigger brother the CR-V but the mean and moody Sport version has changed all that.
It's certainly dressed to impress with a dynamic styling pack which includes side skirts, wheel arch mouldings, black door mirror caps and a slim front splitter.
At the rear cannon-like twin exhaust pipes, a more aggressive rear bumper and heavily tinted rear side windows signal this car's high performance prowess. And with the handles for the rear doors being disguised in the door pillars it's a five door with a coupe-like appearance.
It's also a car which offers far more interior space than you are led to believe from the outside with generous leg and head room for rear seat travellers, far more for example, than in one its competitors the Nissan Juke.
And talking of interiors the Sport boasts a bespoke combination of wine red leather and black fabric on the seats as well as matching red leather on the dashboard, doors and centre console with red stitching on the black leather steering wheel.
Powered by a 1.5-litre petrol engine the HR-V Sport is a sharp mover capable of reaching 62 miles per hours in an impressive 7.8 seconds on its way to a top speed of 134mph.
And not only do you feel the performance but you hear it too with a spine-tingling rasp from the twin exhausts as you build up the revs.
When it comes to ride the HR-V Sport is firm but well mannered and very comfortable. Road holding is good with plenty of grip on corners helped by the centre mounted fuel tank lowering the car‘s centre of gravity. There is some body roll but it's all kept well under control.
If you want to cut down on fuel bills you can use Honda's eco button on the dashboard but you will note a drop off in performance and to be honest this car is pretty economical in the regular sporting mode anyway.
Like the rest of the HR-V range the Sport is immensely flexible when it comes to its carrying capacity thanks to its "Magic Seat" system, - created originally for the Honda Jazz.
These clever seats offer a multiplicity of folding permutations as well as having seat squabs which fold up like cinema seats to allow you to pack in large items across the width of the car, like a mountain bike or furniture for example.