The third-generation Honda HR-V is about to go on sale in Australia, but under the same name a model based on a different platform has been teased in North America
The US-market HR-V has different body lines – and is a physically larger vehicle – than the more compact, and arguably more chic Australian-spec HR-V that will imminently be released locally with petrol and hybrid powertrains.
Honda of America hasn’t given detailed dimensions of the HR-V, only stating that it measures longer tip to tail, is wider and rides on a longer wheelbase than the second-gen HR-V.
It is not out of the question that if Europe received America’s HR-V as a new in-betweener crossover model, the same solution could be considered for Australia, possibly as a Honda FR-V model.
The US Market HR-V continues in a more similar vein to the second-gen car, using underpinnings from the Civic small car while the global HR-V sits on the Jazz’s platform.
The American HR-V also sounds set to follow in the footsteps of the latest Civic with Honda touting a premium look and feel.
Vice president of Honda America sales Michael Kistemaker said “by gaining aspirational qualities the all-new 2023 Honda HR-V will welcome a new generation of customers to Honda and grow in importance as a gateway to the Honda brand.”
The American version has been confirmed for European markets where it will sit between their HR-V and reworked 2023 CR-V.
It is possible the new American HR-V will come to Australia between the global HR-V and midsize CR-V – itself due for replacement in 2023 – and straddle the small and medium SUV segments as Skoda’s Karoq does now.
The American HR-V’s powertrain details are not yet confirmed, but Honda’s push to offer more hybrid options going forward means it will probably pick up the powertrain from the related hybrid Civic small car.
Outputs for the Civic e:HEV hybrid are 135kW/315Nm from its Atkinson cycle 2.0-litre petrol four-cylinder and single electric motor with a fuel consumption target of under 5.0L/100km, competitive with a Toyota Corolla Hybrid hatch.
The other option for the American HR-V is the current 1.5-litre turbo petrol four-cylinder that develops 131kW of power (on regular unleaded) and 240Nm of torque.
Given the HR-V is an SUV, there is potential Honda will offer the new vehicle in either front- or all-wheel-drive configuration.
The new Jazz-based global HR-V start from $36,700 driveaway in Australia for the petrol, or $45,000 for the hybrid variant, so a larger Civic-based HR-V would command a higher price.
We would expect the HR-V turbo petrol to be priced close to $50,000 driveaway if the brand chose to offer a single up-spec variant as it has done with the Civic small car.
A 2.0-litre hybrid-powered HR-V would potentially move the price closer to $60,000 driveaway depending on trim level.
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