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l.a. auto show

2016 Honda HR-V.

What is it?

The 2016 Honda HR-V is an entry-level crossover that slots in under the popular CR-V in terms of both size and pricing.

Signature feature

The second-row seat, ambitiously dubbed the "Magic Seat," can be folded, flipped and finagled to manage all types of bulky items, from 2x4s to potted plants. Honda reports that the 1,665 litres of cargo space will rival that of some compact SUVs. During the reveal, the HR-V was called the "Swiss Army Knife" of crossovers. (The Swiss remained neutral on this comment.)

What else is new

Although the early word was that the HR-V was based on the Honda Fit platform, the manufacturer has hastened to emphasize that this is "a new global platform." This crossover will come with a six-speed manual transmission (huzzah!) … but the triple-pedal version will only be available on the front-wheel drive HR-V (meh!). The HR-V with Honda's on-demand Real Time AWD will be linked to a CVT.

Under the hood

A 1.8-litre four-cylinder that develops 138 hp and 127 lb-ft of torque. The engine incorporates Honda's i-VTEC variable valve timing system – it might not be powerful, but it should be peppy and fuel-efficient.

When can we buy it, and for how much?

The Honda HR-V will be launching in dealerships across Canada next spring. Pricing has yet to be announced, but expect it to start between $14,495 (base price for the Fit) and $25,990 (base price for the CR-V).

Cool quotient: 3 out of 5

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