Honda HR V: HEV – Is It the Best Hybrid SUV? Click Here to Find Out!

If there is an expected model within a brand like May water, that is the Honda HR-V e:HEV . This is the third generation of the Japanese compact SUV, which introduces a radical change compared to its predecessor and clearly looks to the future. It sits on a new platform and will only be available in conventional hybrid format, bearing the DGT ECO label. This Hi-Revolutionary Vehicle (hence the HR-V gets its name) is a clear example of Honda’s commitment to electrification that reaches our market for a price that starts at 30,500 euros.

To put ourselves in context, we must make it clear that this model is one of the oldest of the brand. It was presented in 1998 and its sales began in Spain just at the turn of the century, with that peculiar crossover that was closer to the off-road concept due to its shapes. With the second generation, a more complete and restrained product was made, managing to increase its sales volume considerably. This third installment serves Honda to accelerate its total electrification process, which was scheduled for 2025 and arrives this year.

Honda HR V Review/Feedback

Honda HR V Exterior

The Honda HR-V at its birth was conceived as a B-SUV before this segment was created. But over time its dimensions have grown to position itself as a full-fledged compact SUV. It sits on a new platform, although that has hardly affected its dimensions. It remains with a length of 4,340 mm, with a width of 1,790 mm and a height of 1,582 mm. The wheelbase goes up to 2,610 mm.

Although it is its design that manages to captivate due to its level of originality. Especially at the front, where we see that striking integrated grille in the same color as the bodywork. Although it is true that it can be ordered in black so that it does not have that effect, it loses a certain essence. The headlights are aligned with the chrome strip above the grille and feature a narrow design and LED technology. In general terms, we see very clean lines and regular shapes, the most marked would be the tire overhangs.

They serve to accommodate the 18-inch wheels as standard (and in all finishes), which are enhanced by those wheel arches and underbody in black. That strategy is carried out to enhance its crossover figure, as does the 188mm body height. Of course, here only the roof bars appear in the top finish of the range, in the rest, they remain a bit decaffeinated. Although for personal taste, the Honda HR-V is better without that element.

The rear of the new model is also striking. Not because of its roof spoiler or because of the small rear window, rather because of what crosses the central area of ​​the gate. We have LED taillights joined by an illuminated strip that converges on the Honda logo, something that gives it a lot of personality and is reminiscent of models like the Porsche Cayenne. The lower part receives a silver bumper that hides the exhaust outlet.

Honda HR V Interior

Inside we also find a new and personal design. What stands out most at first glance is the 9-inch touch screen that is in the center of the dashboard in a raised position. It has a hand rest to make it easier to operate and not take too much attention away from driving. It also has a number of advanced features, including navigation with real-time traffic information, plus connectivity with Android Auto (wired) and Apple CarPlay wirelessly.

In addition, with the MyHonda+ app, you can open and close the doors, send routes, set a geofence, maximum speed, and have a digital key on up to 5 mobile phones. This screen is not the only one we see in the Honda HR-V passenger compartment, since the instrumentation is mixed and also has a 7-inch LCD screen that is used to display information of all kinds. It is very legible and easy to read, while it is controlled from the multifunction steering wheel to see details of the onboard computer and even energy flows.

It is appreciated that it maintains the analog climate controls , with the great novelty of the air diffusers with a “curtain mode” to circulate on the side. Another detail to highlight from the driving position of this new Honda HR-V is the improvement in visibility that we notice. It’s achieved thanks to that sculpted-forward front end with a flattering hood shape and an A-pillar that’s pushed back. The habitability in the front seats is generous, as are numerous storage compartments.

Although probably the aspect that stands out the most is the good execution of this interior . The quality is clearly above the segment average thanks to the solid finishes, which give a feeling of robustness and durability. The touch of the materials is also pleasant, highlighting the padding in the dashboard area or the upholstery itself. There is no weak point nor is the handy Piano Black used that tarnishes other interiors from the competition.

When we jump into the second row of seats in the Honda HR-V, the feeling is very positive. The access is comfortable and the available space very generous. The gap for the legs is above average (they gain 35 mm) and the head gap is consistent with what is distilled in the C-SUV segment. As usual, the central square lacks shape and has a transmission tunnel. The air outlets are kept in this area and also a small hole for objects.

However, the differential point of this brand in general and of this model, in particular, are the Honda Magic Seats, that function that has been available for years and that consists of folding these seats in a vertical position in a simple and easy way. Two parts. In this way, the space that remains is very generous and even allows you to mount a bike.

Honda HR V Trunk

If the rear seats stood out for good, the trunk of the Honda HR-V does not do so much. It has 335 liters of capacity, a figure that is below the average for the segment and that is far from other models that exceed 500 liters. Luckily, it benefits from very regular shapes that are achieved thanks to the new position of the fuel tank, which goes just below the front seats, instead of in the rear area.

Some benefits also appear, such as the lighting on this surface or the small hole under the floor. When the rear seats are folded down in two parts (60:40) we are left with a completely flat surface, without any type of step. Also a total length of 1,900 mm to the front seats (in their most forward position) and up to 1,305 liters of capacity.

Honda HR V Equipment

As usually happens in the Japanese brand, the Honda HR-V is available in three different trim levels and its endowment is very complete as standard. Suffice it to say that it starts with an Elegance finish that already has 18-inch wheels, LED headlights and taillights, smart opening and starting, heated exterior mirrors, heated front seats, Magic Seats rear seats, front and rear parking sensors, rearview camera, Honda Connect with a 9-inch screen, Garmin navigation and connectivity with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto or regenerative brake paddles.

