Feature-packed, head-turning and spacious, punching way above its segment, the Honda HRV 1.5 turbo Sports model has to be road tested to be fully appreciated.

Starting with its 182PS VTEC turbo petrol engine with a 6,000-rev limit, power is flexible with 220 Nm of torque (pulling power) at 1,700-5,500 rpm. You get paddle shifting on the steering wheel with the automatic (CVT) transmission via seven simulated ‘gears’. Overall fuel economy is 5.4 litres/100 km with 137 g/km of CO2 emissions.

This subcompact sports utility vehicle (SUV) is just 4,346 mm long, 2,019 mm (including door mirrors) wide and 1,605 mm (including shark fin antenna) high on a 2,610 mm wheelbase. Yet the boot is cavernous and, thanks to the ‘magic’ rear seats that fold up and lock, you can carry items that are 1,240 mm from floor to ceiling.

With the exterior side profile of a coupé, the rear door handles are ‘hidden’ behind the passenger door window. You get 18-inch alloys on this model shod with 225/50 profile tyres – more than adequately comfortable for local driving conditions.

Honda says this is the most ‘sophisticated’ HRV yet. The exterior has sportier looks and the more spacious interior, with the latest infotainment system, has been upgraded with half leather seats and interior trim.

There are impressive levels of safety, including a forward collision warning if you are driving faster than the vehicle in front of you, traffic sign recognition thanks to the camera mounted behind the central rearview mirror, an intelligent speed limiter, lane departure warning and high beam support system at speeds of more than 40 km/h that switches the High Beam headlights on or off automatically depending on oncoming or preceding vehicles (cars, trucks and motorcycles), bicycles and environmental brightness.

Pricing and full spec list is on the gasanzammit.com website.

Text: Malcolm Naudi

Filming & editing: Luke Zerafa