Honda HR-V Advance

e-CVT

Honda HR-V, 2022, side
Honda HR-V, 2022, nose
Honda HR-V, 2022, rear
Honda HR-V, 2022, interior
Honda HR-V, 2022, display screen
Honda HR-V, 2022, boot

NICE as it is, buying a new car can often be fraught with difficulty.

You've decided what model to spend your hard-earned cash on but then there's the question of what spec do you go for?

Is it worth spending the extra money for a model with all the bells and whistles or will you be satisfied with the more basic one, leaving a little extra in your bank account?

Buyers opting for one of the new Honda HR-V models face this dilemma as the latest, vastly improved version of this popular SUV comes in three different guises, and three different price brackets.

There's the entry level Elegance model, the middle-of-the-range Advance spec and the flagship Advance Style. And the price difference between entry level and flagship is a not unsubstantial £5,440.

Whichever one you opt for, however, you will find the new look HR-V is totally different to its predecessor and comes with a vastly improved ride and much better handling.

The differences between the three price level cars comes down purely to looks, comfort and convenience as all three have exactly the same powertrain, a 1.5-litre petrol engine working in partnership with two electric motors mated to a CVT automatic gearbox.

It's a self-charging hybrid which means a self-contained unit which for much of the time runs purely on electric power with the battery being charged by the engine alone. So never any need to plug in and never any range anxiety often experienced by full electric cars owners.

Elegance models may be the cheapest but still come well equipped, with features like keyless entry, heated front seats and a rear-view camera.

Step up to Advance spec for an extra £2,370 and you add a powered tailgate, heated steering wheel, heated windscreen and more safety features like blind spot monitoring and cross traffic alert to warn you of oncoming cars as you back out of a parking space.

Make the £3,070 leap to Advance Style and you add roof rails, contrasting roof and body colours, a premium audio system, a wireless charger, smoked rear lights and extra exterior styling features.

On the inside too there's a nice bright, two-tone theme and a trendy look with striped seats.

Visually the new HR-V has a far more imposing and upright front end than its predecessor, with a striking grille and muscular haunches.

At the same time it has coupe-like styling thanks in part to the disguised handles on the rear doors, making it look like a two-door at first glance.

Step inside and, like Dr Who's Tardis, the HR-V has far more space than it would appear from the outside.

Rear seat passengers have an abundance of leg room, helped by the fact that the front seats have plenty of space beneath them allowing those in the back to stretch their legs.

And on the subject of seats the HR-V comes with Honda's magic seats - first introduced on the Honda Jazz - which fold up like cinema seats - allowing you to load in large items across the width of the car.

On the road the HR-V is impressively quiet and not just when running on electric. Put your right foot down hard and the decibel levels do rise as the motor cuts in under pressure but it's never intrusive.

And if you want that extra zip you can just alter the driving mode to Sport - when the dials turn red - to liven up the action.

It's not designed as a hot hatch, but it is lively and more importantly it's a genuinely nice car to drive and one that soaks up the miles, cosseting you from the outside world.

FAST FACTS

Honda HR-V Advance e-CVT

Price: £34,850

Mechanical: 131bhp, 1,498cc, 4cyl petrol engine plus two electric motors driving front wheels via automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 106 mph

0-62mph: 10.7 secs

Combined MPG: 52.3

Insurance Group: 31

C02 emissions: 122 g/km

Bik rating: 29%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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