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Honda launches itself into a fresh vehicle class Nov. 19 with the debut of its new entry-level crossover SUV. Based on the automaker’s subcompact Fit hatchback – complete with versatile “Magic Seat” flip-fold rear bench — the 2015 HR-V will compete with the Jeep Renegade and Nissan Juke in the burgeoning subcompact-crossover category. Offered with front- or all-wheel drive, the four-cylinder four-door debuts at a press conference during the Los Angeles Auto Show.
Set to launch this winter, HR-V is intended to serve as an entry point to Honda’s light truck lineup, according to the company. The HR-V will be positioned below the CR-V in price and size.
In 2013, when Honda announced plans for its Urban SUV Concept – an early incarnation of HR-V – the company said the concept vehicle was 169.3 inches long, or about 9 inches shorter than CR-V. Honda hasn’t yet released final HR-V specifications.
However, the company has said the vehicle represents an expansion of vehicles based on Honda’s Global Compact Series, which includes Honda Fit.
Fit is equipped with Honda’s EarthDreams powertrain that produces 130 horsepower and 114 pound-feet of torque along with an EPA-estimated 33 mpg city, 41 mpg highway, and 36 mpg combined.
Further, the company said, “the HR-V will feature a versatile and spacious interior thanks to an innovative center fuel tank layout.” Honda said the vehicle will include the company’s exclusive Magic Seat system that allows for multiple seating configurations, including a second row seat that folds completely flat.
The Los Angeles Auto Show will be the first chance the public will get specific details and see the production version of HR-V. Honda released pictures of the HR-V at the New York Auto Show earlier this year and a HR-V prototype was shown in Paris a few weeks ago.
Honda has said the vehicle will be built alongside Fit at its newest North American plant in Celaya, Mexico.