Bringing a downsized Fit platformed CR-V- like crossover to market would seem a bit counter to American Honda’s present market trajectory; until one sits behind the wheel of HR-V. Predicted by Honda to arrive to market in the late spring 2015 (we’re looking to May) this “World-Car” shares manufacturing platforms and some components with 2015 Fit, and should further increase sales in what is quickly becoming Honda’s foundation “portal” vehicle segment.
Honda Fit sales recorded record highs in March with an increase of 73.2% for the first quarter of 2015. Honda believes that an appropriately priced portal vehicle to Honda’s light truck lineup will bring new buyers to what’s being referred to as automotive's “White Hot” crossover segment. Rolling down the same production line as the built in Celaya, Mexico Fit will ensure adequate supply, quality control and an attractive MSRP, somewhere below $25,000.
With the unveiling of the up-sized and measurably upgraded 2016 Honda Civic Concept Car as revealed at the New York International Auto Show, the picture is coming into focus as to Honda’s near-future and long term marketing plan for North America and beyond.
2016 Honda HR-V brings affordable sport-like-utility to an expanding field of compact SUV and CUVs. Will it be the end all, be all, for all drivers searching for the perfect compact vehicle? Perhaps. Recently,Torque News-Honda was accused by a handful of readers as to being on American Honda Motors payroll; due to our soft-approach to critical drive review. Nothing could be further from the truth; although a solid paycheck would be much appreciated.
In truth, we are die-hard, long-term Honda and Acura fans. And, like all fans, find a bit of(small) wants, should-haves and could-haves in every Honda offering.
Like every Honda product, HR-V will be quality built and loaded with standard-featured value. That’s what makes Honda a Honda, and we don’t anticipate HR-V breaking the mold as to unprecedented innovation, with an exception or two.
When released to market, 2016 HR-V will claim the highest average MPG in the compact crossover segment
That’s a given. HR-V’s EPA, MPG has been published by the U.S. Government and sets the fuel economy bar for the segment. That’s cool, but we’re not sure that a couple of miles per gallon will be the deciding factor when considering HR-V. So, here’s a couple more for you.
2016 Honda HR-V CUV lives large through center mount fuel tank Fit platform
A little larger in dimension, slightly heavier and more powerful than Honda Fit, while retaining the urbane agility and interior transformer-ability of Fit, HR-V comes to market with a coupe-like driving environment; a sportier body design; a Civic derived 1.8 Liter normally aspirated i-VTEC 4 cylinder gasoline engine, and the option of a CR-V-like all-wheel-drive.
Yes, HR-V is available in FWD with a 6 speed close ratio manual transmission, or CVT option. Both versions are eye catching and functional. Furthermore, HR-V will feature a bit more driving environment refinement in the upper trims than Fit, and perhaps a bit more “truck” than Fit. Better? No, simply different. We believe that without diving into details, HR-V may present some true off-road capabilities, while retaining the functionality of a 5 door hatchback.
Torque News-Honda appreciates HR-V’s retention of Fit’s 40/60 split rear “Magic Seat” and near flat deck rear cabin hauling platform. We've been assured by our contacts at Honda that 2016 HR-V planned release is on schedule. Torque News will follow up with a full drive review of 2016 HR-V April 30. In the mean time, enjoy Honda’s HR-V preview here.