Talk to me about the Honda FR-V

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  • Talk to me about the Honda FR-V
  • Premier Icon alfabus

    Afternoon all… I’m doing some lunchtime musing about whether to get rid of my van and get a car.

    I only have a passing interest in how a car looks, and how it drives – obviously I don’t want it to be terrible; but boring/dull is fine by me.

    What I am interested in is the practicality, and the 3+3 concept of the FR-V (and the multipla) seems good; I’m used to having 3 seats in the front of the van, and it is very nice. Having back seats that can fold flat seems brilliant too – what I lack in the van is proper back seats for additional passengers, but I really like being able to chuck big things in the back with no bother.

    Primary uses for vehicle (for me):
    Biking with 2 or 3 people
    Biking with up to 6 people
    Lugging loads of stuff about
    Biking and camping with 2 people (or more)
    Driving to the alps with 3 or 4 people for a biking trip
    Driving to the alps with 6 people for a snowboarding trip
    Very very occasional commuting.

    Any opinions or suggestions of alternative cars welcome.


    Premier Icon geoffj

    Druidh’s just bought a Multipla. I like them and the FR-V, but my, ahem, hips were too wide for the FR-V seats 😳


    Friend at work has the diesel and loves it. The middle front seat is small, so unless you have all got very narrow shoulders it’s better suited to a child.

    He regularly goes camping in it and I think it would be suitable for most of the scenarios you mention above apart from the larger numbers of people biking where you would have to fit bikes probably on rear carrier AND roof rack.
    I think Mazda do a similar thing, but not sure of the seating consideration and there is also a cool looking Mitsubishi offering, but again I’m not sure of the seating arrangements. Have a look here:


    I ripped a tyre off of a FRV after trying to take a dipping bend over the moors at the same speed as I used to in a MX5. It doesnt handle anywhere near like a sorted-car. Quirky, different and cute but I can also agree that they are fugly. 6people and kit to the alps? Hmmmmm. At a economising tight squeeze and a roof box ontop. The middle seats dont leave much arm room for everyone.

    I’d personally go for a large estate TBH for 99% of the time.


    Enginewise I’d look up the 1.8 petrol or the diesel. Surprisingly the old 1.7 petrol is frugal and better all-round than the 2.0 petrol (I had the 2.0 petrol). Plus the 1.7 is dirt-cheap now.


    Why not take a look at the VW Touran. I’ve had 2 and found them great for chucking stuff in.
    Enough space to take 3 -4 bikes inside along with 3 people and gear for a weekend away. If you want more space then I can hang another 3 bikes off the back of it.
    Oh and with the 2.0 TDI it still goes well fully loaded.


    I have been looking for a MPV recently and have finally decided on the FRV. Its smaller than the touran (a disadvantage) but all the surveys and reviews are very positive where as there are loads of nightmare stories about the touran.

    It drives well for an MPV, is much better looking than the multipla.
    The AA man who came to sort my renault said he never got called out to them.
    On the down side, if you have the front seat slid back, you cannot get all the rear seats flat.


    ianv – nightmares about the Touran ? I’ve done about 150k miles in my 2 without any problems. Similar stories from family and friends with them as well !

    Premier Icon alfabus

    thanks for the replies, sorry i haven’t been taking part in the thread; i got dragged off to a meeting for the rest of the day :o(

    How is the FR-V for bikes in the back; assuming all 3 seats are folded down, can you get bikes in vertically with the front wheel off?



    I had a test drive of a diesel FR-V a couple of years back. It was OK to drive – very wide track gives great cornering. Visibility out of the back seats is awful though, your kids might not like this. And reversing is a nightmare – you’d want the sensors. The rear seats fold flat, which saves having to store them anywhere, but that inevitably takes away from storage space. Some folk don’t like the strange handbrake. I thought it was OK.

    Just bought a 2nd hand Multipla. As there’s only (usually) my wife, daughter and me, we can all sit in the front and take the rear seats out completely. I reckon I can probably fit 3 bikes and all our camping gear in the space thus created (it’s very deep). A bike will fit in, upright, with just the front wheel removed. 4 riders and bikes should possible without reverting to the towbar rack. I can probably do 5 with the 3-bike towbar rack. Front seats all seem to be a bit wider than the Honda – and hence no problems about fitting 3 reasonably sized adults.


    Up until October last year I was a salesman for Honda, the FR-V was my weapon of choice for a Demonstrator. Living in Wilts it was great for the 3+3 trips, 3 bikes and 3 people,off to Afan and Cwmcarn for day trips. I wouldn’t have wanted to do much more than a couple or three hours though (quite tight in the front).
    For a trip for six to the alps snowboarding, forget it, unless you have a trailer and a roofbox.
    I would only go for the 2.2 Diesel, the 1.7 is gutless and the 1.8 are very few and far between. The 2.0 is the most common but very thirsty.

