Several return runs to South Wales from Oxfordshire have revealed that while the HR-V’s cabin provides a civilised driving environment, it has shortcomings.

The driving position is 10cm above that of its Civic stablemate, which gives a useful higher sight line in all conditions. But long-distance comfort is compromised by no adjustable lumbar support, which I would trade for the EX specification’s luxurious front leather-seat heaters.

In gloomy weather the almost full-length panoramic glass sunroof (see picture) brightens up long-haul journeys and both the sliding glazed section and fabric blind involve easy button-flicking operation.

But Honda’s comprehensive Connect infotainment system remains functionally challenging, with several key operations requiring distracting touchscreen manipulation that is not intuitive.

Our HR-V attracts a 24% fleet factor, while 1.6-litre diesel-engined versions take 66% of business sales. However, the adaptable and economical compact SUV crossover is conspicuously absent from Motability lists. This anomaly on a vehicle with an impressively flexible interior is due to high global demand, with UK retail customers at the front of the queue. That means the Motability channel is currently unnecessary.

Honda HR-V 1.6i-DTEC EX

Mileage 5914
P11D price £26,000
Forecast/actual cost per mile 53.8p/54.6p
Our average consumption 53.2mpg
Official combined consumption 68.9mpg