Honda drivers are a loyal lot – and who can blame them? Will the new Honda HR-V Hybrid carry on the tradition?
Reliability, fuel economy, performance – these have all been Honda’s gifts to their many fans who time and again will replace their much-loved Honda with, yes, another Honda.
And now they have a further option with the recently revamped and beautifully upgraded Honda HR-V.
Previously not known for its great style, the HR-V has now emerged as an elegant and sophisticated SUV with a long bonnet and a coupe rear.
It is lower than before but with bigger wheels and more interior legroom – and, the bit I love best, the most beautiful body-coloured grille. It just looks so right on this car.
And this is not the only magic designers have worked.
By dint of ingenuity and genius, they have managed to put all of the powertrain into the bonnet compartment allowing them to utilise the space left for the greater comfort of the passengers.
Now, the powertrain. This is a hybrid car which can be driven as a fully electric car, in hybrid mode with the 1.5-litre petrol engine and the electric motors working in harmony or in engine mode where the electric kicks in to give the traditional engine a boost – when you are overtaking, for example.
It’s all very clever with the car doing all the brainwork – when to select which method of getting you as efficiently as possible from A to B – although there are driving choices too. You can select from Sport, Econ and Normal depending on just how much fizz you want your drive to be.
There is also an added ‘B’ button on the gear stick to strengthen the regeneration power of this hybrid to the point of almost being able to indulge in one pedal driving which I am becoming more and more drawn to.
The big plus too is that this is not a plug-in so no messing around with cables or looking for a charging point.
The drive itself is positive and extremely comfortable. There was absolutely no roll on corners no matter how fast we took them and the steering reacted beautifully.
Clearly silent electric driving is perfect for town and the HR-V purred along nicely. Raise the revs to motorway driving and it soon settles down into a lovely groove.
It comes with WiFi capability, terrific connectivity with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and plenty of USB connections. The My Honda App+ allows you to stay in control remotely and a digital key permits you to say where and when others can drive it.
There are three trim levels – Elegance, Advance and Advance Style with Elegance expected to be the most popular.
There is a vast array of systems and features in each including Honda’s SENSING driver assistance, Blind Spot monitoring, Adaptive Cruise Control, a wonderful Air Diffuser system specifically created to make the driver and passengers feel better on their journey and of course the new Hill Descent Control which improves grip on steep descents.
It all adds up to a terrific package in a car that has always been a huge favourite in the UK. The new Honda HR-V e:HEV is on forecourts next month where you’ll know it by its lip-smacking grille.
Maggie Barry is an Award winning journalist, she regularly travels in Europe and beyond to test drive cars. A former lecturer in journalism and motoring editor of Media Scotland she has written for and contributed to the Daily Record and Sunday Mail among others. She is on the panel judging the Scottish Car of the Year and Women’s World Car of the Year. She lives near Glasgow with her husband and several cars.
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