The facelifted Honda HR-V has finally made its official debut in Japan, three weeks after the company released the official pictures of the popular B-segment crossover on the internet. With the refresh, Honda expects to sell about 5,000 units of the HR-V (known as the Vezel in the Land of the Rising Sun) monthly. Now then, what’s new with it?

Well, on the design front, the HR-V gets a redesigned front fascia, beginning with new grille with thicker chrome bar. This brings it closer to the Accord and Civic in terms of design, and the new reflector-type LED headlight design further establishes the company’s current family face.

Also new is a mesh-type design for the upper grille, whereas a new LED fog lamp strip can be found on each side of the lower bumper. Lower-specced models get halogen reflector units instead, but Honda Sensing is standard on all models sold in Japan. This bundles features such as Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), Road Departure Mitigation System (RDM), Adaptive Crusie Control (ACC), Collision Mitigation Braking System (CBMS) and Forward Collision Warning (FCW).

Moving on. The rear section of the HR-V is unchanged, although the pictures here suggest that the tail lamps feature a darker tint to it. In Japan, the swankier twin LED bar graphics can be had depending on variants. The 16-inch and 17-inch wheels from before will be carried over, but RS variants will sit on a sportier set of dual-tone 18-inch alloys.

Inside, Honda has reshaped the front seats and changed its stitching pattern to improve “holdability and texture,” and the Japan market gets a unique two-tone cabin (Jazz Brown) for a more premium feel as well. Quietness is also said to be improved thanks to additional use of vibration-absorbing materials. Otherwise, everything else seems unchanged – the touchscreen head unit still supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay – because hey, if it ain’t broken, why bother?

In Japan, the updated Vezel/HR-V is only available with a 1.5 litre direct-injection four-cylinder engine, as well as the Sport Hybrid i-DCD that’s shared with the City and Jazz Hybrid. Petrol-only variants get a continuously variable transmission (CVT) as standard, but only the top-spec Vezel RS will receive paddle shifters. Hybrid models on the other hand get a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission with paddle shifters as standard. Both models are available in front-wheel or all-wheel drive, although RS models will only be front-driven.

Pricing for the non-hybrid Vezel starts from JPY ¥2,075,000 (RM76k) for the base G, and goes up to JPY ¥2,475,000 (RM91k) for the top-spec RS trim. The Sport Hybrid line-up however, starts from JPY ¥2,460,000 (RM91k) to JPY ¥2,810,000 (RM103k), the latter for the range-topping Hybrid RS variant.

With the arrival of the facelifted HR-V, the colour palette now grows to a total of eight, thanks to new additions Aurora Amethyst metallic and Silver Mist Green metallic. The Platinum White Pearl colour also joins the JDM offering – the rest are Premium Crystal Red, Midnight Blue Beam, Luna Silver, Crystal Black (pearl) and Rousse Black (metallic).

Back home, Honda Malaysia recently revealed that it will be launching a new model soon. Could it be the facelifted HR-V? Possibly (expect the same 1.8 litre engine to be offered), since the Jazz-based SUV has already been spotted undergoing testing right here in Malaysia. The HR-V has been very successful here – despite being three years old today, it’s still the second most popular Honda model here.

What do you think of the new Honda HR-V? Let us know in the comments section below.