Honda’s stylish FR-V continues to be a popular and top-selling contender in the compact multi-purpose vehicle segment in South Africa.
Featuring six seats arranged in two rows of three, the FR-V is powered by a 1,8-litre i-VTEC unit. Offering exceptional performance and economy as well as the latest VTEC and friction reduction technology, it also introduces an extra element to the mix: delayed intake valve closure combined with a wide open throttle valve during low-load driving conditions to reduce pumping losses and boost fuel economy.
The five-speed automatic transmission maximizes acceleration in gears one to four and optimises fuel economy in its overdrive fifth gear. The computer controlled “direct control” transmission provides smooth shifts, whereby the direct control, along with gear ratios closely matched to the output curve of the engine, help to deliver the correct power at the right time. The manual version of the FR-V maintains its six-speed gearbox.
Visual highlights include a dark chrome finish for the grille, headlights, door handles, rear combination light and lower licence plate trim.
Inside a greyish blue soft touch fabric is applied to seats and a high-tech metal finish is now applied to the fascia panel. An additional boot light provides added convenience. The FR-V is also provided with an auxiliary jack for an iPod or similar audio storage device.
With all six seats in two rows, it’s easy for everyone in the car to talk to each other, making it a more friendly way to travel. It also leaves space for a large boot, and when more space for luggage is needed, the FR-V comes into its own.
It also leaves space for a large boot, and when more space for luggage is needed, the FR-V comes into its own. Not only do the three rear seats fold individually, they fold flat into the floor.
So, maximum space is achieved without having to remove and then store bulky seats. They can also be folded one-handed, simply by reaching in from the boot and unfastening a single latch.
To add to the numerous space combinations, the back of the central front seat also folds down to allow extra-long items to be carried, or to form a table.
With a low slung driving position and car-like road manners it provides the answer for those motoring consumers who still enjoy driving but also need a practical and intelligently-conceived design.
A six-sided dice was part of the inspiration, illustrating an ability to quickly and effortlessly change from one seating arrangement to another. Six occupants sit in two rows of three, with the individual rear seats folding quickly and easily into the floor to give the FR-V exceptional spaciousness, while still maintaining the ability to seat three adults safely and comfortably in the front row.
Six airbags are fitted, including a large volume passenger airbag which extends across two thirds of the cabin to protect the occupant of the middle seat. ABS brakes with EBD and BAS are fitted, as well as Honda’s VSA stability system.
Its wide stance, generous wheelbase and all-independent suspension give it exceptional stability and roadholding. Low spring rates result in a plush ride, yet thanks to firm anti-roll bars, the FR-V corners with assurance, and a flat stance that is particularly welcoming to those graduating from sedans and hatchbacks.