By on November 21, 2013

2015-Honda-Vezel-Main-Art3

The Honda Urban SUV concept was supposed to preview a Fit-based crossover that would be sold in global markets and even be produced in Honda’s new Mexican plant. Now, we have the production version, oddly named the Vezel.

The oddly named Vezel is Honda’s take on the Nissan Juke and other B-Segment crossovers. Like the Juke, the rear door handle is mounted on the C-pillar, but the two could not be more different. The Vezel is conservatively styled. Honda hasn’t released specs for the car, despite its on sale date approaching within the next few months. But it will use a 1.5L 4-cylinder engine, as well as a hybrid drivetrain, presumably shared with the Fit.

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43 Comments on “Tokyo Motor Show 2013: Honda Vezel, The Fit Crossover...”


  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Aww the back has little vampire fangs.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    The weird indentations at the lower part of the body, between the metal and the plastic (along fenders, etc) has some weird indentation. It makes it look like the body was set down on top of the plastic part, and not snapped on completely. It’s more noticeable in the side view, around the rear fender.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Now this one really is going to the the urban sombrero.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    Does this vezel rhyme with “weasel” or “corbel”? Certainly a much less inspired name than “Fit.”

  • avatar
    jco

    i really like it. although if i was choosing between this and the juke, i’m picking a white juke nismo even if the costs wouldn’t be comparable. but i like the looks and the interior. looks like a really small MDX

  • avatar
    imag

    Honda seems to have a habit, like Subaru, of designing concepts that look decent, but transition terribly to production. I thought the Urban SUV concept looked rather good for what it was, just as lines of the Odyssey made sense in concept form. But both become visually confusing messes when revised for production. In the case of the Odyssey, a rather interesting hip line turned into something that looks like the car got broken.

    I remember when Mazda realized that Nagare looked good in concept form, but the style simply did not translate to production. So they created the Kodo design language around the realities of what could actually be built in volume. The result has been beauty in the cars on the showroom floor. I think Honda needs to go through a similar soul searching.

    As for that name… I can’t believe it passed through Market Research.

    • 0 avatar
      calgarytek

      Not entirely true. The SUT which they named Ridgeline did not differ much if at all when put into production.

      Maybe ‘Vessel’ is a work in progress version of, say, Vertical? Like Honda Vertical Fit. Vertical because it rides higher, I don’t know, just guessing outa my a**

      • 0 avatar
        imag

        You’re right. I realized after posting that in the old days, Honda was often criticized for their concepts, which were basically production cars with big wheels and a concept interior.

  • avatar
    mjz

    Sounds like a weird name that VW would pick. They could call it Honda $hitbox, but if they price it right ($19-22K), they’ll still sell the bejezus out of ‘em.

  • avatar
    EX35

    I must be in the minority, but I generally could not care less about styling. All I want is a reliable small suv with tight steering, a very solid chassis, good sound insulation, and decent cargo space. Surprisingly, very few models exist that deliver on those criteria. The Ford Escape/CX-5 comes the closest, but not yet sure on reliability. I just can’t get excited about modern Hondas, with their floppy steering, terrible noise insulation and weak engines.

    • 0 avatar
      ash78

      “I generally could not care less about styling”

      If you really own an EX35, then I will fully believe the above statement and applaud the depth of your character and decision-making.

      Seriously.

    • 0 avatar
      imag

      I agree with you to some extent, but I think that when photos are released, absent drive test data, that aesthetics naturally become a hot topic.

      That, and it’s the internet, so styling says everything about how a car drives ;)

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    All Japanese auto designers are on serious psychedelics, there is no other explanation.

  • avatar
    tonycd

    Okay, this is a redundant comment about any cute-ute, but… isn’t this car utterly pointless from a functional standpoint?

    The Fit is already configured like a micro-minivan, with the resulting incredible interior room. Why jack it up to no benefit, while reducing the cargo capacity (I’m guessing) by sloping the back half of the roof? Why buy this instead of a Fit – so you can participate in drifting contests whenever there’s a crosswind?

    • 0 avatar

      Drive the unpaved streets of Santa Fe, New Mexico or any other 3rd world capital, and you’ll know why.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      Why jack it up? Because soccer moms like the view from up there. Of course now that everyone is driving a jacked up CUV or SUV that advantage is gone. Yet for some reason people still think taller vehicles are more safe.

      • 0 avatar
        afflo

        What soccer mom would drive a car this small? You need at least three rows of seats so that your two children each have their own row.

