The action just doesn’t seem to ebb in India’s compact SUV segment, which is totally dominated by one vehicle – the Hyundai Creta. Honda is the latest automaker to be gunning for market share in this segment, and the HR-V will be the SUV that the Japanese automaker is expected to launch. End-2019 is the timeline that Honda is said to have zeroed in on to launch the HR-V compact SUV in India.
The HR-V, also known as the Vezel in certain markets of the world, is in its second generation globally, and has been around for three years now. A major facelift is on the anvil, and we expect Honda to bring the facelifted model to India considering the fact the 2nd-gen model is not as fresh as the competition. Currently, the Honda HR-V/Vezel is available only with 1.5 litre and 1.8 litre petrol engines. A diesel engine is what the HR-V will need for India though.
This is because most SUV sales in the country come from diesel-powered models. In fact, the Creta has not one but two diesel engine options, and this is a key factor behind the SUV’s popularity in India. Under such circumstances, Honda will also have to offer a turbocharged diesel engine on the HR-V if it intends to make the SUV a success in India. Honda does have a suitable diesel engine though, in the form of the 1.6 litre i-DTEC unit that’ll power the likes of the upcoming CR-V SUV and the Civic sedan. This motor is now built in India, and gets a 120 Bhp-300 Nm state of tune.
The Honda HR-V/Vezel is a five seat SUV that is similar-sized to the Hyundai Creta and Jeep Compass. It gets 6 speed manual and CVT automatic gearboxes along with the petrol engines it’s sold with. The monocoque SUV is available with both front wheel drive and all wheel drive layouts. For the Indian market though, expect Honda to stick to a front wheel drive layout. The Honda HR-V will sit above the BR-V in terms of price and positioning. Expect pricing to range between Rs. 12-15 lakhs.