If you want to discover exactly how the HR-V lures so many buyers in, just step inside. Large doors that ease entry/egress, lofty seating and a huge sense of wide-open space for a small SUV make instant and lasting strong impressions.
There is also an intimacy up front, as you’re sat ensconced alongside the wide console bisecting the cabin. It feels solid, secure and expensive, making the VTi-LX seem even more luxurious inside.
Aiding this is the attractive leather-stitched steering wheel, gloss-black climate control fascia, twin-pane sunroof and lashings of soft-feel vinyl material over the doors and upper-areas of the lower centre console (with handy sliding lid). A pair of USB-A ports, a 12V outlet, a decently sized glovebox and a two-level console storage shelf below the gear lever make up for the small door bins and tiny console storage.
A first-class driving position (helped out by tilt/telescopic steering), adequate all-round vision, beautifully clear instruments (but with no digital speedo) and more than sufficient ventilation are further plus points, while nothing rattled, zizzed or squeaked during our week with the HR-V. There’s obvious and appealing quality going on in there.
That said, the recently updated multimedia system looks cheap and tacked-on, and though there is Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, voice control and fripperies like personalisation wallpaper, having no digital radio is an oversight for a range-topping anything these days.
The lack of an audio volume knob (for an admittedly effective toggle switch) won’t be to everybody’s taste, along with the haptic sensor-operated climate system’s fingertip-slide functionality, which actually does work better than expected though does ultimately prove distracting when you need to focus on the various functions like altering temperature. Whatever happened to big, simple slide controls you can adjust blindfolded?
The back doors open pretty widely and though the roofline slopes down markedly, it’s unobstructed access all the way.
It’s about as spacious and inviting as these sorts of smaller SUVs and crossovers get, with ample talking leg, head or shoulder room. The long and deep side windows and VTi-LX’s twin glass roof result in a light and airy cabin ambience, forward vision rates highly, there are medium-bottle sized door pockets, a centre armrest, overhead grab handles and twin reading lights fitted.
But there are no face-level air vents, only a single cupholder where you expect them to be behind the front console. Rear passengers have no USB-A or USB-C ports to plug into. Quite a bit of road and tyre noise filters through. And smaller folk may struggle to reach the pillar-sited handle to get back there in the first place.