HR-V 1.5 Turbo Sport
are compact SUVs and then there is Hondas
HR-V, which has a special magic
all of its own...
ONE OF THE LATEST GENERATION Honda five-door, five-seating HR-V compact SUVs
can be yours from £20K, or you could spend more and drive a top-spec 1.5 Turbo
Sport. If that sounds good then read on….
Honda has made it especially easy to configure your HR-V. There are just four
trim levels to pick from along with a trio of engines: a 1.5-litre i-VTEC petrol
with 128bhp or a zingy 1.5 Turbo with 179bhp (kidnapped from the Civic Sport),
and a fuel-stretching 1.6 i-DTEC turbodiesel. If you prefer to have your gears
shifted for you and you're going with petrol then you can opt for a CVT autobox
a stepped 7-speed CVT that mimics a torque converter automatic. The diesel
can only be had with the manual six-speeder and, despite the SUV persona, HR-V
models are all two-wheel drive (but nevertheless perfectly 'grippy').
of SUV looks, these latest HR-Vs definitely make a confident statement with
their sporty lines and sports-coupe styling a look further enhanced by
the well camouflaged rear door handles (spoiler: they're integrated into the
C-pillars), sculptured door skins and side panels and matt-black 18-inch lightweight
aboard and youll
find yourself in a
spacious and smartly
finished cabin that
majors on a bespoke
black and wine-red
theme with sports-style
seats upholstered in soft
leather with silky-feel,
In fact, there are acres
of leather not just on
the seat bolstering but
also on the headrests,
dash, centre console,
and armrests and it all
feels decidedly racy
with plenty of feel-good
The glossy black honeycomb grille is flanked by full LED projector-style headlights
with LED daytime running lights while further accentuating the rorty-sporty,
hunkered-down look are pronounced wheelarches, unique dark chrome and high-gloss
black garnishing, privacy glass from the B-pillars back, LED taillights and
Climb aboard and you'll find yourself in a spacious and smartly finished cabin
that majors on a bespoke black and wine-red theme with sports-style seats upholstered
in soft leather with silky-feel, scrunched-effect fabric centre panels (actually
very nice to sit on!).
In fact, there are acres of leather not just on the seat bolstering but
also covering the headrests, dash, centre console, and the central and outer
armrests. It all feels decidedly racy and while there's plenty of feel-good
on show, there's also heaps of practicality behind the tactile ambiance. Plus
that touch of magic we mentioned earlier in the shape of Honda's famous Magic
rear seats a USP that easily trumps other compact SUVs for sheer versatility.
The eye-catching two-tone seats hold you in all the right places and ensure,
on the driver's side, a commanding driving position boosted by A1 visibility
in all directions. There's a fist of headroom, shoulder support is particularly
good as too is the bolstering which is very effective without being so firm
that getting out is a struggle. The steering-wheel is a fab little number; great-looking
and great to use and very multifunctional with remote controls for everything
from voice and the driver's information display to phone and cruise. The dials
are simple and crystal clear and wherever you look, quality is noticeably upscale;
the trim satisfying to touch and fit and finish top-rate.
Comms, now rated as equally important by buyers as performance and economy,
are up to expectations with Honda's Connect and a 7-inch infotainment touchscreen
set in the central fascia. The display can be customised to suit individual
preferences so users can make the system their own. Navigating through menus
is a doddle and the built-in SatNav (with the posted speed limit shown on the
mapping) is a foolproof, fully-integrated Garmin system so thankfully
none of the cost-cutting that means having to use your smartphone as a substitute).
is suitably served by a DAB radio/CD with a 180-watt six-speaker set-up. Smartphone
linkage is straightforward via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto while connectivity
is comprehensive with Bluetooth, internet browsing, HDMI and 2 x USB jacks.
Plus you'll also find a number of apps with many more available to download
from the Honda App Centre. Pre-installed is Aha (for access to thousands of
audio stations covering music, news, podcasts and audio books).
packaging, the HR-Vs
is epitomised by the
so-called Magic Seat
system. Both of the
60:40-split second row
seats can be rearranged
in various configurations
independent of each
that trumps all other
compact SUVs for
In-cabin storage is designed to cope with a family-volume of odds and ends with
bottle-holding door bins, a deep, multi-configurable box between the front seats
with large cupholders, a sliding centre armrest that covers another storage
bin, and a nifty 'hidden' cave hollowed out beneath the forward central console
with various connectivity jacks that's conveniently accessed from both the driver's
and front passenger's sides.
is pretty all-inclusive on the top-tier Sport with, in addition to all items
mentioned elsewhere, very efficient dual-zone climate control (the full-width
air-vents on the passenger's side of the dash are a welcome feature), auto lights
and wipes, auto-dimming rearview mirror, front and rear parking sensors, wide-view
rear parking camera, electric parking brake with auto-hold function, electric
windows (all one-shot-op), powerfolding heated door mirrors (on demand), two-stage
heated front seats, ally pedal set, height-adjustable front seatbelts, tinted
glass up front with privacy glass to the rear, all LED lighting and not forgetting
the two-tone leather and fancy alloys that are specific to the Turbo Sport model.
