Honda has revealed the third generation of its ever-popular HR-V crossover, and this time it's hybrid all the way.
'Exceptional hybrid efficiency'
While Honda hasn't yet given us the full engineering and technical details for the new HR-V, we do know that it will come only in hybrid form, with Honda's e:HEV badging. That's the same badging as used on the new Jazz and the current CR-V Hybrid, and we're assuming - for the moment - that the HR-V uses a development of the Jazz's 1.5-litre petrol hybrid setup.
Whatever the final layout of the engine, Honda promises that the HR-V can deliver "exceptional hybrid efficiency." The arrival of the new HR-V means that it's only the Civic that now does not offer a hybrid version in Honda's current line-up, and we expect that to be rectified soon.
On the styling front, the new HR-V departs from the slightly fussy, over-cooked look of its predecessor, and instead presents us with a leaner, cleaner design. There's an obvious influence from the cute-as-a-button Honda e electric small car (especially in the silhouette), but you can also spot some cues lifted from the original 1990s HR-V, and indeed some rivals such as the Mazda MX-30 and the DS 3 Sportback (especially around the tail lights).
Up front, there are high-set headlights, an upright stance, and an almost-not-there grille, which stands in stark contrast to the more bombastic, heavy-on-the-chrome look of some other crossovers.
Inside, there's more influence from the Honda e in the cabin design - look at the broad, horizontal surfaces, and the neat integrations of the air vents, which are part of a new 'diffused' ventilation system - even if the HR-V's interior is much, much more conservative than that of its little electric brother.
There's the expected central touchscreen, which looks to have a simpler, neater menu layout than that of the old HR-V and thankfully Honda is persisting with proper, physical heating and ventilation controls. It also seems to be sticking with analogue dials for the main instruments, which is a departure from the current norm.
The HR-V - and this we're really pleased about - also retains Honda's brilliant 'Magic Seat' back seats, which can either fold flat or can flip up vertically, like cinema seats (remember cinemas?) so that you can carry large, tall items.
The new HR-V won't go on sale until later this year, and we'll bring you updates on Irish prices and specs ahead of then.