Honda has finally taken the wraps off the third-generation HR-V in Japan, today. Also known as the Vezel in markets like Japan and China, the 2021 Honda HR-V is a huge departure from the previous-gen model. The 2021 HR-V comes with completely new exterior and interior design, but more importantly, it is now a hybrid-only SUV. What's particularly more exciting is that the new HR-V could finally be on its way to India this time. In terms of design, the overall silhouette is pretty similar to the outgoing model, but the details are all new.
The face of the new HR-V looks a lot cleaner and sophisticated than before, as the myriad diagonal creases of the outgoing model are now completely gone. The nose is more upright with a new slatted grille that seems to blend with the body work. The sharper and sleeker headlights give the SUV a very imposing stance. In profile, the door handles for the rear door are placed on the C-pillar, just like the older model. Perhaps the most striking design element of the new HR-V is its distinct coupe-SUV like stance, particularly enhanced by its sloping roofline.
At the rear, the HR-V gets a new set of LED tail lights that are connected by an illuminated bar. On the inside, the dashboard design of the new HR-V seems pretty similar to that of the 2022 Honda Civic. The dashboard is low, wide and minimalistic and also features the popular single air vent motif. A free-standing touchscreen infotainment system takes center stage on the dashboard with a stack of physical buttons and dials for the climate control positioned below it. The overall dashboard design is very stylish and fit and finish levels are also expected to be of a premium quality.
Honda has revealed only one powertrain option for the new HR-V so far. Powered by Honda's e:HEV powertrain, it is a strong hybrid system with a 1.5L, naturally aspirated petrol engine and two electric motors. The combustion engine produces 96hp and 127Nm of peak torque. Meanwhile, the electric motor produces 106hp and 253 Nm of peak torque. This is the same powertrain that's offered on the Honda City Hybrid sold overseas. The new HR-V can run in three different modes - engine only, pure EV and hybrid. It is also available in both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive variants.
The new Honda HR-V will go on sale in Japan this April. As for India, previously, the Japanese carmaker had considered launching the previous-gen HR-V in our country. However, that never materialized as it would have had high levels of import content. Given how lucrative the compact-SUV segment in India has become in recent years, Honda will definitely be eyeing to bring the new HR-V to our shores. There has, however, been no official word from the carmaker yet.