After a teaser campaign and leaked patent images, Honda’s third-gen HR-V SUV finally made its debut in Japan. Christened as the Vezel, the next-generation HR-V looks mature with cleaner lines and a host of new features. The new iteration, in many ways, is a major departure from the old model as it not only has a sportier stance, but it's now a hybrid only.
On the exterior, the new HR-V boasts a much cleaner design with a more pronounced coupe-like look. Upfront it sports a large grille that has slats, whichblend nicely with the bumper. New headlamps with LED DRLs mounted on top are among the new features. And just like the old HR-V, the new model has its rear door handle that's integrated onto the C-pillar. While at the rear, the HR-V joins other modern Honda models which have a new set of tail lamps connected via a LED light bar.
A peek into the interiors shows the cabin has definitely taken some inspiration from the 2022 Honda Civic prototype. It has a minimalistic dashboard and a large air vent that spans the length of it. The infotainment system gets an upgrade as well with a tablet-like device and looks bigger than before. In the centre stack, three stylish knobs are placed for dedicated, physical controls for climate control. Once again deriving from the old HR-V, the rear seat has versatile split fold-down and flip-up functions.
While Honda hasn’t revealed its entire feature list, however, it gets a hands-free powered tailgate, panoramic sunroof. New ‘breeze’ AC outlet, and hill descent control. It also comes equipped with Honda Connect car tech with features such as a Wi-Fi hotspot, digital key and remote operations.
The Japanese auto giant has only announced one powertrain details so far and it will get a 1.5-litre petrol engine paired with two electric motors. Even though the company revealed exact numbers, we expect it should be the same powertrain found in the Honda City hybrid.
The next-gen HR-V will go on sale in Japan by April 2021 and will be officially released in different markets later in the year. It could also make its debut by 2022 in India, especially since the Japanese automaker currently does not have any SUVs here.
The HR-V is also likely to share its underpinnings with the fifth-gen City which has already been localised to suit Indian roads. When launched Honda’s compact SUV would likely be a pricey offering. It will rival the likes of premium variants such as the Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos and few other upcoming models such as Skoda Kushaq, Jeep Compass and the Volkswagen Taigun.