The all-new, small Honda Elevate is about the size of the previous Honda HR-V
Here’s the thing: This car looks much better than Honda’s new U.S.-market subcompact, in my opinion.
At 169.7-inches in length, the made-for-India Honda Elevate is less than an inch shorter than the last-generation HR-V. Despite that, the packaging and overall look appear far more appealing than our new-ish Honda HR-V. In addition, it looks like it’s a more efficient vehicle as well. Although, it’s pretty low on power.
A 119-horsepower, 1.5-liter i-VTEC engine makes 107 lbs-feet of torque. Power only goes to the front wheels via either a continuously variable transmission (CVT), or a six-speed manual transmission. There’s no word on an all-wheel drive (AWD) variant. In addition, an all-electric version will arrive in the next three years. While mpg and pricing have not been announced, it’s expected to be more efficient than the overseas HR-V, and less expensive.
A case to send the Honda Elevate stateside
It’s true that the Honda Elevate is much smaller than the U.S. version of the Honda HR-V. In cargo space alone, the Elevate has about 16 cubic feet behind the rear passengers, while the HR-V has over 24 cu-ft. In addition, the HR-V is more powerful with 158 hp. Still, the size goes against it when you consider its heft (up to 3,330-lbs) and low-slung ground clearance which is well over an inch less than the Elevate’s 8.6-inches.
Sure, the Honda Elevate is diminutive, with a 104.3-inch wheelbase, which is three-inches longer than the Jeep Renegade, it’s not “tiny.” On top of that, with a width of 70.4-inches, and a height of 64.9-inches, it’s just a hair smaller than a Chevrolet Trailblazer. It’s right there, in the meat of the competition.
Look, the new, North American-version of the Honda HR-V is perfectly adequate. I like it’s easygoing nature, utility and competitive pricing. Unfortunately, I still think the previous HR-V was more unique, with a much more utilitarian interior. Oh, and it was more efficient too. That’s why I dig this Elevate, I think it’s what the new HR-V should have been… in some ways.
Here’s my point: make the Honda Elevate compatible with an AWD system, preferably one that’s better than the one on the current, U.S.-spec HR-V. Then, give it just a bit more pep. Keep the pricing competitive with other small crossovers, and you will make a lot of consumers happy.
That’s my take, but what do you think?