Honda’s European arm has released new images and details of the third-generation HR-V, which will go on sale in the continent at the end of the year. The B-segment crossover’s design is of key focus here, with the stylists striving to create a more dynamic look without compromising interior space.

The Japanese carmaker has continued to lean on its “Man-Maximum, Machine-Minimum” development principle, utilising an updated version of its global small platform (which also underpins the Jazz and City) and the central fuel tank layout that maximises cabin roominess.

On the outside, Honda has pursued a coupé-style design by increasing the rake of the rear windscreen. It has also cleaned up the surfacing for a more minimalist look, dispensing the previous HR-V‘s front fender bulge and upswept shoulder line in favour of a horizontal crease that runs from the front to the rear of the car.

This reductive design language shows up in other areas – the “Solid Wing Face” chrome front bar is also gone, replaced by a body-coloured grille that is neatly integrated with the rest of the front end, tying together the slim trapezoidal headlights.

The designers have also reduced and aligned the shutlines with the rest of the car, while the door handles are now fashioned from a single piece of plastic. The hidden rear door handles have been retained, of course, further cleaning up the sides of the car. At the rear, you’ll find new full-width taillights that integrate the Honda badge, plus a low load sill that makes placing cargo in the boot easier.

Honda says that it has focused on promoting a feeling of spaciousness and airiness to the interior, starting by improving visibility using larger windows, a horizontal dashboard design and a flat bonnet. The distinctive L-shaped corner air vents (with their large control knobs) also add to the effect by diffusing the airflow, directing it along the windscreen and side windows to the roof and creating a vortex beside and above the occupants.

The positioning of the controls have also been optimised, with the infotainment and air-conditioning switchgear placed as close as possible to the driver’s field of vision. At the rear, the seats are reclined further to improve comfort and space; despite similar dimensions as before, the new HR-V provides increased leg- and shoulder room. The fully flat cargo space has been configured to provide a wide variety of luggage, bicycles and other sports and lifestyle-related equipment, Honda said.

Still no technical details as yet, although it’s already been confirmed that Europeans will only get the hybrid e:HEV model. The version in the Jazz and City utilises a 109 PS/253 Nm electric motor and 98 PS/127 Nm 1.5 litre Atkinson-cycle engine to deliver a total output of 126 PS.

Given that the HR-V is expected to be a little bit heavier, it could derive its setup from the larger Insight, which gets a 131 PS/267 Nm motor and a 108 PS/134 Nm engine to make a combined 151 PS. The HR-V will go on sale in Japan next month (where it will be called the Vezel), so we’ll have more information then.