Italy

While quite a few Malaysians are already enjoying their new crossover, details of the European-spec Honda HR-V have just been officially released. Previously, Europeans have been only been shown a “prototype” of the model at last year’s Paris Motor Show. So a little late, yes, but do they get anything that we don’t?

Well, as it turns out, yes they do. The biggest difference is what’s offered under the hood. No SUV can survive in Europe without a diesel option, so the HR-V is made available with a 120 PS 1.6 litre i-DTEC engine that’s matched to a six-speed manual transmission. Opt for the 130 PS 1.5 litre i-VTEC motor and you get a CVT option too (fitted with paddle shifters on certain models).

On the outside, the Europe-bound HR-V doesn’t look all that different from ours, bar the silver roof rails, larger 17-inch wheels and the tube-type LED rear lights. It’s on the inside where the more significant changes lie.

First up, the instrument cluster gets a more intricate design with three “floating” illumination rings. Meanwhile, the automatic climate control gets upgraded to a dual-zone system, while the seven-inch touchscreen runs an Android OS with a smartphone-like interface and an integrated Garmin Navigation function. A panoramic sunroof is offered on the top variants.

As for safety, six airbags is fitted as standard across the range, as is Honda’s City-Brake Active System. The latter alerts the driver with a visual and audible warning before automatically applying the brakes if it detects a pending collision.

All but the base models get upgraded to the Advanced Driver Assist System. This active safety suite includes Intelligent Speed Assist, City Brake Active Assist, Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Traffic Sign Recognition system, and High-beam Support System.