the SUV changes style and becomes hybrid

Honda's hybrid SUV

The next generation Honda HR-V has arrived. Third of the name, the one that is nicknamed “Joy Machine”, or “pleasure machine” by the brand, is making its revolution. New hybrid engine, assertive design, everything goes.

Honda unveiled its new hybrid-powered HR-V. The SUV gains in stature and sports a larger grille that is more assertive than its predecessor, which was a crossover. Honda offers a radically different proposition from the Honda Jazz, from which it takes over the engine.

As expected from the sketches released recently, the Honda HR-V changes positioning. The small SUV is muscular and asserts itself with a style closer to the competition. It includes a large grille and slender eyes which are reminiscent of its rivals at Hyundai.

A more muscular design inspired by SUV coupes

High perched, it reinforces its massive appearance with a very high beltline, and a fairly limited glazing area. The vanishing line from the roof is fairly straight up to the tailgate, which takes the shape of a coupe SUV.

At the rear, Honda uses the most effective current codes with a red LED line between the two optics. The logo, imposing, sits in the middle of this line which is reminiscent of the last generation Kia Sportage. At the bottom, the rear bumper is fitted with a metal shoe to reinforce the SUV’s adventurous spirit.

Honda explains that it wanted to offer a “feeling of stability and security” through the aesthetics of its HR-V. In any case, this offers a more radical design than its predecessor, and above all more dynamic than the CR-V, flagship of the Japanese fleet.

Honda's hybrid SUV

A hybrid SUV powered by Jazz

Under the imposing hood of this new “Joy Machine”, it’s also a revolution. No more petrol and diesel units, the SUV switches exclusively to the hybrid. Honda had the choice between making it adopt the i-MMD of the CR-V and the e: HEV of the Jazz, and opted for the latter.

It is however a variant of the i-MMD, since the two vehicles are now grouped under the badge e: HEV. The manufacturer confirms that it is exactly on the HR-V the engine of the Jazz. A complex functioning propellant unit that it is good to detail again, as it is far removed from the competition.

The e: HEV engine is based on a petrol unit, the 1.5 liter i-VTEC with Atkinson cycle, and two electric motors. The whole thing develops 109 horsepower and 253 Nm of torque on the Jazz, and it is not impossible that the power will increase on this HR-V.

The particularity of this engine is that the thermal block can either play the role of generator or drive the wheels. It makes it possible to avoid excessive consumption during acceleration phases, in particular on motorways and expressways.

Most of the time, the two electric motors play this role. The thermal block generates energy converted to a first electric motor. This acts as a generator for the second, which drives the wheels with the help of an e-CVT.

A cabin that is always livable and flexible

Honda redistributes the cards, but destroys the same strengths, and those are again inside the vehicle. The integration of the engine and the tank once again allows the HR-V to offer unparalleled roominess and modularity.

Thus, Honda promises a very large space for passengers in the front, with an integrated engine so that it does not take up space in the passenger compartment. And at the rear, the Japanese manufacturer once again succeeds in the feat of unmatched modularity.

Honda’s famous “Magic Seats” are still present, and the manufacturer knows he must keep this asset. These “magic seats” offer a flat floor when folded down, but it is also possible to raise the seat.

When folded vertically, the rear seats allow for example a bicycle or a fairly high object to slide in the passenger compartment. Well known to Honda owners wanting to charge their cars, this system had been abandoned on a generation of Civics, but the brand understood the expectations around this feature.

A hybrid SUV with premium positioning

On the dashboard, simplicity and quality are essential. Honda claims to have wanted to give an impression of a high-end SUV, and created a dashboard with a fluid design. The three-spoke steering wheel and analog speedometers stand in front of the driver, alongside a touchscreen.

Nothing is yet known about the digital part of this HR-V, its connectivity and its infotainment system. We can however prejudge that it will be similar to that of the Honda Jazz. Facing the passenger, the large vents of the previous generation have been reinterpreted and gain in apparent quality.

Honda has been a bit stingy on details and does not quote a price for this new HR-V either. With the CR-V only available in a hybrid version, Honda continues to apply its electrification strategy. This new Honda HR-V will arrive in dealerships at the end of 2021, but it is already possible to express interest on the brand’s website.


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