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Honda’s HR-V range

HONDA has a real contender in the crowded compact SUV sector, with six models in its HR-V range — six vehicles that fill an important role in Honda’s fleet.

The HR-V models sit between the popular Jazz and the CR-V and offer something different.

The test drive vehicle was the HR-V L which, along with the HR-V Sport, offers some tempting extras. But there is a lot to like in the base model HR-V S, which shares all the basic features of the other two.

Like all the HR-V range, it is powered by an upgraded 1.8 litre engine, which will give you 105kW of power at 6500rpm and 172Nm of torque at 4300 — all while consuming a miserly 6.9 litres/100km.

That is mated to a CVT transmission with paddle shifters.

The standard driver technology for the HR-V range includes cruise control, a seven-inch audio/reversing camera touch screen, climate control air conditioning, electric park brake, brake hold function and hill start assist.

A built in navigation app provides satellite navigation with turn-by-turn guidance

The interior is well designed and extremely roomy, with features like Honda’s magic seats, which fold effortlessly up and down with a feature that will hold them upright to allow you to carry a tall piece of cargo like a pot plant. They fold down seamlessly for cargo space.

Incidentally, the HR-V has a boot that is well up to class standard. All together there are 18 possible configurations for the magic seats.

Five-star ANCAP safety brings peace of mind in that sphere.

Another fascinating feature of the exterior is the hidden rear door handles at about shoulder height. Once you find them, you will appreciate they are more convenient than the conventional location.

The HR-V S is backed by Honda’s five-year unlimited kilometres warranty, which is standard for the company.

While the HR-L and Sport offer some extra niceties like leather seats and a panoramic sky roof, there is a lot to like about the entry level HR-V S — not the least of which is its price of $29,990.

Honda launched the HR-V range as competitors to the Mazda CX-3, Holden Trax and Mitsubishi ASX.

It is a well-designed, comfortable and economic vehicle that is going to appeal to a wide spectrum of the market.