We're testing the Honda HR-V's practicality to the limit
Being TG’s staff videographer, one of the key things I look for in a car is a big boot to transport all my camera gubbins. So, as you can imagine I was somewhat scratching my head at the prospect of running a crossover with a low slanting rear roofline.
How does the HR-V stack up then? Well, 319 litres of boot space with the seats up which is a far cry from the Ford Puma’s 456 litres. In fact, ours has only 304 litres due to one of the side compartments being occupied by a subwoofer which comes as part of the range-topping ‘Advance Style’ specification. That reduction in space is a step down from the previous generation’s 448 litres.
This is mostly due to the batteries powering the hybrid powertrain which are located under the boot floor, although they’ve still managed to squeeze a cubby under there capable of swallowing another 16 litres. Handy for the many microfibre cloths required for a TG shoot.
So, things aren’t looking particularly too good for all my camera gear. Fortunately, this Honda has a trick up its sleeve, the aptly named ‘Magic Seats’ which flip up like a cinema seat to leave a huge footwell gully for storing tall items.
Now, I know these are nothing new. Your grandma's Jazz has had them for decades. But it’s my first experience with them and I’m completely smitten. Not only are they incredibly versatile, but also look the part with grey herringbone cloth on cream synthetic leather with orange stitching. The rear seating can lay totally flat with the boot floor, thus expanding the cargo space to a whopping 1,305 litres, as well as folding vertically providing a high storage space for say, furniture, bicycles, small trees… you name it.
This is useful if you’re like me and prefer to keep your boot space enclosed and separated from the cabin, keeping bags secure from sliding around the car and away from prying eyes. It’s an innovative way of utilising the rear space and is quickly accessible with a large opening via the rear doors and more importantly a low loading height. Extremely helpful when you’re lifting back-breaking equipment in and out of the car on a weekly basis.
We’re yet to take the HR-V far and wide on a TG video shoot, and that’s where it’s usability and liveability will be really put to the test. Will it be able to handle the barrage of muck, junk food, awful tunes and camera battery charging expected of a TG crew car? Let’s hope so.