Motors: Honda HR-V

2015 Honda HR-V. See PA Feature MOTORING Motoring News. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Handout. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature MOTORING Motoring News.

2015 Honda HR-V. See PA Feature MOTORING Motoring News. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Handout. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature MOTORING Motoring News.

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The Honda HR-V is back, 16 years after it more or less invented the ‘crossover’ body style, and almost a decade after it was taken out of production.

Honda knows it has to get back into the compact crossover market, and this is its weapon. It’s said to be fun to drive, efficient and high-tech - but then that’s the manufacturer talking.

Interested? Buyers can expect a seven-inch touch-screen on mid- and high-grade models, petrol and diesel engines, ‘hidden’ rear door handles to enhance a coupe-style look, and the same cleverly-folding ‘Magic Seats’ already seen in the Civic.

The 453-litre boot dwarfs those of some of the HR-V’s rivals, while in a bold move it will use an Android operating system for its media interface. Functionality will mirror that of a typical Sony, Samsung or HTC smartphone so buyers will already know how to use it.

Safety systems are coming out of the HR-V’s ears. Radar sensors, front- and rear-facing cameras, active braking assist, collision warnings, lane change warnings and more will feature in the range, although not all on the entry-level model.

Engineered to give a ‘saloon-like’ driving experience, efficient 1.5-litre petrol and 1.6-litre diesel engines will be offered, with 128bhp and 118bhp respectively. Manual gearboxes will be standard, with a CVT automatic an option.

Honda will reveal the car in the flesh at the Geneva Motor Show in March.