Honda has given its HR-V small SUV a makeover to help it win customers and stave off a growing tide of competitors. There’ll be a subtle new look and improved refinement when petrol versions arrives in October, but we’ll have to wait until Spring 2019 for the 1.6-litre diesel editions to arrive in the UK.
To tie in with the recently unveiled Honda CR-V, the HR-V gets the latest version of the Japanese manufacturer’s family face, with a smooth chrome grille sitting above larger air vents beneath the number plate. These are now flanked by round fog lights, LED daytime running lights become standard and the headlamps have a slimmer look with projector lenses. Changes elsewhere are subtle, but include new alloy wheels, full LED headlights and rear lights for top trims, ‘smoked’ light clusters and a chrome tailpipe. The colour palette will be boosted to eight choices with the introduction of a new hue called Midnight Blue Beam metallic.
Designers have focussed on driver and passenger comfort inside, redesigning the seat cushions and backrests to improve support, especially in the shoulder region. The standard cloth fabric has been improved and flagship editions get full leather upholstery. There’s no news yet on a new infotainment system, but it’s likely the HR-V will receive the same device that is fitted to the Civic hatchback and saloon.
There’s also increased sound insulating material around the front bulkhead, wheel arches, boot and doors to help reduce unwanted road, engine and wind noise. In a first for Honda, top versions of the HR-V will be quieter again, thanks to Active Noise Cancellation (ANC). This technology uses two interior microphones to detect low-frequency noise and plays ‘reverse phase’ audio signals through the speakers to cancel them out. Honda hasn’t mentioned changes to the 1.6-litre i-DTEC diesel engine so far, though it is expected to mirror those of the latest Civic, which already meets the upcoming Euro-6d Temp emissions regulations without the need for Selective Catalytic Reduction and AdBlue.