Honda's HR-V has been reborn as this stylish crossoverNew HR-V compact SUV seen in production-ready form ahead of UK sales beginning this summerThe Honda HR-V will go on sale in the UK this summer, and is on display at the Geneva motor show.
Revealed in prototype form at the Paris motor show last year, the HR-V is based on a similar platform to the Civic hatchback and the Jazz supermini. Honda sees an opportunity with the HR-V to provide a small car with SUV styling to take advantage of the current trends for compact crossover cars.
As well as rivalling the likes of the*Nissan Juke*and*Vauxhall Mokka, Honda will be going after the same style-conscious customers who buy the Renault Captur.
Due to be available in the UK in two-wheel drive form only, the HR-V will be powered by two engines at launch - an all-new 128bhp 1.5-litre petrol engine and a 118bhp 1.6-litre diesel, versions of which are shared with the Civic hatch and CR-V SUV. The petrol engine will be available with a CVT automatic gearbox but both engines will come with a six-speed manual transmission as standard.
The Japanese manufacturer also claims the HR-V will offer better refinement than its rivals, with high levels of acoustic insulation and sound-deadening.
Honda claims the interior will be of the same high quality as the other models in its line-up. Three trim levels will be offered - Comfort, Sport and Executive. Sport and Executive models will get its Android-based Connect app-based car infotainment system which supports real-time traffic updates, music streaming and web browsing, all accessed through the built-in seven-inch screen. Comfort models will get a five-inch touchscreen.
All versions get a high standard level of safety equipment, including autonomous emergency braking. Sport and Executive models get a raft of other kit including forward collision detection, lane-departure warning and traffic-sign recognition systems as standard, which are all under the banner of Advanced Driver Assist System.
Like the Jazz, Honda says the HR-V will have the 'magic seat' system that allows the second row of seats to be folded totally flat. Interior space is also increased by the positioning of the fuel tank, which is located under the centre of the car. As a result of these two features, Honda reckons the HR-V will have class-leading cabin space. The claimed 453 litres of boot space is also better than the majority of rivals.
Masahide Kobayashi, chief stylist for the HR-V, told Autocar at the Paris motor show that the new model was designed to meet the “strong customer demand” for a crossover positioned below the CR-V.*
He said: “The difficulty in designing this type of car is that because of the size, the design can end up looking weak or less premium compared with other models. During the scale modelling process, we also had difficulty creating a design with presence, but we are pleased with what we achieved.
"In many cases, Honda has good products, but the design has not been strong enough to be clearly recognised. We believe that we can create new and more exciting designs in the future. This model [the HR-V] definitely has a strong character and I am excited about seeing the reaction of [European] customers.”
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