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Honda’s Chinese market XR-V crossover puts the American HR-V to shame

Honda debuted the Chinese market XR-V crossover at the 17th Chengdu Motor Show yesterday, but it’s not the first time we’ve seen this car.

In fact, the XR-V is mainly a retouched version of the Japanese market Vezel and the North American HR-V. It’s also the best looking of the bunch by a country mile.

The redesigned front fascia, complete with new foglights and integrated indicators, give the XR-V an aesthetic edge over the XR-V’s foreign cousins.

The compact crossover has been given a facelift out back as well (would that be a buttlift?), with slimmer, connected taillights and a resculpted bumper giving the XR-V a more dynamic posterior. This is especially apparent when compared to the HR-V, which basically looks like the Acura RDX from the rear. Add in the stylized wheels and the XR-V makes its branded brethren look pretty boring in comparison.

Call me crazy, but a few styling carryovers from the Chinese version would fit right into the American market, one that has been increasingly enthusiastic over eager and showy small crossovers lately (I’m looking at you, Kia Soul and Nissan Juke).

Related: 2015 Honda HR-V makes photographic debut in New York

As far as dimensions go, the XR-V fits right in with the aforementioned Kia and Nissan. The crossover’s wheelbase measures 2610mm (102.7 inches), the height sits at 1605mm (63.1 inches), and the width comes in at 1770mm (69.6 inches).

Honda is planning two four-cylinder engines for the Chinese vehicle: a 1.5-liter unit and a 1.8-liter mill. Power outputs weren’t listed for the engines, but both will be equipped with a gas-sipping start-stop system. The XR-V also comes standard with a panoramic roof.