The 2021 Honda HR-V looks all grown up.

The redesigned small SUV has been revealed in Japan, where it wears the Vezel nameplate.

“The current HR-V continues to be one of the most popular and successful models in the Honda range, so we’re looking forward to the new model joining the line-up in Australia over the next 12 months,” said a spokesperson from Honda Australia.

“We will be able to share more details about the all-new HR-V for our market as we get closer to the local launch.”

In Japan, it’ll be offered with a 1.5-litre engine mated to a continuously-variable transmission, while the e: HEV model will use Honda’s two-motor hybrid system.

Technical specifications have yet to be released for either powertrain.

The hybrid has three different driving modes – Normal, Sport and Econ – while you can also select different degrees of deceleration.

There’s a good chance the hybrid model will make its way here, despite Australia having missed out on the CR-V hybrid.

Honda Australia said back in 2019 it’s actively looking at the hybrid options available and said it has the intention to “introduce a hybrid version for every new full model change”, with the first such launch being the petrol and hybrid Accord range.

The new HR-V’s styling is more conservative than that of the current car, with clean, unadorned sides punctuated by a single, straight crease that runs from the headlights to the tail lights.

The headlights appear slimmer and more angular, while the grille consists of a series of horizontal, body-coloured bars. The bumper insert has a diamond pattern.

The tail lights are slimmer, too, and stretch from either side to meet the Honda badge in the middle.

Though it presents a different appearance to the current HR-V, there are some design elements carried over like the rear door handles mounted in the C-pillar.

Two-tone exterior colour schemes will be available, at least in Japan.

Inside, there’s a similarly minimalist appearance, with a tablet-style touchscreen infotainment system and air vents that blend in with a trim piece spanning most of the dashboard.

Below that is a similarly wide stretch of soft-touch trim.

The HR-V retains Honda’s clever Magic Seats, while new options include a panoramic roof, surround-view camera and a power tailgate.

A Honda Digital Key app allows you to unlock your HR-V using your smartphone, while the satellite navigation system’s maps can now be updated over-the-air.

The adaptive cruise control has a traffic jam function, while other safety features include autonomous emergency braking, traffic sign recognition, and lane-keeping assist.

The current HR-V is Honda’s second best-selling model locally, sitting just behind the CR-V.

Offered only with a naturally-aspirated 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine, the HR-V was the fifth best-selling vehicle in the hotly competitive Small SUV segment last year.

It’s been a consistent seller for Honda, too, with the company selling around 11-12,000 examples most years except for last year, where it and most rivals saw double-digit declines.

MORE: Honda HR-V news and reviews

William Stopford

William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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