YORK, England — Honda started selling the second-generation Fit-based HR-V in the United States as a 2016 model, but we never saw its first-generation predecessor here. This squarer, shorter machine debuted in Japan as a 1998 model and went on sale in Europe for the 2000 model year. During my recent trip to
dumps scrapyards in the north of England (that’s what they call them here), I found this first grade example at U-Pull-It in York.
U-Pull-It UK is owned by Dallas-based Copart, and its two UK locations (the other in Edinburgh, Scotland) operate much like their US counterparts. One difference is that all guests must wear high visibility vests while on site. So I brought the one given to me by the organizers of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb last summer.
The employees at York U-Pull-It were very friendly and helpful, although the local dialect can be difficult to understand for native speakers from the rest of the English-speaking world. I’ve already documented some of the cars I photographed in their garage, including a 2007 Mitsubishi Colt, 2008 Mitsubishi i, 2005 Smart ForFour, 2002 BMW 320td and 2010 Peugeot Bipper, with many more to come .
The original HR-V was based on the Honda logo platform, which itself was the successor to the Honda City (yes, that Honda City). The all-wheel drive system was the same as that used in the CR-V.
It was designed with its domestic market in mind and is therefore a masterpiece of squeezing a lot of interior space into a small footprint. Two- and four-door versions were available, while subsequent generations all had four doors. As one might assume, the second and third generation HR-Vs that appeared in U.S. Honda showrooms (for model years 2016-2022 and 2023 onward, respectively) are both larger and more shapely. truck than the first. generation versions. Today
Dump Scrapyard Gem has a curb weight of 2,381 to 2,557 pounds, while the current HR-V (Civic/CR-V based) in the U.S. market is between 3,159 and 3,333 pounds.
The engine of this one is a 16-valve D16W5 inline four-cylinder equipped with VTEC, with an output of 122 horsepower. The transmission of this car is a five-speed manual.
According to its final auction information, it was a racer with 126,659 miles and some body damage at the end of its road. The doors were all locked and/or frozen (it’s very cold and wet in Yorkshire in January) so I couldn’t get in to photograph the interior.
Would this car have been a sales success in North America, or would it have simply cannibalized the CR-V’s sales?
Honda hired Southern California ska-punk band Save Ferris to play for this JDM commercial. Apparently the “HR” part of the car’s name stood for “Hi-Rider.”
You’d think it would have been impossible for the Dutch market HR-V to surpass its JDM counterparts, but you’d be wrong.
This four-door HR-V ad received a remix from Fatboy Slim.
In Australia, first generation HR-Vs were driven by demonic Honda salesmen who listened to 666 FM during test drives. It turns out that the price of the soul in 1999 was 23,350 Australian dollars. The ads Down Under for the second-generation HR-Vs were also very entertaining.
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