After years of contemplation, Honda has finally decided to launch the HR-V in India. A report in April said that the company has displayed it to dealers, and now, a spy shot showing the HR-V being tested in India all but confirms that it's indeed going to be launched in the country.
The premium B-SUV segment is in an all-time high demand in India. The Honda HR-V was deemed too expensive for our market and ruled-out, but the decision has been changed now. Sources had told IAB last year that the high tech cabin was the chief reason behind that. The centre console, for instance, had to be entirely imported because of the electric parking brake that couldn't be locally sourced. The volume projections were too low for localisation, and the costs involved in market-specific modifications weren't feasible either. As a result, the pricing was coming to around INR 18 lakh - money that would buy a Jeep Compass, which is a C-SUV.
The Honda HR-V is nearly at the end of its lifecycle, and a fully redesigned model is set to go on sale internationally next year. The outgoing model is going to be launched here only because of the relaxed import norms, probably to understand if the next-gen model will be feasible for our market. 2,500 units is the annual limit under these norms, and so, the import will be in limited numbers.
On the outside, the Honda HR-V will likely feature full-LED headlights, 17-inch alloy wheels and LED tail lights. Interior highlights should include panoramic sunroof, a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and sat-nav, 8-way power driver seat and full leather upholstery. On the safety front, expect six airbags, electric parking brake, Hill Start Assist (HSA) and Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) will likely be among the highlights.
The engines and transmissions will likely be shared with the Honda Civic. So, the available combinations should include the 1.8-litre i-VTEC petrol engine (141 PS/174 Nm) linked to a CVT and the 1.6-litre i-DTEC diesel engine (120 PS/300 Nm) paired with a 6-speed MT.
The Honda HR-V's will likely be imported to India in CKD kits from Thailand. Its launch should take place around the festive season this year.
[Image Source - QuickShift.club]