Clever versatility with quality and style
The FR-V also breaks with the typically utilitarian look of the C-MPV segment, to offer sporty, dynamic styling. The trend for vehicles generally to become taller and shorter has made the appearance of MPVs all the more utilitarian.
The FR-V, in contrast, presents a wide, firmly planted stance. This is complemented by a design characterised by a dramatically sweeping nose and headlamps, a theme continued along the length of the body in the form of a steadily rising waistline. The result is a crouching form that delivers a sporty dynamic in marked contrast to the C-MPV norm.
By matching a 3 + 3 seating configuration with intelligent packaging and innovative seat conversion mechanisms, the FR-V has the ability to carry up to six people whilst simultaneously offering good load volume. This contrasts with 7-seater competitors, the majority of which offer poor luggage capacity when all seats are occupied.
The multifunctional front centre seat can convert into a table or large armrest. Further versatility comes from a split seat squab, which reveals further storage areas.
Similarly, the dive-down rear seats can be collapsed with minimal effort. Unlike some of its competitors, opening up the total luggage area requires only three steps in total: no tricky double folding of seats is required, and neither do they need to be removed from the car and somewhere found to store them. What’s more, the seats just disappear into the floor to give a completely flat load floor.
The FR-V offers a remarkably convenient and flexible interior concept based on six independent seats and as a result there are many seating and loading possibilities: parents in front, grandparents in the rear and two children in the centre seats with front centre slid back; or driver and partner alone with front centre seat in table mode; or three passengers in front and their bikes (with front wheels removed) standing in the rear - the combinations are endless.
Honda has carefully considered passenger safety and across the range: the FR-V features dual stage front airbags; side airbags for front seat occupants; full length curtain airbags; and three point seatbelts on all six seats, with pretensioners and load limiters in the front. To ensure occupants in both the front outer and front centre seats are equally well protected, the extra large passenger airbag opens to a width of 860 mm.
Acknowledging that children will be sitting in both front and rear, ISOFIX fittings are included on the front centre seat as well as the two rear outer seats for the safe securing of child seats. Each also has a tether anchor point in the base of the seat backs. Where small children are placed in the front centre seat, Honda recommends that it is moved to its rearmost position.
Supple ride, minimal body roll
In establishing the FR-V’s ride and handling characteristics, Honda’s chassis engineers set out to overcome the inherent high roll characteristics of C-MPVs, whilst simultaneously ensuring good ride comfort, allied to surefooted handling and good steering response. The result is a relaxing drive with a supple, but flat ride, high stability during cornering and high speed cruising, and top of class ride comfort thanks to low rate springs.Published 17 May 2005