The latest addition to the Carscoops’ fleet is a brand-new EU-spec Honda HR-V e:HEV. The smallest SUV offering in Honda’s European range will stay with us for a week, and we intend to drive it inside and outside the city in order to see how well it stacks up against the competition in the crowded B-SUV segment, and how much better does it feel compared to the mechanically-related Jazz.
The HR-V is a weird case amongst SUVs. While it is a global nameplate, the recently revealed US-spec model is different from the ones sold in other markets. In fact, the US-spec HR-V will be offered in Europe and Japan with the ZR-V name, while the global HR-V / Vezel won’t be crossing the Atlantic.
Back to the HR-V we are testing this week, it comes with the e:HEV badge which means it is a proper hybrid. This is the only powertrain option in Europe where Honda has already electrified its entire lineup ditching pure ICE once and for all.
Under the bonnet of the HR-V lies a naturally aspirated 1.5-liter i-VTEC four-cylinder engine that is working together with two electric motors, for a combined output of 129 hp (96 kW / 131 PS) and 253 Nm (187 lb-ft) of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels, with the electric motors doing most of the work, thanks to the large lithium-ion battery. The driver has access to three driving programs (Econ, Normal, Sport), prioritizing fuel efficiency or performance according to the conditions. The third-gen HR-V is only available with an eCVT gearbox so we must forget about the lovely manual of the previous generation.
Honda is pretty generous with the equipment, offering plenty of standard kit. Our car is the mid-range Advance trim that comes with 18-inch wheels, LED headlights/taillights, a 9-inch touchscreen for the infotainment, navigation, rear-view camera, dual-zone air-conditioning, heated seats with fabric/leather upholstery, front/rear parking sensors, plus an array of ADAS including Adaptive Cruise Control.
More importantly, the HR-V gets the signature Magic Seats at the back, which means you can either flip them upright creating a 335 lt (11.8 cubic feet) space for large items, or fold them flat, transforming the HR-V into a van. For those who are wondering, the luggage space of the HR-V is a massive 987 lt (34.9 cubic feet) in a five-seater configuration, and can reach 1,305 lt (46.1 cubic feet) if you fold the rear bench. All these in a vehicle that measures 4,340 mm (170.9 inches) long, 1,790 mm (70.5 inches) wide, and 1,582 mm (62.3 inches) tall, with a wheelbase of 2,610 mm (102.8 inches).
Feel free to write your questions about the HR-V e:HEV and we will make sure we answer all of them in a separate article, besides the full review of the electrified SUV that is coming soon. Also, let us know if you prefer the design of the EU-spec model compared to the one sold in the US.