Its looks might not appeal to everyone but the Honda HR-V’s high-quality cabin and practical boot make it an appealing choice for small families looking for something a bit different
The Honda HR-V is a small family SUV with a stylish interior and a big boot. It also comes with lots of handy features to help make your life that bit easier.
Neither the Suzuki Vitara nor the Peugeot 2008 feel quite as upmarket inside as the more-expensive Honda. Sure, there are a few cheap plastics way up on the HR-V’s dashboard but the surfaces you regularly touch feel soft and its neat touch-sensitive heating controls look great.
Unfortunately, the Honda’s lack of physical buttons for the temperature means you’ll spend plenty of time prodding the rather confusing seven-inch touchscreen when you should be concentrating on driving. If it’s an intuitive infotainment system you’re after, the Suzuki Vitara is a better bet.
Fortunately, the Honda’s seats are supportive and spacious and you get a great view out thanks to its large windows. Carrying three adults in the back isn’t quite as comfortable as in the boxy Suzuki Vitara but there’s just enough space for two six-footers to stretch out. Fitting a bulky child seat’s relatively easy, too.
Where the HR-V really shines is when you need to carry loads of luggage – its boot is far bigger than the Peugeot’s and Suzuki’s and comes with a massive underfloor storage bin. Flip the rear seats down and it’s flat floor makes loading heavy items dead easy, too.
The HR-V is a jacked up, more practical alternative to a conventional small family car but its funky left-field styling might not appeal to everyone
You can get the Honda with either a petrol or a diesel engine. Pick the 1.5-litre petrol if you do lots of city driving or the 1.6-litre diesel if you cover many motorway miles. Whichever model you pick, you’ll want to avoid the noisy automatic gearbox – it’s more expensive than the standard manual, and blunts acceleration.
Even with a manual gearbox the HR-V’s more relaxing to drive than the Suzuki and Peugeot. Its suspension’s a little bumpy at slow speeds but it settles down at motorway speeds.
All HR-V’s get cruise control to help make long drives less stressful and all models come with automatic emergency braking – that’ll try to stop the car if it senses an obstacle ahead – as standard. The latter helped the HR-V earn a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating in 2015.
If safety’s high on your list of priorities then, the HR-V’s well worth considering. It’s a funky looking small SUV with lots of boot space but is let down by a rather frustrating infotainment system.
You can read more in-depth info on the Honda HR-V in the interior, practicality, driving and specifications sections of our review over the following pages. Or, if you just want to see how much you can save on an HR-V, simply click through to our Deals page.