Date: February 23, 2007 11:02
In case you missed it, the 7-passenger Honda Crossroad cross-over mini-ute just went on sale in Japan today. (http://world.honda.com/news/2007/4070222CROSSROAD/). That's not really news, though as official photos and some sketchy details appeared here in December.
What makes that news more interesting is that we've just received word that this vehicle is actually headed to the US, said to slot into Honda's lineup between the CR-V and Pilot. With 7-passenger seating capacity stuffed into rather diminutive packaging, it will be interesting to see how it is priced and if Honda will spec a different motor and interior grade for our market, as it was our understanding that this vehicle is actually positioned beneath the CR-V in Japan, which in its latest incarnation has moved somewhat upscale.
The Crossroad interior photos certainly show a more spartan atmosphere than the quasi-lux trappings of the '07 CR-V. The Crossroad is currently being offered in the Japanese market with the choice of 140ps R18 or 150ps R20 motor driving either the front wheels or all four of them via Honda's RealTime AWD system.
Just out of curiosity, how many of you would rather see the Stream imported than this? I know I would.
Interestingly, while preparing this news item, I just received the following e-mail from one of TOV's readers in Japan, 'AkiraNSK' (you may remember some of his very interesting contributions over the past few months).
I attended the launch event for the Honda Crossroad today. I remember
you reporting on its sighting in downtown LA in December as a "new J-
model Honda crossover", so I figure I'd drop you a line about it.
This is the posting from December 18th:
And this is English press release:
I spoke to the exterior design project leader for a while. I asked
about the resemblance of the Crossroad to the HR-V, but he insisted
that this is not an HR-V successor. It was a new project that began
as a super low and sporty 7-seater wagon concept that was originally
to be based on a 40mm stretched Stream platform. As development went
on, the 40mm stretch was eliminated and the sportiness turned into
more about being "stylish enough not to be shamed driving it in the
posh part of town on weekends." Although intended for Japan only,
they brought it to LA and did a study group to see what America (land
of the SUV) thinks of it. The response was extremely positive and it
proved very popular there. The concept evolved into "an SUV that will
do away with the 3 worst qualities of an SUV: too big, too expensive,
too gas-guzzling." He stated that most SUVs are too big for little
Japanese women to handle. Not that the Crossroad was in any way
designed to target female buyers, but in Japan the average family car
is driven more by the wife to handle her daily chores while the
husband is at work (or getting wasted with his co-workers). They've
come up with the perfect size to allow ease of handling around the
tight roads of Tokyo while providing comfortable third row seating
that was designed with a 168cm tall passenger in mind. The hood was
intentionally designed to be easily seen by the driver to allow him/
her to judge distance to the car in front while parking. This is a
move away from a current trend in Honda designs where the hood is not
visible by the driver. The rear hatch was a particularly challenging
section to design, according to the designer. He specifically wanted
the back of the roof to be rounded off because a squared off rear
edge "makes the car look too stationery and reluctant to move."
Roundness suggests a person leaning forward with an arched back ready
to leap forward where as a squared off edge suggests a relaxed
posture. As a result the rear glass has a very large curve wrapping
up to the top edge of the hatch, rendering it extremely difficult to
manufacture. The 2.0L and 1.8L iVTEC engines are both R block SOHC
units. The rest of the information I have is also in the press release.
Last edited by JeffX on
February 01, 2008 09:42