2022 Honda HR-V e:HEV hybrid launched, U.S. awaits a modified spec [Update]

Update – Visitors from North America can head to the ‘USA & Canada to get a different version of the 2022 Honda HR-V’ section of this story for a regional update on the next-gen HR-V.

The highly anticipated 2022 Honda HR-V (new Honda Vezel) debuted in Japan in February 2021. The new small SUV comes fitted with an e:HEV hybrid system almost across the entire range in its first market, where it went on sale in April 2021. It is available in Europe also now.

2022 Honda HR-V Exterior (Global spec)

Video Courtesy: Honda Austria

Inspired by the Honda SUV e:concept, the global 2022 Honda HR-V (codename: Honda NX) flaunts a bold styling with the notably steeper back glass that makes it seem sportier, with visibly slimmer tail lamps further differentiating the posterior. The all-new model looks athletic thanks to the heightened coupe-esque styling at the rear and SUV-like from its upright front-end and straight character lines. It’s impressive that the designers managed to balance the solid SUV stance with a coupe-like hunchback appearance.

The 2022 Honda HR-V sports a distinctive design mash-up of traditional SUVs and modern crossovers. It has a tougher front-end featuring a noticeably larger, hexagonal radiator grille, an inverted V-shape flattish hood set higher, and sharper headlamps.

On the sides, the 2022 Honda HR-V has a bigger greenhouse and a straighter roofline that generally improve outside visibility and headroom, respectively, for the rear passengers. The rear-end look is the opposite of the front and sides, featuring an extremely rakish windscreen for that sporty look typical of SUV coupes. The rear combination clusters are sleek and connected like the headlamps, giving the vehicle a bolder styling.

Interior (Global spec)

The Honda HR-V has gone on a diet to free up space and look poised. The sleeker dashboard has a major contribution to this, and the freestanding central display being the immediate next in the list. Repeating customers will appreciate the new dual-zone climate control panel with physical controls with rotating dials. The side AC vent controls come with similar but smaller knobs that contribute to the minimalist theme while providing more convenience. The steering wheel and instrument panel look smaller than those of the old Honda HR-V.

Honda has used newly-developed rear seats in the 2022 HR-V and positioned them 30 mm (1.2 in.) further to the rear. The company has given an additional two degrees of recline to the rear seats. The driver seats 10 mm (0.4 in.) higher than in the outgoing model, which should provide a better view of the road ahead.

2022 Honda HR-V side profile
The all-new Honda HR-V is more spacious than the outgoing generation. Image Source: Honda

Honda says that the headroom is comparable to the class standard and that the sedan-like seating position frees up 35 mm (1.4 in.) extra legroom. The shoulder room is claimed to be comparable to SUVs belonging to a higher class.

2022 Honda HR-V features (Global spec)

The 2022 Honda HR-V is equipped with a plethora of new features to attract young and tech-savvy customers. On the outside, it has LED headlights with LED DRL that double as LED sequential turn indicators, LED active cornering lights, 18-inch alloy wheels, hidden rear door handles, hands-free power tailgate with Walk Away Close function, and full-width LED rear lights.

Main interior features include the Air Diffusion System, 9-inch touchscreen infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay, wired Android Auto, OTA updates, 7-inch TFT driver information display, wireless charging pad, touch-activated cabin lights, and a premium audio system with an amplifier.

The 2022 HR-V has stabilizing front seats with mat-structure support instead of spring set-up, which reduces fatigue on long journeys and provides more comfort in daily use, as per Honda. Drivers and front passengers tend to find discomfort with the climate control’s air flowing directly onto them. In this case, there’s a new ventilation configuration that a new ‘Air Diffusion System’ enables. It discreetly releases a stream of soft ‘breeze’ like air from the outer sides of the vents. The air travels to the roof as well, creating a gentle vortex.

