2021 Honda HR-V Review

5/5

Overview

The HR-V first hit the showrooms way back in 1999 when it was launched as a three-door SUV. Its replacement arrives nine years after the old model ended, comes as a five-door and arrives in a market where the term crossover has long since become commonplace. Stylish and smart, it’s available with either petrol or diesel engines, the option of a CVT gearbox and with four trim levels to choose from.

Pros
  • Typical Honda practicality and reliability
  • Fuel efficient engines
  • Generous interior space
  • Grippy handling
Cons
  • Exterior styling won’t be to everyone’s liking

Exterior

The 2021 models will see only minor changes, with Sport models of the HR-V receiving a new wheel design and window tint on the rear windows. This is no bad thing as the HR-V’s quirky appearance belies an extremely practical interior. 

Interior

The interior is deceptively sophisticated. If you opt for SE trim or above you get a 7-inch touchscreen plus a touch sensitive heating pane and clear instrumentation as part of the dash layout. It’s all rather dark, but the quality and layout are more upmarket than anything else in this class. And the packaging is something else. Rear space is positively generous, the 453-litre boot is well above average and it has borrowed Honda’s Magic Seating from the Jazz. It might have a coupe’s roofline, but it’s genuinely practical.

Performance

The little gearlever is a delight to use – you’d need to have a very good reason indeed to spend the extra on the unpleasant CVT automatic instead. The HR-V is a touch stodgier to drive than we hoped, not quite as light and nimble as it perhaps ought to be, but the weighted steering and level ride does help make it feel secure. Would be nice if the ride had a bit more give in it though. Given the smoothness and refinement of the diesel CR-V, we had expected great things from its little brother, but while the 1.6-litre diesel is not exactly punchy and energetic it is very efficient.

Reliability

Honda’s recent reliability record is excellent and all new models come with a three year /100,000 km warranty.

Running Costs

Running costs for the HR-V are extremely competitive with a claimed figure of 70.6 miles per gallon for the diesel. Real-world figures are difficult to estimate at present but we predict you will easily be able to get north of 50 miles per gallon. While the MPG figures aren’t as exciting for the petrol they are still good and it is cheaper to buy. 

Handling

The HR-V is based upon the Honda Fit hatchback and this is reflected in the grippy and eager handling. It is most at home when cruising on a level road or motorway when it settles nicely into an even ride.

Safety

The 2021 Honda HR-V comes with a wide range of standard safety equipment and we expect it to score highly on Euro NCAP safety rating. 

Summary

Exterior
80%
Interior
90%
Performance
80%
Reliability
90%
Running Costs
90%
Handling
80%
Safety
100%

The HR-V first hit the showrooms way back in 1999 when it was launched as a three-door SUV. Its replacement arrives nine years after the old model ended, comes as a five-door and arrives in a market where the term crossover has long since become commonplace. Stylish and smart, it’s available with either petrol or diesel engines, the option of a CVT gearbox and with four trim levels to choose from.