The Jazz-based baby SUV is 4.3m long, or 228mm shorter than the CR-V, which Honda says makes it “the ideal size for navigating both crowded city streets and open mountain roads”. Honda Australia general manager Stephen Collins says the small SUV segment is a growth area and would be an ideal addition to the company’s fleet.
“This vehicle is high on our wish list however we have no timeframe for its introduction to Australia," Collins says. Honda has announced the car will go on sale in Japan by year’s end and will then be progressively rolled out around the globe, but hasn’t announced timing for right-hand drive models.
The vehicle will be sold with petrol, diesel and hybrid powerplants and forms part of Honda's Global Compact Series line-up, which includes the Jazz hatch and City sedan. The Urban SUV adopts the central fuel tank layout used on the Jazz and will use the “Magic Seat” set-up that maximises passenger and cargo configurations, including a fold-flat mode to maximise carrying capacity.
The all-new model will also feature next-generation telematics and a modern interior. Honda America’s sales executive vice-president John Mendel says the “fuel-efficient and fun to drive small cars” like the Urban SUV Concept will play a major role in meeting customer demand.
“No one has had greater success with small cars than Honda, and this Urban SUV Concept will create new value in the growing small-SUV segment.” The car will be priced and positioned below the CR-V and will be fitted with the latest telematics and a modern interior, though blacked-out windows on the show car prevented a look inside.
The front end borrows styling cues from the new CR-V, though the dramatically swept back headlamp design is unlikely to make it into production. The rear door handles are hidden and the car’s chunky looks are offset by a curved, coupe-style roof and prominent character line tapering from the front guards to the base of the rear windows.