So, whats the difference between a Vezel and a Honda HRV? Honestly not that much. You just might remember that quite a while back Honda had a car called the Honda HR-V. The name was first introduced in 1999 on a car that based on the same platform as Honda’s nineties supermini the Honda Logo and it was introduced as a sort of mini SUV as its name HR-V suggests Hi-rider Revolutionary Vehicle. It was meant to be a car with all the advantages of an SUV but all of the comfort and practicality of a smaller car. However the HR-V lasted till only 2006 after which it was discontinued.
In 2013 Honda introduced a new car to their Japanese market the Honda Vezel, it was based on the same platform as the Honda Fit and Honda City. The Vezel was regarded as a luxury vehicle in Japan and sold fairly well there, good enough that Honda decided to introduce the Vezel into other markets such as the US and Europe under the name Honda HR-V badge. Now while the two cars look and are almost identical there are some minor differences between each of them.
The Honda HR-V comes with as standard with a 1.8-liter SOHC i-VTEC I4 engine delivering 141 bhp which is mated either to a CVT transmission similar to the Civic or a 6-speed manual transmission. It comes in either front wheel drive or all wheel drive and delivers around 30mpg. The Honda Vezel however comes with an option between either a petrol powered drive train or a hybrid drive train. With the petrol drive train you get a 1.5 liter 4 cylinder DOHC 16 valve i-VTEC engine delivering 129bhp paired with a CVT transmission giving around 29mpg. The hybrid drive train however utilizes a 1.5 liter 4 cylinder SOHC 16 valve i-VTEC engine delivering 130bhp coupled with an electric motor delivering 29bhp for a combined output of 149bhp which is paired with a 7 speed automatic dual clutch transmission delivering 35mpg.
The basic shape and stance of both cars may be the same but their are some subtle differences between the two cars. The headlights are slightly different on both models along with the front bumper.
Besides these differences the Honda Vezel and Honda HR-V are identical vehicles. They differ in names depending on where it is sold. You could honestly stick a Vezel badge on an HR-V and no one would be any the wiser.
We, in Pakistan, since import almost all of our Japanese cars from Japan, we only see Vezel on our roads. But same car will be available in the country like UK with HR-V badge. Considering the popularity of Vezel in Pakistan, one wouldn’t be surprised if people start importing HR-V as well.