SPYSHOTS: 2021 Honda HR-V spotted for the first time in Japan – more rugged design, steeper rear glass


Looks like road testing for the third-generation Honda HR-V has begun. This fully camouflaged test mule was spotted undergoing tests at the Metropolitan Expressway in Daikoku, Japan, and despite Honda’s best attempts at concealing the vehicle, it’s clear that the new HR-V will look nothing like the outgoing model.

Based on these spy photos (uploaded to Twitter by user Date_aHikarin), the third-generation model will look distinctly different from the outgoing model. Up front, it gets a slimmer pair of headlights, with uptick-style LED DRLs positioned along the entire upper section of the enclosure.

The six-pointed grille, on the other hand, features multiple thin horizontal bars, a design motif unseen on any recent Honda models. This may well be a pre-production sample, so take that with a pinch of salt. Interestingly, the intake cutout on the lower front bumper (shape-wise) looks nearly identical to the outgoing HR-V, and the trailing edges on the bonnet that lead toward the A-pillars are retained.

What is different this time around is the fact that the side mirrors are now mounted on the door. At the back, the LED tail lights appear to be slimmer, and the slight protrusion between them points toward the use of a thicker chrome trim. Other notable features include a shark fin antenna, plus a more rounded hatch opening.

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Reports also suggest that the all-new Honda HR-V will grow in dimensions. Going by Honda’s most recent track record, one can expect this B-segment crossover to get a lengthier wheelbase, offering a roomier cabin with improved legroom and headroom – the latter afforded by the flatter roofline.

Here, the roofline no longer tapers as aggressively towards the back as the outgoing HR-V. As a result, the upper section of the rear windows are similarly flatter as well. However, the window apertures appear to be narrower, though, and the rear glass is more steeply raked.

Other than that, not much else is known about the new HR-V, nor the architecture with which it will be based upon. Expect some form of electrified powertrain to be offered alongside the regular internal combustion engine range, perhaps in the guise of the i-MMD hybrid system. So, what do you think of this?

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