Honda is all set to fill the yawning gap it has in between the BR-V and the CR-V with the HR-V, which could rival the Hyundai Creta, or even possibly sit slightly higher, squaring off against the Tata Harrier and the MG Hector. Knowing Honda’s ‘premium pricing’ strategy in the Indian market, we assume the later will come true when the Japanese automaker finally launches the HR-V compact SUV next year. The compact SUV was spied testing on NCR roads under heavy camouflage. From the lines we could make out under the camouflage, it’s likely that the production version of the HR-V is under test, which means that the launch may not be too far off. The HR-V is likely to borrow mechanicals from the recrntly launched Honda Civic, which means that it’ll get 1.8 liter i-VTEC petrol and 1.6 liter i-DTEC diesel engine options. As is the case with the Civic, the Honda HR-V sold in India could get petrol-automatic and diesel-manual trims.
Images courtesy AutoToday
The 1.8 liter petrol engine is naturally aspirated and is known for its high refinement. It makes 138 Bhp of peak power and 174 Nm of peka torque. While 5 speed manual and CVT automatic gearboxes are on offer with this engine internationally, Honda is likely to stick with the CVT automatic gearbox on the India-spec HR-V. The diesel engine is the 1.6 liter EarthDreans unit that is built in India, at Honda’s Tapukara factory.
This engine will soon be BS6 emission norms compliant considering the fact that it also sells in Europe, after meeting the stringent Euro 6 emission norms. The petrol engine will also be made BS6 compliant by the time it reaches the HR-V engine bay. Honda is likely to stick to a front wheel drive layout for its latest SUV as demand for all wheel drive options on SUVs sold in India is quite limited, especially in the sub-Rs. 20 lakh segments.
Honda is likely to bring in the HR-V through the completely knocked down (CKD) kit route, and assemble it in India. What this means is, a premium price tag is quite likely and we wouldn’t be very surprised if the HR-V actually rivals the Jeep Compass in terms of pricing and positioning. The SUV has already been showcased to dealers, who are said to be quite excited about adding this vehicle to the Honda’s Indian line up. A lot of car buyers in India are opting for mid sized SUVs and crossovers instead of D-Segment sedans such as the Honda Civic and Toyota corolla. So, a competitively priced HR-V will ensure that buyers head to Honda showrooms rather than buying competitors’ SUVs. This is what is getting dealers excited about the HR-V, which is already on sale in facelifted trim in many South East Asian countries.