The market for small crossovers is booming, and Honda won’t be left out of it. They’re jumping on the bandwagon with the new HR-V crossover, seen for the first time here at the 2014 LA Auto Show.
The HR-V is a subcompact crossover that will compete against the new Mazda CX-3, Chevy Trax, the Jeep Renegade and the Fiat 500X. While it may be based on the Fit hatchback that’s new this year, it looks nothing like it. The HR-V has a more fun shape, with a front end cribbed from the bigger CR-V. The fenders are pronounced, and the rear door handles are tucked in behind the door panel.
Inside Honda delivers a neatly organized cabin without the dual-screen clutter of some of the larger vehicles in its lineup. In some trims the centerpiece is a large touchscreen which controls the infotainment system and displays the safety systems.
The HR-V is powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 138 horsepower. You’ll be able to choose to send that power to either the front or all four wheels through either a continuously variable transmission or a six-speed manual transmission, though, you’ll only be able to get the manual on front-wheel-drive models.
One of the key things about the HR-V is it has more than 100 cubic feet of interior space on the base LX trim which could make it one of the roomiest vehicles in its segment. Honda says it has even more room than some mid-size crossovers. It also features Honda’s “Magic Seat” which folds and flips the second-row seat to open up more storage space.
Honda’s promising best-in-class test scores and it might just deliver since the HR-V is based on the Fit which just received some updates to improve its IIHS crash-test scores.
Pricing will be set closer to the HR-V’s on-sale date in early 2015. Be sure to read our full preview of the 2016 Honda HR-V here.