2021 Honda HR-V: first pictures of hybrid-only SUV

  • Honda's latest SUV range is all-hybrid powered
  • Roomy and practical and retains its 'magic seats'
  • On sale autumn 2021, prices and details to follow

This is the new Honda HR-V, which has been unveiled ahead of it going on sale in the UK during the autumn of 2021. It replaces the old HR-V and joins the CR-V in the company's two-prong attack on the family SUV market.

The old HR-V quietly slipped off UK sale late in 2020, as Honda prepared for its successor. It will continue in the family SUV market segment, where it will challenge the likes of the brilliant Ford Puma, Volkswagen T-Roc and Nissan Juke. The car you see here is the Japanese-spec HR-V and the final European specification won't be seen until later in 2021.

What's new about the Honda HR-V?

The rounded bidywork of the previous model has been replaced with something more angular, combined with a long, flat bonnet. It’s a crisp design, with minimal vents and body creases, while the stealth, rear pillar-mounted door handles remain. Compared with the current Civic, it has a much cleaner design, which chimes more closely with the cute looks of the Honda e electric car.

Like the old one, the interior claims to offer class-leading space for four adults, despite the on-board hybrid tech. The minimalist theme also continues in here, but with a symmetrical design that’s easier on the eye (unlike the mish-mash of shapes last time), with just a touchscreen for the infotainment system stood above the climate control cluster and a single row of air vents positioned ahead of the front passenger.

When it comes to practicality, you can still have those rear Magic Seats that allow you to flip-up the seat base, as well as folding down the backrest to be completely flat.

Honda HR-V (2021) interior view

New 2021 Honda HR-V goes hybrid

Following similar moves across the range, and in line with Honda's focus on electrifying its whole range by 2022, the new HR-V will be an e-HEV (hybrid) model based on the same technology underpinning the Jazz Hybrid. This won't be a separate model – every HR-V will be a hybrid in Europe, the company has confirmed.

Expect the company's excellent 1.5-litre i-VTEC petrol engine to be mated to a lithium-ion battery pack, plus the ability to switch between EV drive, hybrid and pure petrol driving modes. The Honda Jazz e-HEV has a claimed combined fuel economy figure of 63mpg on the WLTP test cycle, though we'd expect the taller, more crossover-inspired HR-V to be slightly less efficient.

We'll update this story once we know more about the new Honda HR-V hybrid. Right-hand-drive UK models will go on sale in September 2021. The reintroduction of the HR-V will add significantly to the core Jazz, CR-V and Civic family models, the company believes.

What this means for you

It could be argued that the world really doesn't need another small family SUV, but in the case of the Honda HR-V it does bring plenty of interest into this busiest of market sectors. Since the launch of the original HR-V 'Joy Machine' back in the mid-1990s, buyers have loved its compact size, easy-to-drive nature and solid reliability.

Although it's too early to say at this stage about the former two points, it's almost a given that this one will deliver plenty of smooth refinement for years to come without trouble. We really rated the old one, so are looking forward to seeing how the new-generation model measures up.

Specs, and figures for performance, fuel economy and emissions are yet to be announced, so check back with Parkers as we update this over the next few months.

Further reading

>> Best SUVs 2021
>> Best small SUVs 2021

Honda HR-V (2021) rear view