Posts Tagged ‘hr-v’

Honda Says Bye-Bye to Crosstour for 2016

Posted by Stephen On Friday, April 10th, 2015

2014 Honda Crosstour

Yesterday we looked one of the most successful Honda/Acura models of the past decade up for auction in Japan. In a fitting contrast, today we learned that Honda plans to get rid of one of their worst-sellers for the 2016MY. That car is the Honda Crosstour, and it will be officially axed from the lineup for 2016.

Note, this is NOT the same car as the Honda Accord Tourer which is available in some markets.

2015 Honda Crosstour rear

The Honda Crosstour, previously known as the Honda Accord Crosstour, is an awkward fusion of sedan, station wagon and crossover. It’s designed to have the looks of a sedan, the space of a station wagon and the underpinnings of a crossover. It’s a little unfair, but you can see how the car earned itself the nickname “The hunchback of Honda”… People perceive the Crosstour as bulky and unattractive without any of the perks that normally come with bulky and unattractive cars.

The result of this awkwardly implemented design concept is a remarkably slow-selling model. The Honda Crosstour debuted in 2010, and its monthly sales only ever peaked at 2,900 units during that year. According to Good Car Bad Car, the Honda Crosstour has yet to sell more than 750 units in one month since the start of 2015. It’s been a full year since the car managed to consistently sell over 1,000 units a month.

2015 Honda Crosstour interior

According to Honda’s official statement on the Crosstour’s cessation, they believe that the Honda HR-V launching any day now is the right direction for their crossover lineup:

“The crossover segment has evolved and we believe the all-new 2016 Honda HR-V launching later this spring will create new value for crossover shoppers and play a more significant role as a gateway model for the Honda brand to drive light truck sales growth. This move will allow the East Liberty Plant to focus on meeting demand for the CR-V and a refreshed 2016 Acura RDX and, as announced last month, expand light truck production in early 2017 with the Acura MDX,”

The statement reveals another core reason behind the Crosstour’s demise, which is that it will allow them to optimize manufacturing capacity. The Crosstour is currently manufactured at Honda’s East Liberty, Ohio plant… Getting rid of the low-selling model in 2016 will allow this plant to focus solely on other crossover models like the Honda CR-V and Acura RDX.

Honestly, we don’t think that the Crosstour had to be doomed from the start. After all, the BMW X6 does just fine and it’s really not too far off from the current Crosstour.

2015 BMW X6

2015 BMW X6

However, the Crosstour was one of the first cars that Honda promoted primarily on social media, and they did NOT do a very good job. The photos they shared were ugly, and the original “Accord Crosstour” naming scheme was confusing. The result was a flood of negative comments and shares… Not exactly a great start. In fact, it was so bad that the Crosstour never took off, despite dealerships offering rock-bottom prices in recent years to try and clear out their stocks.

So long, Crosstour. Honestly, you won’t be missed.


Acura CDX Compact Crossover Next Addition to Lineup?

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

2016 Honda HR-V

2016 Honda HR-V

Earlier this month Acura showed us a refreshed RDX premium SUV at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show. Now, it looks like Acura is planning to add another new crossover to their lineup, but this one will be a completely new vehicle. It’s the Acura CDX, a new compact crossover that will sit below the existing Acura RDX and MDX.

News of the new Acura CDX comes from a report published by AutoGuide last week. Apparently, they caught wind that Honda filed a trademark for the name CDX with the US Patent & Trademark Office on February 11th, less than two weeks ago at the time of writing.

Since news of the Acura CDX comes from the US Patent office and not any official Acura source, what we know about this new crossover is fairly limited and entirely unofficial. However, we know that Honda has put a lot of effort into their new compact HR-V crossover, which will slot below the CR-V when it hits US dealerships later this year.

Could the CDX be a premium version of the HR-V?

It wouldn’t be the first time the Japanese automaker has made such a move. If the CDX ends up being a premium crossover built on the HR-V’s platform, they would follow in the footsteps of the Acura ILX, which is essentially a premium Honda Civic, and the Acura RDX, which is built on the platform of the Honda CR-V.

