Review Honda FR-V 2.2 i-CTDi New car | Catalog-cars

Review Honda FR-V 2.2 i-CTDi New car

26 Aug 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Review Honda FR-V 2.2 i-CTDi New car
Honda FR-V

Review of the new Honda FR-V 2.2 i-CTDi



(7.3 out of 10)

REVIEW DATE: 12 фев 2008

Honda’s FR-V is at its best when fitted with a 2.2-Litre i-CTDi diesel engine. Andy Enright explains why


Let’s talk about torque. This is a concept not wholly understood by many who profess to know a great deal about cars. Put simply, torque is a force that tends to rotate or turn things. You generate torque any time you apply a force using a spanner.

Tightening your wheel nuts is a good example. In a car, the engine converts the horsepower it generates into torque by turning the crank shaft. There are actually a number of reasons why diesel engines make so much torque, but the big reasons are stroke length, turbocharger boost, and average effective cylinder pressure.

The end result is that if you choose a diesel Honda FR-V over its petrol counterparts, you’ll end up with a car that feels stronger and more effortless to drive.

This engine has already proved enormously popular in the Accord line up and it’s not difficult to see why. To date there has been no smoother diesel engine developed for this class of car; all the more surprising when you pause to consider that this one develops a hefty 139bhp. The man in charge of the turbo diesel engine project that produced this impressive unit was Honda’s Senior Chief Engineer Kenichi Nagahiro.

He’s the same man who created the VTEC concept that ultimately led the company up a slight dead end in this corner of the market, so Honda are putting a lot of faith in his engineering genius to pull them through.

Honda FR-V

This engine has already proved itself in the Accord’s compact executive saloon market sector while also taking pride of place in the Civic and the CR-V. More soundproofing and thicker window glass help to isolate the diesel grumble and it’s genuinely tricky to aurally differentiate it from a petrol engine at normal cruising speeds. You’ll know it’s a diesel when you put your foot down. The 340Nm of torque mean that it’s the most torquey Honda engine currently available.

Not even the 3.2-litre V6 in the old NSX sportster could match it.

The FR-V’s diesel is the best in this class

Mid range acceleration is very crisp and typical motorway speeds see the engine revolving at a very restrained gait. The sprint to 60mph will detain you for just 9.9 seconds. Emissions are another area where the Honda excels, complying with the tough Euro IV regulations.

The figure of 167g/km is excellent given that the FR-V is such a sizable vehicle.

The latest FR-V benefits from a series of tweaks introduced to freshen-up its styling. The difference is slight but more observant buyers may notice the revised lights and the dark chrome finish on the grille. Inside, the wood trim is axed in favour of tasteful metal finish. With three seats abreast, you’re always mindful of the fact that this is a wide car when threading it down city streets but break out the tape measure and a different story emerges.

Despite its seating layout, the FR-V is in fact a tad narrower than cars like the Ford Focus C-MAX and is exactly the same width of as a Renault Scenic, itself hardly a bloater. Honda make great play of the fact that with a short overall length, the car is easy to park and indeed it is, the wheel at each corner design giving it a beautifully tight turning circle.

Handling doesn’t feel quite as composed as some of the better cars in this class, the stiff chassis and short wheelbase having a tough time resolving high-frequency bumps and jolts from the road surface. The brakes and gearchange are up to the usual Honda standard.

As far as accommodation goes, the FR-V is a tight squeeze if you attempt to fit six blokes in it but it can cope at a pinch, so as to speak. The three rear seats all fold individually and also fold flat into the floor with one swift action per seat which makes the FR-V a boon for those that want to pursue a few kid-free lifestyle activities at the weekends. If you do want four plus baggage, you’ll need to sit three abreast at the front.

To do this you’ll need to slide the middle seat back a little to clear shoulder room and to ensure the centre passenger’s knees don’t foul the gear lever. With the centre front seat slid back, it’s impossible to fold the centre rear seat flat, so this becomes the seat that has to be used. Unfortunately this also means that if the car is full of baggage, you’ll have to either remove bags to access/exit the car or clamber over them. Other scenarios work far better.

Kids will love sitting up front and the usual arguments as to which child gets to ride with mum or dad can often be silenced. There’s also the huge benefit of being able to communicate easily with all occupants without having to use a megaphone. Putting five passengers and a driver in some MPVs results in the last passenger being relegated to occasional seats in the luggage bay, having to clamber over your upholstery to effect an exit.

Not so in the FR-V.

Although the FR-V isn’t perfect in its packaging, it is nevertheless the best car of its ilk. What’s more, the diesel engine fitted is undoubtedly the most satisfying powerplant in the FR-V stable. It may not be the obvious choice, but Honda’s FR-V 2.2 i-CTDi might just be the most intelligent.

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