Honda Vezel crossover arrives at the Tokyo motor showWed, 20 Nov 2013
For the record, Vezel rhymes with "bezel," and it's the name of Honda's long suspected Fit-based crossover. Honda showed off the new Vezel hybrid model at the Tokyo motor show, though the production model set to launch in Japan in December will also be available with a straight-gasoline 1.5-liter direct-injected engine also. Other details are still slim, but the company did claim a "Sport Hybrid i-DCD" powertrain will get a stronger engine and most likely a dual-clutch transmission with integrated electric motor.
Overall the Vezel design is unassuming with a dash of sportiness, but we can't help but think it's cribbed a lot of design elements from the successful Mazda CX-5. And, while photos don't show scale well, the Vezel is not particularly small, so it should appeal to consumers for whom a Fit is just too tiny but a CR-V is more car -- and money -- than they want to spend, and a Nissan Juke is just too ugly.
So, when can you get one? Japan market sales start December 20, and we'll likely get the Vezel in either 2014 or 2015; the question is what will it be called? Vezel just doesn't have much of a ring to it, though we should be happy that it's not some kind of alphanumeric stew.
We'll have a full gallery up soon, so stay tuned.
By Andrew Stoy