Back in late 2013 when Honda announced a Vezel-like vehicle for North America, we hadn't viewed one in person. And frankly, knowing that Honda had been beaten to what is now being referred to as a “white hot market” by Ford, Kia ,Mazda and others, we questioned why the maker of the number one selling SUV in North America would gamble on the introducing a sub-compact crossover.
After all, there is plenty of competition in the segment. Why not an AWD or hybrid Fit as offered in Japan? That all changed for us at the Los Angeles Auto Show with the introduction of 2016 HR-V to the world. At first, not quite convinced by the stage drive on, HR-V began its rotation under lights and something about its balance of composition caught our collective eye. The exceptional body line was already there ripe for customization, right down to the shaved rear door handles.
This design works: Once again Honda has designed a small vehicle that captures the imagination, while promoting thoughts of,” Why would anyone need a larger SUV, crossover than this?” and, “How does Honda engineering create so-much usable interior volume within the confines of a compact exterior?” Setting the size of HR-V aside for a moment, take a look at the image at the top of this article.
2016 HR-V is easy to look at, and looking to the specifications should be a blast to drive. And yes, HR-V just recorded the highest EPA, MPG in its segment. The highest for a non-hybrid SUV, crossover in North America for a combined average mpg of 29. Not as high as Fit, but damned impressive.
It’s not so much that 2015 CR-V is too big, it isn't. Or that Acura RDX is too expensive, it isn't. We believe that 2016 HR-V, just a bit larger and sportier than 2015 Fit will fill the civic-want-to-be hatchback void left in Honda’s North American lineup.
With made in America turbo technology just around the corner, 2016 HR-V could be Honda’s next hot-hatch: As Honda’s Jeff Conrad puts it: ‘There’s nothing else like HR-V on the market.” Honda’s banking on it.