Friday, April 18, 2014
2015 Honda HR-V: This Is It (for the US Market, At Least)
Although much of the hype surrounding Honda’s presence at the New York International Auto Show centered around the all-new Fit (Jazz), the company also showed off their newest sub-compact crossover destined for the US: the 2015 Honda HR-V.
First produced in 1999 and based off the platform that underpinned the Logo, Honda has revived the HR-V nameplate to “serve as an entry point to Honda light truck lineup, positioned below the CR-V in both price and size.” Now based on the all-new Jazz/Fit, it’s virtually identical to the Japanese market Honda Vezel which was given its Japanese market debut at the 43rd Tokyo Motor Show 2013. For those who wanted to know, HR-V officially stands for “Hi-rider Revolutionary Vehicle”.
Although the final North American configuration wasn’t announced (official details to be given later in the year), the all-new HR-V features the Jazz/Fit’s central tank layout and uses the ULT (US market Magic Seat) for added cargo flexibility. However in Japan, the Vezel is powered by a 1.5-liter direct-injection DOHC i-VTEC engine mated to a CVT transmission. It’s also available with a hybrid powertrain. The Vezel is available in both front- and all-wheel drive configurations. This is the first application of Honda’s hybrid technology with its Real Time AWD system.
Although indications are certainly high that the Philippines (and the rest of ASEAN) will get the new Vezel / HR-V, reports from Japan suggest that Honda may be developing a different sub-compact crossover for developing markets based off the Brio instead. This is primarily to make it more affordable and taking a page off the Ford EcoSport, take advantage of a unique tax bracket in India for cars with an overall length not exceeding 4,000 mm (4 meters).