Honda Confirms Compact SUV for Emerging Markets Must ‘Kill’ WR-V

Honda's new compact SUV be
Honda’s new compact SUV will be the production version of the N7X concept, a seven-seat SUV designed for emerging markets (photo: Honda/Disclosure)

Honda’s subsidiary in India has confirmed that it is preparing an entirely new SUV, focused on that market. It so happens that, today, many models that are suitable for the Indian market are also suitable for the Brazilian one. So we can see in this future release a likely successor to the Honda WR-V, which is an adventurous Fit. The website Autocar India is betting that this unique vehicle will be the production version of the N7X concept, a seven-seater SUV specifically designed for emerging markets. of 4.30 meters and versions with five and seven seats. In the Indian market, this sport utility vehicle is considered to be of medium size, but around here it would be classified as compact. The publication even points out as competitors the Hyundai Creta and the Volkswagen Taigun (our T-Cross). But it is good to be patient, as the launch of the model is expected in the second half of 2023.

It is no secret that Honda is experiencing a kind of existential crisis in the Brazilian market. While preparing a complete renovation of its current range, the Japanese origin brand suffers in limbo, without standing out in any segment. Its latest big hit was the HR-V compact SUV, which led the segment for a few years but did not remain attractive as new competitors arrived.

But, of course, the brand is not dead and is getting ready to shine again. The first offensive will still be given in 2021, with the arrival of the new generation of City. In addition to the compact sed, the greatest expectation is for the arrival of its unprecedented (in Brazil) hatchback, expected for the beginning of 2022. In these vehicles, the brand is betting on maintaining current volumes, despite the reduction in the number of models manufactured by Here, as a statement given in June by Atsushi Fujimoto, Honda’s new president for South America.

However, Honda will risk a lot if it is even offering the City with only a 1.5-aspirated engine, with some betting. Recently, other brands have already frustrated expectations of a turbo engine, such as Peugeot with the 208 and Nissan with the Versa and Kicks. Unfortunately, the entry-level compact SUV that will be manufactured in Brazil must also bring this 1.5-aspirated engine with up to 126hp of power, with direct fuel injection, connected to a CVT gearbox.

new generation
New generation of Honda HR-V to be launched in Brazil in early 2022 (photo: Honda/Disclosure)

The new generation of the HR-V, scheduled for early 2022, will be able to gain a hybrid engine and go up in level, rivaling mid-range models like the Toyota Corolla Cross. The City hatch should “kill” Fit in Brazil, as the fourth generation of the minivan became sophisticated and too expensive. Another model that helped make Honda’s name around here and may no longer be manufactured nationally is the Civic, as the segment is in the process of shrinking and its sales volume may not justify the investments needed to produce the new generation. At least the bet is that the model will continue to be sold as imported.