Europeans tends to receive Hondas far later than any other region, but in return they get goodies that aren’t available anywhere else. That’s true for the facelifted HR-V as well, which arrives in the Continent nearly six months after it made its debut in Japan, but gets a new engine and a couple of hitherto unseen features.

The big news is under the bonnet, where Honda has finally shoehorned the Civic‘s 1.5 litre VTEC Turbo engine. That’s coming in 2019 alongside the 1.6 litre i-DTEC turbodiesel; at launch, the HR-V will soldier on with the same 1.5 litre naturally-aspirated i-VTEC petrol as before. It gets friction-reducing plateau honed cylinder walls and timing chains coating, which reduce long-term wear and improve efficiency.

Outputs remain at 130 PS and 155 Nm of torque, resulting in an identical zero-to-100 km/h sprint time of at 10.7 seconds with the standard six-speed manual gearbox and 11.2 seconds with the optional CVT. Meanwhile, combined fuel consumption has dropped from 5.7 to 5.3 litres per 100 km, as have carbon dioxide emissions from 134 to 121 grams per kilometre.

The European HR-V will also be equipped with increased sound-deadening material around the car, including around the front bulkhead and wheel arches, the boot structure and both front and rear door panels. Certain models will also receive Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) to further reduce noise.

Elsewhere, it’s the same facelift as elsewhere, with new projector halogen headlights and LED daytime running lights as standard, plus a bolder dark chrome grille graphic, deeper front air intakes with circular fog lights, a dark chrome rear garnish and smoked tail lights. Higher-end trim levels get full-LED headlights, tube-type LED tail lights and new 17-inch five-spoke alloy wheels – the latter are unique to Europe.