What is the Honda HR-V like inside?
Honda’s small SUV has a deserved reputation for its versatility. The rear “magic seats” still flip up and stow flat to accommodate a surprising amount of cargo. That said, the cargo area is down on the previous model.
Up front, the seats are typically supportive and the driving position itself is more than acceptable.
The upper door trims have a semi-soft finish, though the rest of the finishes are harder than you’d expect at this price point.
The nine-inch infotainment system supports wireless Apple CarPlay (wired Android Auto), digital audio and satellite navigation. The resolution is far from the best in this segment, but the response times are OK.
There are a pair of USB ports up front, but the Vi-X doesn’t have USB support for those in the rear, or air vents.
On the flip side, the air vents on either edge of the dash can be configured to directly emit air, or disperse that flow across the full width. It is an appreciated feature normally reserved for European vehicles.
Cargo capacity is 304 litres with the back seats up, extending to 1,274 litres with the seats down.
There is a tyre repair kit in lieu of a spare tyre, but the under-floor area has a series of depressions to accommodate small items away from prying eyes.
Honda is refreshingly honest in stating the HR-V is a four-seat vehicle: the centre rear slot is raised and not going to deal with a human posterior.
Credit to the company for admitting what many of their rivals deny.
What’s under the Honda HR-V’s bonnet?
A 1.5-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine packs a modest 89kW and 145Nm.
That does the job in a city environment where owners typically aren’t depressing the accelerator beyond 50 per cent.
It isn’t nearly as convincing in rural areas, especially those that involve hills, where the Honda can struggle to accelerate at a convincing rate. The light weight helps offset this phenomenon, but it can’t overcome it.
Part of the issue is the perception: the continuously variably transmission drones at a constant engine speed when under load. It’s about as much fun as listening to the kids’ arguing.
Is the Honda HR-V efficient?
Honda claimed a combined fuel consumption of 5.8 litres over 100km; or an urban figure of 6.8 litres/100km.
That’s reasonably frugal, especially compared to the hybrid version, which has a claimed combined use of 4.3 litres/100km yet costs another $8,000.
Short answer is the VI-X is the better value proposition, though it lacks some of the advanced safety features and amenities the hybrid brings to the party.