Honda reveals all-new HR-V, hybrid could come to NZ

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Words: Matthew Hansen
19 Feb 2021

The best-selling vehicle in Honda New Zealand’s arsenal has been unveiled overnight, and it could be bringing electrification to the mix in local showrooms.

The Japanese car-maker has revealed its all-new HR-V compact crossover, sporting minimalist style throughout and a curious powertrain mix. On the looks front, it’s clear that the patent images NZ Autocar reported on earlier this month were accurate; the HR-V’s subtle appearance a dead ringer for the sketches.

In stark contrast to the last HR-V, which featured a crazed array of body contours and shapes (ironically, I think it aged quite well by its final days), the new model goes much simpler. A heavy gauge in the bodywork connects headlight to tail light, while the grille appears to be uniquely moulded into the front bumper instead of being a separate piece.

The minimalist approach continues inside, where the HR-V takes a leaf out of the Honda e and all-new Jazz’s approach. It’s a form and function combined kind of cabin, with its air vents built into a single strip and a compact old-school looking steering wheel centre.

On top of what appears to be an all-new infotainment system interface, the new HR-V’s toys include a full Honda Sensing safety suite package. Stop and go radar cruise control, forward and reverse autonomous emergency braking, a 360-degree camera, sign recognition and more all feature.

Another Honda favourite set to feature is the brand’s proprietary ‘Magic Seats’ functionality. This sees the rear seats be foldable flat or lifted and folded forwards and backwards. It made the outgoing HR-V one of the most practical SUVs in class, and is likely to do the same for this new model.

What interests us a tad more than magic chairs is what Honda’s going to bring to New Zealand in terms of engines. In Europe, the HR-V comes standard with a hybrid powertrain. It will be a two-motor system paired to a 1.5-litre petrol, with power outputs, range and the like still to be unveiled. This model will be known as the e:HEV.

Japan on the other hand gets a 1.5-litre four cylinder, which once again hasn’t had its power outputs announced. Given that a lot of Honda products sold locally come from Japan, it seems possible that Kiwi buyers might miss out on the hybrid. On the other hand, a hybrid HR-V would be a perfect addition for Honda’s local arm, given the forthcoming Clean Car Standard regulations and an upswing in hybrid uptake among Kiwis.

The new HR-V is set to go on sale in Europe at the end of 2021. Honda Australia has already confirmed that the model will be on sale locally within a 12-month span. Expect a similar deadline for New Zealand.

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