2021 Honda HRV to be a Creta rival India can’t miss out on

Road testing of the 2021 Honda HRV (or ‘HR-V’) has begun in Honda’s home market, spy shots revealed earlier this month. Drawing details from these pictures, our automotive illustrator Sreejith Krishnan K has created a rendering that captures the profile and select details of the compact SUV.

The 2021 Honda HRV will follow the design direction of popular premium B-SUVs. We are talking about models that are on sale, like the Hyundai Creta and the Kia Seltos, and global cars such as the TNGA Toyota Yaris Cross and the smaller, DNGA Toyota Raize. A high ground clearance, upright front fascia, flattish bonnet and a strong horizontal axis are some of the design characteristics common to the aforementioned models that lend them a strong and planted look. The next-gen Honda HR-V will also have these traits, as portrayed in our rendering.

2021 Honda HRV front three quarters spied
Spy shots show the next-gen Honda HR-V (next-gen Honda Vezel) featuring traditional proportions that give it more of a boxy silhouette.

Image Source: twitter.com

Spy shots have shown the next-gen Honda HR-V (next-gen Honda Vezel) featuring traditional proportions that give it more of a boxy silhouette. Nothing is certain at this time, but the new design would find more favour among Indian customers who are fussy about rear seat comfort.

Image Source: twitter.com

The 2021 Honda HRV will have a large hexagonal grille, sleek three-element LED headlamps featuring a dash of LED DRL on the top and a new intake. On the sides, a sleek new greenhouse and hidden door handle will give it a sharp and sporty styling. The roofline won’t fall steeply like in the outgoing model, which could mean more headroom for the rear-seat passengers. A rakish back glass and slimmer, LED tail lamps would add to the sportiness and sophistication of the crossover’s design. Changes at the rear will include a new roof spoiler, a repositioned license plate indentation and a flatter bumper.

There’s no word on the specifications of the 2021 Honda HRV, but the spy shots suggest a wider and taller body compared to the old model, which is 4.3 m long, 1.8 m wide and 1.6 m tall.

2021 Honda HRV Vezel rear quarters spied
The 2021 Honda HRV looks sportier with a rakish rear windscreen.

Image Source: twitter.com

Indian Angle

Background

The Honda HR-V is a repeatedly on-and-off model for India. After a series of changes in the decision regarding its launch for 7 years, it’s back in consideration, and could be introduced as a hybrid-electric SUV.

In an interview with financialexpress.com in July, Gaku Nakanishi, President & CEO, Honda (India), acknowledged the crossover whitespace between the Honda WR-V and Honda CR-V and the massive INR 20 lakh price gap to fill. Nakanishi said that the Honda HRV from the global portfolio seems to be the ideal model to be launched as a premium B-SUV. Speaking further, he revealed that the company is evaluating the launch and will decide how and when to enter that segment.

For its design, specifications and features, India has yearned for the Mk2 Honda HRV, which was originally introduced as the Honda Vezel in December 2013. However, being too costly to make, the global premium B-SUV was rejected, and BR-V, based on the cheaper Honda Amaze platform, was introduced.

Honda HR-V (Honda Vezel) interior dashboard

Reports have explained that the nature of the Honda HRV’s design made localisation difficult. The standard electronic parking brake, for instance, meant having to import the whole centre console. Redesigning sections the car just for India was out of the question because of the low projected demand. So, the retail price would have come close to INR 20 lakh (ex-showroom), which was way too high even for a niche model until a few years ago.

A few years later, the relaxed import norms with respect to homologation and the market maturing to accept pricier compact SUVs like the Creta, say costing over INR 15 lakh (ex-showroom) on a growing level urged Honda to take another shot at the Mk2 HRV for our market.

In early 2019, a year after the mid-cycle refresh came out internationally, a dealer preview of the HRV was conducted in India. Road testing began shortly after, and the launch was scheduled, reportedly, during the festive season the same year. Much to the disappointment of Honda fans, very close to the introduction, the project was called off as the slowdown in the auto industry led to a revised demand forecast that made the production of its components at original cost levels for local suppliers unfeasible, as reported by the trade media.

Expected Launch Plan

Ideally, Honda should launch the next-gen HRV in India, but a possibility that cannot be ruled out is that it could repurpose the outgoing model. What we are expecting regardless, is a hybrid powertrain option. In related news, Nakanishi has confirmed that the first Honda hybrid electric car manufactured in India is on track for launch next year, which will come out as the Honda City Hybrid.

Video Courtesy: youtube.com/Supercar TV

The Honda HRV launch in India could take place in the calendar year 2022. Be sure to return to ElectricVehicleWeb as we update this page with fresh information and spy media.