Honda FR-V 1.8 i-VTEC Car Review | Auto Trader

1 Jul 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Honda FR-V 1.8 i-VTEC Car Review | Auto Trader
Honda FR-V

Honda FR-V

1.8 car review

Ten Point Test

Auto Trader Ten Point Test rating: 80%

Customers looking for a people carrier aren’t short of choice in the UK car market, with most manufacturers offering one or two models.

Five seats or seven seats? Sporty or economical? Premium or entry level? Each MPV fills a void – except the Honda FR-V. which has targeted the middle ground, even fitting six seats.

So what’s this maverick motor like? We took one for a week to find out.

1. Looks 8/10

The Honda FR-V looks like a large hatchback rather than a compact-sized MPV stealing styling cues from the Accord and CR-V. The front is dominated by the FR-V’s piercing headlights which veer towards the car’s grille. Our model had five spoke 16-inch alloys which give an element of sportiness.

2. Looks inside 7/10

The first thing you notice inside the FR-V is the middle seat which is a really innovative and a practical touch. As a result the gearstick is placed to the left of the steering wheel, which is easier to change gear than if it was below in the conventional position. Our model came with cream leather seats which were a little bit overwhelming when combined with the cream trim which surrounded the upper half of each door.

It could also be unpractical for families with the possibility of children making a mess with their crayons. As with most Hondas, the FR-V’s dash is different to the norm – but unlike with the brilliant Civic, it’s appears to be slightly overcomplicated with buttons and switches spread along the centre console rather than placed in a central hub.

3. Practicality 10/10

While many MPVs have seven seats, boot space is compromised as a result – and how often are all seven seats used? With the FR-V you get a good sized boot (439 litres normally, and a maximum 1,049 with seats folded) and seating for six. With a seven seat Ford S-Max you get seven seats, but a much smaller boot (285 litres).

However, we wouldn’t advise seating three up front as it will get a bit cramped. If you don’t need to use the middle front seat this can be folded to create a flat picnic base with handy cup holders and there are an incredible 32 different seating combinations.

There is no shortage of leg and headroom and – as with most MPVs – plenty of storage and cubby holes.

4. Ride and Handling 8/10

The Honda FR-V handles surprisingly well for a people carrier. It soaks up bumps well and there is minimal roll through the corners. The chassis feels as though the FR-V could take a much more powerful engine to compete against Vauxhall’s Zafira VXR and the Volkswagen Touran Sport.

5. Performance 7/10

The Honda FR-V is available with two engines; a 1.8-litre petrol and 2-litre turbo diesel, both producing 138bhp. The petrol auto we tested accelerated from 0-62mph (100kph) in 12.4 seconds and has a top speed of 115mph. It’s not fast, and when the auto ‘box kicks down there isn’t much oomph. But the manual is more impressive and hits the 62mph mark in 10.6 seconds.

The best choice is the 2.2-litre diesel which is quickest to 62mph (10.1 seconds) has a top speed of 118mph and is the most frugal (44.8mpg).

Honda FR-V

6. Running Costs 7/10

Our 1.8 Honda FR-V with its automatic gearbox can cover an average of 34.9mpg. The manual is a more impressive 37.7mpg while the diesel boasts an excellent 44.8mpg – all fairly good for a six seat MPV. And insurance groups of 10 and 11 shouldn’t mean a sky-high premium either. But with an automatic gearbox the Honda emits 190g/km of carbon dioxide placing it in tax band F, meaning an annual tax bill of £205.

The other two models in the range both fit into band E (£165). Servicing should take place every 12,500 miles.

7. Reliability 10/10

Our petrol model was fitted with the famous i-VTEC – a practically bomb-proof engine. Honda is renowned for its reliability and is ranked third in the UK market for it.

8. Safety 8/10

All models are fitted with front, side and curtain airbags, electronic brake distribution, traction control and a category one alarm. In the EuroNCAP crash test programme it was awarded four stars, which is less than the class leaders and in with a people carrier made by Honda you’d be hoping four the full five stars.

9. Equipment 8/10

The Honda FR-V is available in three trims – SE, ES and EX. The entry level SE model gets climate control, six speed manual gearbox, front and rear electric windows, heated door mirrors and CD player. Upgrade to ES and you gain cruise control, privacy glass, rear parking sensors, privacy glass and 16-inch alloy wheels.

The top level EX has all these features plus heated leather seats, roof rails and a six CD autochanger.

10. X-Factor 7/10

The Honda FR-V is one of the best looking people carriers on the market and from a child’s perspective, ‘how cool is it to sit in the front?’ thanks to two rows of three seats. It’s practical, reliable and is a rival to the six-seat Fiat Multipla but it doesn’t have a hot performer in the range.

Honda FR-V
Honda FR-V
Honda FR-V
Honda FR-V
Honda FR-V
Honda FR-V
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