Acura SUV-X Concept

Acura SUV-X Concept

As far as what the new Acura CDX might look like, our best indication comes from the 2013 Auto Shanghai. There Honda showed us the Honda SUV-X Concept (above) – a sporty compact crossover concept that was meant to appeal to the Chinese market.

Fun fact: the SUV-X Concept was Honda’s first concept to ever premiere outside the US.

With that in mind, our guess is that the Acura CDX will also make its world premiere at the 2015 Auto Shanghai in April. Since Auto Shanghai is a biennial event, it would be a fitting two-year follow-up for Honda to unveil the CDX in China.

Japanese Car Auction Find – 2006 Honda HR-V

2006 Honda HR-V

Obviously you won’t find any 2016 Honda HR-V models up for auction in Japan, but you can find several of the old HR-V’s available. The original Honda HR-V was considered ahead of its time by many automotive critics; it didn’t cease production for lack of quality, but simply because of the ‘bigger is better’ mindset of the time.

2006 Honda HR-V interior

The state of this Japanese car auction find is about exactly what you’d expect from a non-premium 2006 model. It’s got 69,000 kilometers on it, but it’s well kept with an interior grade of B and an overall rating of 4. It’s got a small-but-efficient 1.6L engine under the hood and some surprising amenities like the 6-inch nav. screen you can see on the center console.

For more details, get the full auction sheet translation below:

2006 Honda HR-V auction sheet

“Interior B, first registered February 2006, J model, FAT, AAC, service book, power steering, power windows, original navigation system, airbag, Gathers navigation system, one owner, seats and steering wheel worn, trim scratches, load area scratches, minor scratches and minor dents and repair marks and waves, wheels scratched, marks as per map”


Why Honda Projects Record Sales in 2015

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

At this month’s Detroit motor show, Honda’s Executive VP, John Mendel, predicted that the automaker would break their US sales record by the end of 2015. But it’s not just the US – Honda is taking extreme measures everywhere to revitalize their brand and push their momentum from 2014.

It Starts With New US Models Like the Acura TLX

2015 Acura TLX

One of the biggest ways Honda plans to beat their US sales record is simply by meeting demand for their new Acura TLX. Turns out they’re struggling to keep up with orders. Mendel is even quoted as saying demand for the car is “going gangbusters” in an interview with Columbus Business First in Detroit.

They also kick-started the year with the Acura NSX concept in Detroit, with even more new cars coming to Chicago like a redesigned RDX and the new Honda Pilot. While they’re adding new models to increase sales growth in the US, the Japanese automaker is doing exactly the opposite in Europe…

Honda Accord Withdrawing from Europe

2014 Honda Accord

Leon Brannan of Honda UK recently told Automotive News Europe, “we are running out the accord and we will not return to the segment.”

The jaws of several of our US readers are probably dropping right now, as the idea of Honda removing the Accord from their lineup in any market is near unthinkable. However, keep in mind that the European version of Honda’s midsize Accord is actually our discontinued Acura TSX. That’s the same car that Honda recently replaced with the TLX in the US, but they plan to totally withdraw from the segment in Europe.

Why?

It’s a smart move when you hear the full story.

First, they’ve been losing sales to natively manufactured European models like the Mercedes C class for some time. In fact, Honda UK’s Accord sales fell by nearly 20% in 2014. When you consider that Honda’s total European sales fell 5% last year, it’s easy to see that the Accord is one of the cars dragging down their numbers. Meanwhile, their always-excellence crossovers continue to outsell their European competition.

When you see like that, the change seems obvious – they’re cutting their losses and refocusing on the models that are selling well. The refreshed Honda CR-V is already doing well, and the new subcompact HR-V is also expected to play a part in Honda’s European sales rebounding to record highs by the end of this year.


LA Auto Show – Acura ILX & Honda HR-V

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

Yesterday we looked at the new cars and concepts that Infiniti brought to the 2014 LA auto show. Today, we’re moving on to another of the major Japanese automakers, Honda, and their premium sub-brand, Acura. Each organization primarily showcased one car at this year’s LA event, so as you continue reading you’ll learn about the Honda HR-V compact crossover and the Acura ILX premium sedan.

