As the spring gales blow me to various points of the compass and I really start to pile on the miles, I can’t help feeling I’m beginning to get the best out of our long-term Honda HR-V.
Destinations as diverse as Newcastle-on-Tyne for the funeral of a much-loved 90-year old uncle, then onto Kent for my grandson’s first birthday, followed by a cross-channel trip to sort out some rising damp and some particularly uppity French builders, have all contributed to the HR-V’s odometer rapidly spiralling past the 4500-mile mark.
The 1.6-litre diesel engine now feels nicely bedded in and, although it’s still no ball of fire, it definitely feels perkier than when it first arrived.
I’ve had the pleasure of running petrol-powered Hondas in the past, so I know that, at exactly 6000 miles, something deep within the engine’s electronic brain is triggered into life and releases an additional boost of performance. Although I’m not really expecting the same kind of increase from the HR-V’s diesel engine, it’ll be interesting to see if it gains any additional spark once it hits this milestone. It won’t take long to find out at the rate I’m going.
The freer engine has also brought an improvement in my average fuel consumption, albeit a slim one. Singing along on a mercifully clear stretch of the M40 with the cruise set to 70mph, the central touch-screen display beamed out a resolute 59.9mpg for the best part of 65 miles.
Yeah, yeah, me too, but when I later did the litres swallowed to miles covered calculations, the cynic in me had to eat a big slice of humble pie as the electronic soothsayer proved to be absolutely spot-on. In mixed driving conditions, though, I reckon the norm is closer to 53mpg.
Now, I’m no Rachel Riley, but even my rudimentary addy-ups suggest that I’ll whizz past the HR-V’s 12,500 mile (£215) first service during the period the car is scheduled to spend with me.
Ok, so that’s not a financial implication that’s going to break the bank, but when you consider many modern diesel engines only need fettling every 18-20,000 miles, the HR-V starts to look like a bit of a hypochondriac.
Not that the Honda has ever cried off sick.