Walking the West’s largest auto show one realizes the vastness of the sea that is today's automotive world. With individual auto kiosks and displays larger than many West Coast dealership showrooms, the size and scope of today’s automotive drive mode choice, selection and trim level offerings can be a bit overwhelming. It occurred to me that Honda's next big thing HR-V could be lost in the crowd.
The theme of this year’s L.A. Auto Show is connectivity, and more often than not the method and ease of connecting one’s personal communication device, the voice interface and command (receive and send) quality and features incorporated into your next ride will play a major if not paramount role in your next car or truck purchase decision.
With 7” touch, swipe and sweep” screen technology, state of the art accident avoidance and ride-stability emerging as standard equipment in near-future offerings, Honda holds a slight edge in this corner of the automotive world. 2016 HR-V will feature this optional technology and more.
Will 2016 Honda HR-V be lost in the crowd?
While 2016 Honda HR-V comes up against a vast hatch-based sport-compact crossover segment. 2016 HR-V will take the lead in standard connectivity and state of the art active, passive safety features, while doing so at a very competitive price-point; so I’m told. Honda didn't reveal the availability date or the estimated pricing for 2016 HR-V in Los Angeles. Honda’s Chris Martin tells me that pricing will be announce mid-2015.
Available in FWD or “Real-Time all-wheel-drive, I predict that HR-V will be priced in line with the 2015/2016 Fit offering, with the top-trim 1.8 liter 1-VTEC 4 cylinder gas (135 horsepower) CVT AWD priced in the low to mid CR-V range ( $25,000.)
Good looking but not mind-blowing
For my readers that have called for a turbocharged engine, close ratio 6 speed manual transmission(available in FWD only) lockers and over-sized vented brakes; the 2016 HR-V may not be your car.
Granted, Honda design studio has done a commendable job transforming this world-Fit-platformed compact crossover into something pleasing to look at and possibly modification friendly.The design is pleasing to the eye but not mind-blowing.
Honda’s up against a compact sport-hatch segment with Chevrolet, Ford, Hyundai, Mazda 3 and others, all offering affordable tech-rich hatch-based personal conveyance. looking to the total package, HR-V may be exceptional in base accessory tech-environment, active and passive stability, safety features, interior comfort and price-point. Honda has kicked up the performance side (a bit) by incorporating a more powerful engine and CVT paddle shifting transmission. I’ll report on the driving aspects of HR-V sometime in early 2015.
Brand loyalty, affordable base price and standard tech features will drive 2016 HR-V sales. Young buyers will look to Honda HR-V for affordability, dependability and utility.
Built on the same platform as 2015 Honda Fit, HR-V offers class setting standard safety features, top of class fuel economy, interior flex space and hatchback utility. HR-Vs center fuel tank design and “magic seat” affords flat deck mini-van-like hauling capacity in a low profile coupe-like environs, so Honda states. At 6’ 5” I did find the driver’s seat to be comfortable, headroom and knee room, more than adequate. With two members of the press corp sitting on the back bench, HR-V was surprisingly roomy, pure Honda.
Out of fairness to Honda I’ll end the article here with a thank you to Honda PR for a warm welcome and ever-present spirit of cooperation. With 3 of the top selling vehicle in North America, Honda’s on a roll, HR-V if manufactured in great enough number should sell well in North America.