2008 Honda FR-V Review


Looking for a Used FR-V in your area?

CarGurus has thousands of nationwide listings and the tools to find you a great deal.

Average user score
4.5 5 stars
Based on 4 reviews

2008 Honda FR-V Overview

Not quite a minivan – or MPV as it’s called in Europe – and certainly not an SUV, the 2008 Honda FR-V remains unique. The family-friendly FR-V is a five-door, six-passenger hatchback with a distinctive twist - three separate front bucket seats mounted abreast, and three distinct rear seats, also abreast. Each of the three rear seats folds flat separately, or together, to add to what is already a sizable amount of storage and cargo capacity. This three-abreast concept was pioneered by Fiat in the popular Multipla MPV.

Like a number of vehicles now running around Europe, the ’08 Honda FR-V had been scheduled to arrive in North America for the 2010 or 2011 model year. Thus far, however, the only indication that Honda has given regarding the FR-V coming to the U.S. reasonably soon is their inclusion of a 2.2-liter i-CTDi diesel inline four-cylinder (I4) engine for the 2005 FR-V that has been specifically engineered to adhere to the strict U.S. Tier II emissions regulations. The 2.2-liter diesel is a potent, clean, and economical little beast, generating some 140 hp and over 250 lb-ft of torque with a small carbon footprint, and getting some 53 highway mpg (and an average of 45 mpg) while doing it.

A 1.8-liter gas-fueled I4 is the standard base engine for the ’08 Honda FR-V and claims the same horsepower as the diesel, but with considerably less torque. Additionally, the 1.8-liter I4 averages only 38 mpg. Both the gas and diesel engines are touted to have a top speed of 118 mph. Both a six-speed standard transmission and an automatic are offered with the FR-V, depending on the trim level.

The ’08 Honda FR-V, built on a modified CR-V platform, handles decently enough and provides a smooth, quiet ride – except when accelerating with the 1.8-liter I4, which makes a noticeable racket.

The Honda FR-V’s interior is a blend of old and new, analog and digital, but overall, tastefully done. Cabin storage space abounds, with ingenious seat cubbies and storage boxes well hidden, yet accessible. Seats are described as comfortable, and forward visibility as very good. Rear quarter visibility is, however, compromised somewhat by the thick roof pillars.

The FR-V base SE trim presently boasts such standard comfort and convenience features as remote power door locks, power windows, heated power outside mirrors, a CD player with MP3 and iPod plug-in connector, air-conditioning, telescoping tilt-wheel steering, and a height-adjustable driver’s seat. The midlevel ES adds an automatic transmission, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and dual-zone climate control, while the top-shelf FR-V EX trim offers the 2.2-liter diesel I4 and upgraded audio entertainment features.

Standard safety features for the Honda FR-V include four-wheel disc ABS with electronic brakeforce distribution and emergency braking assist, dual front- and side-mounted airbags, side curtain airbags, center-seat 3-point restraints, stability control, Honda’s ISOFIX child-restraint system, and side-impact protection beams.


Have Laptop. Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.

What's your take on the 2008 Honda FR-V?

Have you driven a 2008 Honda FR-V?  
Rank This Car

Looking for a Used FR-V in your area?

CarGurus has thousands of nationwide listings and the tools to find you a great deal.

Have questions?   Ask a question

Honda FR-V Questions

Sudden Increase In Oil Consumption In A 58 Plate 2.2CDT-i Honda FR-V

I have a Honda FRV 2.2 cdti 58 plate with 82,000 miles on the clock which has suddenly started burning oil - from fully serviced to dashboard warning light in 2.5 months, its never needed more than ...