New 2021 Honda HR-V: performance and efficiency revealed

30 July 2021 - autocar

New 2021 Honda HR-V: performance and efficiency revealed

Honda's Nissan Juke rival follows Jazz and CR-V in gaining e:HEV petrol-electric powertrain

Honda has confirmed key Europe-specific details of the all-new HR-V crossover ahead of its market launch later this year.

The Nissan Juke rival will use a variation of the petrol-electric powertrain from the smaller Jazz supermini, with which it also shares its 'Global Small Car' platform. A 1.5-litre Atkinson cycle four-cylinder petrol engine is mated to a pair of electric motors for a combined 129bhp and 187lb ft - slightly more than the Jazz, likely because of the HR-V's increased size.

The electric motors, housed alongside the petrol engine under the bonnet to maximise interior space, are responsible for the bulk of the propulsion, with the engine serving as a generator. At "higher, more constant speeds", the petrol engine takes over automatically, but the powertrain can be operated in three different drive modes - Eco, Normal and Sport - for varying levels of electric-combustion input. 

Honda has now confirmed that the set-up elicits a combined 52.3mpg on the WLTP combined cycle, while emitting 122g/km of CO2. The HR-V will get from 0-62mph in 10.6 seconds. 

The third-gen HR-V's design is a dramatic departure from that of its predecessor. Despite closely matching the dimensions of its predecessor, overhauled proportions and an emphasis on space efficiency (the HVAC system is as compact as possible, and the EV battery pack is mounted under the boot floor, for example) have raised rear legroom by 35mm and boosted boot space. Ride height is also up by 10mm, while the roofline has been lowered by 20mm.

Four adults can be accommodated in "maximum comfort", according to Honda.

Honda says it "embodies the brand's seamless, clean, modern design philosophy seen in other recent new Honda models." Slim, distinctive LED headlight designs and a revamped grille dominate the new-look front end, with a long bonnet, rakish roof line and straight-edged shoulder line heavily distancing the new model from its predecessor. 

The cabin has been redesigned to maximise the feeling of spaciousness, with a minimalist dashboard layout, simple horizontally aligned instrument panel and Honda's 'Magic' folding, flipping rear seats in the back. The dashboard is a revised design, incorporating a 9.0in infotainment touchscreen and 7.0in TFT display within the gauge cluster, and new L-shaped vents in the top corners of the dashboard to free up space.

The firm also says the new vents offer improved comfort by directing airflow along the side windows, rather than directly onto the occupants. Also new for the third-gen HR-V is an air diffusion system that sends a "curtain" of fresh air through new L-shaped vents. 

Further details of the new, European-spec HR-V, including pricing, are expected in the coming months. 

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