I grew up at a time when Honda made cool cars. There was the exotic NSX, but even mum and dad’s Civics were special – a cut above other Japanese imports. Honda in the nineties was premium, stylish, and aspirational. Mazda studied Honda’s game closely and eventually stole it – leaving Honda’s range of increasingly sensible models behind. But a decade and a half on, the winds of change are blowing, and we’re taking notice. First came this year’s revived NSX, taking to the streets with an electric supercar powertrain. So imagine our delight when the other end of the range – the 2017 Honda HR-V – arrived at our offices looking great, and driving so well you’d swear the Honda of the nineties had never left.
With tight, angular proportions, the HR-V is one of the more attractive small SUVs. It has a comfortable and spacious interior, with particularly good seats, but outdated infotainment lags behind rivals. The Honda is practical; the roomy back seat folds flat or upwards. The boot is 66% larger than the Mazda’s. The stereo is good. A reversing camera is standard.
All models get a 1.8-litre engine which is smooth and frugal in town, but feels stressed when pushed hard. That’s a shame, because the handling is quite sporty. All-wheel-drive is not available; the HR-V is front-wheel-drive only. Services are cheap, and Hondas are reliable. Compared to rivals, the Honda represents good value and depreciation is acceptable.
Most people will be fine with the midrange $27,990 VTi-S. The $33,340 VTi-L adds leather, a sunroof, climate control, and parking sensors. Autonomous safety features are an extra $1,000, paired only with the VTi-L.
Key specs (as tested)
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The estimate provided does not take into account your personal circumstances but is intended to give a general indication of the cost of insurance, in order to obtain a complete quote, please visit www.budgetdirect.com.au. Estimate includes 15%^ online discount.
Budget Direct Insurance arranged by Auto & General Services Pty Ltd ACN 003 617 909(AGS) AFSL 241 411, for and on behalf of the insurer, Auto & General Insurance Company Limited(ABN 42 111 586 353, AFSL 285 571).Because we don’t know your financial needs, we can’t advise you if this insurance will suit you. You should consider your needs and the Product Disclosure Statement before making a decision to buy insurance. Terms and conditions apply.
Indicative quote based on assumptions including postcode , 40 year old male with no offences, licence suspensions or claims in the last 5 years, a NCD Rating 1 and no younger drivers listed. White car, driven up to 10,000kms a year, unfinanced, with no modifications, factory options and/or non-standard accessories, private use only and garaged at night.
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