With its svelte body, sleek curves and coupe line of its roof tapering towards the tail, the new HR-V is a looker, which isn’t always true of this kind of car.
It’s a proper five-seater, with an almost flat centre floor where the middle passenger’s feet need to go, and that’s a blessing because it means no protruding transmission tunnel getting in the way of comfort. The ‘Magic Seats’ fold flat to extend the boot space, or the bases can be raised, in the style of cinema seats, to carry unusually tall items that won’t fit into most cars.
Honda engines are well known for their technical excellence and efficiency, and the HR-V comes with a choice of two great engines – a 1.5 litre petrol and 1.6 litre diesel. The gearbox is a six-speed manual, and there is also a CVT auto, which unlike most of its type gives you the feel of gear shifts as it does its work.
This car is everything you expect of a well-engineered Honda, brisk and civilised, with nicely weighted steering and a feeling of poised, purposeful behaviour. The gear change is slick, the ride quality cushioned, the handling calm and crisp, and the car’s build quality has a reassuringly solid feel.