HR-V Review - NZ Company Vehicle

Damien O’Carroll reviews the Honda HR-V Sport X – and finds it a roomy, practical and stylish SUV.

The Honda HR-V Sport X is one of the newer entrants into the small SUV segment, but it’s quickly established itself as one of the better ones out there at the moment.

Based on the Jazz platform, the HR-V is conventional in most of its mechanical details. Like the Jazz, there are struts up front and a torsion beam in the back, and the engine sits transversely under the bonnet. Also like the Jazz, Honda cleverly tucks the HR-V’s petrol tank under the driver’s seat, where it is surrounded by protective steel plating.

The HR-V is, however, larger than the Jazz, and even taller than a Civic. It is also slightly larger than other cars in the segment.

Belying its 4WD looks, the HR-V Sport X we tested is front-drive only – as are all HR-V models sold currently in New Zealand (watch this space) – and packs a naturally aspirated 105kW/172Nm 1.8-litre i-VTEC petrol engine hooked up to a continuously variable transmission.

Inside the HR-V is typically ergonomic and spacious – as most Hondas are – and nice touches such as the leather arm rests and dash padding, and the chrome highlights, are all classy with the Sport models receiving a panoramic sun roof.

The HR-V’s real point of difference in the segment is at the back, with a capacious boot paired with Honda’s excellent “Magic seats”. Just as clever as they are in the Jazz, the trick rear seats turn an impressive 437 litres of cargo space when fixed in place into 1,032 litres (or an even more impressive 1,462 litres if loaded to the roof).

The HR-V is easily one of the most practical, roomy and stylish vehicles in the segment. Combine this with Honda’s signature excellent build quality delivering a five star ANCAP safety rating and a five year warranty, only adds to the appeal of the company’s newest SUV.