HONDA is emphasising space and efficiency with the latest version of its HR-V mid-size SUV, which goes on sale here late this year.
It says the looks are "coupe inspired with SUV styling"; the result is a car about the same size as the outgoing HR-V but sitting 10mm higher off the road and with a roof lowered by 20mm, to give the newcomer a sleeker profile, especially when combined with the newly specified 18ins alloy wheels.
The new HR-V offers greater leg room and shoulder space, for an enhanced feeling of spaciousness and comfort, says Honda.
In addition to the 35 mm increase in rear leg room, there is an additional two-degree recline compared to the previous generation HR-V, enabled by Honda's centre tank layout and clever packaging of hybrid components. The platform configuration also allows Honda to retain the versatile rear Magic Seat set-up, that offers both fold-flat or flip-up seat flexibility, depending on load space required. It will comfortable take two adult mountain bikes with their front wheels removed.
Power comes from a 1.5 litre petrol engine powering two electric motors and producing 129bhp. No performance or economy figures are quoted at the moment.
The e:HEV set-up includes three interchangeable drive modes, automatically selected for the prevailing driving requirements.
For ultimate efficiency, the HR-V pulls off in electric mode, changing to hybrid mode when the engine is under high-torque demand, with the petrol engine used when driving at higher, more constant speeds.
Inside the car, an LCD touchscreen interface is designed to minimise driver distraction,with a simplified and fully customisable menu layer enabling easy access to convenience features and controls.
Operation time is greatly improved compared to previous model HMI systems, says Honda, making it quick and easy to switch between apps and providing fast response to inputs and commands.
The driver is also able to decide how much advanced driver-assistance system information is displayed on the 7ins screen, to further reduce distraction while driving.
The interface, which is navigated using familiar smartphone-style controls, also enables smartphone mirroring via Apple CarPlay (through Bluetooth, wifi or cable) and Android Auto (cable). Over-the-air software updates allows upgrades to the latest features and apps.