Most of you have probably seen the Honda Fit, the 5-door subcompact that’s available with a 1.5 l 4-cylinder engine, but many of you might not know that Honda also makes a crossover on the same underpinnings. It’s known as the Honda Vezel and has been available in Japan since 2013. The interesting news is that the Japanese automaker will present this model in the U.S. as the 2016 Honda HR-V. New vehicle will be produced in Mexico after which it will be delivered to the U.S. Honda dealers.
Under the hood of the HR-V, you will find an upgraded version of Honda’s 1.8 l 4-cylinder engine with i-VTEC, capable of delivering 141 hp at 6500 rpm and 127 lb-ft of torque at 4300 rpm while the redline is set to 6700 rpm. That’s a decent power increase over its Japanese counterpart the Vezel, which has a 1.5 l 4-cylinder engine. Upgraded engine will be paired with either a 6-speed manual transmission or a CVT with Honda’s “G-design” shift logic. AWD is optional and comes with Intelligent Control System for improved all-weather traction.
Honda promises class-leading fuel economy for the HR-V, with CVT and front wheel drive expect it to return 28/35/31 mpg and if you choose manual six speed transmission it will offer 25/34/28 mpg. Optional all-wheel drive will slightly drop these figures and it can be only delivered with CVT, this setup can return 27/32/29 mpg in city/highway/combined drive conditions. Results are more than respective and we are sure that this will allow HRV to attract larger number of customers to this brand, however it would be great to see turbocharged engine but also the hybrid powertrain.
2016 Honda HR-V Review
As far as the exterior goes, even though the HR-V is based on the Honda Fit model, it doesn’t look like it at all. In fact, it more resembles to the CR-V model. The headlights are visibly inspired by its larger cousin, as well as the leaned hood. At the back end and in the body lines, the HR-V comes as a unique model and doesn’t look like any other Honda vehicle. All in all, the crossover looks firm and sporty. The coupe-like roof is followed by the muscular front fenders, the bold character lines and the hidden back door handles which is a nice touch. The HR-V will also be offered with power mirrors, power tailgate locks and aluminum-alloy wheels that come as a standard. It will be available in three trim levels: LX, EX and EX-L.
The interior of the 2016 Honda HR-V presents a mixture of design elements from both the CR-V and the Fit, but it also comes with exclusive styling features. The steering wheel and the instrument cluster are already seen and the center stack is also different, but most of the available controls and the infotainment system, are almost identical to the CR-V’s. The center console is brand-new as well, while the gear shifter is inherited from CR-V. The HR-V has a more premium feel, with sophisticated stitch lines and piano black and chrome inserts.
The instrument cluster is definitely the most interesting feature with its “floating” illumination rings, as well as the ECO Assist application that switches the speedometer illumination from white to green depending on fuel consumption. Furthermore, the standard equipment includes tilt and telescoping steering wheel, rearview camera, electronic parking brake, Bluetooth, Pandora radio and power windows. The optional features include: leather trim, a 7-inch touchscreen with Display Audio telematics interface, paddle shifters behind the steering wheel, Smart Entry/Push-Button Start, heated front seats, a power sunroof, Honda Lane Watch, SiriusXM radio and Honda Digital Traffic.
The price of the 2016 Honda HR-V starts from $19,115 for the standard LX version, the EX-L model will cost you about $21,165 and top of the line EX-L Navi version is priced at $24,590. The HR-V is expected to be available at dealers this summer so expect it to come in the next few months if not weeks.