2016_Honda_HR-V_Reviel
Parks McCants's picture

2016 Honda HR-V reveil may be lost in the crowd

First reveal of Honda’s next big thing left me sitting with notepad in hand reaching for an answer or two that would not come until mid 2015. Had Honda’s next big thing disappointed?

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.

Honda’s on a roll

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.

Coupe-like cockpit may be a bit of a stretch

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.

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Comments

Great headline, and I'll take the troll bait... You don't really think it matters if the HRV was lost at the A Auto Show because it is, most likely, going to be the biggest mainstream success of the show...well maybe the Explorer. They UT in the 1.8 AND have said the 1.5t is the new 1.8 when it's officially ready for launch. Frankly, given the hurdles the new Celaya plant has presented, they are probably better off putting in the third and true 1.8 until a midcycle refresh. It's not really reasonable to say Ford has a competitor. The Focus still carries the "hatch" label and scares American when something like this is available. Mazda doesn't move the kind of volume as Honda, the Daimler twins might present the most "competition" but Fiat still has to find its way with Americanos and no Jeep still can't figure out that young boys and men love Wranglers, but the rest of the brand is forgettable. And how many people have said, "hey, I really love the underpowered Encore, but really want something with less refinement?" About six people in middle America I guessing. It's not a show stopper, but it doesn't matter. In a year, you will see these everywhere, and isn't that the real gauge of whether it was a successful auto show debut?
Welcome Robert. as you know, I'm the O.G. of Honda fans and know that the HR-V will sell well. However, price-point may be an obstacle in the FWD model. What HR-V does offer is versatility, style and a 4WD option, and......the interior volume of a Honda Fit.. Thanks for dropping in. I appreciate your comprehensive competition review. Well done.
Correction: Honda "Real-Time" all-wheel-drive with traction control and hill assist.