European 2022 Honda HR-V Hybrid Might Be Sign of Things to Come for U.S.

Recently, Honda released a first look at 2022 HR-V models that will soon be available in Europe. The automaker shared details about these forthcoming European versions to provide insights into the 2022 version coming to the States. From its standard hybrid powertrain to new styling, the Honda HR-V heading to Europe looks promising.

Let’s take a look at what these European models reveal about the forthcoming U.S. models.

The European 2022 Honda HR-V 

Car and Driver recently released details about 2022 Honda HR-V models that will sell in Europe soon. According to the publication, the next generation of the subcompact crossover will arrive stateside, though the specs for that version aren’t available yet. But the European model could give us an idea of how the U.S. version will look and maybe offer some powertrain clues.

In a statement, Honda explained development for a new HR-V was in progress and designed to meet Americans’ needs. The automaker explained it would be different from the Honda Vezel/HR-V going to Europe. Car and Driver took this to mean the U.S. will have a different powertrain roster and different front and rear fascias.

The European version’s exterior is updated with a unique front grille and a sharply angled rear hatch. It appears to have the same layout as its predecessor regarding seating, cargo, and the fuel tank. The “magic seats” are still there, folding into the floor, so you can flip up the lower cushion. The dash is minimalist, with a tablet-style infotainment screen in the middle above three physical climate control knobs.

Honda has explained that the standard hybrid powertrain is like the automaker’s other hybrid offerings with a two-motor configuration. Car and Driver said it wouldn’t be shocked to see a hybrid powertrain in the U.S. version’s engine lineup but didn’t expect it to be standard. The publication believes the standard powertrain will likely have the same 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine in the CR-V, Accord, and Civic. As usual, the 2022 HR-V will probably come standard with front-wheel drive and offer optional all-wheel drive.

A better engine situation for the Honda HR-V?

RELATED: Performance Is Where the 2021 Honda HR-V Falls Short

Let’s hope that in its next generation, the Honda HR-V will get a better engine lineup. One chief complaint about recent models is its weak engine. Sure, it gets good fuel economy. But its buzzy motor offers annoyingly sluggish acceleration.

Car and Driver calls the current HR-V’s four-cylinder engine noisy, slow, and unrefined. It won’t win any races. It’s paired with a continuously variable transmission, making the situation worse. 

CD’s test drivers found that in the front-wheel configuration, the 2021 HR-V hit 60 mph in an underwhelming 8.6 seconds. The AWD version made it to 60 mph in an even slower 9.5 seconds.

The 2021 U.S. model at a glance

The 2021 Honda HR-V would benefit from a power boost. Its current engine is unpolished, and its suspension lets you feel every rough spot in the road. Still, it’s not all bad. The HR-V still gets good gas mileage, has a nice cabin crafted from quality materials, and boasts ample cargo space.

Now the smallest SUV Honda sells in North America, the HR-V still has a lot going for it. It kept the magic seat second row to give you more cargo space. The interior uses good materials even though it lacks panache. And there are still enough comfort features to please most.

Let’s hope the engine situation will improve with the 2022 model and possibly add a hybrid powertrain to the mix. Though Honda hasn’t yet announced when it’ll release details about the all-new U.S. HR-V, Car and Driver expects we’ll hear something by fall. It also predicts the new HR-V will go on sale stateside by the end of the year or in early 2022.