The 2022 Honda HR-V has been officially unveiled, ahead of an expected Australian launch within the next 12 months.
First revealed in leaked patent images earlier in February, the new HR-V marks an evolutionary step forward over its predecessor in the exterior design department, pairing its trademark styling cues – namely a 'hidden' rear door handle – with a coupe-like shape and smoother styling reminiscent of Honda's recent models, including the new Civic.
Up front, LED headlights flank a stripe-pattered grille, with the lighting units' daytime-running light strips connected across the front end by a strip of chrome trim.
At the rear, a pair of LED tail-lights are connected by a full-width light bar. 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in Michelin tyres fill the arches on high-spec models, with entry-level grades featuring 16-inch wheels.
Inside, the new HR-V represents a significant step up over the model it replaces, with the new cabin dominated by a new 9.0-inch central infotainment touchscreen with satellite navigation, an inbuilt Wi-Fi hotspot and 'Honda Connect' connected services.
Drivers grip a new steering wheel with a centre hub inspired by the E electric hatchback, and look into a semi-digital instrument display (likely measuring around 7.0 inches across) mounted alongside an analog speedometer.
The outgoing HR-V's versatile folding 'Magic Seats' feature as standard in the new model, with a 40:60 split for the folding rear seats and a hands-free power tailgate aiding practicality.
Other available comfort and convenience features include a panoramic sunroof, heated seats, LED interior lighting, a Honda-designed premium sound system and a 'Honda Digital Key' service allowing owners to unlock their car via their smartphone.
Under the bonnet, European models will fitted as standard with a hybrid powertrain, combining a small petrol engine with two electric motors. Engine size, power and torque outputs, and fuel economy figures have all yet to be announced, as of publishing.
A single-motor version of the same hybrid system develops 80kW in the related Jazz hatch offered in Europe.
Japanese customers will also be able to opt for a 1.5-litre petrol engine (of unknown outputs) paired to a CVT automatic transmission.
It's unclear whether one or both of the powertrains listed above will come to Australia, or whether Honda's local arm will opt for a different engine altogether Down Under. The current HR-V is powered by a 1.8-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine, sending 105kW and 172Nm to the front wheels through a CVT auto.
Hybrid models offer three drive modes – Normal, Sport and Econ – with a further four settings for the regenerative braking system available to select from.
A full suite of Honda Sensing-branded safety technologies are on offer, including adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, lane-keep assist, forward and reverse autonomous emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, traffic sign recognition, a 360-degree camera and auto high-beams.
The 2021 Honda HR-V will go on sale in Europe in late 2021.
A spokesperson for Honda Australia told CarAdvice: "We were thrilled to see the next-generation HR-V officially unveiled today as part of the world premiere online event."
"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. 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.”
If the brand's statement proves true, expect to see the new small SUV in Australian showrooms by February 2022.