The abbreviation HR-V, according to Honda's website, officially stands for Hi-rider Revolutionary Vehicle, while the other stands for Hip and Smart Runabout Vehicle.
The Honda HR-V is a subcompact crossover SUV produced by Honda spanning two generations. The first generation HR-V was based on Honda Logo and sold in Japan and select Asian-Pacific markets between 1999 and 2006. The second generation HR-V is based on third-generation Honda Fit and it went on sale in selective Asian markets, North America, Australia and Brazil in 2015. The second generation HR-V was largely identical to the JDM Vezel which went on sale in Japan in late 2013.
After Honda’s HR-V world premier, it was quickly ruled out in the Indian market owing to its expensive cost. Though it is based on the Honda Jazz’s platform, which is well localized in the country, the parts and components of the HR-V interior are vastly different from the Jazz as they look and feel premium.
In other Asian developing markets such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, Malaysia and Indonesia, where the HR-V is sold, it is priced and positioned as a premium product. As a result, Honda developed and introduced more affordable Brio-based Honda BR-V, which slots beneath the HR-V in Asian markets where the HR-V is sold.
Honda India introduced BR-V in 2016 and further strengthened its foothold in emerging SUV market by launching WR-V on 16th March. If Honda Cars India goes through with the introduction of the Honda HR-V, It will complete Honda Cars SUV line-up in India.
In an interview, Honda Cars India’s President and CEO, Yoichiro Ueno, said that the company would consider the premium Honda HR-V if it received demand. The chief executive said –
“It really depends on customers’ voice. If there is a lot of demand or request, then we might look at it.”
Honda is expected to use its current 1.5-liter i-VTEC petrol engine and 1.5-liter i-DTEC diesel engine same as we get in Honda City. Petrol variants shall get a CVT and manual transmission, and only a manual gearbox for the diesel variants.
Despite being based on the Jazz platform, the HR-V features vastly different parts and components inside which drive up its cost. Honda might price the HR-V aggressively to compete directly with the likes of Mahindra XUV500 and take up market share of Hyundai Creta as well. In the Indonesian market, which is considered similar to the Indian market, the top-end Honda HR-V costs an equivalent INR 7 lakhs more than the top-end Honda BR-V which means that Honda will launch HR-V in the estimated range of 16-20 Lacs.
For all auto fanatics, it is wait-n-watch situation as sales of WR-V would motivate Honda India to take a final call on the production and launch of HR-V in India.