By on February 20, 2013


Feeling the need to build a segment vehicle that slots below the CR-V, both in terms of size and price, Honda showed its Urban SUV Concept at the Canadian International Auto Show. To drive home the point that they are marketing this at young’uns, Honda amped up the hyperbole while Skrillex blared out of the main speakers onstage.

Described as having “vibrant character lines”, apparently it has “social seating favoured by young adults” while making use of Honda’s Magic Seats. This I can only imagine simply means that the damn thing will seat five and have a split-folding rear bench, not unlike every other SUV in existence. Doors on the Concept remained firmly shut, preventing anyone from seeing what this social seating actually looks like. If Honda really wanted seating that is favoured by young adults, they need only equip the vehicle with five iPads and an Xbox.

Based on the upcoming Fit, the Urban SUV Concept has a planned release date of 2014. This vehicle and the soon-to-be-restyled Fit will reportedly be built at Honda’s new plant in Celaya, Mexico.

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19 Comments on “SUV Onslaught Continues: Honda Urban SUV Concept...”

  • avatar

    So, after letting the CR-V balloon into compact-plus size, they’re reintroducing the original size as an “urban” Sport Utility Vehicle, but with more swoopy lines and less visibility than the original boxy model? What kind of “urban” environment are these young’uns living in?

    • 0 avatar

      The young’uns are living in urban environments from Moscow to Rio, from New Delhi to Prague. This car is Honda’s take at the runaway success of the Dacia/Renault Duster or Ford EcoSport. Small, car based CUVs that are marketed as SUVs in the less enlightened parts of the world. Both Duster and EcoSport have been covered in the pages of TTAC.

      BTW, there’s a good chance this car will also be built in Brazil.

    • 0 avatar

      Judging by tire sidewalls, urban locales where people don’t buy SUVs to make curb jumping easier..

  • avatar

    Social seating for young adults means the seating suitable for horizontal gymnastics – you can quickly fold the rear seats out of the way without even getting out of the car.

  • avatar

    so Honda is going to sell a Juke, then. make it turbo and NOT CVT and maybe it will be interesting. i already like the look of it more than the Juke. and honestly I don’t think the Nissan is all that bad.

  • avatar

    I was waiting for social seating.

  • avatar

    I don’t get Skrillex, so I guess this wouldn’t have been for me. But since it’s got four doors, modest power and presumably reasonable fuel economy, calling it ‘young and hip’ virtually guarantees that RAV4/Matrix crowd will go for it…

    • 0 avatar

      Don’t forget the Honda Element crowd. Between the three crowds, the average age should be what, around 53?

      • 0 avatar

        That’s good marketing. Aim for people with the money to buy the car who THINK they’re young, or don’t want to contemplate the idea they’re not. A recent poll of this demographic arrived at the consensus that middle age BEGINS at 55 and “elderly” is for people over 70. Selling youth to them is like taking candy from a baby.

      • 0 avatar

        The average age of call buyers according to extensive research done by RL Polk in late 2011 is 51.

        Less than 1% of all new car buyers are 18 to 24 years old.

        Less than 11% of all new car buyers are 18 to 34 years old.

        41% of car buyers are 55 or older.

        All makes/models except Buick saw their average buyer age increase from 2007 to 2011.

        The average Honda buyer? 51

        The average Acura buyer? 50

        The oldest demographic goes to Lincoln – average age of buyer is 60.

        The youngest is is Land Rover, average age of buyer is 47.

        The reality is the average age of 53 is spot on for about any new car buyer today. Today’s youth are not buying cars – period. Their Generation’s values are different, many have crushing student loan debt, and shrinking prospects for jobs that the under 34 crowd would normally take because outsourcing, automation, and a slowly recovering economy is limiting those opportunities. Additional mindshare and dollars are competing for things that Generation Y find more important like $100 a month cell phone bills, $100 a month cable TV/broadband bills, $60 a year XBox Live membership, not to mention $20 a month to the iTunes store and the occasional purchase of 1600 XBox Live points at 7-11. Then there is the membership at the rock climbing gym, the hot yoga classes, and dude, I got the iPad 5 yesterday – its like, not even available yet!

        This is a generation that grew up literally watching TV, playing a game on a mobile device, and following a Twitter feed on a laptop or tablet at the same time. Driving a car requires singular attention – its boring.

        The auto industry needs to be asking a different question – not what do we need to build to get 20 years old to buy cars. The real question is how do we survive in another 10 to 20 years when the generation from these kids is told, “when I was your age, I took the bus and rode a bike.”

        Kind of ironic…

  • avatar

    …Feeling the need to build a segment vehicle that slots below the CR-V…

    Price point aside (Honda is not positioning itself as near luxury, it has Acura for that) are you telling me that Buick with its Encore is not only the first kid on the block back into this niche (that once existed in vehicles like the original RAV4, the original CR-V, the Geo Tracker, the Suzuki XL-7) but Buick is showing thought leadership?

    In other news today Hell has frozen over and the Easter Bunny got run over crossing the street in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

  • avatar

    This looks more premium than most of the Acura lineup…

  • avatar

    I’m liking it – decent-size side windows – has the design tide finally turned?

  • avatar

    With a taller roof and the magic seats like the Fit, this thing might actually have some useful cargo space. Hope roof rails will be an option.

  • avatar

    So Honda will come out with a new smaller CUV, then bring out the highest available trim about 6 months later, the Acura version.

  • avatar

    Marketing folks are acne on the face of humanity. Anything that is aimed at the “Youth Buyer” reeks of desperation and induces nausea in media-savvy younger people. Those with brains and/or those who are fortunate enough to land a job enabling them to pay for this will see through marketing gimmicks.

    That said, I kinda like it.

  • avatar

    I have come to detest the CUV. It’s a far less practical, COG impaired, but more ‘stylish’ (based on popular culture standards du jour), alternative to the station wagon AND EVEN the stylish hatchback (many hatchbacks have more rear leg room and just as much if not more cargo space as many CUVs).

    SUVs fulfill a real role for many that CUVs do not.

    I know my opinion is both in the distinct minority (based on sales volume) and literally idiotic if one is viewing vehicles from the perspective of auto company profit maximization, so no one needs to remind me of these things.

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