Its eye-catching cabin comes packed with plenty of sturdy materials but its touch-sensitive heating controls aren’t as easy to use as conventional knobs and dials
All HR-V models come with some soft, squidgy plastics on the doors and centre console and you get a set of funky touch-sensitive heating and ventilation controls as standard. These look super slick but not having any physical buttons means you’ll have to take your eyes off the road for a second to tweak the settings for the standard climate control.
It’s a similar story with the touchscreen infotainment system you get in SE models and above. It looks pretty sharp but its on-screen buttons and complicated menus make it a real pain to use on the move.
Mid-range SE models also get a leather-trimmed steering wheel and a couple of extra speakers for the standard DAB digital radio but you’ll have to pick a top-spec EX version if you want leather seats and a panoramic glass roof. These seats are heated and very supportive, while the glass roof helps make the Honda’s cabin feel as airy as possible.
Forget rocket science – finding your way around the HR-V’s unfathomable infotainment system is a real test of brain power
Entry-level HR-Vs come with a very basic digital display for the stereo. Its dark blue and black graphics aren’t particularly easy to read but at least you get a physical volume knob and shortcut buttons to help you quickly tweak the stereo volume on the move.
The seven-inch touchscreen system you get in SE models and above comes with plenty more features but it’s much more fiddly to use. The menus are confusing and there aren’t any physical shortcut buttons or volume knobs like you get in a Peugeot 2008.
The screen can be difficult to read in direct sunlight and there are plenty of useless empty menu screens that it tricky to quickly find the features you want.
Thankfully the screen itself is more responsive than the systems you get in either a Peugeot 2008 or Suzuki Vitara, and high-spec SE Navi and EX HR-V models come with a Garmin-based satellite navigation system as standard. It’s not the easiest system to use but gives clear, easy-to-follow directions using colourful (if slightly blocky) graphics.
It’s more annoying because you can’t get Apple CarPlay or Android Auto smartphone mirroring on any HR-V. As a result, there’s no option to use your phone’s sat-nav or music streaming apps through the car’s built-in infotainment system like you can in the CarPlay-compatible Peugeot and Android Auto-friendly Suzuki.
Speaking of music streaming, you may well be disappointed by the sound quality from the HR-V’s standard stereo. Entry-level S models come with a fairly weedy set of four speakers and the upgraded six-speaker system in SE and EX cars isn’t much better.