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Honda HR-V 2022 review

The 2022 HR-V is offered in two forms, with the e:HEV L (pictured) priced at $45,000 driveaway.
EXPERT RATING
8.1
The Honda Australia of today is not the Honda you remember – the brand is doing business differently these days with an agency sales model and is happy bowing out of top-10 contention. However, that doesn’t mean Honda is no longer offering interesting products, like this new-gen HR-V e:HEV L.

You might also be interested in the Toyota C-HR

image of Toyota C-HR

Honda Australia has gone through a bit of a transformation in recent years, shedding its top-10 sales ambitions for a new approach that focuses on slimming down the range with high-spec grades.

The first new-gen model to launch with that approach was last year’s Civic, but it’s the latest launch, the HR-V, which might make or break Honda’s new strategy.

And that’s because the HR-V is a small SUV – playing a space dominated by Toyota, Mazda and Kia – that also offers up a so-hot-right-now hybrid powertrain for the first time in Australia.

No doubt, the HR-V will prove more popular than the Civic in sales as the market shifts preferences, but is it any good?

This is all you need to know about the 2022 Honda HR-V.

Honda HR-V 2022: E:hev L
Safety rating
Engine Type1.5L
Fuel TypeRegular Unleaded Petrol
Fuel Efficiency4.3L/100km
Seating4 seats
Price from$45,000

Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?   8/10

You might be shocked to see the new-generation HR-V kicks off with the Vi X grade for $36,700 driveaway, while this top-spec e:HEV L is positioned at $45,000.

With the previous-generation car kicking off from $31,300 and topping out at $41,000, it would seem like the new HR-V has jumped up quite substantially in price, right?

Well, Honda Australia’s new strategy is to slim down the range, and offer a few, highly-specified grades that it knows are more popular than others, hence the number of options for the HR-V going from five to just two.

The HR-V range is made up of two variants; the Vi X and eHEV L. The HR-V range is made up of two variants; the Vi X and eHEV L.

Also keep in mind that these are driveaway, no-more-to-pay prices, whereas its rivals, like the Toyota C-HR, Mazda CX-30 and Kia Niro that all start at around $30,000, are quoted before on-road costs.

Once you do the math, you’ll find the cost of all these small SUVs to be surprisingly close.

Honda Australia has tried to offset the increased pricing with a boat load of equipment though, with standard features that include automatic headlights, 18-inch alloy wheels, fabric interior, LED daytime running lights, rear privacy glass, push-button start and a 7.0-inch drive display.

There's a 7.0-inch drive display. (Vi X variant pictured) There's a 7.0-inch drive display. (Vi X variant pictured)

Handling multimedia duties is a 9.0-inch touchscreen that allows for wireless Apple CarPlay. Unfortunately, for Android users, you’ll need a cable to make use of Android Auto.

The multimedia set-up in the base car also features satellite navigation, but there are only four speakers throughout the cabin.

Inside is a 9.0-inch touchscreen. (image credit: Tung Nguyen) Inside is a 9.0-inch touchscreen. (image credit: Tung Nguyen)

Stepping up to the more expensive e:HEV L nets buyers a powered tailgate, heated steering wheel, leather-accented cabin, automatic wipers, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, active cornering lights and an extra two speakers to better pump the tunes.

Of course, it’s the hybrid powertrain that makes the top-spec HR-V jump up so much in price, but we’ll go into more detail about this in the powertrain section of this review.

The eHEV L scores a leather-accented cabin. (image credit: Tung Nguyen) The eHEV L scores a leather-accented cabin. (image credit: Tung Nguyen)

While the equipment list is long and extensive for the Vi X, there are some notable omissions on the top-spec e:HEV L that make its $45,000 pricetag a bit harder to swallow.

Namely, where are the cooled seats, wireless smartphone charger, head-up display, sunroof and electronic seat adjustment?

Browsing the optional extras, at least one of these things can be added in, but the wireless phone-charger kit will add another $640 to the pricetag. Come on, Honda!

Is there anything interesting about its design?   9/10

If you close your eyes for a second and think of the best-looking Hondas of all time, I bet the likes of the first-generation NSX, S2000 and two-door Integra come to mind.

