Honda FR-V Car Review

26 Feb 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Honda FR-V Car Review
Honda FR-V

HONDA FR-V

HONDA FR-V WOMAN#039;S VIEW

Honda’s FR-V, or ‘Flexible Recreational Vehicle’ if you want to use its full title, is a different take on the familiar compact MPVs that we have become used to. Instead of trying to fit three rows of seats into a space that really is only suitable for two, Honda have borrowed an idea from Fiat’s Multipla and installed three separate seats in the front and rear rows. This means that you can transport six people and a reasonable amount of luggage all at the same time.

With other similar MPVs this option is normally not available to you unless you employ one of those ugly roof boxes. When I took my two young grand children out for a ride in the FR-V recently, it was a hit with them right away. There is normally a bit of an altercation between them as to who sits up front with Grandma.

With the FR-V they could both sit safely in the front row and everyone was happy, including Grandma.

Honda FR-V

What impressed me the most about the FR-V was the sense of space inside the cabin. The three seats in each row make the car feel very wide, although it isn’t any broader than its main competitors. All six seats have three-point belts and the centre front seat and both outer rear seats feature ISOFIX child seat fixings. Full length curtain airbags provide overall cabin protection and there are also twin front and side bags fitted.

The seating system also aids safety with the central front seat sliding 270mm further back than the outer pair, Honda recommending that the seat is put in this position if being used to seat a child. The dashboard, although a mixture of analogue and digital displays, does work for me -especially the central display. Everything is easy to see and intuitive to use.

The six speed gear shift is a little unconventional with the gear leaver sticking prominently out of the dashboard but I found it easy to change gear once I had driven the FR-V a few times. In fact the handbrake is also centrally mounted on the dashboard, which is also a bit unusual, but again once I became accustomed to its position, it was very easy to operate. I found visibility to be generally very good, especially with the high ride position that you get with this type of vehicle.

The only area where there is a slight problem is in the view out of the rear three-quarters. The substantial rear pillars create a small blind spot. As its name suggests, the FR-V is a flexible vehicle. The three rear seats all fold individually and also fold flat into the floor with one swift action which makes the FR-V an ideal family vehicle.

I really like these fold-flat seats because I don’t have to trouble my other half when I want to convert the FR-V into a load-lugger. The centre front seat also folds flat to make room for long items and also forms a useful table. There’s even a seat cushion extension with a storage drawer hidden beneath.

The FR-V I tried was powered by a 1.8-litre i-VTEC petrol engine fitted with a six-speed gearbox. I found it easy to drive and unlike other MPV-type models that I’ve tried before.

The handling is not what you’d call sporting but FR-V customers don’t tend to have sports handling top of their priority list. The ride quality is pretty good and the seats are snug and hold you in position effectively. The 140bhp 1.8-litre i-VTEC engine will accelerate to 60mph in 10.1 seconds and tops out at 118mph. I didn’t try it for myself but I’m happy to take Honda’s word for those figures.

Either it’s a very quiet engine or Honda have done very well in dampening the engine noise in the cabin. I had to check the tachometer to confirm that the engine was still ticking over. Despite being a powerful 1.8-litre engine, however, I was still able to get over 30mpg driving around town.

As a family MPV, the Honda FR-V certainly has something about it to appeal to those who are looking for a more interesting drive than the usual MPV fare.

Yes, I certainly could. For every day needs, the FR-V is a very practical car. It has all the advantages of a family MPV but it is a lot more fun to drive.

In addition, the styling sets it apart from the competition, which should add to its overall appeal. 17th February 2008

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