Honda Vezel Compact Crossover Coming to U.S. by 2014
Honda will enter the hot, competitive small crossover segment in the U.S. with the introduction of the Vezel during the second half of 2014. The crossover, however, will likely bear a different name than the Japanese version when it crosses American shores. The Honda Vezel will bridge the gap between the Fit subcompact and the CR-V small crossover, two models that have been very well-received by both consumers and critics. The new crossover is a small model – just 7 inches longer than the Fit. In comparison to the CR-V, it is 9 inches shorter, 1 inch narrower, and will have a 1 inch shorter wheelbase. Automotive News, speaking with the Vezel's chief engineer Yoshiharu Itai, reported that the first version of the U.S.-bound car will come with a standard gasoline engine. Later, it will receive a turbocharged engine, which will boost both power and fuel economy. This engine is likely to be a 1.5-liter turbocharged engine recently showed in an Acura ILX sedan. A hybrid version is confirmed for Japan, but not for the U.S. as of now. It's not surprising that Honda is moving in this direction, considering it introduced the Urban SUV Concept earlier this year to hint at future small crossovers. But perhaps Honda has missed out on the success that this new segment has created so far; other competitors such as the Subaru XV Crosstrek, Mazda CX-5, and the BMW X1 have experienced large growth. Volkswagen is even thinking of entering the game with a Polo subcompact crossover, which will make the competition even fiercer. Source: Automotive News
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