Honda has introduced the third generation of its HR-V subcompact crossover in Japan. Global markets will largely be getting this version of the small CUV whereas North America is going to have its own HR-V. It’s unclear whether there will be major differences between the two, but in the meantime, let’s have a look at the JDM-spec Vezel.

It eschews the plethora of creases of its predecessor and goes for a cleaner and more mature look making the HR-V look all grown up. At the front, the slatted grille seemingly blends with the bumper and is flanked by slimmer headlights with upper LED daytime running lights that form a visual connection thanks to the chrome strip above the grille.

Gallery: 2022 Honda HR-V global version

The side profile reveals a similar coupe-like roofline as its predecessor from which the new HR-V has also inherited the “hidden” rear door handles mounted near the C-pillars. A dual-pane panoramic glass roof makes the cabin feel more spacious and there’s plastic cladding around the wheel arches to remind us this is still a crossover. Depending on the trim level, wheel size varies from 16 to 18 inches.

At the back, the revamped HR-V is the latest model to adopt a wide LED light bar that stretches from one taillight to the other. The derrière looks quite sporty and there’s a power tailgate on the upper-spec models. The blue accents of the Honda logo and the “EHV” badge on the tailgate indicate there’s a hybrid powertrain underneath the hood.

The interior has also been overhauled and there’s now a tablet-like infotainment system with a nine-inch touchscreen. Another design trend we’ve seen in other cars has been implemented inside the HR-V where there’s an apparent large air vent stretching across the width of the dashboard. Honda’s proprietary Magic Seats are still there to aid practicality.

Details about the crossover’s size have not been disclosed, but we’re getting the impression the new HR-V is bigger than the model it replaces. For the time being, Honda says it will offer the Vezel in Japan with a naturally aspirated 1.5-liter gasoline engine part of a hybrid powertrain with “real-time AWD” capabilities. There will also be a non-hybrid model with a 2WD layout at a lower price tag, with specs for both variants to be released at a later date.

Honda will have the Vezel on sale in Japan this April ahead of a global launch programmed to take place later this year. The US-spec HR-V is expected for the 2022 model year, so it should debut in the latter half of 2021.

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