    Would i have another one, definitely.

    Premier Icon midlifecrashes

    My brother has a Multipla, can get four adults plus camping gear plus bikes (some wheels off) in no trouble. I had a good look at the FR-V and thought it would probably do the same but haven’t tried it. I’d rather not have a tantrumming kid in reach of the gearstick, handbrake or stereo. I’m sticking with my less van-like Honda Stream until something better comes along. Could be tempted by a Mitsubishi Grandis next time, but I’m more bothered by having extra seats when I need them than van like carrying capacity.

    They can cure you of a viagra overdose

    We’ve got the 2.2 diesel and we love it. Although there are only me, my wife and my two sons, because we live in a foreign country, we are always fetching and delivering friends and family from airports.
    I would agree with some of the above comments though – the middle front seat IS a squeeze if you’ve got wide shoulders, and a drive to the Alps might be pushing it.
    What is also useful are the plethora of hidden boxes, cup-holders, picnic trays etc.
    And, if you take the two outside front seat headrests off, then the seats fold almost flat to the back seats, or at least flat enough to be properly comfy with a Thermarest – which was a godsave during D2D last year in the middle of the night 🙂
    Neverfastenuff is right -they’re not very sexy, but that’s not what they’re for really.

    Oh yeah… I test drove the 1.8 automatic too before we bought the 2.2 diesel manual (I think the automatic only comes in a 1.8L flavour) and it was rubbish – properly gutless.


    I’ve had the diesel FRV for 2.5 years as a company car and I’m in the process of ordering another as its replacement. I’ve done 95K miles in it and it’s the best car I’ve had, goes well and corners well due to the wide track. (tops out at about 112mph due to I assume the high drag, but accelerates well up to about 90 odd)
    I have three kids and can get kids, massive tent and gear for a week away in it, with the use of a roof box and bike racks obviously.
    Can get three folk, gear and bikes inside it for weekends away, but like folk have said the middle front seat is a bit tight, wouldn’t want to go more that a few hours in it. However if you’re not folding the rear seats down you can push the middle seats back which creates more room, but obviously eats into boot space as you have to push middle back seat back as weel. I took 6 people to Manc and back from the Borders and it was fine, all big guys too. (I actually finally decided on an FRV after seening six large Germans getting out of one at Queribus castle in the Langedoc, they had obviously driven there from Germany. I thought if they can get in it then there must be loads of room!)

    Rear visability for manovering is shite but that’s why God invented parking sensors, seats could do with a bit more lumbar support but not too bad, strange gearstick and hand brake take no time atall to get used to, in fact a normal car feels like they’re in a stupid wrong place when you switch back.

    Brilliant car, I think it looks pretty good too.
    Best of all, for someone like me who’s car is their office it has something every car should have….a bin! (under front middle seat)


    Surely the S-Max would meet most of your criteria?

    Andy Mac

    I bought a new 2.0lt sport FRV in March 05 with the 330 quid 5 Year service pack. Just had it’s fourth year service today and cost me nowt ! 🙂

    I searched high and low when I bought this. Married with three teenage kids and living in the Yorks Dales ( Ingleton). Needed something big but not OTT. Top end would be Galaxy and Kia Sedonda size which was way to big for me and the country lanes. Ended up between the FRV and VW Touran. All other ‘mid size’ MPV’s had no boot due nto the extra seats unlike the FRV. Most others have small rear seats ( 10 years and under) and lose boot space ( VW ). The FRV has two rows of 3, the central seats which slide backwards ( yes cutting into boot space but minimal ) IMO there is no other vehicle which offers 6 seats and a very good sized boot!

    Driving wise, we’ve been to the South of France three times. Never had problems with back ache etc although I’d say you ‘sit on it’ opposed to ‘sitting in it’ if that makes sense. Pulls well and averaging around 33 MPG ( don’t sell my 2.0lt as new anymore). Been to Glentress several times and various other places with two mates. Back seats fold down with huge boot. Three bikes on handle bars and assoc kit. Three blokes upfront which is bearable but tight. reliable? it’s a Honda.

    Downside, rear parking nightmare, senors a must. if three upfront and cup holder pulled out it cuts into the central persons legs. Central front seat is narrow for a broad shouldered person however Bullfrog ( he’s big ) managed for 3 hrs! The leg space between the front seat when fully back and the dash is limited. long legs would possibly be bent slightly to the side.

    Quirky yes. Different yes. Would I buy again, without a doubt. Hope this helps.



    Driven by grey people who work for local councils!!

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