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We have just purchased a T reg hrv after looking at various soft roaders. The HRV is designed as a four wheel drive estate car with four wheel drive that will get you out of light snow and mud. If you want an offroader buy a disco, our main vehicle. However we have two children, one whoi is 14 and 5' 9" and fits in the back with no trouble and states this is one of the most comfortable cars he has been in, including a Freelander. My wife likes it as it is a good shopping trolley. My personnel opion is that it is one of the best kept secrets from Honda. It combines an estate car with off road capability for most people who just want a car when the road or field conditions get a bit sticky. It has all the Honda toys and their split four wheel drive system is the same as the CRV. The tyres are a bit naff as they are high performance low profiles but I had an XR4x4 and they performed quite adequately but are not really for serious off road. Like I said if you want to do that by a car that has a low box. If you are struggling to find tyres for one try the motioring newspaper and order the tyres cheap. Then get your local tyre place to fit them. Just one other comment, I have had Hondas previously in the accord and civic. They are easy to drive very reliable and this car when new has a 3 year or 90,000 mile warrently. Try getting that off another manufacturer. For speed the legal limits are 70mph and speed cameras appear every other day, this car does 0-60 in around 12 sec and touches a tone. It goes round the twisty stuff like a xr4x4 and while it lacks the top end performance which personnel I don't see why you want it as it returns 32 milkes to the gallon on combined. All in all the car is a good all rounder an will be great for carrying canoes, sailing gear, walking gear, dogs and taking my wife 200 miles a day in comfort and safety. just hope that Clarkson guy does't read this or the price and the availabiltiy will go through the roof by plonkers who follow writers rather than there instincts but as Honda point out you have to be a liitle bit different to own one of these.