2016 Honda HR-V

2016 Honda HR-V

As a reminder, we’d already seen the Euro-spec Honda HR-V (aka. the Honda Vezel) earlier this year, but this is the first time were seeing it on North American shores. Just like the Mazda CX-3, the Honda HR-V is aimed at the ever-growing compact crossover segment to contend with the likes of the prodigious Nissan Juke.

The Honda HR-V is built on the underpinnings of the Fit hatchback, but it was developed to feel more like a CR-V both inside and out. The new crossover will also offer drivers a lower priced entry-level crossover than the CR-V could be.

Again, since this is a car that we’ve technically seen before, we won’t spend a great deal of time rehashing the details. The biggest news with the LA debut is that Honda has fitted a larger engine than previously thought in the form of a 1.8L i-VTEC four-cylinder engine that outputs 138hp, paired to a G-Design sport CVT, available in both 2WD and AWD. This is an upgrade from the 1.5L unit that Honda was originally expected to borrow from the Fit.

2016 Acura ILX

2016 Acura ILX

The original Acura ILX had a bit of a tragic start. It was originally launched as a conservatively priced entry-level premium sedan built on the Honda Civic. However, even though it continues to maintain its position as one of the most economical luxury cars out there, its 2-year lifespan has been filled with complaints that it’s “just a rebadged Civic”. Turns out, premium buyers are willing to pay a little bit extra to jump over to the more prestigious European brands’ entry-level models.

That’s why, even though its original launch was in 2012, Acura is starting over with an all-new ILX for the 2015MY.

For starters, Acura is upgrading performance for the entire range. A four-cylinder 2.4L engine with a hefty 201hp is now standard for all trims, compared to the 2.0L 150hp that powered this year’s ILX. In addition to the more powerful engine, Acura has also integrated a new eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, complete with a torque converter for smooth-but-sporty driving.

Finally, Acura has added a cornucopia of aesthetic improvements, including new LED headlights, a slightly re-sculpted front- and rear-end, 17-inch wheels as standard, and twice as many trims as ever before. Most notably, the brand-new A-Spec trim offers the type of plush interior that puts this year’s model to shame.

Japanese Car Auction Find – 2007 Honda Civic

2007 Honda Civic G

While it’s easy to say that the original Acura ILX flopped because Acura didn’t do enough to set it apart from the Honda Civic, the other side of the coin is that the Honda Civic is such a good car that Acura had a hard time raising the bar. So, I thought I’d share this beautiful pearl 2007 Honda Civic up for auction in Gifu.

Since this is a Japanese-spec Honda Civic, this model year gets a 1.8L SOHC i-VTEC engine rated at 140 bhp. You can get a full rundown of the specs and features if you keep reading below the auction sheet:

2007 Honda Civic G Auction Sheet

“Interior B, exterior condition B, first registered December 2007, G model, DBA emissions code, FAT, AAC, airbag, power steering, power windows, seats have minor sagging, moldings scratches, scratches under bumpers, marks as per map”


2016 Honda HR-V & Acura ILX Teased Ahead of LA

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

With the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show just a hair less than a month away, we’re starting to get the first trickle of automotive previews dribbling across the web. Leading the way is Honda with two new vehicles they’ll be showcasing at NA’s next big automotive event. One of them we’ve seen before, and the other is an update for a car in their luxury lineup that really need some love.

NA-Spec 2016 Honda HR-V Crossover

NA-Spec 2016 Honda HR-V

You’ll remember that Honda already showed us a European version of their new HR-V crossover earlier this month at the 2014 Paris Motor Show. We’d also seen images of an HR-V prototype earlier this year in Geneva.