And while this new HR-V design doesn’t quite match the heights of Honda in the 90s, it’s certainly a significant step in the right direction compared to the car it replaces.

  • The HR-V's design doesn’t quite match the heights of Honda in the 90s. (Vi X variant pictured) The HR-V's design doesn’t quite match the heights of Honda in the 90s. (Vi X variant pictured)
  • The HR-V look like it could be from the future. (Vi X variant pictured) The HR-V look like it could be from the future. (Vi X variant pictured)

Gone is the slightly derivative styling and pudgy proportions, replaced with a much more taut, muscular and confident body.

The new grille design is of particular note, as it melds the intakes with the bumper and, when combined with the sleek headlights, makes the HR-V look like it could be from the future.

  • The long bonnet, short overhangs and sloping window line give this Honda a particularly athletic appearance. (image credit: Tung Nguyen) The long bonnet, short overhangs and sloping window line give this Honda a particularly athletic appearance. (image credit: Tung Nguyen)
  • The bootlid spoiler is also a nice touch. (image credit: Tung Nguyen) The bootlid spoiler is also a nice touch. (image credit: Tung Nguyen)

From the side, the new HR-V retains the hidden door handles of its predecessor, which pays homage to the three-door SUV shape available in the first-generation car.

The long bonnet, short overhangs and sloping window line also give this Honda a particularly athletic appearance, while the 18-inch wheels are also just about big enough to fill the arches, and feature an interesting enough design.

Both variants wear 18-inch alloy wheels. (image credit: Tung Nguyen) Both variants wear 18-inch alloy wheels. (image credit: Tung Nguyen)

The rear end is dominated by the latest automotive design trend of connected tail-lights, but the relatively flat bootlid and clean aesthetic give the HR-V a really modern look.

The bootlid spoiler is also a nice touch, while this car’s contrasting kick plate adds to the illusion of its off-road credentials.

Inside, the HR-V also adopts a cleaner aesthetic – much like its Civic sibling – centred on a large 9.0-inch central touchscreen multimedia system, which thankfully features a physical volume control knob.

The HR-V's interior has great fit and finish. (Vi X variant pictured) The HR-V's interior has great fit and finish. (Vi X variant pictured)

There are some cool design touches here too, like air vent switches with settings for open, close and diffusion, and touch-operated roof lights.

The best part of the interior, however, is fit, finish and feel. All the touch points are soft and there’s just a solid weight to everything. It’s probably no coincidence that all new Australian HR-Vs are now sourced from Japan.

To us, the new HR-V is a stunner. The styling is more mature and confident than before, and between this and the new-gen Civic, Honda’s design department seems to have rediscovered its mojo.

How practical is the space inside?   6/10

From the outside, aside from the styling, the 2022 Honda HR-V doesn’t seem like its changed all that much – it’s still a practical five-door small SUV, right?

And from the front seat, the new HR-V paints a very familiar picture.

There is plenty of room for the driver and front passenger, the seats have plenty of adjustability, and there’s storage for your water bottle, wallet and phone.

There’s even an underarm storage cubby that’s deep enough for you to lose some spare change or throw a charging cable or two into.

The seats have plenty of adjustability. (image credit: Tung Nguyen) The seats have plenty of adjustability. (image credit: Tung Nguyen)

However, from the second row, the story really starts to change – especially compared with the outgoing model.

Whereas the old HR-V was classed as a five-seater, the 2022 version has seating for only four.

This is due to the middle ‘seat’ fouling Australia’s unique design rules for what can be classified as a seat, and does not have a seat belt.

How much would you’d actually use the middle seat if there was a seat belt there? That’s for you to decide, but it’s certainly a deal-breaker for some families.

Regardless, the two outboard seats offer heaps of leg- and shoulder-room, and our head can just about squeeze in comfortably without hitting the roof.

There are only two seats in the back of the new HR-V. (image credit: Tung Nguyen) There are only two seats in the back of the new HR-V. (image credit: Tung Nguyen)

It’s certainly comfortable enough, and there’s a bottle holder in the door and air vents here to keep you comfortable, while the lack of centre seat means second-row passengers can have a full-time armrest with extra cupholders.

