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Honda HR-V 2022: Australian price could push hybrid Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross PHEV, Nissan Qashqai, MG ZS EV rival to $45,000

Honda's new HR-V was revealed back in February, but it might not arrive Down Under until early 2022.

Honda Australia is readying to launch its new-generation HR-V small SUV, and coming with it is hybrid power in the form of e:HEV technology, but how much can local buyers be expected to pay for the new Mazda CX-30 rival?

The brand is remaining mum on details for now, but with the Australian launch earmarked for the early 2022, buyers won’t have long to wait.

Looking to the UK might be the best indication of what we can expect to pay, with the third-generation HR-V kicking off from £26,960 – which converts to a staggering $A50,622.

$50,000 for a small SUV? Outrageous, right? But before you go looking up rivals like the Nissan Qashqai and Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, keep in mind Australian prices seldom translate directly.

For example, the entry-level 10th-generation Civic hatch over there is available from £21,730, which converts to $A40,802, whereas the base car here starts at $31,000 drive-away.

Three grades are available in the UK, Elegance, Advance and Advance Style, all equipped with Honda Sensing – also known as the brand’s advanced driver safety systems that includes forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking (AEB), lane keep assist, lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control.

However, in Europe, the HR-V is offered exclusively with the hybrid powertrain, but given Australia’s slower uptake of electrified models, it is likely Honda will also offer a petrol-powered version as an entry point to its small SUV range.

Over in Japan, the HR-V is offered with a 1.5-litre petrol engine, outputting 87kW/142Nm to the front wheels, which is a little down on the outgoing car’s 105kW/172Nm 1.8-litre engine.

For reference, pricing for the outgoing HR-V starts at $31,300 drive-away for the base VTi, and tops out at $41,000 for the VTi-LX.

Putting it all together, we can surmise the new HR-V will likely incur a small price rise (which new model doesn’t?), placing it around $35,000 for the entry-level model – or about the same price as the new Civic hatch is likely to come in at.

But what about the top-spec e:HEV hybrid? Well, the high-tech powertrain that combines two electric motors with a 1.5-litre engine punches out a combined 96kW/253Nm, easily outpacing the entry-level engine.

Better performance and fuel economy (as low as 4.0 litres per 100km compared to up to 6.4L/100km, according to Japanese documentation) will also mean a higher price, likely around $45,000 to compete against the likes of the fully electric MG ZS EV ($44,990 drive-away), Kia Niro Hybrid (from $39,990 before on-road costs), Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross PHEV (from $46,490) and upcoming mild-hybrid Mazda CX-30 (price TBA).

Full details, including confirmation of pricing, are expected for the 2022 Honda HR-V soon.