What is it?
You know the Honda HR-V: it’s the small SUV from Honda that’s quietly and competently been on sale for a couple of years. It’s been doing what most Hondas of recent years have done: offering plenty of practicality, frugality and anonymity, all for a higher price than rivals.
Honda has found a way to make the HR-V even more anonymous: making every single surface of the car inside and out black to create this new Black Edition. Even the Black Edition badge on the tailgate is painted black.
The changes are minor, but most of note is the leather interior and optional 18in alloys, as well as some more fancy black trim. You can get the Black Edition in petrol or diesel flavour, with the 1.6 diesel tested here.
What's it like?
The leather seats in the HR-V Black Edition’s cabin might be a welcome touch of luxury, but they sit in a cabin that’s otherwise quite drab, lacking any real flair or intrigue.
The HR-V feels a spacious car inside and does a very good impression of a car from the class above for practicality. But its supermini giveaways – and specifically, the fact it’s based on a Jazz - are the three things you interact with most: the steering wheel, gear lever and pedals, which all feel rather weedy.
The rear suspension of the HR-V is the limiting factor in ensuring the car rides well. The front does makes a decent fist of absorbing bumps, but the rear does not - it crashes over bumps in the road, making it feel like you’re towing a small trailer. Those optional 18in alloys do little to help.
It gets a gold star for economy, though. It’s easy to achieve well over 50mpg, which makes for an impressive range from the 50-litre tank. That economy isn’t achieved at the expense of performance, either, with the HR-V pulling strongly from low revs to make the car nippy around town in particular.
Should I buy one?
In a decade or so, when the used buying guides are being written about the current glut of small SUVs, the Honda HR-V will make for a good recommendation, and this new Black Edition version perhaps even more so.
Being spacious, economical, solidly built and reliable (well, not to count chickens, but this is a Honda and it's one based on a Jazz) will count for a lot, as will the extra kit and desirability, such as bigger alloys and a full leather interior.
But back in 2017, the HR-V Black Edition feels old before its time and lacks even the tiniest bit of dynamic sparkle.
It’s just so anonymous in every way, and turning every surface black only adds to that sense of anonymity. Come back in 2027, Honda HR-V Black Edition, and we’ll talk then.
Honda HR-V 1.6 i-DTEC Black Edition
Where Suffolk; On sale Now; Price £26,820; Engine 1597cc, turbocharged diesel; Power 118bhp at 4000rpm; Torque 221lb ft at 2000rpm; Gearbox 6-spd manual; Kerbweight 1324kg; Top speed 119mph; 0-62mph 10.2sec; Fuel economy 68.9mpg; CO2 rating 108g/km; Rivals Toyota C-HR, Skoda Yeti