There’s also USB ports and backseat map pockets with a handy phone sling, so you don’t have to go reaching all the way down to get your mobile.

One saving grace for the rear seats, however, is the inclusion of Honda’s versatile ‘Magic Seats’, which allows you to fold the base of the rear seats up to accommodate taller objects like house plants.

Honda's "Magic Seats" have carried over into the new HR-V. (Vi X variant pictured) Honda's "Magic Seats" have carried over into the new HR-V. (Vi X variant pictured)

The rear seats can also fold flat, creating a 1274 litre boot space, which measures just 304L with the rear seats upright.

  • With the rear seats in place, boot space is rated at 304 litres. (image credit: Tung Nguyen) With the rear seats in place, boot space is rated at 304 litres. (image credit: Tung Nguyen)
  • Folding the rear seats flat increases cargo capacity to 1274 litres. (image credit: Tung Nguyen) Folding the rear seats flat increases cargo capacity to 1274 litres. (image credit: Tung Nguyen)

This makes the 2022 HR-V’s boot smaller than the outgoing model, which could accommodate about 100-130 litres more, and even smaller than rivals like the Toyota C-HR and Mazda CX-30.

In fact, so small is the new HR-V’s boot, it’s even smaller than the Jazz light hatchback that was discontinued in 2020 – so don’t expect to see this small HR-V hauling timber from Bunnings or flat-packed furniture from Ikea.

What are the key stats for the engine and transmission?   7/10

Under the bonnet of the HR-V e:HEV L you’ll find a 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, but Honda has also thrown in two electric motors to make this car a hybrid.

In total, there is 96kW of power and 253Nm of torque available, making it competitive against its rivals for potency, but the bigger benefit of this hybrid set-up is in its lower fuel consumption figure.

The 1.5-litre four-cylinder hybrid produces 96kW/253Nm. (image credit: Tung Nguyen) The 1.5-litre four-cylinder hybrid produces 96kW/253Nm. (image credit: Tung Nguyen)

Meanwhile, the Vi X forgoes the electric motors and is powered exclusively by a 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine.

The entry-level HR-V manages to muster up 89kW of power and 145Nm of torque – and if that sounds a little underpowered, it’s because it is.

The base 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine 89kW/145Nm. (Vi X variant pictured) The base 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine 89kW/145Nm. (Vi X variant pictured)

Compared to rivals like the Toyota C-HR and Mazda CX-30, the cheapest HR-V is well down on power and torque as all its competitors make use of larger engines or a turbocharger for a bit more grunt.

Whichever HR-V engine you end up with, both are paired to a continuously variable transmission that sends drive to the front wheels.

How much fuel does it consume?   10/10

Officially this HR-V e:HEV L will return a fuel consumption figure of just 4.3 litres per 100km, helped by its petrol-electric hybrid powertrain.

This figure not only beats out the petrol-only Mazda CX-30 line-up, but also matches the Toyota C-HR Hybrid for frugality.

In our time with the HR-V e:HEV L, we actually managed to match the 4.3L/100km claim with a healthy mix of inner-city and freeway driving.

Very rarely do fuel consumption claims translate to a real-world setting, so it's heartening to see that the Honda HR-V living up to what’s promised on the box.

The petrol-only Vi X meanwhile, wears an official fuel consumption figure of 5.8L/100km, but having not yet driven that car, we cannot comment on the accuracy of that claim.

What safety equipment is fitted? What safety rating?   7/10

Each third-generation HR-V comes fitted as standard with Honda’s Sensing suite of driver-assist technologies.

This means advanced driver assist technologies like autonomous emergency braking, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, a reversing camera, traffic sign recognition and lane departure warning are included.

However, buyers will need to step up to the e:HEV L grade for rear cross-traffic alert and blind-spot monitoring – two features that should really be included across the range, especially because some rivals, like the Mazda CX-30 and Toyota CH-R include them as standard.

At the time of filming, Honda’s new HR-V is yet to be tested by ANCAP, but Euro NCAP has handed it a four-star crash-test rating.