Today, Honda officially introduced us to the North American variant of their 2016 HR-V crossover. It now has its own page on Honda.com and everything. Our American readers can see the car in the metal for the first time at next month’s LA Motor Show. We won’t spend too much time on this one since it’s the less newsworthy of the two. Here’s a quick rundown of what we know at the time of this writing:

  • The HR-V will slot below the Honda CR-V as “the entry point to Honda’s light truck lineup.”
  • Likely to launch this winter
  • Features Honda Magic Seats
  • Built on the same platform as the Honda Fit

Refreshed 2016 Acura ILX Compact Sedan

2016 Acura ILX Sedan

The big news of the day is a teaser for a refreshed version of the Acura ILX sedan. No one from either Honda or Acura has said anything about the new luxury compact sedan other than what’s in the press release. All we know is that it will debut next year as a “comprehensive update that includes a potent new powertrain, more forceful, sporty exterior styling, and substantially upgraded interior design.”

Clearly, the upgrade is going to be quite substantial. What exactly that means, however, remains to be seen. The press release hints that Acura is looking to bring the ILX closer in-line with the car’s more successful big brother, the Acura TLX.

Our guess is that Honda will bring in their new 2.4L i-VTEC engine and upscale exterior features like LEDs, a sports exhaust, and a more distinguished front grille. Inside, you can probably expect a much quieter cabin (the current ILX is known to be quite loud), higher quality materials, and perhaps more performance tech. like we saw in the recent Civic Type-R Concept in Paris.

Either way, we’re sure we’ll see more of both cars before doors open at the Los Angeles Auto Show late next month, so stay tuned for more information. Until then, thanks for reading!


Japanese Car Auction Find – 2005 Honda HR-V

Posted by Stephen On Monday, October 13th, 2014

The 2014 Paris Motor Show is finally coming to a close. To finish off the week, we’re going to look at a Japanese car auction find that may remind you of a car we saw last week in France. That’s because today’s auction find is the original version of an upcoming new SUV we saw at the motor show.

It’s a 2005 Honda HR-V in classic metallic black:

2005 Honda HR-V

As you can see, this is a far cry from the HR-V Concept we saw in Paris, although it still filled the same slot in Honda’s lineup. The original HR-V was developed to satisfy consumer demand for a car with the spaciousness and sturdiness of a CR-V without sacrificing the economy and maneuverability of a Civic. Thus, the HR-V was born as a High-riding Revolutionary Vehicle.

2005 Honda HR-V rear

Believe it or not, the Honda HR-V was originally marketed to a young demographic as a sort of toy car. The original 1997 concept for the HR-V was called the “Wild & Joyful J-WJ” Concept, and Honda called it the “Joy Machine” when it officially launched in 1999. It was fun and frivolous, and didn’t really fit into any common segments at the time – it wasn’t a minivan, a conventional SUV or a truck. Unfortunately, this meant it was well-received in the showroom, but drivers didn’t know what to do with it on the road.

As a 2005 model year, today’s Honda HR-V auction find would have come out after a minor refresh in 2003 which included some exterior styling updates and a totally overhauled interior. Looking at the image below, you’ll see that the clean and crisp black interior holds up even to today’s higher quality standards. In fact, many argue that the original HR-V was a little too ahead of its time, which is why the model would cease production in 2006.

2005 Honda HR-V interior

The original Honda HR-V achieved SUV-like performance by using the Real Time 4WD taken from the then-current Honda CR-V. At the time, what separated Honda’s four-wheel-drive system from other manufacturers’ was the addition of a Dual-Hydraulic Pump Rear Differential (DHPRD), which is a fancy way of saying that the four-wheel drive mode is automatically activated when the front wheels lose traction.

DHPRD is one of the many modern amenities that no other cars were using at the time. You’ll find that this 2005MY also boasts antilock brakes, dual SRS airbags, electric windows and mirrors, power steering, air conditioning, and even heat absorbing windows to keep the cabin comfortable.

Under the hood you’ll find a conservative 1.6L four-cylinder VTEC engine that outputs 123hp, paired up with an automatic CVT. The HR-V for the JDM also features a slightly tuned-up suspension and driveshaft.

