India-bound Honda HR-V facelift spied

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Honda has started testing the facelifted version of its HR-V crossover. The model was spotted in Malaysia with camouflage on the front and rear, suggesting possible changes to the headlights, grille, tail gate and tail-lights. The rest of the body is identical to the model currently on sale elsewhere in the world.
The facelifted HR-V is of particular interest to us in India because this is the model we will get in 2019. The HR-V is one of the six new Hondas headed to India over the next three years. Honda officials did confirm at the time of the above announcement, that the models headed our way will either be all-new or updates (Minor Model Change (MMC), as the Japanese carmaker refers to the latter internally).

The HR-V will take on the Renault Captur and Hyundai Creta in India, with some overlap in prices expected with the Jeep Compass as well. We expect the HR-V for India to be powered by a naturally aspirated 1.8-litre petrol engine and a 1.6-litre turbo-diesel that will make its India debut next year on the Honda CR-V. The facelifted HR-V could also be offered in hybrid form abroad, a version that could find its way to India as well.
The HR-V has been a long time coming. First shown at the 2013 Tokyo motor show, the HR-V project for India has been on the backburner as Honda couldn’t meet the tough cost targets that would enable it to price the model competitively enough in India. However, the Indian market has matured in the time and there is room for a premium-priced crossover in Honda’s line-up today.

The greatest talking point about the 2018 CR-V is undoubtedly the provision of a diesel engine under the hood. A 1.6-litre twin-turbo unit, the CR-V’s diesel engine will output 158-bhp at 4,000-rpm and 350Nm at 2,000rpm. The engine will be combined with a 9-speed auto gearbox from ZF, and power will be sent to the front wheels as standard (all-wheel drive will be optional).

The CR-V will also get a 2.4-litre petrol engine with a power output of 190hp, also coupled to an auto gearbox. We expect prices for the CR-V to start at Rs.23 lakh for the petrol 2WD and Rs.25 lakh for the diesel (all prices ex-showroom, Delhi). The fresh design, upgraded cabin and new powertrain options surely make the CR-V more needed than ever, but are these enough to take on accomplished competitors like the Hyundai Tucson and the VW Tiguan? Only time (and our comparison tests) will tell.