The all-new Honda HR-V is about to touch down in Australia with a trimmed line-up and the option of hybrid power for the first time – but it’s also losing a seat.
Pricing and specifications for the new-generation crossover just lobbed, with the base petrol Vi X to start at $36,700 drive-away and the headlining e:HEV L hybrid variant priced from $45,000 drive-away.
According to the spec sheet both versions of the HR-V are listed as four seaters, rather than the five-seat interior we’ve come accustomed to.
CarExpert understands the four-seat interior is down to Australian Design Rules (ADR), which stipulate any rear seat with a seatbelt must also feature a top-tether point for a child seat. The HR-V features them on the outboard seats, but it appears the fifth seat in overseas models (e.g. Japan and the UK) doesn’t.
The lack of five seats is an anomaly in the segment, with rivals like the Mazda CX-30 and Toyota C-HR offering five seats. Further, this means the HR-V cannot be used for ride-share services like Uber, which requires vehicles to seat four passengers plus the driver.
Despite the absence of the centre seat in Australian-bound HR-V models, the second row still features Magic Seats that split 60:40 and offer fold-down and tip-up functions, and there’s a fold-down centre armrest with two cupholders.
In another hit to the HR-V’s practicality chops, the boot capacity has plummeted with this new generation, now quoting 304L (VDA) with the rear seats up down from the previous generation’s quote of 437L.
Drop the back seats and that expands to 1274L measured to the roof. The old model quoted 1462L with the second row folded.
The all-new Honda HR-V officially launches in Honda Centres (showrooms) on April 19, but the company says it will have vehicles on display sooner. Order books open March 31.
Stay tuned to CarExpert for more HR-V coverage in the lead up to its April 19 launch, and let us know your thoughts in the comments below.