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Honda Australia’s crucial new-generation HR-V will land in local showrooms over the coming weeks, but the Japanese brand is yet to reveal key details like pricing and full specifications.
Sitting at the larger end of the small SUV segment, the third-generation HR-V will compete directly against the Nissan Qashqai, Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross and Haval Jolion, but with Honda Australia moving to a new sales model, don’t expect its latest model to come cheap.
Prices aside, Honda Australia has a few aces up its sleeve that should shake up the market, so this is what you can expect from the 2022 HR-V.
Honda’s third-generation HR-V line-up will be available in two flavours – the base Vi X and the top-spec e:HEV L.
Standard equipment across the 2022 HR-V line-up includes 18-inch wheels, LED headlights with high-beam assist, keyless entry and push-button start.
For multimedia, Honda’s HR-V features a 9.0-inch touchscreen with satellite navigation and wireless Apple CarPlay support and wired Android Auto.
In terms of safety, autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, lane-keep assist and traffic sign recognition.
Stepping up to the e:HEV L grade adds a powered tailgate, heated steering wheel and front seats, LED cornering lights and an acoustic windscreen to reduce NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) levels.
The entry-level Vi X will be powered by a 1.5-litre petrol engine, though Australian outputs are yet to be revealed.
Overseas models equipped with a 1.5-litre engine produce 87kW, which would be a noticeable step back in performance compared with the outgoing HR-V’s 105kW/172Nm 1.8-litre petrol engine.
Meanwhile, the top-spec e:HEV L will debut Honda’s new-generation hybrid technologies in Australia, and pairs a 1.5-litre engine with dual electric motors.
According to Honda, the powertrain “delivers efficient and responsive performance”, but – again – details like outputs and fuel economy are still to be confirmed.
The outgoing HR-V is available in four trim levels that range in price from $31,300 to $41,000 drive-away, but don’t expect the next-gen version to adhere to a similar band.
As seen with the 11th-gen Civic that launched last year with a single highly-specified VTi-LX grade for $47,200 drive-away, Honda Australia isn’t afraid change things up when it comes to pricing.
However, the entry-level HR-V Vi X will be at least more affordable than the Civic small hatchback, according to comments from Honda Australia boss Stephen Collins.
“Repositioned as a sophisticated entry point to the Honda vehicle line-up in Australia, the all-new HR-V has been designed to appeal to a broader audience, elevating premium styling and quality alongside the HR-V’s enduring trademarks of spaciousness and versatility,” he said.
Just how far below $47,000 the HR-V will start at is still unclear, but its obvious that Honda Australia is positioning its new small SUV much more upmarket than before.
The HR-V e:HEV L flagship, meanwhile, could very well cost more than $50,000 when it lands, but is also one of the only electrified small SUVs (alongside the Toyota C-HR, Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross and Kia Niro) on the market.
Again, Australian details are yet to be officially confirmed, but the 2022 HR-V measures 4340mm long, 1790mm wide, 1582mm tall and features a 2610mm wheelbase in overseas markets.
This actually makes the new HR-V both shorter in length and height than its predecessor, meaning the new car might be less practicality than the one it replaces. Style and that steeply-raked roof does come at a cost.
Honda has tried to mitigate this as best it can by packaging the fuel tank below the front seats – at least in hybrid-equipped variants – meaning the rear seats are positioned 30mm further back than before, and also allows for an extra two degrees of recline.
However, the UK-spec HR-V lists a 335-litre boot capacity, which is well down on the outgoing car’s 437L figure.
Expect to also see Honda’s ‘Magic Seats’ carryover though, allowing the rear seats to stow in a number of flexible configurations to maximise space.