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First Drive: 2015 Honda CR-V

Mid-cycle makeover keeps crossover ahead of pack.

by on May.13, 2015

Honda's CR-V was redesigned for the 2015 model year and captured Motor Trend's SUV of the Year.

Sales of compact crossover vehicles are going like gangbusters while standing a large element of the conventional wisdom about what appeals to American car buyers on its head.

After all, small crossovers, basically a utility vehicle built a passenger-car chassis, have five doors. Until recently, the convention was that Americans didn’t want five doors or they didn’t until recently. Crossovers are also smaller than a conventional sport utility vehicle and run counter to the conviction that American’s don’t like small vehicles.

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To some, they also call to mind the hatchbacks from the 1970s – vehicles long ago consigned to dark and forgotten closets in car design studios all over the western world. (more…)

Honda’s HR-V Packs a Punch of Versatility

Maker’s new crossover hitting showrooms later this year.

by on Nov.19, 2014

Honda unveiled its new HR-V crossover utility today at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The new CUV slides in between the CR-V and the Fit.

After a lengthy waiting period, Honda’s debuted its HR-V crossover utility. Designed to fit nicely below the CR-V and above, well, the Fit, the new model creates a clear hierarchy in the maker’s SUV line-up.

Originally hinted at with the 2013 Urban SUV Concept, Honda plans to put the new HR-V on sale shortly after its official debut here.

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The new crossover utility borrows the same underpinnings as the aforementioned Fit and it may deliver nearly as much cargo and passenger space. In fact, Honda officials are counting on it. It has one of the largest interiors in the segment, and is one of the most flexible due to Honda’s “Magic Seats.” (more…)

Honda, Lincoln to Unveil Downsized Crossovers at Detroit Auto Show

Compact CUVs among the market’s fastest-growing niches.

by on Dec.11, 2012

Honda's Urban SUV Concept will reappear after a new assembly plant opens in Mexico.

Honda plans to unveil the Urban SUV Concept at next month’s Detroit Auto Show, a crossover that will be based on the Japanese maker’s subcompact Fit model.The North American International Auto Show, as it’s formally known, will be awash with downsized crossover-utility vehicles – including the long-rumored Lincoln MKC which will share some of its basic underpinnings with the small Ford Escape, albeit trimmed out for the luxury market.

Small cars, in general, are rapidly gaining ground as fuel prices nudge ever upward. According to Ford Chief Operating Officer Mark Fields, B- and C- segment models have jumped from 13% of the overall U.S. market to 20% since 2005. And the trend is expected to continue at an even faster pace.


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Nowhere is that expected to be more apparent than in the compact and subcompact crossover niches. Manufacturers are rapidly adding ever-smaller crossovers such as the Buick Encore and BMW X1, both in mainstream and upscale market segments.

Honda is offering little detail other than to describe the Urban SUV as “a global concept model combining a sporty and dynamic SUV profile with a spacious, functional interior.”


Honda Tries Again with Updated Crosstour

Honda hopes sales will double for more ute-like CUV.

by on Apr.05, 2012

Honda tries again with the 2013 update of its slow-selling Crosstour model.

Honda hopes to pump some new life into one of its most troubled product lines with a modest but much-needed update for 2013.

No longer linked to the maker’s mainstay Accord, Honda officials are hoping to see sales double for the 2013 Crosstour.  Of course, that starts off a low base.  While the maker presented an assortment of upbeat owner testimonials during the opening of its New York Auto Show preview, the previously named Accord Crosstour simply didn’t connect with the general public.

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As with the new RLX flagship introduced in New York by its up-market Acura brand (Click Here), Honda is calling the Crosstour on its stand a “concept,” though as with the Acura model, the Honda Crosstour show car “is very close to the product we’ll be bringing out this fall,” said Sage Marie.  The executive was a product planner on the program but recently shifted assignments and is now head of Honda public relations.