No other vehicle class is growing as rapidly as the crossover SUV segment. Many of the industry's biggest names have grown their line-ups to include a compact off-roader, and Honda is the latest to introduce a rivalling vehicle. The new HR-V is on sale now and it borrows a model name last seen in 1999 on an estate/hatchback hybrid.
The latest-generation HR-V is very different from the car that launched in the late '90s. It is based on the same platform as the incoming new Jazz supermini which makes it longer than Nissan's Juke. It has the interior space to match a much larger vehicle as well, which is a major selling point in the segment. Premium materials adorn every surface in the cabin with touches of luxury added by the leather steering wheel.
On the outside Honda has crafted a sporty body that sits high above the road. The curving window and high roofline give it the look of a coupé, which is enhanced by the hidden rear door handles.
The Japanese manufacturer has equipped the HR-V generously as standard to help it remain competitive in this increasingly crowded class. The entry-level version boasts Bluetooth, cruise control, front and rear parking sensors and climate control. Further up the range there's a sophisticated Garmin satellite navigation system too.
All of this style and technology isn't without function – the HR-V is a smooth rider and returns excellent fuel economy at the same time.
There are two engines to choose from, starting with the 130PS 1.5-litre i-VTEC petrol. The alternative 1.6-litre i-DTEC diesel produces 120PS and returns 68.9mpg at its most efficient. Meanwhile, light and responsive steering means the HR-V is a joy to drive.
Auto Express has already test driven the HR-V and claims that it is the “finest-riding car in the crossover class". You can find this out for yourself by booking a test drive from your local Johnsons Honda dealership today.