Euro-spec Honda HR-V (Vezel) crossover revealed

  • Sep 11, 2014
[caption id="attachment_11363" align="alignnone" width="1011"]Honda HR-V compact crossover Honda HR-V compact crossover[/caption]

Honda has confirmed that it will offer a brand new product in the flourishing subcompact crossover segment for European markets. Originally known as the Vezel in Japanese market, the new car will be billed as HR-V for Europe, thereby reviving the name and memories of the company’s first compact-crossover sold in the region between 1999-2005. Honda will be displaying the car along with all the details at next month’s 2014 Paris Motor Show.

The HR-V or the Vezel is based on the all new Honda Jazz platform (the new Jazz is India-bound) and was first showcased in January 2013 under Honda’s Urban SUV concept. Later in the same year, Honda launched the car in Japan badged as Vezel. While the Euro-spec version of the car is visually more or less the same as the Japanese Vezel, Honda christened it as the HR-V for a list of reasons. Back in 1999, when Honda launched the HR-V in European markets, the car immediately became the trendsetter, kickstarting the concept of compact SUVs. Quirky design elements clubbed with unique propositions made the HR-V stand apart from the crowd of conventional cars of that era. On the flip side though, this made the HR-V earn a reputation of a car that was much ahead of its time, and only people a certain and very limited section of car buyers would actually buy the HR-V. Eventually, this led Honda to discontinue the HR-V in 2006.

[caption id="attachment_11364" align="alignnone" width="1021"]Honda HR-V compact crossover rear angle Honda HR-V compact crossover rear angle[/caption]

Since then, however, the market for compact SUVs has come of age. The segment is booming like never before and noticeably a huge chunk of car buyers in Europe today opt for these cars over a conventional sedan or hatchback. Honda surely wants to cash in on this opportunity and hence it will be looking forward to launch the new HR-V in Europe by as early as 2015.

Instead of going all wacky, like they did on the original car, Honda designers have reserved the styling to convention and simpler lines, citing practicality and daily utility. That said, the new HR-V undoubtedly looks handsome in profile with its sports coupe like upward-sweeping creases and hidden rear door handles. Stylish new dual-colour diamond-cut alloy wheels and contrasting gloss-black body cladding add to the overall aesthetic appeal of the upcoming HR-V.


[caption id="attachment_11365" align="alignnone" width="1024"]Honda HR-V was originally launched in 1999 in Europe Honda HR-V was originally launched in 1999 in Europe[/caption]

Honda is unlikely to reveal the powertrain for the Euro-spec HR-V until the car’s official unveiling at the 2014 Paris Motor Show. Possibly there’s a 1.6-litre i-DTEC diesel and a direct-injection 1.5-litre VTEC petrol engine on the cards for European market. Additionally, there could be a hybrid powertrain on offer, developing135PS from a combination of 1.5-litre petrol engine and an electric motor, which will come along with a dual-clutch transmission. Only front wheel drive HR-V models are anticipated for Europe, but given Honda also sells four-wheel drive versions of the car in Japanese markets, the possibility of a similar drivetrain cannot be ruled out just as yet.

Practicality is Honda’s major agenda among other things in the HR-V. The fuel tank on the new HR-V is now located centrally so that the boot space is not limited while the ‘Magic Seats’ allow the back row to be folded completely flat. Measuring in at 4,295mm of length the HR-V will be the largest car in its segment by a fraction of millimeters from cars such as the Nissan Juke and Vauxhall Mokka. The interiors have not been revealed so far by Honda, but expect a dose of practicality with a higher quality cabin even there on.

[caption id="attachment_11366" align="alignnone" width="1017"]Honda HR-V side view Honda HR-V side view[/caption]

Honda will launch the HR-V during the first half of 2015 in major European markets; UK possibly being the first. The expected price tag on the new HR-V will start at £15,000 (Rs 14.80 lakh; excluding duties) in the UK.

Honda has already denied launching the Vezel or the HR-V in India citing infeasibility and higher cost of the car for the target customers in. Although, Honda is rumored to be working on a Brio-platform based compact SUV for the Indian market.


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