Honda, at the 2013 Detroit Motor Show, showed us what it called the compact urban SUV. Based on the same platform and under pinning as the Jazz hatchback, the Vezel as it has been branded at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show is Honda’s entry into the highly competitive and rapidly expanding compact crossover market.
Exterior and design
The Jazz based Honda Vezel is 4.3-meters long giving it a length similar to that of the Honda City sedan. It has been designed using the Japanese automaker’s ‘Exciting H Design’. In the front, the Vezel gets a new grille and LED headlights both very similar to the ones found on the new Jazz and China spec Crider premium sedan.
On the side the Vezel looks like a smaller version of the CR-V and is the first vehicle from the Japanese automaker to sport hidden door handles for the rear seats. However, what are visible are the tall wheels and the softly flared wheel arches as well as the sloping roof line that flows into the boot door.
At the back, the Vezel gets curvy aerodynamic lines on the boot lid and horizontal tail lamps which extend from the sides into the door much like the EcoSport. Also part of the package is a rear spoiler but we expect that this will be offered only on the top spec variants. There is a single exhaust pipe that emerges from the rear lip on the right side. Despite its diminutive dimensions, the Vezel has an imposing presence due to the large front fascia.
Interior and feature list
The Honda Vezel gets all-black interiors with fabric upholstery. This is a design very similar to that of the larger CR-V. What is new on this car is the touch screen infotainment system, touch screen climate control and steering mounted controls.
These along with push button start, rear parking sensors, keyless entry and most probably projector headlights are expected to be features found on the new Vezel when it is launched for the Indian market. It is also likely that the India spec Vezel will get beige and black combination that is found on most of Honda India’s current line-up. Since the Vezel is an compact SUV, we
Engine and performance
The engine for the Vezel is the Japanese automaker’s famed 1.5-litre i-VTEC petrol mill that produces 116bhp and 146Nm of torque. The oil burner will be the 1.5-litre i-DTEC diesel engine that powers the Amaze sedan. It is expected to have the same output as the Amaze and this means 98bhp and 200Nm of torque. Both enginesare mated to a five-speed manual gearbox with the petrol also getting the option of five-speed automatic.
When do we get it and what will it be priced at?
Honda is all set to launch the City sedan and Jazz hatchback over the course of the next few months. This is expected to be the third car from the Japanese automaker for 2014 and will make its Indian debut in the second half of the year. We expect that it will be priced in the range of six lakh to Rs 12 lakh for the top spec diesel variant making it compete with the Ford EcoSport, Mahindra Scorpio, Mahindra XUV500 W4, Nissan Terrano and the Renault Duster. Honda will have to play its cards right to ensure that the Vezel will not cannibalise sales of the City sedan when it is launched.