Diesel adds to FR-V's six appeal
24 May 2005

We like the FR-V. Unless you really need seven seats, Honda’s take on the Fiat Multipla is our first choice of medium-sized people carrier; somehow two rows of three seats works better than the two-three-two formation.But where the FR-V really delights is with its staggered layout. The middle seat in both rows can slide, giving a double V layout. This increases legroom all round, encourages communication between front and rear passengers, and the passenger in the front middle seat can imagine they’re driving a McLaren F1. Expect family arguments over who sits here.If that wasn’t enough, the FR-V has a fine ride quality combined with an engaging drive. Convinced yet? Well, to seal the deal the FR-V now gets Honda’s impressive 2.2 diesel. Already doing sterling service in the Accord and the CR-V, it works well in the FR-V. It’s smooth, free-revving and out punches its rivals for torque, so it’s curious that the claimed performance isn’t better – the Ford C-Max and Mercedes B200 CDI beat the FR-V to 60mph.As with the installation in the CR-V, the diesel unit has lost some of the Accord’s refinement. The mechanical configuration is the same, so this must be caused by a reduction in sound deadening. Although the engine is vocal at high revs, the problem starts when you initially apply the throttle, when there’s a loud rushing, whirring mechanical sound unlike the normal turbodiesel whoosh and altogether more intrusive. Generally, though, the 2.2 is a fantastic engine and a sensible addition to FR-V range.Downsides? That eagerness to rev harms economy – 44.8mpg is a bit below the class average – and there’s no auto option. As with the petrol models, two versions are available: the SE for £17,205 and the Sport for £17,905. These prices match those of rivals, although you won’t get the discounts which are available on some competitors. The extra cash needed for the FR-V does, however, buy a better car.Jamie Corstorphine

Join the debate


19 February 2008

"44.8mpg is a bit below the class average"

Tell me a Honda that isn't thirsty (Jazz excepted)?

Where has all Japanese design went to?

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate
    First Drive
    19 March 2018
    The Mercedes-Benz E-Class could be all the estate car you’ll ever want — or it could be overkill. Let’s see which...
  • Dallara Stradale
    The Stradale is the first road-legel car from Italian motorsport constructor Dallara
    First Drive
    16 March 2018
    The motorsport constructor's first road car is inspired by Lotus minimalism. Does it thrill on road and track?
  • Hyundai i30 N
    Standard spec is good so paint colour is our car’s only option
    First Drive
    16 March 2018
    What’s Hyundai’s first hot hatch and N-brand debutant really like? Let’s find out
  • Porsche Boxster GTS
    This is the new GTS version of the Porsche Boxster
    First Drive
    15 March 2018
    The 718-generation Boxster is our favourite roadster of the moment – so is this new GTS variant worth the extra outlay?
  • BMW 5 Series
    First Drive
    15 March 2018
    The BMW 5 Series is top of the mid-exec pack, but is there still room for a diesel saloon in everyday family life?