Honda Civic-based crossover is unrelated to the HR-V on sale here; will eventually be offered alongside it
Honda has revealed the all-new US-market HR-V, which is unrelated to the Honda HR-V launched in Europe last year but will eventually be sold alongside it here under a different name.
Previewed as part of an electrification strategy presentation last month, the new HR-V has been designed with a focus on attracting younger buyers, and as such majors on “sporty and expressive” design cues, enhanced dynamics, practicality and agility.
It’s a similar size to the Honda CR-V, a move taken with a view to upsizing the latter in its next iteration to better compete with the Skoda Kodiaq and Toyota Highlander.
Recent spy shots give an idea of just how extensively Honda’s largest European model will be redesigned and re-engineered.
The US version of the HR-V bears minimal resemblance to the new HR-V that Autocar recently road-tested. However, as with that car (and all other mainstream Honda cars launched from now on), it will use a hybrid powertrain.
Precise details of the powertrain remain under wraps, but given that the new crossover sits atop the same architecture as the 11th-generation Honda Civic hatchback (which was recently revealed in European-spec form), it’s highly likely to pair a 2.0-litre Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder petrol engine with a pair of electric motors for 181bhp and 232lb ft.
Technical specifications will be confirmed closer to its US launch in summer, but for now Honda promises it will be “more refined, confident and fun to drive, with substantially improved dynamics and powertrain responsiveness”.
It’s unclear how Honda will differentiate this car from the similarly sized HR-V in European dealerships.
Notably, though, the company has already previewed its second electric car in the form of the e:NY1 prototype, which looks almost visually identical to the European-market HR-V.
As for the new US-market HR-V, Honda highlights the new grille, longer bonnet and “sleek” roofline as features that most obviously set it apart from its predecessor.
It says the crossover is “sporty and personal” and “the right size with the space and utility for an adventurous weekend escape”.
Michael Kistemaker, vice-president of sales for American Honda, said: “By gaining aspirational qualities beyond its segment, the all-new 2023 Honda HR-V will welcome a new generation of customers to Honda and grow in importance as a gateway to the Honda brand.
“This new HR-V will advance its position as the segment-leader with young buyers, first-time buyers and multicultural customers.”
Honda hasn’t yet confirmed pricing, but the new HR-V will presumably sit between the Civic and CR-V, costing from around the $25,000 (£19,000) mark in the US.
When it eventually arrives in the UK, it’s more likely to nudge £30,000, in line with the current CR-V.