Nowadays, picking the right small family SUV can be a bit like picking what you want to watch next on Netflix – there are so many choices that seem equally intriguing that you end up wasting the whole evening just browsing. So, does the Honda HR-V stand out from the listings, or is there something better on another channel?
Of course, the HR-V is anything but a newcomer to the small SUV scene; its arrival in the late 90s came just when this kind of car experienced its first flush of popularity. Since then, the HR-V has always been an SUV that focuses on on-road performance rather than putting a Land Rover to shame in the mud. In fact, four-wheel drive isn't available on this car at all.
However, like the original HR-V, it concentrates on giving buyers the style and elevated driving position of a 4x4 rather than real mud-plugging ability. In fact, four-wheel drive isn't available on this car, even as an option. It’s a natural rival to models such as the Mini Countryman, Seat Arona and VW T-Roc, as well as the numerous small SUVs that are rarely specified with four-wheel drive, including the stylish Audi Q2.
The HR-V range is surprisingly simple to understand. There are just four trims to choose from (S, SE, EX and Sport) and three engines: a 1.6-litre diesel, a 1.5-litre petrol and a powerful 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol that is offered exclusively in range-topping Sport models. Opt for a petrol and you can choose between a six-speed manual gearbox or a CVT automatic. Diesel models are manual only.
Read on over the next few pages for in depth impressions of the Honda HR-V, including our recommendations for which trim level and engine to choose. And, if you decide you want to buy one, be sure to check out our New Car Buying page to find out how much you could save.