New Honda Vezel colors

New Honda Vezel colorsNew Honda Vezel PLay colors
Premium Sunlight White Pearl [Paid]Premium Sunlight White Pearl with Black Roof [Paid]
Crystal Black PearlCrystal Black Pearl with Silver Roof
Platinum White Pearl [Paid]Midnight Blue Beam Metallic with Silver Roof [Paid]
Meteoroid Gray Metallic [Paid]Meteoroid Gray Metallic with Black Roof [Paid]
Sand Khaki Pearl [Paid]Sand Khaki Pearl with Black Roof [Paid]
Premium Crystal Red Metallic [Paid]
New Honda Vezel color options in Japan

2022 Honda HR-V specification (Globally)

Aspect2022 Honda HR-V Dimensions (U.S.)New Honda Vezel Dimensions (Japan)Difference
Length170.4 in.4,330 mm (170.5 in.)+0.1 in.
Width69.8 in./70.5 in.1,790 mm (70.5 in.)+0.7 in./± 0 in.
Height63.2 in.1,580 mm (62.2 in.)/1,590 mm (62.6 in.)-1 in./-0.6 in.
Wheelbase102.8 in.2,610 mm (102.8 in.)±0 in.

The gas-powered Honda Vezel G makes use of a newly developed ‘L15Z’ 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 87 kW (117 hp) and 142 Nm (105 Lb.-Ft.). The engine is mated to a CVT as standard, and it’s the same unit employed in the fourth-gen Honda Fit but with a lower gear ratio.

The 2022 Honda Vezel Hybrid X/Z/Play features an e:HEV hybrid powertrain that combines the ‘LEC’ 1.5-liter i-VTEC petrol engine and two electric motors. The engine produces 78 kW (105 hp) and 127 Nm (94 Lb.-Ft.), while the propulsion motor, internally called ‘H5,’ generates 96 kW (129 hp) and 253 Nm (187 Lb.-Ft.).

In Europe, Honda sells the 2022 HR-V exclusively with an e:HEV hybrid system that combines a 1.5-liter i-VTEC gasoline engine with two electric motors – a traction motor and a generator. The engine produces 79 kW (106 hp) of power and 131 Nm (97 Lb.-Ft.) of torque, and the traction motor generates 96 kW (129 hp) of power and 253 Nm (187 Lb.-Ft.) of torque.

Honda says that it has moved the power control unit of the HR-V hybrid from under the trunk to the engine compartment and increased the number of Lithium-ion battery cells from 48 to 60. Sport, Normal, Econ, and B (stronger regeneration) are the available drive modes. The all-new model drives on electric power from the start, and when the engine is under high-torque demand, it switches to hybrid power. At “higher, more constant speeds,” the gasoline engine is responsible for the drive.

USA & Canada to get a different version of the 2022 Honda HR-V

With the Honda Fit exiting the U.S. market without a replacement, the next-gen Honda HR-V is a crucial launch for the Japanese brand in the region. The version of the HR-V covered in this story is what markets worldwide have received, but not the U.S. or Canada. Honda’s spokespersons have told carscoops.com that a different next-gen HR-V is heading to the North American markets.

According to Honda’s American press office, the HR-V’s successor “will be designed to meet the distinct needs of U.S. customers.” Honda’s Canadian press office repeated the same about their next-gen HR-V, replacing “U.S. customers” with “Canadians.”

2023 Honda HR-V spy shot
The North American-spec next-gen Honda HR-V looks to be a more practical design, promising improved space for passenger and cargo. Image Source: Chris/TFLcar

TFLcar car reader Chris has spotted a mysterious small SUV road-testing in Pennsylvania Turnpike (USA), and we’ve identified it as the first test prototype of the next-gen North American-spec Honda HR-V.

The new HR-V for the U.S. and Canada has a familiar hunched rear-end for a sporty stance, but its back glass is not be as raked as that of the global model. Newly designed tail lamps that are compact and more contemporary, sharper edges on the tailgate, and an inverted license plate section, make it immediately recognizable.

The North American all-new HR-V looks noticeably different at the sides. It would be more practical than its predecessor with larger rear windows that let in more natural light and give an expanded field of view of the surroundings, making the journey comfortable for the rear passengers. Another major change is the traditional rear door handles instead of concealed units of the global spec.

Vince Burlapp (BurlappCar.com) has posted photographs of the U.S.-spec 2023 HR-V, which offer a clear view of the redesigned side structure. Unlike the global model, it has a larger rear quarter glass, and a longer rear overhang, for added passenger comfort and extra room in the trunk. Expect the front-end to look considerably different from the global car, and an interior that draws cues from the all-new Civic.

