NZ’s next Honda HR-V could be imported from America

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Words: Matthew Hansen
23 Feb 2021

Late last week, Honda unveiled its next-gen HR-V compact crossover for the Japanese (sold there as the ‘Vezel’) and European markets — an all-new version of its most popular seller, sporting radically different styling inside and out and a new hybrid powertrain.

NZ Autocar reported that the newly revealed SUV was destined for New Zealand. However, it’s now understood to not technically be the case. Local sources have indicated that the Kiwi market’s next HR-V will instead be derived from the North American version of the HR-V, which is still to be revealed in full.

Like a multitude of brands, Hondas offerings vary from market to market. America, which has its own Honda factories in Indiana, Alabama, Ohio and more, produces a range of exclusive models including the Ridgeline ute, Pilot three-row SUV, and its own take on the Odyssey.

As it stands, America’s HR-V is similar to the outgoing HR-V still sold in Kiwi showrooms. Models sold here come from Japan, while models sold in the US come from Honda’s Celaya plant in Mexico.

While America has never had its own bespoke HR-V before, it’s worth noting that Honda did not issue any significant press in the US when the European and Japanese market HR-V was revealed. Instead it issued a brief statement underlining that there will be some degree of difference between it and the global HR-V platform.

“The development of a successor to the Honda HR-V for the U.S. market is underway,” read the statement. “This new HR-V will be designed to meet the distinct needs of U.S. customers, and will differ from the Honda Vezel/HR-V that will be revealed on February 18 for other regions.”

Curiously, it appears that Honda Australia is set to bring in the global market HR-V and not the North American variant. In a statement it issued to Australian outlet CarAdvice, it said; “We were thrilled to see the next-generation HR-V officially unveiled today as part of the world premiere online event. The current HR-V continues to be one of the most popular and successful models in the Honda range, so we're looking forward to the new model joining the line-up in Australia over the next 12 months.”

It won't be the first time that Honda Australia and Honda New Zealand have differed in line-up. Earlier this year it was announced that Honda’s local arm would be bringing in the all-new Jazz hatchback — contrary to in Australia where the model has been discontinued. Conversely Australia also gets the American-engineered Accord, which we don’t get in New Zealand.

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