Monday, January 13, 2014

Short test drive - Honda Vezel

TOVA contributor Daniel who is currently living in Japan recently test drove the new Honda Vezel and came with this short report which appeared in our TOV forum. We reproduce it here. (Image of Vezel taken from world.honda.com).


Daniel Garcia:
The other day I went to meet a friend working at a Honda dealer and enjoyed the opportunity to quickly check out the Vezel.

First of all, the dealer was pretty much filled up, and it had been like that for a while according to my friend. Certainly business is doing well in Japan in recent times.

On the Vezzel itself, I tried the AWD Hybrid X version over a very short drive (about 15min, exclusively within the city). It was night, so I couldn't fully appreciate the interior colour tones/textures, nor could I take it to some freeway to see how it felt on that department.

For whatever is worth, here are a few random comments after jumping in from my CR-Z:

- Ride and Handling :
* You could immediately feel the larger width and heavier weight over the Fit. Around the city though, it still felt pretty easy to maneuver and responsive.
* Suspension was rather on the firm side and sporty, without being uncomfortable, with very well controlled damping and rebound over bumps, much better than anything Honda has done in this class before.
* The chassis truly felt incredibly rigid and solid to me when coming from my CR-Z, though some of it may be because I'm comparing a brand new car with one with nearly 90.000km of rolling around.

- Drivetrain :
* I was really surprised but how responsive the car was, and would certainly doubt many feel lacking power. Given the added weight, I'm not sure it is ultimately faster than my CR-Z, but that is at peak power. Whenever you stomp in the throttle pedal it's like night and day, and the Vezel simply pushes forward with an eagerness my car certainly does not provide.
* I still would rather have a CVT, but at least this time around it seemed to me the DCT tranny was smoother and more responsive than before. Maybe it's just me though.
* Overall I averaged 37mpg in my 100% city short loop after a cold start, which I found rather good, if not quite utterly impressive.
* The test car had paddle shifters, but I didn't really have time to test those.

- Interior:
* was nice all around in terms of style and functionality.
* was plenty ample, with plenty of legroom for me seating both front and back (I'm 6.2").
* Trunk enjoys the Fit's easy seat folding mechanism.
* Materials seemed to be also noticeably up in quality when compared with the Fit, specially around the front area and console.
* Speedometer had a nice 3D effect, although I would have preferred to have the speed showing in the dark center orb like in my CR-Z.
* I am still not digging the new touch-controls (identical to the Fit's), and still find the navi graphics are embarrassingly slow, but at least it was considerably fully featured (including at last Bluetooth Audio support...). Coming from the one in my CR-Z though, I missed direct access to zooming, an extra button in the wheel to control voice commands, and some diminished functionality in the voice department.
* disappointed by Honda's choice on the front illumination controls, which employ now a tiny button like in so many cars from the competition, instead of the easy-push mechanism I love so much about all my Honda's. This goes again on the direction I noticed in the Fit, with the feeling that Honda is doing away with some of their best ergonomic practices for the sake of "coolness". Hope this trend will/can be reversed.

Overall
* I was pretty impressed by the package, which felt like a much expensive vehicle in all matters (from fit&finish to ride&handling). Certainly considerably upscale feel coming from my top of the line CR-Z.
* I'd be surprised if this car wasn't popular all over the world, because it really has so much good going on for it it's hard to find many defects. Not surprising that so far in Japan there is already a waiting list until end of April for the Hybrid.

2 comments:

Ruth James said...

This is the car my husband and I have been looking at buying. Thank you for giving me all the details about it! I am hoping we can get one when they come!
Ruth James | http://diamondhondaofglendale.com/service/index.htm

Podi Malli said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSAxBd-Ouec

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