2022 Honda HR-V e:HEV L (car review)

If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t really want to go full EV just yet, and likes something a little outside the box, but not completely out there, then the 2022 Honda HR-V e:HEV L is definitely the car for you.

Unrecognisable from its predecessors, Honda’s fresh and progressive HR-V looks more European than any other Honda you’ll see on the road. A rounded fascia and sharper rear are refreshing, especially when compared to the offerings which came before it.

We like it, because it’s different. Our tester, wrapped in a really nice Premium Opal Pearlescent paint looked stunning in sunlight. Tones of yellow, bronze and even orange showed up in the glare.

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Darker tones of green, blue and purple revealed themselves under the dim moonlight. It’s quite the visual experience. The e:HEV L is the higher of the two specifications the HR-V now comes in, with the lower spec Vi X purely petrol powered.

For a small crossover, it’s a little on the pricey side, sitting among mid-sized SUVs at $36,700 for the Vi X and $44,792 for the e:HEV L, both excluding on-roads. Mind you, inside, Honda have achieved a more premium finish than in previous incarnations.

2022 Honda HR-V e:HEV L
2022 Honda HR-V e:HEV L

Leatherette trimmed fabric front seats with heating feature, while the styling comes with plenty of circular design, subtle buttons and digital readouts for the climate details. A 9.0-inch infotainment display with built-in satellite navigation takes up the top of the console.

Wireless Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto are included, along with DAB+ digital radio and Bluetooth. The generic six-speaker sound system is decent, offering plenty of clarity and a decent amount of bass, but lacks real punch, which is disappointing.

The interior in general though is a vast improvement on the old HR-V, and offers comfort, space, and good tech. Honda’s second row “magic seats”, which offer a lift-up function for additional vertical storage on the floor are also included.

In a properly odd touch though, the second row is only equipped with two seats, making the HR-V a four-seater. The e:HEV L is powered by a hybrid assisted non-turbo 1.5-litre inline four-cylinder engine that produces a combined 96kW of power and 253Nm of torque.

That’s loaded to the front wheels, and while the small numbers mean you won’t win any drag races, it’s certainly frugal. Honda’s claimed combined economy of 4.3-litres/100km is impressive, although the best we could muster was 5.8-litres/100km.

dash
Inside the 2022 Honda HR-V e:HEV L

The setup though is perfect for inner-city streets where small underpowered cars are the kings of the road, but for those of you who live a tad further out, then this may not be ideal. The powertrain includes a continuous variable transmission (CVT).

Luckily, the CVT is sensible enough to be quite responsive and doesn’t rev hang as much as older versions did, making the HR-V e:HEV L a fairly decent cruiser. Three drive modes are available.

These include Econ, which prioritises the hybrid nature of the HR-V, Normal lets the car choose its best fit for the conditions, and Sport, which relies mostly on the petrol engine. We drove the e:HEV L around in Normal mode mostly, leaving the Honda to decide.

If you try and keep it in EV mode though, it’s only with very soft throttle that you can push it to the speed limit without engaging the petrol engine. The downside of that is you’ll get left behind by the cars around you, or simply obstruct traffic.

The ride is fairly comfortable considering the smaller profile tyres on the 18-inch inch alloy wheels, and the HR-V will quietly coast over minor bumps and potholes. If there’s a downside, it’s the fact the small SUV has a 4-star ANCAP safety rating.

rear seats
Inside the 2022 Honda HR-V e:HEV L

That comes as a result of lower scores for safety assist systems, and road user protection segments, as well as the risk of chest injuries in a full-width frontal collision. Points were also lost for the second row seats being unfriendly for rearward facing capsules.

Regardless, we were still able to fit a family of three, including a front facing child seat, in the second row with no complaints. The HR-V is fitted with lane keep assist, traffic sign recognition, autonomous emergency braking, and rear cross traffic alert.

Blind spot monitoring is also included. Honda offers a 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty and 5-years roadside assist. All-in-all, it’s a quite out of the box vehicle, with fascinating looks and a comfortable ride.

Boot storage is 304-litres, or 1,274-litres with the seats folded. The price point is fairly steep but we reckon you need to drive it to decide for yourself. You can build your own on the Honda Australia website. If you’re keen on one and need finance, talk to CreditOne.

Our 2022 Honda HRV e:HEV L was supplied by Honda Australia. To find out more, contact your local Honda dealer. Pictures courtesy of Brakefast Media.

boot
Inside the 2022 Honda HR-V e:HEV L

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Driving experience
7.5
Exterior styling
8
Interior look and feel
8.5
Technology and connectivity
8.5
Family friendliness
7.5
Value for money
7.5

SUMMARY

Pros - excellent interior presentation; solid hybrid powertrain; low running costs, unique exterior.
Cons - price point a bit high for segment; underpowered; four seat configuration.
Paul Pascual
Paul Pascual
Paul Pascual is an avid enthusiast of all things JDM, from the legendary powerhouses to the old school kei cars. He has a passion for modification and making his cars look like they belong on the track. But they never actually make it there.

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<strong>Pros -</strong> excellent interior presentation; solid hybrid powertrain; low running costs, unique exterior.<br> <strong>Cons -</strong> price point a bit high for segment; underpowered; four seat configuration.2022 Honda HR-V e:HEV L (car review)