Fleet News

Honda FR-V i-CTDi

Honda

Review

IN a few months’ time, Honda’s clever six-seat FR-V will get the engine it’s been crying out for since its launch late last year.

The 2.2-litre i-CTDi common rail diesel which has won much praise in the Accord and CR-V will find its way under the FR-V’s bonnet from September, offering nearly 140bhp, impressive mid-range acceleration, high fuel economy and low CO2 emissions.

For user-choosers with family transportation issues to consider, it will make Honda’s FR-V much more appealing thanks to lower benefit-in-kind tax bills – the 2.0-litre petrol sits in the 26% company car tax band while the diesel will be taxed on 20% as it is Euro IV-compliant and so avoids the 3% diesel surcharge.

Taxation issues aside, the i-CTDi engine makes the FR-V better to drive, too. Honda’s i-VTEC engines are great units but they rely on revs to get them going, which is all very well in a more sporty car, but you don’t really want to be revving your family around at 7,000rpm.

Instead, the FR-V diesel’s abundance of mid-range power makes for much more relaxing progress – simply using fourth gear (of the six available) gives enough of a surge to accelerate from 40mph up to motorway speed.

And once up to 70mph the FR-V cruises in a remarkably relaxed manner, with the engine spinning at low revs compared the 2.0-litre petrol. There is not too much wind roar despite the car’s fairly tall stance.

Inside, there are two rows of three seats, with the front centre one either used for sitting on or able to be converted into a table or an arm rest.

Honda hasn’t announced pricing for the FR-V diesel yet, but expect it to cost roughly £1,500 more than the equivalent 2.0-litre petrol models.

Engine (cc): 2,204 common rail injection diesel
Max power (bhp/rpm): 138/4,000
Max torque (lb-ft/rpm): 251/2,000
Max speed (mph): 118
0-62mph (sec): 10.1
Fuel consumption (mpg): 44.8
CO2 emissions (g/km): 167
Fuel tank capacity (l/gal): 58/12.8
On sale: September
Price (est): £17,000–£18,000

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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