New Honda HR-V gets minimalist looks and all-hybrid line-up

Honda reveals first details of new Nissan Juke rival with ‘noiseless' design and twin-motor system
2021 Honda HR-V e:HEV2021 Honda HR-V e:HEV
2021 Honda HR-V e:HEV

Honda has revealed details of its new HR-V crossover.

The latest generation is the third model to carry the HR-V name is built on the same small car platform that underpins the Jazz and shares the supermini petrol-electric hybrid drivetrain. Described as a sub-compact SUV, the HR-V is a rival to the Nissan Juke, Renault Captur and Vauxhall Mokka.

Entering a segment full of bold styling, the HR-V has been significantly redesigned with a broad, body-coloured grille dominating the front of the car with slimline headlights and a longer, taller bonnet setting a more purposeful tone. Honda describes the HR-V’s design as “noiseless” with simple lines and an absence of “unnecessary design features”, complemented by hidden handles for the rear door and tailgate. The new model sits on 18-inch alloys as standard and offers 10mm more ground clearance but with a roofline that’s 20mm lower to enhance its coupe-inspired lines.

2021 Honda HR-V e:HEV2021 Honda HR-V e:HEV
2021 Honda HR-V e:HEV

Inside, Honda has also put an emphasis on simplicity with a minimalist dashboard design featuring a nine-inch touchscreen and physical controls for the most commonly used functions such as ventilation. On the subject of ventilation, Honda says its innovative L-shaped vents create a curtain of air around occupants rather than blowing directly at them. Passenger space is improved all round, with an extra 35mm of rear legroom which Honda says rivals cars in the class above. There is also improved cabin storage along with conveniences such as wireless phone charging and four USB ports. The HR-V also retains Honda’s Magic Seats which fold down or flip up to create more length or height for storage depending on a user’s needs.

The HR-V now features a powered hands-free tailgate with automatic “walkaway” closing which, combined with a lower load floor and wider tailgate offer improved practicality and, apparently, space for two 26-inch mountain bikes or “several” surfboards.

Powering the HR-V is a hybrid setup featuring a 1.5-litre petrol engine and two electric motors. It is the same basic arrangement as in the Jazz but to accommdate the HR-V’s larger size the system’s power is increased from 108bhp to 129bhp, with a maximum of 187lb ft of torque. The car defaults to EV mode at start up and in other circumstances the engine acts as a generator for the electric motors rather than driving the wheels, although it can directly power the wheels in high-demand situations. Economy and emissions figures are yet to be announced.

UK specification haven’t been confirmed but all models come with full-LED lights, 18-inch alloys, digital instruments and a nine-inch touchscreen which Honda says is simpler and 50 per cent quicker than the previous system and features Android Auto and wireless Apple CarPlay. The HR-V also features the latest version of the Honda Sensing driver assistance suite which enhances systems including adaptive cruise control, forward collision detection and blind spot warning.

Full UK specs along with pricing will be announced later this year ahead of customer deliveries beginning towards the end of 2021.

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