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Honda Vezel Review
Announced in the beginning of 2013 at Detroit Motor show as Urban SUV concept, Honda Vezel, the smallest SUV by Honda debuted at Tokyo Motor show in the same year. It has been launched on the market as the successor (long-overdue one might add) of Honda HR-V which was cut-off from production back in 2016. Nevertheless, Nissan Juke and Citroen C4 revealed that there is still room to play in the compact crossover segment.
Exterior and styling
Not having many previous award-winning designs to work from (except the CR-V), Honda had pretty much no other option than to start out fresh with long lines and curved endings. The result is a sleek silhouette promoting clean look. An oversized grille stretches from the tip of the hood down following the shape of headlight lining then squeezes to an end. Chrome accessories contrast against the matte black plastic bumper and over-fenders. The same plastic is used to fix fog lights within the frame.
Apart from the plastic bumper, other elements surround the lower portion of the body providing a nice change from the all-white top. Both X and G trims come with 16” while the S version upgrades to 17” models.
Interior and comfort
Compared to Honda Fit, Vezel is at least one step ahead when it comes to cabin features. The center console looks elegant along with stitching on the dash accompanied by softer materials. LED lightning is available for the X and S trims. Automatic climate control can be acted upon using the well placed touchscreen display.
There is plenty of space on the rear seats for kids and adults alike. Even so, Vezel does not lack cargo space, having enough to stay above the segment average. Overall, the interior can be called premium without any second thoughts. High performance soundproofing pays off really well, ensuring a silent trip when the radio isn’t turned on.
Honda equipped Vezel with a direct injection, 1.5 liter DOHC gasoline engine. It produces 129 HP at 6600RPM and 114 lb-ft at 4,600 RPM. The engine transmits power to the wheels by means of a CVT automatic gearbox – the same one used on Vezel’s bigger brother, the HR-V. Paddle shifters are available only with the S trim.
Unlike the Fit, Honda Vezel comes equipped with brake disks on all four wheels, providing a considerably shorter braking distance. The pedal is well calibrated, ensuring the driver doesn’t bite the steering wheel even at the slightest touches.
On the overall, Honda’s reputation of providing sleek and fast cars is kept on by the Vezel. The car offers a high driving posture and is able to take corners at elevated speeds without too much bend or understeering.
Honda Vezel comes standard with traction control, parking sensors and anti-lock brakes. Upper trims add curtain airbags and city brake assist systems to the standard package. Electric park buttons are available on all trims.
With an 80% expected demand growth for the small crossover segment for 2016, Honda is ready to tackle on the requirements with another agile and clean-looking vehicle. Although rather limited when it comes to choices and with just a few notable differences between trim levels, Honda Vezel proves to be a great city driving ally.