Hybrid HR-V sets new

mark for Honda

Honda HR-V, 2022, front
Honda HR-V, 2022, side
Honda HR-V, 2022, rear
Honda HR-V, 2022, interior
Honda HR-V, 2022, air vent
Honda HR-V, 2022, gear lever
Honda HR-V, 2022, display screen
Honda HR-V, 2022, instrument panel
Honda HR-V, 2022, rear seats
Honda HR-V, 2022, engine
Honda HR-V, 2022, boot
Honda HR-V, 2022, boot, maximum

HONDA has a new HR-V and the third generation of its smallest SUV is hybrid only.

Powered by a development of the 1.5-litre petrol-electric set-up already used in the Jazz supermini, the newcomer - on paper at least - appears capable of delivering the best of all worlds.

Electric-only running, hybrid power or combustion engine driving is on hand at all times and the car is smart enough to select whatever is best.

That sounds ideal and around town the HR-V is nicely frugal but prolonged spells at motorway speeds tell a different story.

The new HR-V is priced from £26,960 in entry-level Elegance trim and tops out from £31,660 in high specification Advanced Style grade with mid-range Advance models priced from £29,210.

All have the same powertrain and the differences are in equipment and trim with Elegance versions having keyless entry, heated front seats and sat nav among their standard features while Advance models come with a powered tailgate, blind spot monitors, rear cross traffic alerts and LED fog lamps in their manifest.

Advance Style brings in the likes of two-tone paint jobs with contrasting roof colours, upgraded upholstery and wireless phone charging.

We sampled the HR-V in Advance grade and the newcomer is a good looking car with its contemporary design set off by a colour-coded front grille that matches the paint job.

No longer than the previous version at 4.34 metres it is a step ahead in design with purposeful lines - a proper SUV in style rather than crossover.

Interior room is more than adequate and the dashboard layout is modern, functional and logically laid out.

A flat floor in the rear adds to the room and while the HR-V is more comfortable as a four-seater because of the fold-down armrest Honda's Magic Seat arrangement with sliding back seats makes it nicely practical.

Boot space ranges from 304 to 1,290 litres and that makes it a fair match for the likes of the Volvo XC40, Kia Niro or Volkswagen T-Roc.

The HR-V is fully smartphone compatible and comes with a nine-inch central display touchscreen backed up by a seven-inch TFT panel in the instrument cluster.

Wi-Fi connectivity is available as is access to the My Honda+ platform which allows for systems such as servicing reminders and over-the-air navigation route loading.

The powertrain uses Honda's e-HEV technology which combined gives the HR-V a total output of 129bhp - good enough for a 0 to 62mph acceleration time of 10.6 seconds and a maximum of 107mph.

While fuel economy around town is excellent and in urban work we managed to see an average of 62.8mpg on the trip computer it was a different story on a high speed motorway run where mid-20s to the gallon was the norm.

Factor in a fuel tank capacity of just over nine gallons and it meant that a round trip to London and back from the Midlands meant a refuel.

Overall, we managed to average 45.8 to the gallon - not bad but not as efficient as some other hybrids on the market at the moment.

Officially, emissions are rated at 122g/km with fuel consumption of 52.3mpg and while there are three drive modes available this is a hybrid system the benefits everyday use most and comes with a compromise if long distance motorway work is the norm.

Nevertheless, the HR-V is smooth and refined and its CVT transmission is up with the best making for a relaxing and easy drive.

There's also a clever air conditioning system which creates a smooth airflow throughout the cabin making for a splendid interior environment.

For most the latest HR-V will tick all the boxes and as the arrival of electrification in our cars speeds up, this is a vehicle that can hold its own as a very practical SUV.

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