Stunning is one word best describing Honda new compact SUV, the Vezel. Launched this December in Japan, the compact SUV which is based off the Fit/Jazz plank is amazingly well designed. For quite sometimes, I criticize Honda design language for being too safe which is good for not offending those with sensitive design issue, but boring nonetheless.
The Vezel however… Well… Let’s just say the Vezel is the most beautiful production Honda car I’ve seen in 10 odd years, besting the S2000, Accord Euro (Acura TSX) and the Acura ILX. The sculpted lines are greatly defined, where a line starts, it ends gracefully and functionally. Take a look at the crease from the side profile, it looks like it came out of nowhere, but to me it looks like an end of a circular line from the A pillar to the hidden door handle and finishing on the front doors, which if you take a measurement divides the area on the upper and lower part dead in the center-ish. The swooping roofline is pronounced even more with the upper rear spoiler and the rear featuring panel formed lighting integration, much better than the third generation CR-V. The front featuring compound HID and LED cluster is bold and premium looking, contemplating the new Honda wing design language.
But the most amazing part of the car, despite its premium looking design is that… It was based on the Fit (using Jeremy Clarkson and his snarky expression). Yes, from the market that brought us the kind of big actually small Suzuki SX4 crossover and Nissan oddly looking Juke, the Vezel is a jacked up compact car which means it won’t punch a hole in your wallet.
Power comes from Honda Fit 1.5L newly developed i-VTEC DOHC with available hybrid engine option. Now for a tall car like this, you will be surprised that Honda is making the car available with a 1.5L engine at all… Well, worry not since Honda new L15 engine produces 132 Ps @ 6600 RPM and 155 Nm @ 4600RPM… And you’re saying what? Well, 2004 Honda Stream which uses D17 1.7L engine produces 129 Ps @ 6300 RPM and 154 Nm @ 4800 RPM. So to the technically challenged, that means the new 1.5L engine is simply more powerful than the old 1.7L engine. My family used to own 2004 Stream with D17 and 4AT. That engine is pulling a 7 seater wagon with gusto, I don’t see why the L15 will not be sufficient for the Vezel.
I’m pumped, this is the for a long time I wanted a Honda car so bad, not since the Prelude (lost dream). Seeing that Nissan with the gaudy Juke is making quite a business case in the developing countries (potholes and standing water in rainy season problems), the Vezel with its proper mini SUV design is guaranteed an easy sell.
More info as the car is officially unveiled at Tokyo Motor Show.