The latest version, in keeping with the segment’s soft-edge vogue, doesn’t try too hard to be noticed. Its styling influences aren’t hard to pick out. From the regrettably labelled ‘solid wing face’ front end (actually an apt description) to the C-pillar-assigned door handles, the HR-V is unmistakably Honda: neat, subdued, compact in appearance and unassuming to a fault.
Possibly that contributes to its aerodynamic performance, which Honda claims is class-leading (while declining to quantify it), thanks to panels fitted under the floor to optimise the airflow.
The floor itself is clearly raised in comparison with the Jazz’s (the driver’s eye line is higher by about 100mm), although the modifications don’t drastically alter the car’s architecture.
The front MacPherson struts and rear torsion beam remain, as does the unconventional positioning of the fuel tank under the front seats, enabling the HR-V, like the Jazz, to benefit from Honda’s popular Magic Seat system, a feature we’ll come to in a moment.
Engine choice could hardly be simpler. There’s a 128bhp 1.5-litre i-VTEC petrol unit and the 118bhp 1.6-litre i-DTEC diesel driven here. Both are four-cylinder units and form part of Honda’s Earth Dreams series – an umbrella term for the manufacturer’s continuing efforts to wring more efficiency from its established VTEC technology.