Honda resurrects the HR-V name
The new HR-V crossover promises to be one of Honda's sales stars in 2016 - if the company can get enough to satisfy demand from the Irish market that is.
What is it?
The HR-V is Honda's new crossover model, but it's not that easy to pigeonhole in the market as it's a little smaller and cheaper than the likes of the Nissan Qashqai, yet undoubtedly more of car than say the Nissan Juke. Prices start at €23,995 for the 1.5-litre petrol version or €25,995 for the 1.6-litre diesel tested here. The latter is in Band A3 (€190 a year at the time of writing) and is also incredibly economical. Perhaps the closest rival to the HR-V is Mazda's equally-new CX-3.
What is it like?
This is an attractive looking car inside and out. The cabin in particular shines with high quality materials and switchgear, plus an easy-to-use touchscreen infotainment system. The HR-V obtained the full five-star result in the EuroNCAP safety tests, including 86 per cent for adult occupant protection. Even the entry-level SE version is fitted with City-Brake Active. To drive, the HR-V is better than average, with good steering and a great gearchange in particular. It's not especially fast, but that's hardly the point in this segment of the market.
Carzone verdict: 4/5
Rivals for the HR-V don't immediately come to mind. It's less expensive (and smaller) than the best-selling crossovers such as the Hyundai Tucson, Nissan Qashqai, Kia Sportage and Ford Kuga, but it's far more substantial than the junior crossovers such as the Nissan Juke, Renault Captur and Ford EcoSport. The Mazda CX-3 is very close in concept, yet also cheaper to buy. In fact, the HR-V is bang on the same money as the Skoda Yeti, a car we're big fans of. The HR-V feels more modern, but doesn't come with a four-wheel drive option.