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All-new Honda HR-V revealed with new tech, hybrid power

By Tom Fraser, 18 Feb 2021 News

All-new Honda HR-V revealed with new tech, hybrid power

New-gen Honda HR-V represents big departure from previous styling language, also set to offer a hybrid powertrain as standard – in Europe, at least

Honda has welcomed a new-generation HR-V today, unveiling the all-new small SUV with the brand’s clean new design themes and with a hybrid powertrain for the first time.

Indeed, hybrid will be the only option available to HR-V buyers in Europe. Australian details are still to be revealed, but Honda's local arm has previously confirmed it intends to offer hybrid variants of all future models.

Depending on the final product plan, petrol versions could form the basis of the new HR-V line-up in Australia, and the Japan market is already confirmed to have a 1.5-litre petrol variant on its roster. 

For petrol models, buyers might expect a grille design that look more like the Japan-market styling packs featured at the bottom of this story.

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Overall, the new HR-V's looks are simpler and more streamlined than before, with a number of new interesting elements such as the slatted front grille shown on this hybrid model, a tapered roofline and accentuated wheel guards. 

Honda also says it retains the previous HR-V’s class-leading interior space, with the trick ‘Magic Seat’ folding seat mechanism making a return.

The design uses a coupe-like form which is said to enhance the interior space and provide a high level of comfort, the Japanese manufacturer said.

The new integrated-look grille of the hybrid is flanked by a set of thin-profile LED headlights. It also gets an elongated bonnet, while vertical side panels ensure unimpeded interior space.

The C-pillar door handles have been carried over, though the new HR-V now features a tapered roofline that descends into a beefier rear end than before. LED tail lights are bridged by a full-width light bar, as is becoming the norm in automotive design. 

Inside, the HR-V features a new-look, Honda E-inspired interior with newer fabrics and soft-touch materials. It’s more of a minimalist style than before, featuring only carefully considered design elements.

It will receive a larger Honda Connect touchscreen infotainment system in the centre of the dash, with connected features like digital key, automatic map updates and in-car wifi.

The low-mount dashboard and centre stack stocks physical dials for climate control functions, volume control and air vent adjustment.

MORE Why don't Australians love Honda like they used to?

Also of note is a new air diffusion system that provides a curtain of fresh air beside and above passengers, flowing from L-shaped vents in the dashboard.

Only one powertrain has been announced for the 2021 HR-V so far: a petrol engine matched to a two-motor ‘e:HEV’ hybrid system.

It allows the driver to switch between three driving settings; including EV mode, hybrid mode and engine mode. Full details for this system are still to come. 

Honda Sensing safety features will be offered, including items such as autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, auto high beam, lane-keep assist and sign recognition function.

The Honda 2021 HR-V rejoins the popular small SUV segment to battle the likes of the Hyundai Kona, Kia Seltos, Ford Puma, Volkswagen T-Cross and Mitsubishi ASX. 

European deliveries are scheduled to begin in late 2021, with Australian timing still to be properly firmed up. 

"The current HR-V continues to be one of the most popular and successful models in the Honda range, so we're looking forward to the new model joining the line-up in Australia over the next 12 months," a Honda Australia spokesperson said today.

"We will be able to share more details about the all-new HR-V for our market as we get closer to the local launch."

READ NEXT Where Honda Australia stands on electrification

Below: A pair of style packs available to the Japanese market