The 2022 Honda HR-V has been revealed in Thailand, where the SUV will be initially available as an e:HEV hybrid. There will be three trim levels – the entry E at 9xx,000 baht, the EL at 1,0xx,000 baht and the range-topping RS at 1,1xx,000 baht, as reported by Headlightmag, which also snapped the live images you see here. By the way, one million baht is currently equivalent to RM124,727 – you do the math.

This is the third generation of the HR-V, if you count the boxy two-door oddball that existed in the noughties. The latest-gen B-segment SUV was first revealed in February this year, before launching in Japan two months later. Thailand is the first ASEAN market to receive the new model, which is launching in e:HEV hybrid form.

The heart of the i-MMD system is a 1.5 litre naturally-aspirated Atkinson cycle engine with 105 hp and 127 Nm of torque available from 4,500 to 5,000 rpm. This E20 gasohol-ready DOHC i-VTEC engine is partnered with an e-CVT automatic transmission, a lithium-ion battery and two motors. Combined output is 131 hp and 253 Nm from 0 to 3,500 rpm.

Compared to the City e:HEV, the engine makes 7 hp more here, while the main e-motor produces an extra 22 hp. In Thailand, the HR-V e:HEV’s warranty is for three years or 100,000 km, but the hybrid system gets a five-year unlimited mileage warranty, and the hybrid battery receives a 10-year unlimited mileage warranty.

This is actually the first time we’re seeing RS styling for the new HR-V, and the sporty trim adds on a chrome studded grille with the RS logo (horizontal slats on the regular car, see the EL gallery below), a lower grille with horizontal slats (versus honeycomb) and a gloss black lip. Check out the “Amp Up” break on the red accent line of the lower grille.

The gloss black treatment continues on the wheel arches, side skirts and rear bumper. The non-RS car gets silver skid plate-style trim at both ends. The sporty range topper rolls on 18-inch twin-five-spoke grey alloys (225/50 tyres), which are an inch up on the standard 17-inch six-spoke rims, which are also in grey (215/60 tyres). Interestingly, Honda is bucking the two-tone wheels trend with the HR-V. Smoked tail lamps, too.

Also unique to the RS is this Ignite Red Metallic colour with a black roof. Two-tone is RS-only. The other four colours – Platinum White Pearl, Premium Sunlight White Pearl, Meteoroid Gray Metallic and Crystal Black Pearl – are available for all trim levels. Inside, the RS gets black leather upholstery with red stitching.

As you’d expect, the new HR-V has its own set of Modulo accessories. The “Urban Style” package jazzes the face up with a honeycomb front grille, silver front/rear under spoiler with matching side garnish, chrome fog light garnish, and exhaust pipe finisher (standard car has no visible pipes). Inside, one can add front/rear LED illuminated side step garnish and rear door sunshades.

Six airbags and Honda Sensing is standard across the board. The ADAS driver assist safety pack includes Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS or AEB), Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), Adaptive Cruise Control with Low Speed Follow (ACC with LSF), auto high beam, Road Departure Mitigation System with Lane Departure Warning (RDM with LDW) and Lead Car Departure Notification System (LCDN). The EL and RS add on Honda LaneWatch.

Highlighted equipment include LED headlamps with LED daytime running lights and sequential signal lamps, full width LED tail lamps, electronic parking brake with auto hold, air diffusion system, touch-sensitive rear LED reading lights, panoramic glass roof, rear AC vents and USB ports, wireless charger, 8.0-inch touchscreen head unit with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and eight speakers and a 7.0-inch digital meter panel.

Some of the other nice features are a hands-free power tailgate with walk away close and wing mirrors that auto tilt down when reverse is selected. The HR-V also comes with the Ultra Seats made popular by the Jazz. With Utility Mode, Long Mode and Tall Mode with the flip up rear seat base, the HR-V will once again be one of the most practical SUVs of its kind. There’s also a cargo box below the boot floor. No spare wheel under there by the way, just a tyre repair kit.

One quirk that caught my eye is the large panoramic glass roof. Split into front and rear sections, the latter’s shades are clip-on removable two-piece items with a storage bag, just like how it was on targa sports cars from the 90s like the Toyota MR2.

Talking about sports cars, while the new HR-V won’t be confused for one, the rear windscreen is heavily raked, and that will be the biggest difference from the outgoing car. It’s more square cut, less rounded too. Riding on the same platform as the latest City, it’s slightly shorter (4,330 mm, RS is 4,385 mm) but 20 mm wider (1,790 mm) and lower (1,590 mm) than the outgoing model – that’s a recipe for sportier proportions. Also, the A-pillars have been moved rearward and the door mirrors on stalks are now on the doors.

So, what do you think of the new Honda HR-V? Thailand kicks off with the hybrid for now, but surely there will be pure petrol versions on the way. As for Malaysia, this is not just around the corner, because we have other new models that are ahead in the queue. More on the new HR-V here.

GALLERY: 2022 Honda HR-V eHEV RS, Thailand

GALLERY: 2022 Honda HR-V eHEV EL, Thailand