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The Honda HR-V is back. Sixteen years after the original practically invented the crossover genre, it has returned to reap the benefits of the market’s huge popularity, though it’s a little more reserved than it used to be. 

The new HR-V appears to be almost identical to the Honda Vezel in terms of styling, a curiously named model which went on sale at the beginning of the year in Japan. The HR-V is expected to utilise the same platform as Honda’s Jazz hatchback with the same clever and versatile ‘Magic Seats’, which offer dazzling levels of practicality, if no actual magic.

Honda hasn’t said anything about engines yet, but expect its smaller units to major here, and there could be a hybrid version too.

The European HR-V will go on sale in the summer of 2015, sitting below Honda’s SUV, the CR-V. Expect prices to start at around the £15,000 mark to keep it competitive against the Nissan Juke, Renault Captur and any of the other titchy crossovers you care to name.

When the original HR-V was unveiled in 1998, it was pretty unique in its proposition, as well as quirky in its styling. It was perhaps too far ahead of its time, though, the small crossover market only really taking off after production ceased in 2006.

While we’re sure this HR-V won’t have any troubles in the sales department, it doesn’t appear to be anywhere near as wacky as its predecessor. And while the original came with four-wheel drive, a Jazz base suggests the new iteration will be front-drive only.

A sign of the times perhaps, but should Honda have been more daring?

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