The next-generation 2022 Honda HR-V has been spied testing in Europe for the first time, ahead of its anticipated unveiling later this year.
While the prototype snapped by our spy photography partners wears moderate camouflage over its front and rear fascias and body lines, it's still clear the new HR-V won't stray too far from its predecessor in the design department.
The next generation of Honda's small SUV – the first all-new model in nearly eight years – retains its predecessor's overall shape and distinctive 'hidden' rear door handles, though it's markedly more angular and creased than the car it replaces.
Up front, slimmer LED headlights flank a tall, upright grille, while at the rear peeking through the camouflage are what appear to be LED tail-lights connected by a full-width light bar.
The rake of the rear window seems to be noticeably steeper than that of the current car, pointing towards a sportier, style-driven direction for the new model.
While no images of the images were formally captured, zooming into one of the exterior images reveals the new HR-V will join the Accord mid-size sedan and next-generation Civic small car in moving to a tablet-style infotainment screen, likely the 9.0-inch unit set to be used in the latter – a notable upgrade over the current model's 7.0-inch unit.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto should be bundled into the new unit, which is set to form part of a more contemporary interior likely to include a digital instrument cluster and styling elements borrowed from the retro-styled Honda E electric city car.
The current HR-V's much-loved folding 'Magic Seats' are expected to be offered again with the new-generation model.
Few mechanical details are known about the new HR-V, though given it's expected to share its front-wheel-drive platform with the latest-generation, not-for-Australia Jazz city car, expect the option of a hybrid powertrain, likely an uprated version of the Jazz's 80kW, 1.5-litre 'self-charging' setup offered in Europe and Japan.
A conventional petrol engine will likely also be offered, though the exact form it will take remains unclear.
The current HR-V is powered solely in Australia by a 105kW/172Nm 1.8-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, driving the front wheels through a CVT automatic. A 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder shared with the Civic is available overseas, though that option never made its way Down Under.
Expect the new model to offer a full suite of advanced active safety technologies under the Japanese brand's Honda Sensing banner, including autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist and more.
The 2022 Honda HR-V is expected to make its full debut later this year, with an Australian launch likely to flow on to sometime in 2022.