        What it DOES allow is aging boomers with bad backs and hips to easily get in and out. No matter how young they claim their target market will be, the car is built tall, with tall seats to make it more ergonomically pleasing to the people who will be driving them from rental lots.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          This, my grandfather traded his ranger for an f150 because his hip made it difficult to get down into the ranger. He was 6’3

          With that said unless it has a frame or solid axles it shouldn’t get passed as an SUV.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        The ground didn’t get any higher, so all the stuff that’s attached to it is still down there and you can still see over them like fences, shrubs and other ground clutter that used to impair your vision

  • avatar

    I don’t think AWD Fit ever existed, or is going to exist, so the driveline sharing is minimal between the two. Some parts of the platform in front may be shared, as well as engines. But probably it takes even less from Fit than RAV4.1 took from old Corolla.

    • 0 avatar
      imag

      Has it been confirmed that this will even be AWD?

      Regardless, this vehicle was part of the new Fit platform planning, so AWD was presumably engineered in from the beginning, just as with the CX-5 and other platform-sharing AWD CUVs.

    • 0 avatar
      imag

      Interesting. I am over 6′ tall, but I can’t figure the massive size of most modern vehicles. I rented a Challenger and I could hardly reach the sill to rest my arm on it. It feels like a boat.

      I like small cars. They feel sporty and tossable. And I can’t figure out why I want to cart around a huge pile of vehicle.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    This class of vehicle would be so much more appealing if I were 5’7″ and 140 lbs.

    • 0 avatar
      afflo

      Yeah – the Fit is designed for small people who want to feel a sense of spaciousness. High ceiling, long dash, but limited rearward seat travel, a short cushion, awkward ergonomics for anyone who is not short. Mom has one… she loves it (She’s 5’4).

    • 0 avatar
      imag

      Interesting. I am over 6′ tall, but I can’t figure the massive size of most modern vehicles. I rented a Challenger and I could hardly reach the sill to rest my arm on it. It feels like a boat.

      I like small cars. They feel sporty and tossable. And I can’t figure out why I want to cart around a huge pile of vehicle.

      • 0 avatar
        afflo

        I enjoy small cars as well, but some companies (Japanese in particular) have begun severly limiting rearward seat travel. Mom’s Fit and my wife’s Versa stand out, as well as my ex-wife’s Mazda5… I have several hypotheses on it, but no concrete answers:

        1. Limiting rearward seat travel allows greater advertised rear legroom.
        2. The positioning of curtain airbags require limiting the rearward travel of the seat.
        3. The disappearance of two door cars in preference for four-doors, as well as cab-forward designs and a desire for larger rear doors pushes the B-pillars forward, along with the anchor for the shoulder harness. Since dummy restraint is sucha big point in IIHS and NCAP tests, allowing the seats to extend further to the rear makes the shoulder harness less effective.

        From experience, in small four-door cars, when I run out of seat travel, I usually lean the seat back to give myself a bit of extra space (I’m less than 200 lbs, but have a 35″ inseam). I often find that the shoulder harness is not snugly against my chest, and in the event of a crash, I’d have several inches to travel forward before even engaging the locking mechanism.

        Two door cars don’t have this issue, and seem to provide a better fit for leggy drivers like me… and the window sill / armrest are NEXT to me instead of ahead of me. Small two-doors are becoming more and more difficult to find, unfortunately. Ones with functional backseats are nearly extinct.

        • 0 avatar
          CelticPete

          I have noticed this in American cars as well. You really have to test out the car and make sure it doesn’t run into this problem.

          I also feel that the ‘numbers’ don’t always reflect reality.. Coupes do seem better then 4 doors though (in general).

          Also German cars seem to be the best in this regard. Mercedes is famous for their long travel and BMW and Audi are not far behind in my experience..

          Supposedly Golf is very good for big drivers and Mini is great even for really big people.

          That being said a Challenger is a really comfortable car if you are legitimately big and tall. I am 6’4″ and 200 pounds – roomiest car ever..first car that I can think of that might be too roomy. I kinda want one but they have great resale value.

  • avatar
    afflo

    Dutch for “Fiber” That’s all I can find. I wonder if the model with the leather interior is called the “Leder”

    Honda almost always uses English words, and usually with a “Society” theme: (Civic, Accord, Passport) or “inspirational” theme (Prelude, Pilot, Dream, Insight, Inspire, etc.), so this is somewhat… odd.

    A bit off topic, but I love Toyota’s names. They are almost always related to royalty and crowns (Crown, Tercel, Corona, etc.), with the young Scion to the crown called… Scion!


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