Like many models available these days, the Honda HR-V was put into production after receiving favourable feedback as a show car. Despite being more practical than most prototypes, it still retains the image of a trendy plaything. That may well be selling the HR-V short. As rapid urban transport it's pretty good fun.
Although offered in two and four wheel drive, it would be a brave, if not foolhardy, driver that chose to take an HR-V mud plugging. The target market for such a vehicle is affluent twenty-somethings who wouldn't dream of getting mud on their Birkenstocks. No, the HR-V looks far more at home outside a gym or trendy eatery, and the driving is experience is more car than jeep-like.
Contrary to many perceptions, the HR-V range was never marketed as the Joy Machine. That title was aimed solely at the front-wheel drive models, aiming to create a wacky and fun image. The HR-V moniker stands for High Rider Vehicle, a bland and obvious title that never caught the public's imagination.