HR-V was the car Honda needed in order to stay competitive in the SUV market, and since its arrival in January 2016 it’s deservedly found plenty of happy customers. Among the key assets of HR-V, and where it actually does better than the category-winning Mazda CX-3, is in space. While HR-V is a bigger vehicle overall, it also makes excellent use of that space with its ‘magic seats’, which will be familiar to Honda Jazz owners. HR-V leads the class with its safety credentials, which in this mid-spec VTi-S variant include blind spot monitoring and autonomous braking – highly commendable in a small SUV costing $31,428 drive-away. HR-V’s CVT transmission can cause the revs to flare under load, but it’s minimal in normal city driving. Build and finish are up to Honda’s typically high standards, placing HR-V in a well-deserved equal first in class along with the other two podium finishers. HR-V handles very well, and although it isn’t quite as sharp as Mazda CX-3, it makes up for that with a more supple ride. This is a solid second place for the Honda, making it a smart buy if you need a little extra room in your baby SUV.