Tag: honda hr-v

By on August 14, 2019

Image: Honda

The consolidation of Honda’s production landscape continues, with the automaker announcing Tuesday that it will cease production of passenger vehicles in Argentina next year. Honda builds the subcompact HR-V at its Campana assembly plant; come 2020, the facility will revert back to building only motorcycles.

It’s just the latest move by an automaker eager to bolster its bottom line and build defences against a possible recession by streamlining its operations on a global scale. Like other companies, Honda is eager to rid itself of excess plant capacity and source vehicles from cost-effective locales. (Read More…)

By on November 29, 2018

Image: Honda

Suffice it to say no one was talking about Honda’s HR-V subcompact crossover until this news broke. It sells well, quite well, but the little ute — like most subcompact crossovers — may as well be invisible.

What are people suddenly talking about? The emergence of an HR-V Sport on the other side of the Atlantic, boasting a turbocharged 1.5-liter VTEC four-cylinder that’s good for 180 horsepower — just like the one found in the Civic Sport. (Read More…)

By on June 29, 2018

Image: Honda

There’s probably no shortage of eyeball rolling over this headline, as manual transmissions wouldn’t be fading out of the marketplace if buyers actually desired one.

Once upon a time, a stick-shift guaranteed better fuel economy, but those days are pretty much gone. It was also a great way to reduce the entry price of a particular model, but automakers’ thirst for larger margins and fewer configurations means what few base, stick-shift models roll off the line are often hidden from consumer view in the real world. This only serves to sink popularity even further.

The ongoing trend has apparently reached the Honda HR-V, which undergoes a mild refresh for the 2019 model year. As part of this update, say goodbye to the six-speed manual in Honda’s smallest ‘ute. (Read More…)

By on June 28, 2018

Image: Honda

Despite early reviews featured on this site, ones that surely didn’t please Honda PR, the Honda HR-V subcompact crossover is a hit, has always been a hit, and that’s really all that matters to the automaker. American buyers quite enjoy the HR-V, so Honda felt the little ute deserved a mild makeover for the 2019 model year. It isn’t the only Honda-branded crossover to enter 2019 with a new face, however.

The three-row Pilot, always an upright, strong-selling foil to Toyota’s Highlander, sees its own refresh for 2019. (Read More…)

By on April 4, 2018

2018 Ford EcoSport

The Ford EcoSport, a new (to North America) subcompact crossover hastily inserted at the bottom of the Blue Oval’s lineup, went on sale in January of this year. No TTACer who sat in the vehicle at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit walked away impressed, and it was odd to see a new model introduction go without the obligatory first drive event.

Still, the vehicle, which starts at a hair under 20 grand and carries a 1.0-liter three-cylinder as a base powerplant, isn’t being ignored by the buying public. March EcoSport sales in the U.S. topped that of the well-regarded — but not especially capacious — Mazda CX-3. Still, as all things truck continue to garner ever greater market share in the U.S., the little Ford faces a difficult upward climb. (Read More…)

By on August 29, 2017

2018 Mazda CX-3 - Image: MazdaAccompanied by a modest price increase of $150, Mazda’s first-generation CX-3 undergoes numerous under-the-skin updates for the subcompact crossover’s third model year.

Mazda’s Smart City Brake Support is now standard across all 2018 CX-3s. G-Vectoring Control, a nifty piece of software that sharpens steering response while reducing driver effort, is also standard on every 2018 Mazda CX-3. Mid-grade CX-3 Tourings are now equipped with auto headlights, auto climate control, and rain-sensing wipers.

Thicker glass, more sound deadening, and improved door seals bolster every CX-3’s refinement quotient. Mazda has also altered the suspension tuning of all CX-3s for the 2018 model year. Mazda claims revised bushings, new front lower control arms, recalibrated dampers, and new engine mounts will improve the CX-3’s “already class-leading chassis dynamics.”

Mazda’s probably not wrong. The 2016-2017 CX-3 was an exceptionally pleasing subcompact crossover to drive. And on that particular subject — on-road behavior — we’re apt to trust Mazda when the company says the refreshed model will be even better. But this is just a refresh, and an invisible refresh at that. As a result, the Mazda CX-3 has the same limitations for MY2018 that it had before, the kind of limitations that severely cramp demand.

It’s very small. (Read More…)

By on April 18, 2017

2017 Honda SUV lineup – Images: Honda

American Honda will build a Pilot-based SUV intended to carve out a space between the Honda CR-V and Honda Pilot.

According to a report published by WardsAuto with AutoForecast Solutions, Honda will assemble this Co-Pilot in Alabama alongside the Pilot beginning in the fall of 2018.

Co-Pilot? How about Honda Pilot Sport? Nah, that’s Michelin territory. Honda Pilot Sidekick? Suzuki grabbed that one already. Honda Pilot Junior? Too juvenile.

The name matters less than the positioning. Is there room for a midsize two-row utility vehicle in between the CR-V, traditionally America’s top-selling SUV/crossover, and the Pilot, one of America’s most popular three-row vehicles?

It’s a gap Ford, Nissan, and Hyundai have no trouble filling. (Read More…)

By on December 19, 2016

2017 Honda HR-V blue - Image: Honda

It’s time for a new car, I told Mae last night.

She was explaining to a group of friends how she tore the passenger side mirror off and drove across the MacKay Bridge, on a particularly windy evening, with the mirror swinging about like an unchoreographed contemporary dancer.

