In-depth reviews

Honda HR-V SUV review

"The Honda HR-V has evolved into a hybrid-only SUV with smooth styling but it's a shame boot space has shrunk"

Carbuyer Rating

3.8 out of 5

Pros

  • Easy to live with
  • Cheap to run
  • Infotainment

Cons

  • Small boot
  • Sluggish
  • Coarse petrol engine

​The Honda HR-V is a small SUV that’s come in for big changes for this latest generation, both in terms of how it looks and how it drives. A full hybrid setup is now the only choice, just as with the smaller Honda Jazz, making the HR-V a clean and easy-to-drive option.

Top 10 best small SUVs 2022

It goes head-to-head with hybrids like the Toyota C-HR and Renault Captur E-Tech Hybrid, while the Ford Puma, Nissan Juke and Skoda Kamiq are rivals with more traditional engine options. It's a busy, trendy part of the market, with virtually every manufacturer offering a strong contender as a result.

The HR-V’s exterior styling ticks the right boxes, with sturdy looks and a coupe-SUV roofline to help set the car apart. It also takes Honda in a new direction, with cleaner shapes and softer angles than the outgoing Honda Civic. An upright, slotted grille and flat bonnet helps give the HR-V the tough looks many buyers want. We think it looks smarter than the previous-generation HR-V, even if you could argue the looks are conservative.

The interior is fairly minimalist but Honda has retained physical controls for the air-conditioning, which is positive, as it makes the system easier to use on the move. The nine-inch infotainment setup is also a big improvement over the old HR-V's system, with more attractive looks and improved connectivity, including Android Auto and wireless Apple CarPlay

More reviews

Storing the hybrid battery pack under the boot has ensured tall occupants can get comfortable inside but this approach has also eaten into boot space. Measuring just 319 litres behind the back seats, room in the boot is disappointing and is easily beaten by that in the Nissan Juke. In fact, nearly all its rivals have bigger load spaces. At least Honda's ‘Magic Seats’ mean the middle of the car offers some flexible storage space.

Being a hybrid not only affects practicality, but also the price, which has risen. It’s still possible to buy a car of this size for under £20,000, but the HR-V starts on the wrong side of £25,000, and ultimately our UK drive has revealed that it doesn’t stand out in enough areas to feel like good value.

The e:HEV hybrid system is shared with the Honda Jazz, albeit it has a bigger battery in the HR-V. The system uses a 1.5-litre petrol engine and two electric motors, giving 129bhp and up to 52.3mpg. Acceleration from 0-62mph takes 10.6 seconds and in some situations the HR-V can feel underpowered but it's efficient and at its best around town. Here, its neat handling is also perfectly adequate, without matching the Puma. 

We're fans of Honda's new exterior and interior design, with much improved infotainment and cleaner lines. Build quality is a high point and the hybrid powertrain is likely to prove cost-effective to run. It doesn't feel quite as well suited to the bigger HR-V though, performing better in the Jazz, and the small boot is off-putting.  

Recommended

Fiat 500X SUV review
Fiat 500X driving
Fiat 500X
18 May 2022

Fiat 500X SUV review

Lexus UX SUV review
Lexus UX SUV
Lexus UX
16 May 2022

Lexus UX SUV review

2023 BMW XM: latest details and prototype drive
BMW Concept XM
BMW
15 May 2022

2023 BMW XM: latest details and prototype drive

New Honda ZR-V SUV coming in 2023
New Honda hybrid SUV
Honda
10 May 2022

New Honda ZR-V SUV coming in 2023

Have You Considered

Ford Kuga SUV review
Ford Kuga Titanium
Ford Kuga
18 May 2022

Ford Kuga SUV review

Used Kia Sportage review: 2016 to 2021 (Mk4)
Kia Sportage SUV front 3/4 tracking
Kia Sportage SUV
12 Apr 2022

Used Kia Sportage review: 2016 to 2021 (Mk4)

Most Popular

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022
Nissan Leaf front
Best cars
3 May 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022

Best new car deals 2022: this week’s top car offers
Honda CR-V deal
Deals
13 May 2022

Best new car deals 2022: this week’s top car offers

It’s here: all-new Range Rover Sport unveiled
Sport 1
Range Rover Sport
10 May 2022

It’s here: all-new Range Rover Sport unveiled

More on HR-V

Show me:
Honda HR-V: old vs new
Honda HR-V - old vs new
Honda HR-V
27 Dec 2021

Honda HR-V: old vs new

The Honda HR-V is a reliable, easy to live with small SUV - does the new hybrid model improve on the formula?
New 2021 Honda HR-V: prices and specifications announced
2021 Honda HR-V
Honda HR-V
2 Aug 2021

New 2021 Honda HR-V: prices and specifications announced

New Honda HR-V hybrid SUV is on sale now for £26,960 and gets a fresh look, updated technology and a 129bhp dual-motor hybrid powertrain
Honda HR-V SUV review (2015-2020)
Honda HR-V SUV review
Honda HR-V SUV
20 Oct 2020

Honda HR-V SUV review (2015-2020)

“The Honda HR-V is a spacious crossover with a stylish exterior and plenty of equipment inside”
Top 3 used small SUVs for £10,000
Honda HR-V SUV
29 May 2020

Top 3 used small SUVs for £10,000

“Dear Carbuyer, I want a small SUV that’s easy to get in and out of. What would you recommend for £10,000?”
Honda HR-V Sport 2019: price, specification and release date
Honda HR-V Sport front
Honda HR-V
25 Feb 2019

Honda HR-V Sport 2019: price, specification and release date

New 180bhp Honda HR-V Sport can do 0-62mph in 7.8 seconds
The biggest car news of 2015
Honda HR-V SUV
29 Dec 2015

The biggest car news of 2015

2015 brought scandal, innovation and more new car launches. We look back at the most popular stories of the year.

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
23 Mar 2022

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
5 Nov 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Car buying
17 May 2022

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
23 Jul 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2022
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022
Ioniq 5
Best cars
25 Apr 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022
Nissan Leaf front
Best cars
3 May 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022
Audi RS 3 driving - front view
Hot hatches
3 Feb 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022