The original Honda HR-V was only in production for a little more than half a decade, so there aren’t that many left in circulation. The find you see here is one of the best ones currently up for auction with an overall grading of 3.5 due to a few minor dings, and an interior grade of C due to minor wear and tear. Continue reading below the auction sheet for a full rundown of this auction find:

2005 Honda HR-V auction sheet

“Interior C, first registered 2005, month of first registration not known, J model, FAT, AC, power steering, power windows, airbags, timing belt has been replaced, service book, cigarette burn holes in driver’s seat, steering wheel worn, wheel caps scratched, ABA emissions code, rear panel and rear spare tyre housing distortion, minor scratches, left side door mirrors scratched, front windshield has stone scratches, other marks as per map


Euro-Spec Honda HR-V Prototype Shown at Paris Motor Show

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, October 4th, 2014

2014 Honda HR-V Prototype

Today we have another new Japanese car from the 2014 Paris Motor Show. It’s the Honda HR-V Prototype, shown here in fiery metallic red. So far this event has been defined by small SUVs, and this B-segment crossover is a fitting follow up for yesterday’s C-segment C-HR Concept.

We have a well put together video of Honda’s new HR-V Prototype to kick things off:

You may remember last month when Honda first previewed the new HR-V. They gave us a cursory overview of what to expect, but very few specific details. With the Paris debut they’ve given us a lot more to expect when the SUV goes on sale next summer.

A quick disclaimer for our US readers – Honda dropped a couple images of a US-spec HR-V earlier this year at the New York Auto Show, but made no mention of that car here in Paris. Take the specs you find here with a grain of salt since things could change when the car makes it to NA shores.

Now back to today’s HR-V Prototype…

2015 Honda HR-V Paris Debut

The SUV nomenclature that Honda uses throughout the press release is a little bit misleading, as it’s actually built on the same chassis as the Honda Fit. So, whether it’s an SUV, hatchback or something in between is up for debate. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though; Honda tells us that they wanted to pair the sportiness of a coupe with the interior space of an SUV, which sounds like a fantastic combination to us.

2015 Honda HR-V Prototype

Since we’d already seen the Honda HR-V in pictures, the biggest thing we learned about Honda’s new SUV pertains to the powertrain. Honda tells us there will be two options in the European market – a 1.6L i-DTEC diesel engine and a 1.5L i-VTEC petrol, both from their Earth Dreams series. Even though they didn’t say more than that, there are a few inferences we can make about these two powertrains…

It’s safe to assume that the HR-V will get the same 1.5L i-VTEC that’s in the 2015 Honda Fit, which means you can expect 130hp and probably about 35mpg. The 1.6L i-DTEC that’s in the 2014 CR-V offers only 118bhp, but makes up for it with 55 mpg in the crossover, and an astonishing 78.5 mpg in the Civic hatch. Both engines are paired with a lightweight six-speed manual transmission, although the petrol can be had with a semi-automatic CVT.

2015 Honda HR-V Prototype rear

With the HR-V’s premiere, Honda tells us that the secret behind the expansive cabin space is the SUV’s central fuel tank location. In addition, Honda Magic Seats will help you get more out of the space by allowing you to fully customize your seating through a wide range of configurations. As you’d expect, the second row seats can be folded down completely flat for extra cargo space.

All in all, the Honda HR-V may not be the most progressive, shocking car you’ll see at the 2014 Paris Motor Show. However, it’s a realistic representation of what you’ll see when the car goes on sale next summer, and with that in mind it looks pretty darn good.


All-New Honda HR-V Prototype Unveiled Ahead of Paris Debut

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

2015 Honda HR-V Concept

We’ve heard whispers of a revived Honda HR-V compact crossover for a few months now. Today, Honda confirmed those rumors with an official preview of their new HR-V Prototype. In addition to offering pictures of the new SUV, the preview also tells us exactly when we’ll get the full reveal, as well as when we’ll see the revived HR-V on dealership floors.