All Honda Sensing technologies are also standard, a long list of driving aids including the impact prevention and mitigation system, cruise control with Stop&Go function, lane departure warning system, lane-keeping, impact mitigation by throttle control, automatic high beams or traffic sign recognition, and intelligent and adjustable speed limiter.

That’s for whoever opts for the more basic Honda HR-V, but whoever wants to complete the above can go for the Advance trim. I would add details such as the blind spot information system with cross traffic alert, heated leather steering wheel, photosensitive interior mirror, electric tailgate, two rear USB ports, LED front fog lights, or dual climate control. That is precisely the one that mounted the unit we tested.

Above would be the top of the range, which is the Advance Style. In this case, it is aesthetically distinguished by the two-tone bodywork, the roof rails, and the grille with tricolor bands. It also has active LED turning lights, automatic headlight adjustment, orange interior details, Premium Audio system, or a wireless charging surface.

Honda HR V Motor

As we anticipated at the beginning of the test, the Honda HR-V will only be available in a single version. This is the e: HEV, which uses a conventional hybrid propulsion system that allows it to obtain the ECO label from the DGT. The base is similar to what we already see in other models such as the Honda Jazz, but some details have been improved. Honda’s intention is to prioritize electricity absolutely and they seem to achieve it with this very logical and efficient approach.

Under the hood, we find a 1.5-liter Atkinson cycle gasoline engine that has 79 kW of power. Also a new water-cooled power control unit. Finally, there are two electric motors, a generator and an impeller that achieves a power of 131 hp and 253 Nm of torque. In the rear part, a battery with an approximate capacity of 1 kWh is installed, which has 60 cells, leaving behind the Jazz that remained at 48 cells. The interaction between the components of this system is the key to the new Honda HR-V e: HEV.

Honda HR V Behavior

Because when we get behind the wheel of this copy, the truth is that it makes everything very easy for us. Although hardly noticeable, it will be operating in three different driving modes that are automatically and intelligently selected, depending on what is most efficient at any given time and without the user having to do anything. They are the following:

  • EV: the 100% electric mode in which the wheels move solely using the energy stored in the battery
  • Hybrid: the gasoline engine acts as a power generator, which passes both to the battery and to power the electric motor, which is what moves the wheels.
  • Engine: the gasoline engine is separated from the electric motor and the battery to start moving the wheels.

This approach can be somewhat difficult to understand on paper, but it only takes a few kilometers to see how this Honda HR-V performs. The brand does not want purely electric autonomy, but rather that the wheels move thanks to electricity a high percentage of the time or the distance traveled. In fact, we verified that in urban environments it is very easy to move in EV between traffic lights and retentions thanks to the energy that we are accumulating in the battery.

When we leave this environment, the Hybrid model is the most repeated, since we hear the gasoline engine running in a dim way, but only to generate energy that the electric one will take advantage of. In fact, looking at the energy flow that we have in the onboard computer, the Engine mode is practically relegated to those motorway moments in which we circulate at high cruises of 100-120 km / h. If we want to get the most out of it, curiously, it will also work in Hybrid mode with the combustion block turning at a higher speed.

After quite an extensive contact around Seville with this Honda HR-V e: HEV, it is clear to us that its consumption can be ridiculous. Homologates 5.4 l/100km, but if you drive through the city and with favorable orography it is easy to stay below. In my case, the average was 5.8 l/100km without doing efficient driving or looking for it. And even though our unit was filming (it had less than 500 kilometers on the odometer), colleagues with more well-trodden cars lowered that mark by almost a liter.

When we have spent hours with it, it is fun and effective to play with the cams to increase or decrease the retention and, therefore, the regeneration of energy. This area is also key to achieving good consumption with the hybrid. And it’s not just that the hybrid HR-V is efficient, it also has other considerable advantages in the dynamic section. It transmits much more than most SUVs thanks to a faster and more direct direction, which could be another of the car’s strengths perfectly.

Compared to its predecessor, there is an improvement in the suspension and in the rigidity of the bodywork, something that translates into reduced friction and greater driving comfort. The balanced moron seeks to be a suitable car for any situation and unpretentious on a day-to-day basis. It could even be further customized thanks to Eco, Normal, and Sport driving modes. It slightly changes the energy delivery, although we cannot ask the model for much sportsmanship. And that is quite light for a hybrid since it weighs between 1,380 and 1,400 kg.

Although Honda has already said that by 2030 they want 40% of their sales to be from electric cars (80% in 2035 and 100% in 2040), they are also realistic and know that they have to provide intermediate solutions. Hence, the new Honda HR-V e: HEV is a very balanced model due to its hybrid system, which is one of the most intelligent and refined that we can find on the market today. In fact, it is a somewhat undervalued car if we take into account values ​​such as its aesthetics, its technology, or its generous interior space.

One drawback would be the limitation of having a single variant in its mechanical range. On the other hand, it must be stated that its price is somewhat above the average of its rivals, but it is balanced considering the complete equipment that comes as standard. Part of 30,500 euros, although there is an interesting offer for the Advance finish, which with financing with the brand and discounts stays at 31,000 euros. You can also find something more reduced in, the reference mobility provider.

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