The Honda HR-V has been updated for 2019 with styling tweaks inside and out and, from next spring, the option of a new 1.5-litre turbo petrol engine.
In the meantime, the unturbo’d 1.5-litre petrol unit carries on the charge as the sole engine option, the 1.6-litre diesel having been taken off sale presumably because it isn’t yet certified under the new WLTP emissions regime. It’s expected to return in the spring.
Exterior changes are centred around what Honda calls its ‘Solid Wing Face’ design. That manifests itself as a new chrome panel across the snout, joined by revised bumpers and updated headlights with projector lenses and LED running lights.
The rear lights now have darker lenses and there’s an extra splash of chrome trim across the tailgate.
There’s a new design of 17-inch alloy wheel for higher-spec models, plus the option of a new Midnight Blue Beam metallic paint.
Inside, Honda says it has revised the design of the front seats to offer greater support, while top-spec models now include leather upholstery as standard.
The company claims to have improved cabin refinement by adding extra sound insulation in key areas, while models further up the range will now be equipped with Active Noise Cancellation to help deal with low-frequency cabin noise.
Changes to the normally-aspirated 1.5-litre petrol engine aimed at reducing internal friction haven’t increased its output, still at 130ps and 155Nm, but the 2019 model is now half a second quicker from 0-62mph (10.2s for the manual, 10.9 for the auto), presumably as a result of gearing changes.
Economy has dropped slightly to 53.2 mpg for the CVT auto model, with CO2 emissions now from 121 g/km.
Update: The 1.5-litre VTEC Turbo will arrive in spring 2019, badged as the HR-V Sport.
The turbocharged four-cylinder powerplant delivers 182PS at 5,500rpm and 240Nm of torque from 1,900-5,000rpm when mated to the standard six-speed manual transmission.
A continuously-variable CVT auto is also offered, which sees peak power delivered slightly higher at 6,000rpm, while torque of 220Nm arrives at 1,700-5,500rpm.
The HR-V Sport features a new ‘performance damper’ system that aims to keep the car flatter through the corners, while the variable ratio steering has been optimised for the sportier set-up.
At the front, the HR-V Sport wears gloss black chrome trim and a honeycomb finish to the front grille and fog-light surrounds.
Elsewhere, there are side skirts, wheel arch mouldings, a sportier rear bumper, and black door mirrors, while the interior gains sportier seats, black roof lining and black and dark red seats.
The 2019 HR-V Sport enters production in December, with first deliveries expected in the spring.
Update: Prices have now been confirmed, with the HR-V Sport starting from £27,595 for the manual, and £28,245 for the CVT Auto.
Under the new WLTP regime, the HR-V Sport returns 47.9 mpg (47.1 for the CVT) and emits 134 g/km of CO2 (137 for the CVT). It accelerates from 0-62mph in 7.8 seconds and has a 134 mph top speed.
The HR-V Sport is expected to arrive in UK dealerships from April 2019.
You can now read our thoughts here: Honda HR-V Sport Review