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Is this Honda Australia's hopeful third SUV? New crossover to split difference between HR-V and CR-V, rival Toyota Corolla Cross, Subaru XV and Haval Jolion: report

An artist’s impression of Honda’s upcoming small-to-mid-size SUV. (Image: Mag-X)

Honda Australia says 90 per cent of its projected 20,000 annual sales will be SUVs in the coming years, with a third, mystery crossover set to join the small HR-V and mid-size CR-V during that time, but a report has detailed what it could surprisingly entail.

According to Car Sensor, one of Honda’s next SUVs will split the difference between the HR-V and CR-V, to take on segment straddlers like the Toyota Corolla Cross, Subaru XV and Haval Jolion.

The Japanese publication says that particular all-new crossover will be revealed in September next year, offering a lifestyle focus and measuring about 4500mm long, 1800mm wide and 1625mm tall.

As such, the small-to-mid-size SUV will be larger than the next-generation HR-V (4340mm long, 1790mm wide and 1582mm tall) but smaller than the current-generation CR-V (4635mm long, 1855mm wide and 1689mm tall).

Given the local trademarking of the ZR-V nameplate, CarsGuide previously speculated Honda Australia’s third crossover would instead be positioned below the HR-V, as a light SUV that would challenge the Mazda CX-3, Toyota Yaris Cross and Kia Stonic.

As reported, the ZR-V is widely expected to be offered in Southeast Asian markets, at minimum, as an entry-level crossover, having seemingly been previewed by the RS Concept from a recent Indonesian motor show.

Speaking to CarsGuide and other media last month, Honda Australia’s director, Stephen Collins, left the door open for either potential model, noting the new local addition “will definitely be under CR-V”.

But strengthening the possibility of the larger SUV was Mr Collin’s indication that Honda Australia would import more of its future models from Japan, as it decreased its reliance on other export markets, namely Thailand.

The ZR-V was previewed by the RS Concept from a recent Indonesian motor show. The ZR-V was previewed by the RS Concept from a recent Indonesian motor show.

That nugget of information is important because Car Sensor suggests the segment-straddling crossover will be built in Japan, whereas the rumoured ZR-V is likely to be made in at least one Southeast Asian market, likely Thailand.

Either way, the Japanese publication also claims the small-to-mid-size SUV will be closely related to the recently launched new-generation Civic small car, with its 1.5-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder engine and ‘self-charging’ petrol-electric hybrid powertrain to be shared. Stay tuned.

For reference, the third-generation HR-V will enter Australian showrooms around March or April with multiple grades, unlike the 11th-generation Civic small hatchback, which has been released with just one.

Meanwhile, the sixth-generation CR-V mid-size SUV is yet to be revealed, but it is expected to be with optional hybrid power sometime next year, for a local launch in either late 2022 or early 2023.

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