The new Honda Civic will be joined by the crucial, all-new Honda HR-V small SUV in the first half of 2022.
Honda has confirmed the 2022 HR-V will arrive in e:HEV hybrid guise initially, with a “small gap” before the petrol touches down locally.
Honda Australia boss Stephen Collins has confirmed the HR-V won’t follow the 2022 Civic with a one-model range, and will instead offer a spread of models to meet Australia’s appetite for small SUVs.
“We’ll have more range, more coverage,” Mr Collins said. “It won’t just be top-spec.”
Currently, the HR-V is offered in four different flavours. It’s likely the next-generation model won’t feature a stripped-out VTi base model, and will instead focus more closely on high-end variants.
Honda Australia hasn’t confirmed what form the petrol engine in the new HR-V will take.
The Japanese market HR-V is offered with a 1.5-litre petrol making 87kW of power and 142Nm of torque, but it’s not clear if that engine will be the one coming to Australia.
Currently, the HR-V is powered by a 1.8-litre naturally-aspirated petrol engine 105kW and 172Nm.
Meanwhile, the e:HEV hybrid that’ll lead the petrol pairs a 1.5-litre petrol engine and two electric motors for total outputs of 96kW and 253Nm.
Claimed fuel economy is 5.4L/100km on the WLTP test cycle, and the e:HEV hits 100km/h in 10.6 seconds.
When it touches down, the new HR-V will be a critical cog in Honda’s new agency sales model.
The brand expects 90 per cent of its sales to be made up of SUVs moving forward, and the HR-V is currently its second-best seller behind the larger CR-V.
The new HR-V’s styling is more conservative than that of the current car, with clean, unadorned sides punctuated by a single, straight crease that runs from the headlights to the tail lights.
The headlights appear slimmer and more angular, while the grille consists of a series of horizontal, body-coloured bars. The bumper insert has a diamond pattern.
The tail lights are slimmer, too, and stretch from either side to meet the Honda badge in the middle.
Though it presents a different appearance to the current HR-V, there are some design elements carried over like the rear door handles mounted in the C-pillar.
Inside, there’s a similarly minimalist appearance, with a 9.0-inch tablet-style touchscreen infotainment system and air vents that blend in with a trim piece spanning most of the dashboard. Below that is a similarly wide stretch of soft-touch trim.
The HR-V retains Honda’s clever Magic Seats, while new options include a panoramic roof, surround-view camera and a power tailgate.
A Honda Digital Key app allows you to unlock your HR-V using your smartphone, while the satellite navigation system’s maps can now be updated over-the-air.
The adaptive cruise control has a traffic jam function, while other safety features include autonomous emergency braking, traffic sign recognition, and lane-keeping assist.
MORE: Everything Honda HR-V