Most of you are probably already familiar with the Honda Fit , the five-door subcompact that’s available nationwide with a puny, 1.5-liter four-pot under the hood. What you might not be aware of is that the automaker also builds a crossover on the same underpinnings. It’s dubbed the Vezel and has been offered in Japan since last December.
No biggie, because you’ll get to see it in person in the fourth quarter of 2014, when Honda brings it to America under the HR-V name. The new vehicle will fit right below the popular CR-V and will be manufactured in Mexico before being shipped to U.S. showrooms.
Details are limited at the time of this writing, but the first official photos released at the New York Auto Show reveal that the HR-V has very little in common with the Fit as far as design goes, bearing a styling of its own that includes a few trademark cues seen on the larger CR-V.
Honda says the HR-V will be quite the spacious and practical vehicle, thanks to "a unique center tank layout" and the Magic Seat system it will be fitted with. If you’re not familiar with the latter, it allows for multiple seating configurations and a second row that can be folded completely for extra cargo space.
There’s no word on powertrains, but expect the HR-V to be motivated by the same 1.5-liter four-cylinder unit found in the Fit. The engine delivers 130 horsepower and 114 pound-feet of torque through a six-speed manual transmission or a CVT, enabling the hatchback to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 8.5 seconds.
Pricing is also a mystery, but our guess is the brand-new crossover’s sticker will sit anywhere between $18,000 and $19,000.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Honda HR-V.
Though the HR-V is most directly related to the Fit, it looks nothing like it. In fact, it looks more like a scrunched up and sported-up CR-V. It’s headlights are clearly inspired by its larger cousin, and is it sloped hood. Around back and in the body lines, the HR-V is its own model and shares little with any other Honda vehicle.
On the surface, the Honda HR-V looks like it will be one of the better-looking SUVs in its class.
It’s pretty obvious that Honda wants a piece of the compact crossover cake with HR-V. And to do that, it’ll have to go against the Nissan Juke. The Japanese crossover just got its mid-cycle refresh for the 2015 model year and will hit dealerships with revised headlamps, boomerang-style taillights and reshaped bumpers, just to name a few things.
Interior updates are minor, but the Juke is now able to fold its rear seats completely flat, allowing for more cargo space. This adds to the vehicle’s already increased cargo capacity due to its restyled cargo area.
Engine-wise, the 2015 Juke keeps its turbocharged, 1.6-liter four-pot with 188 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque on tap. Although performance figures remained the same, the revised engine emits less CO2 compared to the previous model. Of course, the Honda HR-V will need more than the 130 horsepower found in the Fit to compete against its most important rival.
The 2015 Nissan Juke is expected to start from about $20,000 once it arrives in showrooms.
Yes, the Kia Soul is a box on wheels and its styling cues won’t help it win any beauty contests, but the crossover is quite popular with U.S. customers. And now that a new-generation model is upon us, the Korean vehicle will have a great start against the upcoming Honda HR-V.
Although its new looks are revolutionary, the second-generation Soul has grown in size and has become more aggressive, gaining a few design cues from Kia ’s Track’ster Concept . The cabin feels more premium than before thanks to its new, soft-touch materials. Actually, the range-topping Soul! model is more on the luxury side, as our editor-in-chief learned earlier this year .
Two engines are powering the new Soul. A 1.6-liter four-cylinder with 130 horsepower and 118 pound-feet of torque at its disposal and a 2.0-liter NU engine rated at 164 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual comes standard, while a six-speed automatic can be had at extra cost. The 2014 model starts from $14,900, a lot less than the aforementioned vehicles.
Honda will continue to expand its lineup of small cars aimed at the next generation of buyers with the launch of the 2015 Fit subcompact car (http://automobiles.honda.com/fit) and the all-new compact SUV, the Honda HR-V (http://automobiles.honda.com/hr-v) that will come to market this winter. Together the Fit and HR-V will represent a significant growth opportunity for Honda in the U.S., with both models produced at the automaker’s newest North American manufacturing facility located in Celaya, Mexico, which allows for production flexibility to meet market demand.
"Both Fit and HR-V demonstrate how great things can come in small packages, and no one does this better than Honda," said Jeff Conrad, senior vice president and general manager of the Honda automobile division for American Honda. "Together these models also represent Honda’s step-by-step expansion of our production in the region, which has been key to our success in America for more than 30 years."
All-New HR-V Compact SUV
Honda released the first official photos of the U.S.-bound HR-V today at the New York International Auto Show. With sleek styling and expressive character lines, the HR-V is anticipated to launch this winter. Built on the same global compact platform that underpins the Fit, the HR-V will feature a versatile and spacious interior thanks to a unique center tank layout. The HR-V will be equipped with the Honda-exclusive Magic Seat®, which allows for multiple seating configurations and the ability to fold the second row seat completely flat for added cargo space. The HR-V will serve as the entry point to the Honda light truck lineup, positioned below the CR-V in both price and size. Additional details about the HR-V will be announced later this year.