Honda HR-V SUV - Interior & comfort
The Honda HR-V has an interior that feels very upmarket and well laid-out
As mentioned in the Engines & Performance section, the Honda HR-V has been designed as a comfortable cruiser rather than a sporty SUV, even if the new Sport trim may be of interest if you want a crossover with a very respectable turn of speed. The Ford Puma and SEAT Arona are more fun to drive but the HR-V is more comfortable and relaxing on the move.
It's a shame, then, to find some of that's lost if you pair the optional CVT automatic gearbox with the petrol engine. This makes the car very noisy when you accelerate, with larger alloy wheels, particularly the 18-inch versions, compounding the problem by adding tyre roar to the relatively noisy engines on offer.
Inside, the Honda HR-V offers pleasant surroundings. Most of the materials feel solid and there are some clever dashboard features. However, if you look hard enough, you’ll find that the top of the dashboard is made of cheaper-feeling plastics, while the fabric inlays on the doors look a little dated and several rivals offer better infotainment systems. The one in the HR-V looks rather low-res and dated compared to others on the market.
Honda HR-V dashboard
It's fair to say that the HR-V has one of the bolder dashboards in the Honda range. There are classy gloss-black inserts in the dash and centre console, while the soft leather on the steering wheel feels great in your hands.
The climate controls are set in a single touch-sensitive panel that looks modern, while the high centre console makes you feel cocooned. Because of that, everything seems well laid-out and within reach – there's no awkward stretching to press a distant button or dial.
The instruments are all clear, with a massive 3D-like speedometer taking centre stage. It's paired with a rev counter and a small driver information screen that shows things like your fuel range and safety notifications. Some may find the black-and-grey colour scheme a bit gloomy, but all in all, the HR-V feels very upmarket inside. The Sport trim gets an eye-catching burgundy dashboard, which brings welcome extra colour.
The HR-V is available in four trim levels: S, SE, Sport and EX. All models come with plenty of equipment, though, with entry-level S coming with automatic LED lights, Bluetooth, automatic city braking, cruise control and climate control.
Step up to SE models for 17-inch alloy wheels, a touchscreen infotainment system called Honda CONNECT with sat nav, the display for the reversing camera and DAB radio, front and rear parking sensors and a driving assistance safety pack. As the name suggests, Sport models have a bodykit and a different interior trim, with performance suspension and half-leather seats thrown in too.
The top-spec EX comes with full heated leather seats, keyless entry and start, a reversing camera and a panoramic glass sunroof.
There aren’t too many options to choose from, perhaps because the HR-V is quite well-equipped anyway. A range of metallic colour finishes is available and we think the dark navy blue looks particularly good. You can also alter the way the HR-V looks with an aerodynamic body styling pack (£1,000), or a front skid plate (£200). A detachable tow bar costs just under £600, while 18-inch alloy wheels come in three styles and cost just shy of £2,000.
The HR-V's infotainment system is organised with tile-like icons that are easy to use and quick in their operation. The sat nav, meanwhile, provides accurate guidance, but the map doesn’t totally fill the screen and the graphics look dated. This means navigating isn’t as clear as it might be, although it does reduce your chances of pressing one of the touch-sensitive buttons around the screen by mistake. Unlike some systems, the HR-V's sat nav doesn’t use the dash screen to give secondary directions, so the interface can feel disjointed.