New Honda HR-V compact off-roader unveiled
Following the huge sales success of the Nissan Qashqai, every carmaker wants its own range of off-roaders. Latest to join the party with a small 'crossover', is Honda, which has resurrected the HR-V name it used from 1999 to 2005.
According to Honda, what sets apart its new HR-V is its styling, which fuses the stance of an SUV with the shape of a sleek coupe, and its class-leading space. The upcoming HR-V will be available with a 1.5-litre petrol engine, which produces 128bhp, along with a 118bhp 1.6-litre diesel. Both models come with a six-speed manual as standard with petrol buyers able to opt for a CVT automatic gearbox. Four-wheel drive is not an option on either model, meaning the HR-V is an off-roader in its shape only.
The versatile interior uses a lot of tricks normally found in people carriers to make it as family-friendly as possible, as well as Honda's 'Magic Seat' system where the rear seat bench can be folded down flat or the seat base lifted up, creating an extra load area for bulky items. The front passenger seat also folds forward, to aid with loading longer items.
The boot is usefully large, extending to 453 litres with the rear seats in place, with a wide boot opening and low lip height making loading the car a cinch. The interior should also have a more upmarket feel, Honda claims, thanks to plush soft-touch materials and its high level of refinement. Dominating the dashboard is a seven-inch touchscreen media system, which is available with internet access, real-time news, traffic and weather info, along with music streaming functions.
The new HR-V is set to go on sale in Europe in summer. Full specifications and technical details will be revealed closer to its launch.