Pros & Cons

One of the most controversial and provocative for its time cars, Honda HR-V has always been highly liked by some and no less strongly criticized by others. One thing is certain: the car has a bold and revolutionary for its time design and concept, which did not go unnoticed even today. The model is one of the most popular small SUVs on the market of second-hand vehicles, particularly preferred in Russia and other countries of the former Soviet bloc because of its accessible fresh design and versatility in terms of road conditions combined with good economy and quality craftsmanship.


Probably still the most profitable for riding and owning among the small 4WD SUVs!

  • Extremely reliable and quality made: during the time I owned the car it has had no extra fails at all. For the three years of usage I have traveled around 45,000 kilometers. Maintenance was limited only to the replacement of consumables and some inexpensive preventive repairs;
  • Extremely nice headlights: large and high positioned the headlights illuminate the road in the best way. Height adjustable to a very large extent. You almost won’t need to turn on the beam;
  • Very good visibility for the driver in all directions, with a comfortable sitting position;
  • Agile and easy to drive, parking and maneuvering. Easy to park, including high curbs and narrow and crooked places where an average larger car would not be possible to park;
  • Relatively low-fuel consuming when driving in the city and outside the city. I believe there is no other small 4WD SUV that is so economical in each aspect;
  • Quiet, agile, high-speed and powerful enough engine. Here I want to explicitly notice that particular impressions regard the VTEC engine (124 hp). The smaller engine (102 hp) is not recommended due to insufficient power, which does not conform adequately to the size and type of cabin. The smaller engine is often slow, and at the same time less economical;
  • The 4WD performs surprisingly well in deep snow, sand and mud.  The 4WD system intervenes always at the right moment. Of course, no claims for real serious ofroader. The main advantages are the large ground clearance and the low weight of the car combined with AWD “on-demand”. Not suitable only for terrain with sharp stones, because the bottom is not protected in any way;


There is no light without shadow.

  • No ESP. In some situations you can strongly feel the lack of electronic stability. Care should be taken at high speed on icy sections;
  • Poor soundproofing of the cabin. Due to the poor soundproofing the driving may not bring pleasure when traveling on a long journey;
  • Small tank. Only 55 liters. Again, not very comfortable for a long journey;
  • Relatively high fuel consumption at high speeds. My observations are that highway fuel consumption rise above 9/100 if you drive at a speed exceeding 130 km / h. Especially if the car is loaded with more than two persons. Probably due to the high coupe and therefore a big air resistance;
  • Quality made but fragile suspension. You must be careful not to overburden the suspension to pass at high speed on rough terrain and holes. Never forget that it is more elevated car than real SUV;
  • Some spare parts are not cheap. Commercially hard to find parts such as wing mirrors and headlights. Such parts can be found only at the official importers of Honda, where the parts are generally more expensive;
  • Hard to find original accessories like armrest, fog lights, roof bars with adapters and more. There are a variety of accessories, but most are expensive and difficult to find. Probably because this car is not very popular;
  • The driver’s seat is not adjustable for height. I have missed this feature a lot;
  • The air conditioner is not automatic. This is a bit subjective as a convenience, but most people prefer to be able to set the temperature once and then leave the control to the electronics.



First generation Honda HR-V (1998-2006): a story from ex-owner