I may have told you this before – but I come to Ross-on-Wye most weekdays as I find it has some of the best driving roads around – and to be honest I feel a sense of warmth every time I come – but because I spend most of my time testing the car I am actually in – I seldom take the time to just pull over and take in the views.
Well this week I pulled over because for some time I have been meaning to take in the views of Goodrich Castle because I am told it is a great place to learn more about Hereford’s rich history.
Standing high on a rock above the River Wye, Goodrich Castle has to be one of the region’s most striking ruins and was constructed in the middle of the 12th century.
I am not much into history – but a quick read on the internet tells me that it was not really designed for defence reasons – but instead the castle was an elaborate home for noble families, such as the De Valances for instance.
There are also some striking features like the large gatehouse that was designed to protect the causeway leading to the gatehouse to limit the threat from raids and attackers. Additional features also included its own gate, which was designed to trap intruders within the inner defences.
Although by what I have read – Goodrich Castle did not see much action through the remainder of the Middle Ages, however, the outbreak of Civil War in England and Wales during 1642 changed all this I am sure.
Like I said History is not my strong point – but if you are in the area – then it is well worth a visit because a lot of the buildings are very well preserved and if you have a young family – it would make for some very interesting story telling to your little ones.
Honda HR-V 1.6 i-DTEC EX Manual
When you first see the HR-V you will think ‘is it a coupe or an SUV’. That’s exactly what I thought, but I have been told that Honda wanted it to have the lines of a coupe, but also the robustness of an SUV – and to be honest they seem to have pulled that off rather well and now the HR-V is one of the better looking SUV’s currently on the market.
Engine: The1.6 Litre i-DTEC (120PS) has 300Nm of torque and is actually a fantastic little diesel engine and is so far this year one of the better ones I have come across. I am also happy to report that the engine feels very refined and has bags of torque available when you need it most which makes motorway driving easy, quiet and unfussy.
The HR-V will also return a combined 68.9MPG if driven with a very light right foot – and the emissions came in at a very respectable 108 g/km. Top speed will also stop at around 119mph and 0-62 will come in around10 seconds.
On the road: The HR-V does not feel heavy or cumbersome at all – and you can sense that Honda has put in a lot of effort in setting up the suspension and chassis to help deal with the many different surfaces the HR-V will come across in its lifetime– be that the morning school run or that camping trip away in a remote part of Scotland.
Inside: The interior is of a good standard and its controls are well set out and all the dials are clear. I did not like the driver’s seat as I found I just couldn’t get the seating position perfect for me – but then I am quite fussy. Space inside is also good – better than most, and you could easily fit in a very large family.
Plus – everything inside the HR-V feels well put together. Passenger leg room is also fine as is the boot space with a seats up capacity of (470 litres) and seats folded flat capacity of (1533 litres).
Standard equipment in the EX model range is good with equipment such as, heated front seats, leather interior, 17” alloys, smart entry & start, panoramic open glass roof, driver/passenger & side airbags along with ABS & vehicle stability assist, forward collision warning, land departure warning system, highbeam support system and traffic sign recognition system.
The list does not stop there either – and when it comes to entertainment you get Honda’s brilliant Connect System which consists of a 7” touch screen with CD/radio/DAB with USB support and internet browsing.
To sum up: A good buy – If you are searching for one of the best looking compact SUV’s currently on the market with the addition of some top specification and enough space to keep any large family happy then the HR-V could be the perfect fit.
Price: £26,055 OTR not including fitted options