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Honda FR-V

Broadcast dates : 5th February 2006
11th February 2006

The Honda is first and foremost a very stylish, well proportioned MPV. There are definite cues to the new Civic hatch in the overall proportions. 

And incidentally those proportions are dictated by the fact that the FR-V is a six seater, three up front, three at the rear. 

Car Torque loves the six-seater concept, as pioneered by Fiatís Mutipla a few years back. 

The FR-V is not quite as spacious as the Multipla but thereís enough space up front for two adults and a child over long distances or three adults going for a spin to the local cafť

We feel itís a more realistic option than the seven-seater configuration which sees the two rear sets only used occasionally. And then at the expense of luggage space.

The wider track necessitated by the extra seat up front also gives the MPV a nice sense of proportion, making it less van like than most MPVs.

Honda has always had a strong performance reputation thanks to decades of world championship motor racing involvement. Yes, the FR-V can hustle some, if need be.

The lack of low-down torque has long been a V-Tec characteristic, and in this respect the Honda is not as easy a commute as the Renault Scenic, which is strongly profiled to low-down lugging power.

But overall, as long as you keep it in the powerband the progress is majestic, thanks to excellent chassis manners.

The FR-V is practical but ultimately it is the styling that is going to win Honda lots of new friends for its first serious MPV in this market.

Itís built on the same basic floor pan as the all-wheel-drive CR-V, but of course this family hauler is a front-wheel-drive machine.

Safety is well taken care of, with a total of six airbags, and six seat belts and Honda feels the six-seater configuration is intrinsically safer, as there are no rear passengers in the rear crumple zone.

The front passenger airbag is a unique design that provides protection for both front passengers.

The seats are capable of many configurations and the center seats slide independently, enabling center passengers to sit further back than the side occupants, freeing up elbow room.

A combined fuel consumption figure of 8,4 litres per hundred kilometers is claimed, although we feel that 10 litres per hundred would be more realistic for a 2 litre, rather peaky engine lugging around a car weighing 1 450 kilograms.

Top speed is claimed at 195 km/h with a 10,5 second 0-100 time. While we feel the engine isnít perfect for an MPV, the nice aspect of the V-Tec motor is that it is fun to use hard, and its peak power of 110 kiloWatts is achieved at a racy 6500 rpm.

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