The next-generation Honda HR-V has been unveiled in Japan – under the name Vezel, as its known in its home market - and it has rather different styling from the current edition of the small SUV. The lines are more harmonious than prior, though its signature remains familiar, as does its position within the lineup.
The next HR-V looks quite a bit like a coupe-style SUV, with the overall presentation getting a sportier touch. The wider headlights and more upright muzzle contribute to the vehicle's larger stature. The grille has slats that seem to blend well with the body and the HR-V's signature feature of rear door handles integrated into the door frame is still present. All in all, we have a model with cleaner lines.
On board, think back to what Honda presented with the 2022 Civic; it’s the same thing here, more or less. The presentation is minimalist and shows a horizontal opening that stretches across the width of the interior to integrate the air vents. A floating screen dominates the centre console and in our view spoils the purity of the lines a bit. Fortunately, the rear seat configuration (with the Magic Seat system in place) remains, so owners will still be able to benefit from cargo volume that’s very generous given the model's size.
Since the product presentation is a Japanese affair for now, we have to be careful with what was unveiled in terms of the model’s powertrain. That said, we can include in our wish-list a 1.5L 4-cylinder within a hybrid system. We'll see if Honda is bold enough make some changes to the HR-V versions eventually coming our way.
In Japan, the HR-V goes on sale this coming April. If this were a normal year, you'd expect to see a version of the HR-V at one of our North American auto shows, either in Detroit in June or Los Angeles show in November, but the pandemic means nothing is normal. The presentation could conceivably take place in Los Angeles in the late fall if the situation improves greatly by the end of the summer.