Home   News   Kent Motors news   Article

Honda HR-V 1.5i-MMD Advance Style e-CVT

This week I am taking a look at the all-new HR-V which, as has been the case since its introduction way back in the nineties, returns with a bold new look that shares nothing with its predecessor other than the Honda badges and the HR-V name.

It looks good too, with a bluff front end that’s remarkably imposing for a small family SUV, and a lower roofline and sloping rear windscreen that gives it a sporty, coupe-like profile. The lines are clean, unfussy and the crisp shoulder line is aimed at creating a sense of forward momentum while an increase in the wheel and tyre-to-body ratio gives the HR-V a more planted, confident stance.


This is a car, then, certainly has the looks to compete in an increasingly competitive market. In this segment alone the HR-V’s rivals include the hugely popular Nissan Qashqai, the sporty Seat Ateca and the almost flawless Skoda Karoq.

It’s proportions, which place it at the smaller end of its class, also mean it faces competition from the Ford Puma and Volkswagen T-Roc.

So how does it stack up against these, and other, rivals? Let’s find out.

Like a proper SUV should be, the seating position is high, so you get a commanding view of the road. The seat, the steering wheel and the pedals all line up nicely and there’s enough adjustment in the first two to ensure that finding a comfortable driving position should be straightforward. The only glaring omission is the absence of adjustable lumbar support.

You get a good view out thanks to generous glass areas and big door mirrors.

2021 Honda HR-V e:HEV (59609913)
2021 Honda HR-V e:HEV (59609913)

There are lots of plush, tactile, soft-touch materials in use around the cabin and it all feels very securely bolted, glued and screwed together. The dashboard has a clean and contemporary and, even with the inclusion of (very welcome) analogue controls for the air con, looks uncluttered. All the controls are well placed and feel reassuringly pleasant to operate.

All HR-Vs feature a seven-inch digital driver’s display in the instrument binnacle and a nine-inch touchscreen atop the dashboard. The touchscreen – which you cab also find in the Jazz – isn’t as intuitive nor as responsive as you might expect but the inclusion of wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard quickly dissipates any disappointment.

There’s plenty of room for heads, legs and elbows in the front of the HR-V and, in the back, even taller passengers will have little complaint about the amount of legroom on offer. What will be less welcome is, for anyone six feet above, is the lack of headroom. Don’t be surprised if you spend the entire journey regretting the top-knot.

2021 Honda HR-V e:HEV (59609877)
2021 Honda HR-V e:HEV (59609877)

It’s worse still if you draw the short straw and end up squeezed onto the middle seat. It’s narrow base is a fair bit higher than the outer ones so the problem is exacerbated. The truth is that, while the capacity to carry five is there, the HR-V is best suited to accommodating just the four passengers, particularly on longer journeys.

The boot is disappointing. Most models offer 319 litres of space but that drops to just 304 in the top-of-the-range Advance Style because the upgraded sound system occupies one of the side storage compartments. To put that in perspective, the Karoq has a 521-litre boot.

Where the HR-V does regain some ground on the opposition is with the inclusion of Honda’s magic seats, which fold flat and have bases that fold up like cinema seats. There’s no option to remove the seats completely but the process of transforming the interior of the HR-V couldn’t be easier.

21YM Honda HR-V e:HEV (59609869)
21YM Honda HR-V e:HEV (59609869)

Despite the mild coupe styling you shouldn’t expect handling to match. The suspension in the HR-V is quite soft so it’s not particularly agile, especially when you factor in the high centre of gravity. There’s a split second delay between turning the wheel, the car’s mass shifting on its spring, and then finally adjusting its trajectory. The steering is accurate, though, with a nice weight, and that soft suspension set-up means that it glides along smoothly on longer journeys without ever feeling too floaty. You will hear the occasional thud from the suspension penetrating the cabin space, however.

There’s no all-wheel drive version of the HR-V, the hybrid set-up sends power to the front wheels only, so don’t imagine yourself embarking on any off-road adventures. The 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine is the same as you’ll find in the Jazz but it, and the two motors is works alongside, output a total of 129bhp, which is slightly up on what you’ll find in the smaller car.

2021 Honda HR-V e:HEV (59609881)
2021 Honda HR-V e:HEV (59609881)

As with other hybrids, when you start the car you’re operating on electric power alone, so moving away is done in total silence. That all changes, and not for the better, when you put your foot down. The CVT gearbox allows the revs to climb rapidly and keeps them there until you ease the pressure on the accelerator.

The engine note is coarse and you can feel the vibrations through the steering wheel and pedals when you have to accelerate hard, to join the main carriageway on a motorway, for example.

What you do get, though, is excellent fuel economy and, because the HR-V is a cable-free hybrid – the engine keeps the battery topped up – you don’t have to worry about plugging it in overnight.

It automatically switches between the engine and electric motors depending on what’s required. In urban areas you’ll find yourself pottering around in silence most of the time as the car leans on its batteries for propulsion, while on faster roads both power supplies will be called upon.

Honda HR-V 1.5i-MMD Advance Style e-CVT

Price: £33,835

Engine: 1.5l 4-cylinder petrol

Transmission: e-CVT

As tested: £34,460

Max power (engine): 107PS

Max torque (engine): 131Nm

Max power (motor): 131PS

Max torque (motor): 243Nm

Max speed: 106mph

0-62mph: 10.7sec

Urban (mpg): 91.1

Extra urban(mpg) : 58.9

Economy (combined mpg): 67.3

Emissions (combined g/km): 96

For more information visit www.honda.co.uk

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More