Honda Urban SUV revealed at Tokyo

  • New Nissan Juke rival in production form
  • UK sales will start in 2015
  • Small turbo engines likely to feature

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This is the Honda Urban SUV production car, a Nissan Juke rival that's been revealed in Japanese-market form at the Tokyo motor show.

The car at Tokyo is called the Vezel Hybrid but Honda Europe sources have moved quickly to point out that it is likely to carry a different badge when it reaches showrooms in the UK in 2015.

The Urban SUV is designed to take on not only the Nissan Juke but also the wide range of baby SUVs that have flooded the market in recent months, including the Renault Captur and Peugeot 2008. It will also give Honda a competitor for the Ford Ecosport and forthcoming small SUVs from Mitsubishi, Suzuki, Fiat and Jeep.

The Japanese version of the car mates an electric motor with a 1.5-litre petrol engine; however, European editions are likely to be offered with both Honda's 1.6-litre diesel motor and a selection of small turbocharged petrol units. The firm recently confirmed that it is working on a turbocharged 1.0 three-cylinder engine and a 1.5-litre four-cylinder unit.

Judging from photos of the front cabin released by Honda, the Urban SUV/Vezel has a neat fascia that incorporates a central touch-screen and an unusual, long 'slit' of air vents. As is often the case, the Japanese model features an automatic transmission; the default European spec is likely to be a six-speed manual gearbox.

By John McIlroy

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