Herald Sun - Motoring - - HEAD TO HEAD -


In mid-spec VTi-S guise the baby Honda hauler picks up niceties such as dual-zone air­con, leather-wrapped steer­ing wheel and gear­knob. Hard plas­tics are also a fea­ture but they are gen­er­ally bet­ter hid­den than in the Suzuki. A three­year/100,000km war­ranty is noth­ing spe­cial. Ser­vice in­ter­vals are six months/10,000km and the cost for the first three years is $880.


The fold­able, flip­pable rear seat de­sign is inspired and lets own­ers carry ob­jects that would be be­yond most mini SUVs. Rear head­room is marginally bet­ter than in the Suzuki. The ex­te­rior look is more car-like than the Vi­tara, ac­cen­tu­ated by the Honda’s 150mm lower ride height.


A nat­u­rally as­pi­rated 1.8-litre en­gine gives Honda brag­ging rights on pa­per and on the road. With 105kW/172Nm, the HR-V has a 19kW/16Nm ad­van­tage. But it only feels marginally quicker and doesn’t sound as good when revved. The con­tin­u­ously vari­able trans­mis­sion is gen­er­ally quiet but can drone at times. Of­fi­cial fuel use is 6.6L/100km; Cars­guide posted 7.8L


City brak­ing and lane de­par­ture warn­ing are stan­dard in­clu­sions on the VTi-S and they’ll both prove in­valu­able in ur­ban driv­ing. ANCAP has yet to rate the car but the Jazz on which it is based earned five stars when tested last year.


The Honda is an all-rounder whose ca­pa­bil­ity ex­tends be­yond the steer­ing wheel. That’s a good thing, given it can’t match the Vi­tara through the turns. The sus­pen­sion is hard over small bumps but then wal­lows in the big ones. Where it ex­cels is in car­ry­ing loads — hu­man or cargo — in the in­ner city and at this price it rep­re­sents bet­ter value than the Suzuki.

VER­DICT The Vi­tara knows how to stay in shape on the road; the HR-V can ac­com­mo­date al­most any shape you throw at it and wins on the ba­sis of that prac­ti­cal­ity.

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