Although being one of the top-selling vehicles in America is always a goal, automakers often have seconday and tertiary goals for certain models. At Honda, the Civic has long been the brand’s most important model in one key way - attracting new buyers to the brand. New data shows that Honda’s HR-V crossover SUV is now sharing that role at the brand.
Honda revealed in a press release this week that data collected in a study conducted by Strategic Vision points to the HR-V is America's most popular SUV with first-time and Gen-Z buyers. Since SUVs are replacing coupes and sedans as the go-to first car for a large portion of the buying public, this is great news for the Honda brand.
Digging even deeper into the data, Honda’s HR-V is the number one SUV in the industry with Hispanic buyers. HR-V also earns the highest percentage of Millennial customers, and more than a third of all HR-Vs are bought by Gen Y.
What this all adds up to is that Honda’s award-winning second-generation HR-V is bringing in a new generation of customers to Honda. Who will someday step up to a CR-V, Pilot, or perhaps an Oddysey as their needs change.
Conquest sales are very difficult to achieve. Many buyers remain brand loyal to a manufacturer’s products for decades. In some families, this loyalty can even span generations of family members. In my own family, three generations of us have owned Honda and Acura vehicles. While Honda certainly does work hard for conquest sales - taking a sale away from a person who previously owned another brand’s model - starting with the younger buyers and keeping them is a much sounder strategy.
So what is it that makes the HR-V in its new iteration so great? That’s Honda’s magic at work. It is not one thing, but many. Let's start with the cool “small wagon look.” This is a design trend many are seeing as the future. How about the ideal cargo area, with a wide, perfectly positioned opening for loading bikes and other bulky stuff on a moving day?
All Hondas are satisfying to drive. While the HR-V does not pretend to be a Civic Type R, not all buyers are looking to melt the tires off their ride. Many buyers are looking for utility, comfort, value, and a vehicle well-suited to commuting. The HR-V checks off all of those boxes.
John Goreham is an experienced New England Motor Press Association member and expert vehicle tester. John completed an engineering program with a focus on electric vehicles, followed by two decades of work in high-tech, biopharma, and the automotive supply chain before becoming a news contributor. In addition to his ten years of work at Torque News, John has published thousands of articles and reviews at American news outlets. He is known for offering unfiltered opinions on vehicle topics. You can follow John on Twitter, and TikTok @ToknCars, and view his credentials at Linkedin
Image of 2023 HR-V courtesy of Honda.