Honda HR-V long-term test: report 7

Our sub-editor wants a car that takes all the effort and much of the expense out of his extremely long daily commute – can the hybrid Honda HR-V SUV deliver?...

Honda HR-V 2022 long-term equestrian

The car Honda HR-V 1.5i-MMD Advance Style e-CVT Run by Chris Haining, sub-editor

Why it’s here To find out if a petrol hybrid can be the answer for somebody who covers long distances and wants to keep costs down

Needs to Effortlessly shrug off motorway trips while sipping petrol, be able to handle rough tracks, carry bulky loads 

Mileage 10,325 List price £33,850 Target Price £33,088 Price as tested £34,660 Test economy 53.8mpg Official economy 67.3mpg

11 July 2022 – Don't spare the horses

Let's talk about acceleration. My Honda HR-V isn’t quick in outright terms. In the industry yardstick 0-62mph test, it strolls over the line in a leisurely 10.7sec; the cheapest Ford Puma gets there almost a full second earlier. However, I'm not sure that matters, because the HR-V makes an extremely strong account of itself in a far less broadly discussed increment – the pivotal 0-7mph sprint.

Honda HR-V 2022 long-term multi-storey

This is the burst of immediate acceleration that you need if, say, you’re in the wrong lane at the traffic lights. When you need to step off the line before anybody else so you can reposition yourself. Of course, taking advantage of it requires lightning fast reaction times – you need to floor the accelerator the very millisecond the lights turn green. But, thanks to its dual electric motors, instant power is there on demand, and the HR-V takes off like a scalded cat, right up to, well, a moderate jogging pace.

In urban stop-start traffic, that’s a real help. In fact, it’s in such environs that the HR-V really feels at home. It’s in its element when I visit my local sprawling metropolis (Colchester), where the electric side of its hybrid system does the lion’s share of the work. When exceeding 20mph is a rare treat, petrol power only gets a look-in when the battery needs topping up, and on flat roads it can be a good couple of miles before that's necessary.

Honda HR-V 2022 long-term farm

It’s a shame that the vast bulk of the miles that my HR-V has clocked up thus far have been on the M25, where electric power plays very much a supporting role. While the car’s current average of 53.8mpg is immensely impressive, that figure would surely be even higher if it spent more time cooped up in the city. I daresay the official figure of 67.3mpg leans more heavily on the electric side of things than I have been able to so far.

Out in the countryside, meanwhile, there's seldom much need to be so quick away from a standstill or, indeed, to sprint to 60mph, but the HR-V's hybrid system does provide me with entertainment – I enjoy challenging myself to drive to the supermarket on battery alone. If I'm gentle enough with my right foot, it's perfectly doable. Unfortunately, the return trip is uphill, so it's petrol power all the way. 

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