The dangling power mirror, which another friend disconnected at Mae’s request, was only the latest issue. First, it’s a Saturn Ion Quad Coupe. Issue number two: the air-conditioning died long ago, and Mae’s reluctant to spend a single penny redeeming this car. It’s bitterly cold in eastern Canada now, but A/C is needful for one-third of the year and helpful for the other nine months. Finally, it’s a Saturn Ion Quad Coupe with a manual transmission.

“Ooh, aah, save the manuals,” you say. And I’m with you. Mae’s with you, too. But I’ve spent enough time — way too much time — in manual shift Ions to know that in an extremely hilly city, the Ion’s shifter/clutch combo is worthy of dread. Not all manuals are worthy of saving.

Now the mirror’s off, and the conversations Mae and I have had over a period of many months culminated in her succinct statement last night: “I want a Honda HR-V.”

Insert awkward pause. (Read More…)

By on September 22, 2016

2017 Honda HR-V

Within months of the Honda HR-V arriving in North America, it seemed as though the Honda Fit was dead to rights.

Last summer, U.S. sales of the Honda Fit tumbled 35 percent as the starting point of a second-half in which Fit sales would plunge 54 percent.

The cause was obvious, or so it seemed. Consumers don’t want subcompact cars, consumers want subcompact crossovers.

With the subcompact crossover, the Honda HR-V, lining up alongside the subcompact car, the Honda Fit, inside Honda showrooms, consumers were driving away in HR-Vs 80 percent of the time.

Fast forward one year: it seems as though Honda has remedied the situation. Not only are U.S. sales of the Fit rising rapidly, the Honda HR-V continues to strengthen its share of the American subcompact crossover market.

How’d they do it? Don’t tell a certain presidential candidate, but it’s all because of Honda’s Japanese-Mexican arrangement. (Read More…)

By on April 25, 2016

Acura CDX

Honda’s Chinese subsidiary is proud of the upcoming Acura CDX compact SUV, as it’s the first Acura designed for, and built in, that expanding car market.

Based on the Honda HR-V, the CDX tries to erase all signs of its body donor’s identity. Among other things, the new model adds shapelier flanks, conventional rear door handles, Acura’s new corporate diamond grille, and taillights that align with the brand. (Read More…)

By on February 17, 2016

2016 Honda HR-V EX-L Navi AWD, Timothy Cain/The Truth About Cars

Every week, I’m driving something different. Just yesterday, I shuffled out of a Fiat 500X Trekking AWD into a Mercedes-Benz GLC300 4Matic for a true back-to-back nine-speed automatic transmission comparo. (Mercedes-Benz wins.)

But in the real world with real money, our family vehicle is a 2015 Honda Odyssey. It’s not our first Honda; it likely won’t be our last. I consider the Accord to be the best midsize sedan on the market. I managed to enjoy a week with the new Honda Pilot despite a troupe of electronic gremlins. I believe the Integra GS-R is the ultimate expression of all that was right with the auto industry. Yet I am not remotely close to succumbing to the notion that Honda can do no wrong.

Crosstour? It’s ghastly and expensive. CR-Z? Sadly, it’s boring and not terribly efficient. Second-gen Insight? A lackluster response to the all-conquering Prius.

HR-V? Quite successful, but also loud, uncomfortable, slow, overpriced, and frustrating. (Read More…)

By on October 26, 2015

honda-vtec-turbo-10

Honda Europe announced Monday their engine lineup for the new, 10th-generation Honda Civic, and it’s completely different than the engines we will get in North America.

The Civic will once again be a global product with the same architecture and design employed in both North America and Europe. Under the hood though, the compact will be powered by 1-liter and 1.5-liter VTEC turbo engines on the Old Continent. In North America, we get the choice of a new 1.5-liter turbo engine — which is different from the one in Europe — or the legendary K20 2-liter naturally aspirated four cylinder.

However, with automakers downsizing their engines across all products, could that European 1-liter turbo three-cylinder engine end up in our Honda Fit?

(Read More…)

By on October 20, 2015

2016 Honda HR-V

During the first three months of Honda HR-V availability, U.S. sales of the Honda Fit jumped 25 percent.

Yet as the public’s HR-V awareness increased – and sales of the Fit-based subcompact CUV decreased due to supply constraints – Fit sales fell through the floor in August and September of 2015. August sales of the Fit were cut in half; September Fit volume plunged 81 percent, falling 5,349 units from what was a 41-month high in September 2014 to only 1,279 sales in September 2015.

U.S. HR-V sales in September were nearly four times stronger than Fit sales, an astonishing figure for a number of reasons. (Read More…)

By on June 4, 2015

USA SUV:crossover market share percentage auto sales chart May 2015

In May 2015, for the fifth consecutive month, more than one-third of the new vehicles sold in the United States were SUVs and crossovers. Year-over-year, the share of the market earned by utility vehicles increased from slightly less than 32% to slightly more than 34%, a gain equal to 50,000 extra sales in a market which saw passenger car volume tumble by nearly 30,000 units.

Led by the Honda CR-V, which was actually down 1% in May 2015, the U.S. SUV/crossover market was strengthened by new products last month. May was the second full month for the Jeep Renegade in what turned out to be the highest-volume month in the Jeep brand’s history. Not only did Jeep sell more than 20,000 Wranglers for the first time ever, not only did Jeep break the Cherokee’s sales record, but they also sold 4,416 copies of the Renegade. (Read More…)

By on February 19, 2015

suvx-450x278

Roughly a year ago, Acura previewed a small crossover for the Chinese market, dubbed the SUV-X, that sparked rumors of an HR-V based crossover for Honda’s luxury brand. According to Autoguide.com, Honda has trademarked the “CDX” nameplate for automobiles, which suggests that the vehicle is one step closer to reality.

(Read More…)

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