Safety features both active and passive are equally comprehensive
with a full suite of airbags and curtain airbags, City Brake Active, Blind Spot
Information, Hill Start Assist, Agile Handling Assist, Vehicle Stability Assist,
Cross Traffic Monitor, road sign recognition, and tyre pressure monitoring.
Added to that is Honda Sensing which adds Collision Mitigation Braking with
Pedestrian Detection, Forward Collision Warning, intelligent Cruise Control
with Cut-in Prediction, intelligent Speed Limiter, Lane Departure Warning with
Road Departure Mitigation, and automatic high beam switching for maximum night-time
visibility without dazzling other road-users.
abundant interior space isn't just reserved for the driver and his front passenger;
there's also plenty left over in the rear cabin where travellers enjoy loads
of knee, leg and foot room topped off by a full fist of headroom. A wide centre
armrest complemented by long padded outer armrests, well-padded seat cushions
and backrests set at a comfy angle will keep grown-ups feeling very much at
in the engine
bay of the Sport is a rev-
happy 1.5-litre four-pot.
Maximum power comes
in at a respectable
179bhp backed up by a
muscular 177lb ft of
torque all easily
accessible courtesy of
The 134mph top speed
is more than adequate
whether you drive on
the left or on the
the 0-62mph sprint
is done and dusted in
a sharp 7.8 seconds...
Expected essentials such as big storage pouches on the front seatbacks, bottle-holding
door pockets, a cupholder and 12-volt power socket are all present and correct.
Usefully, there's quite a bit of informal room beneath the seat bases for stowing
things. Long, deep side windows also provide fine views out for those occupying
the airy rear cabin.
with clever and space-efficient packaging, the HR-V's über-versatile interior
is epitomised by Honda's so-called Magic Seat system. Both of the 60:40-split
second row seats can be rearranged in various configurations independent of
each other. One option is to flip up the seat squabs to the vertical position
(just like a cinema seat) where they lock against the backrests to create an
extra-deep cargo section behind the front seats while maintaining separation
from the boot and allowing quite tall items to be transported in the rear cabin.
Or you can fold the seatbacks but unlike other brands' seats they drop
lower into the rear passenger footwell as they fold down, forming a long, level
and seamless 1.8-metre loadbay floor and consequently taller-than-normal cargo
area. Last but not least, the front passenger seatback can be folded down flat
and, with the rear backrest behind it also folded down, items upto 2.445-metres
can be carried. If all that's not rather 'magical' then I'll eat my hat (more
palatable than dying in a ditch!).
in the engine bay of the Sport is a rev-happy 1.5-litre four-pot. Maximum power
comes in at a respectable 179bhp backed up by a muscular 177lb ft of torque
all easily accessible courtesy of a clean-changing gearchange. The 134mph
top speed is more than adequate whether you drive on the left or on the Continental
right; the 0-62mph sprint is done and dusted in a sharp 7.8 seconds. Whatever
your driving style, the responsive and torquey 1.5 turboed powerplant delivers
plenty of shove low-down as well as decently eager in-gear pick-up for lazy
down hard on the loud pedal and make full use of the revs and the noise is pretty
good; hints of hot hatch but without the look-at-me decibels. When you're pootling
around town the drivetrain is agreeably laid-back, while cruising down motorways
the engine is muted showcasing the Sport's mile-eating abilities.
you would expect given the compact SUV
branding, the HR-V rides high but that doesnt
cramp its roadholding or handling thanks to
grip and Hondas
Agile Handling Assist
dampers that provide
variable damping without
costly electronic control,
fun to be had
through the twisties
where slow-in and fast-
out is both doable and
is, of course, an Eco mode but unless you're not happy (we were) with the official
combined average of 47.9mpg, then you might prefer to enjoy the performance
to the full by leaving it switched off. Our hard-week's driving (without pushing
the green Eco button) saw real-life consumption of 46.7mpg; regular drivers
should do better!
you would expect given the 'compact SUV' branding, the HR-V rides high but that
doesn't cramp its roadholding or handling thanks to strong grip and Honda's
Agile Handling Assist with performance dampers that provide variable damping
without costly electronic control, there's fun to be had through the twisties
where slow-in and fast-out is both doable and enjoyable. And all while keeping
the ride favourable. Aided and abetted by 225/50-profile Michelin tyres, the
suspension mops up most bumps and, in cityscapes especially, its ride is noticeably
more forgiving than that of similar-sized rival SUVs.
addition to the multi-configurable Magic Seats, load-lugging is up to par for
the class with a deep and regular-shaped 448-litre boot that transforms into
a 1,473-litre loadbay when the rear backrests are tumbled forward. Loading and
unloading is a doddle courtesy of the HR-V's knee-height loading sill and wide
tailgate opening. There's extra space for overspill items in the large luggage
box located under the lift-up boot floor panels. And if you're up for a spot
of towing, then the auto version will haul a braked 1,400kg.
The HR-V's sporty styling cloaks a versatile and competent five-seater that's
equally convincing as family transport as it for those who rate an active lifestyle.
Those who want pleasure from their driving will also find that you can definitely
hustle in an HR-V! ~ MotorBar
Honda HR-V 1.5 Turbo Sport
Maximum speed: 134mph | 0-62mph: 7.8 seconds | Test Average: 46.7mpg
Power: 179bhp | Torque: 177lb ft | CO2: 135g/km