Honda’s a bit behind the eight ball when it comes to compact crossovers. Ok, make that a lot behind the eight ball. But the automaker hopes that won’t matter when its new 2016 Honda HR-V hits the market on May 15th.
Honda’s been behind schedule on the sporty coupe compact SUV due to delays at its new assembly plant in Mexico. It was due to hit production in the last quarter 0f 2014 and go on sale back in January. But that didn’t happen due to production issues that come with opening a new plant with new workers.
Automotive News reports that Honda predicts it can sell 70,000 a year in the U.S. in a hot segment that’s growing leaps and bounds. There’s been a slew of competitors hitting the market in recent months including the Jeep Renegade and its sister the Fiat 500X, plus the Chevy Trax. Mazda’s CX-3 will also go on sale this year.
Now for some specs. The HR-V, available in LX, EX and EX-L Navi trims, is powered by a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder 16-valve DOHC i-VTEC engine producing 141 horsepower and 127 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired with either a continuously variable transmission, available on all models, or a 6-speed manual transmission, available on LX and EX models with 2WD. It’s available with front-wheel-drive or with Honda’s Real Time AWD with Intelligent Control System.
Since it shares underpinnings with the Fit, the fuel tank is under the front seats, which leaves more cargo space in the back. It features a reconfigurable 2nd-Row Magic Seat with multiple seating and cargo modes. Standard features include 17-inch alloy wheels, push-button electric parking brake, rearview camera with guidelines, Pandora radio and Bluetooth HandsFreeLink.
Honda also notes that the HR-V received a NCAP five-star Overall Vehicle Score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and is a TOP SAFETY PICK rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Standard safety and driver-assistive features include four-channel anti-lock brakes with Brake Assist and Hill Start Assist, Vehicle Stability Assist, electronic stability control system, an Expanded View Driver’s Mirror, a Multi-Angle Rearview Camera, dual-stage, multiple-threshold front airbags; driver and front passenger SmartVent side airbags, side-curtain airbags for all outboard seating positions, and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System. Honda LaneWatch display is included with EX and EX-L Navi trims.
The 2016 Honda HR-V comes with a 35 mpg highway fuel economy rating and starts at $19,995. The highest-end model hits around $26,000.