Honda FR-V Review & Ratings

A six-seat MPV that blends practicality with reassuring build quality and proven reliability. Own one for as little as £3900.

Only two manufacturers have ever satisfied the needs of those craving more space and practicality than a family hatchback, but not wanting the larger proportions of a full-blown mPV. fiat was first, with the six-seat multipla in 1998. Its challenging looks weren’t to all tastes, though, so when the FR-V came along in 2004, with sensible style, the same interior layout and Honda’s reliable engineering, it made a truly intriguing option.

What’s it like?

The FR-V might not be as large as a traditional mPV, but its cabin is wide enough to accommodate three individual seats up front and in the back, just like the multipla. the Honda’s cabin is well built and well equipped, with all the kit you and the family should require. there’s a shortage of cubbyholes, though, and you may find that the centrally mounted controls are a stretch too far from the driver’s seat, while the buttons for the ventilation and stereo are fiddly. nevertheless, there’s nothing wrong with the driving position, and the gearlever (which sprouts from the dashboard) is easy to reach. shoulder-room is a little tight with three adults occupying the front seats, despite the middle front one sliding backwards independently of the others. However, there’s plenty of leg- and headroom for all. On the road, only some wind noise mars the experience at higher speeds. all engines are strong and smooth, and the body’s wide stance helps to make the FR-V stable through corners, while the suspension deals with most bumps without fuss.

Which one should I get?

The cheapest examples have the 1.7-litre petrol engine, which has just enough power with six people and their luggage on board, but the 2.0 petrol model is more common and is a more flexible, relaxed cruiser. that’s where our money would go. Both petrol engines were replaced in early 2007 by a more responsive, free-revving 1.8 during a mild face-lift that gave the fr-V a darker chrome grille and metal/carbon-like cabin trim instead of wood. there’s also a 2.2-litre diesel engine available. It’s a smooth, punchy and economical engine, but it’s pricier than the petrols. Entry-level se trim offers plenty of equipment; it comes with six airbags, four electric windows, air-conditioning, an alarm and a CD player. sport trim gets you alloy wheels, cruise control and front foglamps. look out for cars with the Honda Happiness servicing package. this was an optional extra from new and gives five years/62,500 miles of free servicing. It’s transferable to subsequent owners.

Honda FR-V Gallery

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