2015 Honda HR-V is the new Japanese subcompact crossover prepared for the US

Article by Christian A., on April 5, 2014

As you may know already, Honda will introduce a subcompact crossover in the United States, based on the 2015 Fit. Honda already launched the new car in Japan back in 2013 and on its domestic market the vehicle is called the Vezel. However, Temple of VTEC says that the new model will actually be called HR-V in the United States.

Apparently, Honda already filled for a trademark for that name, but also showed the vehicle to dealers and called it HR-V. A Honda spokesman didn’t give any details regarding the online reports, he only said “Stay tuned!”, according to Automotive News.

For those who don’t know, the HR-V nameplate is not new for Honda, as the Japanese carmaker sold a subcompact crossover by that name in Europe, from 1999 to 2006.

At that time, the HR-V stood for “Hi-rider Revolutionary Vehicle”, but we don’t think it is the case now as the Vezel is not quite a revolutionary vehicle. As we said, Honda started selling the Vezel in Japan back in December 2013 and the subcompact crossover has a starting price of JPY1.87 million or around $18,000.

The Honda Vezel is powered by a 1.5-liter engine that delivers 130 hp and 154 Nm of torque, mated to a continuously variable transmission or the standard five-speed manual gearbox. A Vezel Hybrid version is also available, powered by the same 1.5-liter direct-injection Earth Dreams engine paired to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and a 22kW electric motor.

Currently, we do not know if Honda will actually offer a hybrid version of the HR-V in the Unite States. Moreover, we could see an upscale version of the HR-V from Acura, the luxury vehicle division of Japanese automaker Honda Motor Company's North American–based subsidiary American Honda Motor Company. Honda is expected to build the HR-V at its plant in Celaya, Mexico, same place where it builds the Fit.

New Honda HR-V is the brand’s newest generation of subcompact crossover that elegantly combines the spaciousness and utility of an SUV, the styling of a coupe, and the refinement of a Honda. Tagged as a versatile multi-dimensional vehicle, the new HR-V offers an enjoyable and sophisticated driving character, as defined by three main design cues. These cues include its high road clearance, its 17-inch diameter wheels and tires as well as a high seating position. This high seating position provides the driver and passenger a high "eye point," which is around four inches higher than in a usual subcompact sedan or wagon.

Overall, the new Honda HR-V is packaged with a sporty, modern and functional design, beautifully conveying its coupe-like styling and SUV capabilities. Its front end is marked by an uplifting "wing" motif that integrates its assertive black grille with chrome trim and multi-reflector headlights. The new HR-V is provided with a wide track for better handling and a greater sense of robustness. Meanwhile, EX and EX-L Navi trim levels of the HR-V have fog lights recessed into the black lower fascia.

Meanwhile, the flanks of the new HR-V are marked by windswept aerodynamic cues and are defined by a prominent character line that emerges from behind the front wheel arch and sweeping upward to the sloping C-pillar. This dramatic styling makes the new Honda HR-V seems moving even though it is at a standstill. Since its wheel arches and lower sills have been trimmed with black finishers, the new HR-V appears tougher.

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