2015 Honda HR-V Concept rear

Looking at the pictures, you can probably guess that this crossover will be Honda’s answer to the Nissan Juke’s European dominance. Slotted right below the Honda CR-V, the HR-V will be built on the same platform as the next-generation Honda Jazz, which is itself coming out later this year. That means it’ll also get the same Honda Magic Seats which can be folded forward to become completely flat, greatly amplifying rear boot space.

Speaking of space, Honda tells us that an expansive and high-quality interior will be one of the revived HR-V’s main selling points. The compact crossover will be a full 160mm longer than the Nissan Juke, making it one of the largest and most spacious models in its class. Honda also says that there will be a heavy emphasis on quality materials inside the cabin, but we don’t have any pictures of the HR-V Prototype’s interior to verify that claim against.

Honda hasn’t released any specific details on the new HR-V’s powertrain options, but we suspect that it will borrow heavily from the Civic and Jazz. Some sources suggest that Honda may offer additional, higher-performance engines not found in the Civic/Jazz, but we won’t hold our breath. Either way, our guess is that the base option will be a 1.5L petrol hybrid paired with a dual-clutch transmission. The European model will likely get a diesel version, but again we’ll have to wait until the official reveal to know for sure.

Honda tells us that we can expect to see the Honda HR-V Prototype at the 2014 Paris Motor Show next month and that the car will likely go on sale in the first half of 2015. Also, keep in mind that while they’re technically pitching this current iteration of the HR-V as a prototype, it’s probably quite close to the production model. Take off the fancy rims and black tinted glass and you’ve got yourself a road car.


JDM Honda Vezel to Enter US as the Honda HR-V

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

We first saw the Honda Vezel in the form of the Honda Urban SUV Concept at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show near the beginning of last year. Then, in December 2013 – just a few short months ago – the Fit-based Honda Vezel went on sale in the automaker’s home market of Japan. At the time, Honda confirmed that the crossover would eventually make it into the US during 2014 and Europe during 2015, but gave no more specific plans than that.

Honda Vezel

Today, Honda’s plans for the US debut of the Vezel crossover have finally been confirmed. Except the Vezel won’t be the Vezel at all… It will be the Honda HR-V.

Sound familiar?

If you were a Honda fan back in the late 90’s, you’ll remember that the original Honda HR-V (below) was a “lightweight cross-country” SUV (back before the term crossover came into popularity) that was marketed to a young, hipster demographic. Just as today’s Vezel is based on the Honda Fit, the old HR-V was based on the Honda Logo supermini. Its mission was simple – offer all the benefits of an SUV in a more maneuverable, highly economic package. However, as popular as it was initially, the HR-V was ahead of its time in a bigger-is-better culture, and by 2006 Honda officially discontinued all versions of the model.

Honda HR-V

Today, the automotive market is finally catching up to the HR-V of old, so even though the Vezel is a substantially different vehicle from the old HR-V, it only seems appropriate that Honda would use the moniker.

The news comes from a Honda fansite called VTEC.net. Apparently, Honda has recently introduced the HR-V to its North American dealerships at a promotional meeting. In addition, Honda has recently renewed its filing with the US Patent & Trademark office for the HR-V name. All of it points to the resurgence of the HR-V as the Honda Vezel, although it’s officially still hearsay at this point. When AutoNews contacted Honda for comment, their spokeswoman would only say, “Stay tuned.” Rather cryptic.

As for what we can expect from the resurrected HR-V, all you have to do is look to the JDM Honda Vezel. The subcompact crossover currently comes equipped with two powertrain options – a 1.5L four-cylinder i-VTEC with direct-injection, and another hybrid option using the same engine plus a high-output electric motor. Both options come with a CVT, and both options offer incredible fuel economy; 58 mpg and 76 mpg respectively, thanks in part to the new Reactive Force Pedal technology. The Vezel is also the first of Honda’s hybrids to get Real Time AWD.

All in all, we expect the Honda HR-V to be a smashing hit when it arrives in US dealerships near the end of this year. Our guess would be that we’ll see the crossover make its debut at the LA Motor Show before it goes on sale at the beginning of December. And then maybe we’ll see its European debut at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show next Spring.