2,600 km in Honda HR-V, this small hybrid SUV that offers more than you think!

In the small SUV department, some play on their stature to embody both the everyday car and the vacation car, even if it means squeezing a little on the bench seat and reducing the suitcases during the month of August. This is the case of the well-known Peugeot 2008 or Dacia Duster but also of the more discreet Honda HR-V. Renewed in 2021, the Japanese has remained faithful to what already distinguished it from others in the past, namely a stretched template to the maximum of the category. With 4.33 m long – which it tries to conceal with its handles integrated into the rear doors – it indeed measures up to its only French opponent (4.30 m), the Duster playing in another category in terms of price. Fact, the HR-V receives very worthily for a compact vehicle.

Digital detox

The interior of the Honda HR-V is understated and easy to handle.
The interior of the Honda HR-V is understated and easy to handle.© Honda

At the front, first, where driver and passenger benefit from well-designed seats and a dashboard that is as easy to look at as it is to handle. It must be said that after having apprehended the single 9-inch screen placed horizontally, the rest of the controls are managed via a maximum of buttons. A decrease that is also found in the counter since in the middle of a digital display, it is a needle that indicates the speed. In short, this interior will not appeal to geeks. On the other hand, the passengers of the bench enjoy an astonishing legroom. While the wheelbase is identical to that of the 2008, the HR-V does not at all give this feeling of engoncement. What reassure children on long journeys but also adults when it is necessary to travel more than 2 km.

On the downside, the HR-V’s trunk is obviously not the largest in the segment. Devoid of double floor but equipped with a hatch to store dirty objects, do not think of enlarging the capacity so easily. It may be necessary to use the folding bench seat if all the seats are not taken. As in many Hondas, the modularity is excellent and it is indeed the entire bench seat that folds down, forming an extremely practical flat floor..

The sweetness before the perf

The Honda HR-V consumes little fuel.
The Honda HR-V consumes little fuel.© Honda

After having welcomed them well, the HR-V also knows how to take care of its passengers while driving. Not dynamic for two pennies, the Japanese is rather distinguished by its comfort, or the impression that one has… It is almost under-damped, so that after the first crossings smoothly, the stops are sometimes hit speed bumps quickly, without going so fast. In fact, it rather invites a smooth ride, like its hybrid engine. With 131 hp, it provides the necessary performance. You have to put up with a CVT transmission that lets the engine howl during acceleration before finding stabilized speed, but by simulating the gears, the Honda box reduces the inconvenience of hybrids of this kind. Which is in any case compensated by the measured appetite of this small SUV. On our 2,600 km of varied routes, the Japanese was satisfied with an average of 6.4 l/100 km. In town, it is even easy to go below 5 l/100 km. In addition, the small battery of this traction chain allows you to drive a few kilometers in electric while being gentle on the accelerator. The naturally aspirated 4-cylinder 1.5 often plays the role of generator for this “battery”, it drives the wheels only during strong accelerations.

Conclusion

If we do not necessarily think of him when eyeing small SUVs, the Honda HR-V is certainly one of the most versatile of them. Thanks to excellent habitability, an unfussy presentation and a beautiful sobriety, it ensures in all uses.. For those who do not put the pleasure of driving at the forefront of their imperatives, it is worth the detour.