While scoring a respectable 82 per cent in the adult occupant protection test, the HR-V scored less in the child occupant, vulnerable road user and safety assist categories.

While a four-star rating certainly doesn’t make the new HR-V unsafe for you and your family, it lags behind the five-star safety of rivals, such as the Mazda CX-30 and Toyota C-HR.

Warranty & Safety Rating

Basic Warranty

5 years / unlimited km warranty

ANCAP Safety Rating

ANCAP logo

What does it cost to own? What warranty is offered?   9/10

Like all new Hondas sold in Australia in 2022, the HR-V comes with a five-year/unlimited kilometre warranty.

Scheduled service intervals are every 12 months or 10,000km, whichever occurs first, which is a bit less mileage than the industry standard of 12 months/15,000km.

However, all of Honda’s vehicles now fall under its ‘5 Low Price Services’ scheme, which means each service for the first five years will only cost $125.

This means that the first five years of ownership should only set buyers back $625 – and this price applies to the hybrid and non-hybrid engine of the HR-V.

What’s even better, however, is that this makes the 2022 HR-V cheaper to maintain than the CX-30, C-HR and Niro.

What's it like to drive?   9/10

How do you think a small SUV should drive on the road? To us, I want something that is easy to use with great visibility and a minimal number of rattles and squeaks.

And this Honda HR-V absolutely delivers.

The HR-V is genuinely fun to pilot. (eHEV L variant pictured) The HR-V is genuinely fun to pilot. (eHEV L variant pictured)

Let’s start with the powertrain. On paper this HR-V e:HEV L’s outputs are nothing to write home about, but out in the real world, there is plenty of gusto to come off the line briskly.

Don’t get us wrong, it’s not going to blow away hot hatches or even most turbocharged cars, but accelerating up to 60km/h isn’t an exercise in testing your patience.

The HR-V can get a bit revvy and harsh. ( Vi X variant pictured) The HR-V can get a bit revvy and harsh. ( Vi X variant pictured)

The powertrain is also a smart one, able to switch EV, hybrid and engine mode depending on what is required in any given situation.

The switchover from EV to petrol power is also smooth and seamless, there’s no jerkiness or clunkiness here, it all just works exactly how, and when, you want it to.

The steering is very nicely weighted. (Vi X variant pictured) The steering is very nicely weighted. (Vi X variant pictured)

In fact, if you had your music pumping at head-bobbing levels, we’d wager you wouldn’t even know whether the petrol engine or electric motors were at work, save for the ‘EV’ indicator light on the instrumentation.

The CVT in this HR-V also does a fairly decent job, and for the most part fades into background of the driving experience – which is a good thing.

The hybrid has plenty of gusto to come off the line briskly. (e HEV L variant pictured) The hybrid has plenty of gusto to come off the line briskly. (e HEV L variant pictured)

When flat-footing it, the HR-V does get a bit revvy and harsh, but for the most part, and especially during inner-city journeys, this car is a delight.

The steering is also very nicely weighted, and there’s a connection between the wheel and what’s happening underneath that’s rare to see in this class of car.

It means the HR-V is genuinely fun to pilot, whether ducking into an on-street park or navigating a series of S bends on a country road. What a pleasant surprise!

Verdict

You could look at the 2022 HR-V and think that Honda has taken a step back.

After all, there’s less space in the boot, there’s one less seat and the prices have – at first glance – gone up.

In reality though, the HR-V, especially in this e:HEV L form, offers up a genuine rival to Toyotas, Mazdas and Kias that dominate the small SUV space.

The 2022 HR-V is a properly handsome car, the hybrid powertrain is miserly on fuel, and the handling characteristics are honestly pretty fantastic.

Pricing guides

$35,950
Based on Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP)
Lowest Price
$26,900
Highest Price
$45,000

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
E:hev L 1.5L, ULP $45,000 2022 Honda HR-V 2022 E:hev L Pricing and Specs
VI X 1.5L, ULP, CVT AUTO $36,700 2022 Honda HR-V 2022 VI X Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
8.1
Price and features8
Design9
Practicality6
Engine & trans7
Fuel consumption10
Safety7
Ownership9
Driving9
Tung Nguyen
News Editor

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Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.