Powered by
Subscribe to the only car newsletter you’ll ever need

Honda HR-V 2022: Australian release date firms for April, HR-V hybrid to follow


Unlike the new Civic, which comes only in flagship form, Honda says its Japanese-sourced 2022 HR-V will offer a broader model range that will include a Hybrid model – possibly from the start

Following the launch of the new-generation Civic hatchback on December 6, Honda Australia says the all-new HR-V small SUV won’t be too far behind, with an expected arrival around March or April 2022 for the petrol engine. 

A HR-V hybrid is coming to Australia and may join the petrol at launch; if not, the series-parallel hybrid powertrain will be released shortly after.

Honda HR-V 2022 front 3/4
The third-generation HR-V arrives in Australia soon

Speaking to Australian motoring media at the new Civic reveal, Honda Australia director Stephen Collins said the third-generation HR-V is an important model for Honda as the brand chooses to prioritise “primarily SUVs in the future.”

“[The new HR-V will launch] definitely in the first half [of 2022],” said Mr Collins. “If you had to throw a dart at it, somewhere in the middle of that first half might be close-ish. I think the reality is there might be a small gap [between petrol and hybrid arriving], but we’re trying to minimise that gap. And that’s just based on the availability out of the factory.”

What will the new HR-V model range look like?

While the new-gen Civic will be sold in Australia only in VTi-LX top-spec trim, the higher-volume HR-V will span a broader line-up catering to a broader cross-section of buyers.

“We’ll tell you more next year but we’ll have more range, more coverage [than Civic],” said Mr Collins. “[The HR-V] won’t just be top-spec.”

Honda HR-V 2022 rear 3/4 driving
The third-gen HR-V looks more modern and rugged than the SUV it replaces

While that leaves the door fairly wide open as to what HR-V variants will come here, there’s no doubt that the HR-V Hybrid (dubbed e-HEV) will definitely come to Australia alongside the regular petrol HR-V.

The decision to bring a HR-V hybrid was a major reason for sourcing the new generation from Japan, rather than Thailand, where the outgoing second-gen model was built for Australia. The Thai factory currently only builds the hybrid model.

While Europe also only gets the HR-V Hybrid – a 78kW/127Nm 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine joined by a 96kW/253Nm electric motor, the Japanese plant builds a regular petrol HR-V as well, offered in front- and all-wheel-drive versions.

Honda HR-V 2022 front 3/4
The HR-V will come with petrol and hybrid powertrain choices in Australia

In Japanese-market HR-Vs, this new 1496cc ‘L15Z’ petrol engine produces 87kW at 6600rpm and 142Nm at 4300rpm. This compares to 105kW/172Nm from the current 1.8-litre HR-V.

According to Japanese tech data, an entry-level front-drive HR-V petrol weighs 1250kg (or slightly less than a current HR-V VTi), with the base e-HEV Hybrid model carrying a 100kg premium.

The performance claim for the European HR-V Hybrid model is 0-100km/h in 10.6 seconds. 

What other Hondas should we expect after the new HR-V?

“Sourcing from Japan will also open up some opportunities because a lot of Japanese production is bound for the European market, which I think aligns for us pretty nicely,” said Mr Collins, referring to Honda Australia’s desire to lift its brand image with more premium products.

Honda Civic VTi-LX 2022-11
The 11th-gen Civic is the next all-new Honda model to arrive in Australia

“We’ve still got Accord and we’re going to be continuing with a full model change Accord,” he said, while alluding to another SUV model to be revealed next year, only saying that “it will definitely be under CR-V.” 

There’s a likelihood of a new sub-HR-V SUV model, however – hinted at by the recent ‘Honda RS Concept’ that debuted a few weeks ago at the Indonesian International Auto Show. A collaboration between Honda R&D centres in Thailand and Indonesia, if the RS Concept reaches production it will likely wear a ZR-V nameplate.