The third-generation HR-V will soon come to Australia with hybrid power and a new coupe-like design to target the evolving tastes of small SUV buyers.
Honda Australia has confirmed the HR-V will arrive in the first half of 2022 paired with its new hybrid option.
Bigger than the outgoing HR-V and significantly more advanced, the new Honda HR-V will arrive in a radically more competitive segment than the one the previous generation joined when it launched in 2014.
The small SUV class now accounts for 14 percent of all new car sales in Australia – nearly double the 7.7 percent share small crossovers made up seven years ago.
After being unveiled earlier this year, the all-new small SUV has gone on sale in Europe and will make its way to Australia following the launch of the 11th generation Civic, which is still due to launch in Australia by the end of 2021.
Trailing the 2022 Civic by three to six months, the now hybrid-electric HR-V will take on rivals such as the popular Toyota C-HR and the incoming Nissan Qashqai – which shares a similar hybrid drivetrain option.
The new-generation HR-V is slightly longer and wider than its predecessor at 4340mm (+46mm) and 1790mm (+18mm) respectively but sits slightly lower than before at 1582mm (-23mm).
Despite sharing an identical 2610mm wheelbase, the HR-V boasts ‘class-leading space’ that it attributes to the well-packaged nature of its hybrid drivetrain and centre-mounted fuel tank design.
Designers have also pointed to the versatility of the HR-V’s interior with the rear ‘Magic Seats’ which can be folded completely flat or flipped up to suit various cargo needs. Additionally, the boot is easier to access thanks to a lower tailgate edge.
With Australian specifications may differ, Honda UK has fitted a 9.0-inch touchscreen in the centre of the dash that it claims is earlier to use with smartphone-like interface.
Button lovers will also appreciate the decision to keep physical controls for functions such as volume and climate control.
The multi-media system is fitted with an in-built wifi hotspot and over the air updates. Honda has also introduced wireless Apple CarPlay to the HR-V for the first time, though Android users will still need to use a USB cable to plug in their phone.
Sitting in front of the driver is an additional 7.0-inch LCD display in the instrument cluster pair with an analogue dial that sides to one side. Rear air vents and USB ports also now feature in the HR-V, making the small SUV a bit more child friendly for families.
The safety suite has also been spruced up for the new HR-V, with new features such as an intelligent speed limiter that can read traffic signs so a driver doesn’t accidentally creep over the speed limit.
The front AEB system is now capable of detecting pedestrians at night time and preventing the HR-V from turning across the path of another vehicle at an intersection. Accidental throttle presses are also dialled out if the driver aggressively hits the pedal while stationary.
Other features include adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist and low-speed reversing AEB – which is becoming increasingly common in modern cars and could soon be mandatory for vehicles to receive a five-star ANCAP safety rating in Australia.
The third-generation HR-V is offered with two main powertrains. The first is an updated version of the 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine found in its predecessor that produces 97kW of power and 155Nm of torque.
But the version most likely to catch your eye is the new hybrid that Honda refers to as the ‘eHEV’ which has been confirmed for the new HR-V and the upcoming Civic in Australia.
Honda’s hybrid system uses a 1.5-litre engine producing less grunt (79kW/131Nm) to constantly charge a tiny lithium-ion battery (measuring less than 1kW) that feeds power to two electric motors mounted on the front wheels.
The total system output is rated at 96kW/253Nm and uses 5.4L/100km of fuel when driving in combined conditions, according to WLTP testing criteria.
More information detailing the local specification and pricing will be released closer to the HR-V’s on sale date in Australia.
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