2021 Honda HR-V revealed – angular design, revised interior, new e:HEV hybrid model, improved Sensing

Here it is, everyone – the new Honda HR-V has finally been revealed! Replacing its hugely successful predecessor, the third-generation model has a lot riding on its shoulders, but that hasn’t stopped Honda from throwing the entire kitchen sink at the redesign.

Notably, the exterior styling is very different from the swooping organic look of the outgoing model. The new car is cleaner and more angular, with the characteristic upwards side slash of the current car replaced by a straight line connecting the head- and taillights. The front end also loses the “Solid Wing Face” grille bar.

Despite this, the basic front graphic has been retained, with upswept headlights (incorporating eyebrow-like daytime running lights, joined together by a slim chrome strip) connected to a large six-point grille, now finished in body colour to “enhance the sense of unity with the body.” The rear end sports trendy full-width taillights, with the number plate recess positioned further down.

Honda has also made the roofline more coupé-like by increasing the rear windscreen rake. Even so, the company is claiming to have retained rear-seat roominess, despite the unchanged dimensions. The trademark hidden rear door handles have been retained, while a black roof option has been added.

Inside, the horizontal theme continues with a slim, minimalist dashboard and a full-width air vent design. The corner outlets can be set to diffuse the airflow and come with unusually chunky control knobs. The tall bridge-like centre console of the outgoing model has also been ditched in favour of a more conventional transmission tunnel, with a unique chrome strip that wraps around the driver’s knee area.

Details are mostly under wraps but we can see that the HR-V will get the latest Honda Connect infotainment system found in the new Jazz and City, which come with nine- and eight-inch touchscreens respectively. Unlike the Jazz, however, the car will continue to feature analogue instruments.

Several new connectivity features have also been introduced as part of the Honda Total Care Premium package in Japan (where the car is sold as the Vezel), such as a Honda-first in-car WiFi hotspot, an app centre, automatic map updates and a smartphone digital key function. Other new features include a larger (non-opening) panoramic roof with solar-attenuating glass, a nine-speaker sound system and rear air vents.

In Japan, at least, the HR-V will continue to be offered with the Honda Sensing suite of safety features. These include autonomous emergency braking, lane keeping assist and traffic sign recognition, all of which have been improved in terms of performance. The adaptive cruise control also now features a stop and go function. A multi-view camera system and blind spot monitoring are now offered for the first time.

Japanese-market models will continue to be offered with the same 1.5 litre DOHC i-VTEC petrol engine and CVT as before, although output figures have yet to be released. As previously reported, the HR-V will also gain the e:HEV hybrid powertrain found in the Jazz and City, which uses an electric motor to do most of the driving and a petrol engine to charge the battery and provide motive power at higher speeds. Real-time all-wheel drive will be available as an option in Japan.

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