Parkers overall rating: 3.9 out of 5 3.9

Where Nissan offers two crossovers in the form of the Juke (4.1m long) and Qashqai (4.3m), Renault has the Captur (4.1m) and Kadjar (4.4m) and Peugeot the 2008 (4.2m) and 3008 (4.4m), the HR-V sits almost bang in the middle of rival manufacturers’ ranges at just under 4.3m long.

What is evident is that despite being physically shorter than the popular Nissan Qashqai, which dominates sales in this segment, four passengers will enjoy significantly more space for heads, knees and elbows in the Honda HR-V.

In the back, passengers are treated to a very generous amount of head and legroom – even the panoramic sunroof doesn’t eat into space too much, although taller passengers will struggle for headroom slightly thanks to that coupe-like roofline.

While the Honda’s a fine work of packaging, it’s not all great news for the HR-V – particularly as its cabin feels a touch narrow, meaning whoever’s relegated to the centre rear seat position isn’t going to enjoy their journey as much, particularly if they’re squeezed between two child seats.

The good news is that there’s almost a completely flat floor across the back, so these middle-seat passengers won’t feel the pinch in legroom like they would in something like a Qashqai.

When you see how much stuff can be squeezed into its compact exterior dimensions, however, you’ll be impressed with Honda HR-V practicality levels.

The 470-litre boot with the seats up is probably the most impressive part of the HR-V’s practicality, beating the idiosyncratic Nissan Qashqai (430 litres) but losing out to the 472-litre Renault Kadjar. Access is wide and square and the loading lip is low, meaning it’s incredibly easy to fit larger items in with ease.

The rear seats also fold completely flat, serving up a 1,533-litre space in the HR-V, trumping the Cactus’ 1,170 litres and Kadjar’s 1,478 litres, but losing out to the Qashqai by 52 litres.

Honda HR-V magic seats

You also have the option to flip the rear seat squabs up like a cinema seat if you need to carry taller items upright. Named Magic seats, these allow you to carry taller items, such as plants, immediately behind the front seats. It’s a feature already seen on other Hondas that’s so effective you wonder why more rivals haven’t followed suit. This space can be so useful, that you can negate having to use the boot a lot of the time if only a couple of you are travelling.

While marketing people will have you believe this is the perfect car for those types with impossibly active lifestyles – it can accommodate a surfboard inside the car to prove it – most people will use them for school runs and because the higher seating position makes them easier to get in and out of.

Honda HR-V boot with buggy

Elsewhere around the cabin are a useful number of storage bins and cubbies, while the 12V socket and USB ports are hidden away in a separate cubby by your knees, which means you avoid leaving any trailing cables around the gearlever. They’re a bit awkward to access on the move, but leave a cable in there and it’s a neat touch.

Safety

When crashed in laboratory conditions by the experts at Euro NCAP, the Honda HR-V safety was awarded the full five stars in 2015.

The breadth of safety equipment which came as standard across the range was impressive at the time, but newer rivals have superseded the HR-V when it comes to the latest safety tech.

Whichever specification of Honda HR-V you choose, it comes equipped with six airbags – driver, front passenger, front seat sides and window curtains – as well as all manner of technology we’ve come to expect, such as electronic stability software and ISOFIX child seat mountings in the outer rear seat positions.

Even the entry-level S specification HR-V comes with City-Brake Active System, designed to avoid or mitigate low speed accidents typically associated with urban stop/start journeys.

Choose an SE grade or higher model and you’ll find a raft of additional equipment grouped together under Honda’s Driver Assistance Safety Systems umbrella.

Forward Collision Warning works in conjunction with the City-Brake system actively warning you if the car senses there’s going to be a frontal impact you hadn’t noticed was impending. Also keeping you safe is the Lane Departure Warning system, alerting you if you stray across the white lines without flashing an indicator to signal your intentions.

Working together are Traffic Sign Recognition System and the Intelligent Speed Assist package. The former ‘reads’ speed signs while the limiter function will automatically – but gradually – lower or raise your predetermined speed limit to reflect the legal conditions.

Automatic headlights are complemented by an automatic main beam function for night driving, while Cross Traffic Monitor operates on conjunction with the rear parking sensors, warning you if you reverse out of a space while traffic’s approaching from the side.

Basic equipment

The basic equipment list includes equipment that is standard across all versions of the Honda HR-V.

  • 3x3 point rear seat belts
  • ABS
  • Alarm
  • Alloy wheels
  • Audio remote
  • Body coloured bumpers
  • CD
  • Cruise control
  • Driver`s airbag
  • Electric mirrors
  • Folding rear seats
  • Front electric windows
  • Heated mirrors
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Isofix child seat anchor points
  • PAS
  • Passenger`s airbag
  • Rear electric windows
  • Side airbags
  • Steering wheel rake adjustment
  • Steering wheel reach adjustment
  • Traction control

Equipment by trim level

To view equipment options for a specific trim level, please select from the following list:

Equipment included on some trim levels
  • Climate control
  • Cloth seat trim
  • Electric sunroof
  • Front fog lights
  • Heated seats
  • Leather seat trim
  • Lumbar support
  • Parking sensors
  • Partial leather seat trim
  • Remote locking
  • Roof rails
  • Sat Nav
  • Service indicator

Black Edition equipment

Black Edition standard equipment
  • Front fog lights
  • Leather seat trim
  • Parking sensors
  • Remote locking
Black Edition optional equipment
  • Cloth seat trim
  • Heated seats
  • Lumbar support
  • Roof rails
  • Sat Nav
  • Service indicator

EX equipment

EX standard equipment
  • Heated seats
  • Leather seat trim
  • Parking sensors
  • Roof rails
  • Sat Nav
  • Service indicator
EX optional equipment
  • Electric sunroof
  • Front fog lights
  • Remote locking

S equipment

S standard equipment
  • Climate control
  • Cloth seat trim
  • Remote locking
  • Service indicator
S optional equipment
None available

SE equipment

SE standard equipment
  • Cloth seat trim
  • Front fog lights
  • Parking sensors
  • Remote locking
  • Service indicator
SE optional equipment
  • Sat Nav

SE Navi equipment

SE Navi standard equipment
  • Cloth seat trim
  • Front fog lights
  • Parking sensors
  • Remote locking
  • Sat Nav
  • Service indicator
SE Navi optional equipment
None available

Sport equipment

Sport standard equipment
  • Heated seats
  • Parking sensors
  • Partial leather seat trim
  • Remote locking
  • Sat Nav
  • Service indicator
Sport optional equipment
None available

Euro NCAP Rating – 5 stars

The Honda HR-V was tested by Euro NCAP in 2015 and was awarded a 5 star overall rating. This overall rating is calculated from the following individual ratings:

5 star rating
Test 2015
Individual safety ratings
Adult Occupant: 86%
Child Occupant: 79%
Vulnerable Road Users: 72%
Safety Assist: 71%

Euro NCAP provides motoring consumers with a realistic and independent assessment of the safety performance of some of the most popular cars sold in Europe. The safety ratings are determined from a series of vehicle tests, designed and carried out by Euro NCAP. These tests represent, in a simplified way, important real life accident scenarios that could result in injured or killed car occupants or other road users.