Citing Honda Large Project Leader Kojiro Okabe, a report from autonews.com filed in April 2021 said that the next-gen HR-V for the U.S. will be based on a slightly bigger platform with more rugged styling. Instead of the global model’s coupe-like rear, we infer that it could offer better cargo volume to make it a practical vehicle for recreational activities and inter-city trips.

Small SUV customers in the U.S. and Canada prioritize practicality over style. With the Fit discontinued in these main North American markets, there is pressure on Honda to renew the surviving subcompact model flawlessly.

The revised HR-V for the U.S. will likely feature a newly developed infotainment system with Google built-in. Honda has confirmed that it plans to launch future models in North America with an infotainment system that allows using Google services directly from apps installed on it. Customers would be able to access Google Assistant, Google Maps, and Google Play with native apps on the go.

Google Assistant allows sending text messages, receiving directions, and controlling vehicle functions, media, and compatible smartphone devices through voice commands. Using Google Maps through Apple CarPlay/Android Auto offers convenience, but it can drain the smartphone’s battery. That won’t be the case anymore, thanks to the built-in app. Google Play will allow downloading apps, music, podcasts, and audiobooks to the vehicle.

HR-V, a model of significance for Honda in North America

The HR-V is one of Honda’s main models in the U.S. and Canada. In Canada, it was the company’s third best-seller last year, with sales of 12,068 units, as per data published by goodcarbadcar.net. It was only the fifth most popular Honda model in the USA, but the volume is too large to be discounted – 84,027 units.

In H1 2021, Honda sold 68,441 units of the HR-V in the U.S market, a whopping 85.5% increase compared to last year. In fact, May 2021 was its best-ever month, with sales of 15,242 units. In October 2021, Honda announced that the HR-V posted its all-time best sales in Q1, Q2, and Q3 2021. With a year-to-date sales figure of 117,065 units (as of October 2021), the HR-V continues as the fifth highest-selling Honda in America, displaying immense potential.

On why a hybrid is relevant for the HR-V in the United States

Honda has not offered the HR-V with a hybrid system in the USA and Canada. Perhaps, that could change in the coming generation as the company strives to increase the share of electrified models in its portfolio. “Our strategy is focused on introducing a higher percentage of hybrids in core models in the near term,” said Dave Gardner, Executive Vice President, American Honda, on June 28, 2021. Moreover, Toyota plans to launch a hybrid variant of the Toyota Corolla Cross, a new competitor of the HR-V, in the U.S. by 2023. Honda can lure potential Corolla Cross Hybrid customers towards its showrooms with an HR-V Hybrid.

2020 was Honda’s best year in its history for sales of electrified vehicles in the United States. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the company increased electrified vehicle sales by 4.5% in 2020 to set a new record. Globally, Honda aims for electrified vehicles to form two-thirds of its auto sales by 2030. A pivotal model like the HR-V needs electrification in all volume markets, including Japan, the United States, and Canada, for Honda to reach this target.

Honda electrification strategy (North America)

Honda has announced that by 2040, it plans to convert 100% of its North American sales to electric and fuel cell vehicles. In the meantime, it will work to convert 40% sales to these types of cars by 2030, and to increase that count to 80% by 2035. Initially, the company will borrow GM’s third-gen global EV architecture and Ultium batteries to realize an electric car. Leveraging its partnership with GM, it has confirmed the Honda Prologue electric SUV launch in early 2024, and the first Acura electric SUV launch a few months later.

Honda’s long-term plan is to indigenously develop a new ‘e:Architecture’ specially for EVs. The company has confirmed that it will introduce e:Architecture models first in North America, beginning in the second half of the decade.

Next-gen Honda HR-V FAQs

What is the next-gen Honda HR-V release date?

Expect Honda to launch the new HR-V in the U.S. in H1 2022. Globally, the new HR-V is available at Japanese and European dealers now.

What will be the next-gen Honda HR-V price?

The next-gen Honda HR-V’s prices may start at around $23,000.

Which SUVs will the next-gen Honda HR-V rival?

The next-gen Honda HR-V will compete with the Toyota Corolla Cross and the VW Taos.

Featured Image Source: Honda