HR (compact high-rider) is still an edgy design for a conservative brand.
Aimed at Mazda’s CX-3 and Honda’s HR-V, the little SUV will arrive in Australia early next year. The Toyota is longer and wider than those rivals, which are both based on smaller city cars. The C-HR is bigger than a Corolla and only 4cm shorter than the previous generation RAV4.
It will be powered by a 1.2litre, 85kW turbo petrol engine, with six-speed manual or CVT auto with two- and four-wheeldrive. A hybrid may follow. Civic hits double figures; the hatch unveiled at Geneva will be the 10th to wear the badge. Honda’s lower, wider and longer five-door goes on sale in Europe, where it’s manufactured, in April next year. It will reach Australian showrooms later, after the launch of the Asian-made sedan.
Honda Australia boss Stephen Collins confirms a Type-R version will join the new hatch line-up. Australia chose not to import the red-hot 228kW 2.0-litre turbo version of the present Civic hatch launched last year.
Regular versions of the 2017 Civic hatch will have downsized turbo engines. Honda Australia is likely to opt for a more powerful 1.5-litre turbo four to replace the current 1.8. Subaru was a pioneer of the baby SUV with its XV, a highriding version of the Impreza.
The next generation XV should arrive in local showrooms in the first quarter of next year, based on the global platform that underpins the new Impreza, which is due in December.
Design boss Mamoru Ishii says the XV concept is “pretty close” to the production version and has greater emphasis on a “go-anywhere stance”.
As with the Impreza, the XV is likely to have a revised version of Subaru’s current 2.0litre engine and a more attractive, well appointed interior. Automated emergency braking and blind spot monitoring should be available. Looking like a homage to Land Rover’s Evoque convertible, the T-Cross Breeze will gain a roof and become a new baby SUV to sit beneath the Tiguan.
Volkswagen says the Tiguan and Touareg eventually will be joined by three more SUV models but the priority is likely to be the Polo-based crossover.
The concept’s 1.0-litre turbo engine puts out 81kW.
VW chairman Herbert Diess says VW can “well imagine putting such a convertible on the market as a production model” that would be fun and affordable — “a genuine ‘people’s car’.” The Korean giant’s answer to Toyota’s Prius, the Ioniq will arrive in Australia early next year after global production was delayed. Unlike the Prius, the Ioniq could be available here in plug-in hybrid and full electric guise. Hyundai Australia boss Scott Grant says the brand is interested in all variants, although it is believed the full EV version is least likely to get the nod. The Ioniq hybrid uses a more advanced battery than the Prius — lithiumion polymer instead of nickel-metal hydride — and Hyundai claims it can provide short bursts of all-electric driving at up to 120km/h. The plug-in claims 50km of electric range, the EV more than 250km.