Not wanting the Nissan Juke, Subaru XV Crosstrek, and the recently announced Chevrolet Trax to have all the fun, Honda (NYSE:HMC) has formally introduced its HR-V compact crossover, a small utility vehicle that’s rooted in the Fit hatchback and will be slotted below the popular CR-V midsize crossover, after months of teasing.
If you recall the Urban SUV concept that Honda brought along to the Detroit Motor Show in January, the HR-V barely deviates from that. “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 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.”
The compact utility segment has seen tremendous growth recently, even in the luxury divisions, where the Buick Encore has surpassed General Motors’ expectations, and Audi is hoping to cash in when it releases the Q3 compact SUV later this year. Honda is hoping to pick up the slack between the Fit hatchback and the CR-V midsize crossover, and if industry trends are indicative of anything, it’ll be a pretty popular vehicle.
Overall, the HR-V is a cleanly styled vehicle that combines the right balance of swooshy lines with an SUV’s posture to make an ideally balanced vehicle, at least for the eyes. The lights are new for this model, as is the grille, and the rear door handles are nicely tucked into the C-pillar to keep the sheet metal looking graceful and uninterrupted.
Honda hasn’t discussed engine options yet, though it’s likely that a 1.5 liter inline-four will at least be an option for the new car. There are also whispers of a turbo model swirling, but Honda will release the options closer to the HR-V’s launch this winter.
All of the HR-V models are being built at Honda’s new factory in Celaya, Mexico, where the new 2015 Fit is being produced, Autoblog reports.
Pricing hasn’t been discussed either, perhaps not surprisingly, but it’s likely that the HR-V will start in the high teens to low $20,000 range. That would put it squarely in like with the Subaru Crosstrek ($21,995) and the Nissan Juke ($19,170). It’s also unclear if Honda plans to offer an all-wheel drive option, but we’re sincerely hoping they do.