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by David Zalstein

The all-new Honda Urban SUV concept has made its world debut at the 2013 Detroit auto show, previewing a new production compact SUV due to launch in Japan by the end of 2013 and arrive in Australia in 2014/2015.

Based on the same Global Compact Series platform as the next third-generation Honda Jazz, the “dynamic and youthful” Honda Urban SUV concept – seen in leaked images prior to the car’s official unveiling – combines clean lines with a strong stance, and features hidden rear door handles and heavily raked rear side windows to give the feeling of a sporty coupe.

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Measuring 4300mm long – 245mm less than the all-new Honda CR-VHonda says the Urban SUV concept is the ideal size for navigating both crowded city streets and open mountain roads.

Features already expected to find their way into the final production version of the compact crossover include Honda’s fuel efficiency-focussed Earth Dreams technology, and the Japanese manufacturer’s acclaimed Magic Seat flexible seating system that allows for a host of passenger configurations as well as a fold-flat capability for maximum cargo capacity.

Executive vice president of sales at American Honda, John Mendel, expressed the company’s confidence towards the upcoming production car.

“No one has had greater success with small cars than Honda, and this Urban SUV concept will create new value in the growing small-SUV segment.”

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To be priced and positioned below the CR-V, and aimed at cars like the Ford EcoSport, Holden Trax, Peugeot 2008 and, potentially the recently revealed Renault Captur, the compact SUV will be manufactured both in Japan and also at Honda’s newest North American plant near Celaya in Mexico.

While an official name for the new production car is yet to be announced, Honda’s president and CEO Takanobu Ito, told Caradvice that it will not rekindle the Honda HR-V moniker used on a small SUV model between 1999 and 2006.

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