2022 Honda HR-V unveiled in Japan, and it's a hybrid!

Now we're perplexed. Early this year, Honda said the next-generation HR-V would be different from the current Vezel/HR-V sold in other regions like Japan and Europe. And now, Honda unveiled the all-new 2022 Vezel/HR-V in Japan, and it's nothing we expected from Honda.

For starters, the 2022 HR-V has a hybrid-only powertrain. In Japan, the new HR-V has the same hybrid powertrain as the all-new Honda Fit. If you remember, the next-gen Fit is exiting the U.S. market for 2021, and Honda is pining for the new HR-V to satisfy the needs of would-be Fit buyers.

Nevertheless, the 2022 Honda HR-V in Japan has a 1.5-liter four-cylinder gas engine and a single electric motor, producing approximately 96 horsepower/97 pound-feet of torque and 106 horsepower/187 pound-feet of torque, respectively. Front-wheel drive is standard, while all-wheel-drive is optional.

Next comes the styling, a radical departure from the previous-gen HR-V's Lander Robot-inspired fascia. Similar to the incoming 2022 Honda Civic, the HR-V has a cleaner design with marginally bulbous proportions. The taller profile, upswept headlights, and gorgeous slotted grille are excellent additions to the new HR-V's silhouette. The butcher stance emanates a sense of adventure, but the aggressive fascia lends a sportier, more premium feel.

However, it's still an HR-V with hidden rear door handles, a sloping roof, and a compact footprint. Inside, the dashboard layout is similar to what you'll find in the 2022 Civic. It has a meaty three-spoke tiller with integrated buttons and controls. The dashboard sits low to offer better forward visibility. As a bonus, it has dedicated physical knobs for the climate control system.

Japanese buyers can start snapping up the 2022 Honda HR-V at dealerships by April 2021. Honda made no announcements on whether this generation of the Vezel/HR-V is arriving in North America or the U.S., in particular. We'll keep you updated on further developments about Honda's newest compact hybrid crossover.