With sales headed for the quarter million mark, the N-Box will be the best selling vehicle in Japan this year (N-Box Custom shown)

With sales headed for the quarter million mark, the N-Box will be the best selling vehicle in Japan this year (N-Box Custom shown)

This first part of a look at the future models of Honda Motor offers an overview of the Honda brand's global line-up by segment. This will be followed by what's coming for Acura. 

Kei cars

A second generation of the N-One mini-vehicle is due to be announced for the Japanese market very soon. The model code is said to be 3RB with the architecture a development of the existing model's. Production should run from the first quarter of 2020 until the end of 2025.

The second generations of the N-WGN and N-WGN Custom are Honda's newest mini-vehicles. They went on sale in Japan in July. As per the regulations of the size class, all are powered by a 660cc engine. Both front- and four-wheel drive variants are available. The new N-WGN and N-WGN Custom use the same platform as the originals, albeit in updated form.

Another mini-car for the Japanese market was launched there five years ago this month, meaning it should be replaced in 2020. The N-Box Slash, a boxy four-door coupe, was the fifth vehicle for Honda's N Series. Engine choice is between a normally aspirated or turbocharged 660cc unit.

What is not only Honda's but the Japanese market's best selling model has been available since September 2017. The N-Box and N-Box Custom (it has a different front end) were facelifted in October, which means the third generation models should be released in 2021/2022.

A & B segments

The second generation of the Amaze, a small sedan, was revealed at the New Delhi Auto Expo in February 2018. It replaced the Brio in that market. Meanwhile, in certain other countries, the latest Brio is an A segment hatchback. Indonesia, for example, is a big market for that car. Both models should be facelifted in late 2021. The next generation models should be released in 2025.

The latest generation Fit (Jazz in some countries) was revealed at the Tokyo motor show in October. It goes on sale first in Japan, in February. There will also be a Type R later in the year, powered by a 220hp 1.5-litre turbocharged engine.

As well as the standard five-door hatchback, there is also a crossover derivative called Fit Crosstar or Jazz Crosstar. This has integrated roof rails, plastic wheel arch extensions and longer suspension travel.

In European countries, only the hybrid - called Jazz e:HEV - will be available. The model life should last until early-mid 2026, after a facelift in 2023.

A new generation City appeared at the Bangkok motor show a few weeks ago. The little sedan can be thought of as the four-door version of the Fit/Jazz five-door. It has a 122PS 1.0-litre turbo engine, which replaced a 1.5-litre unit in the fourth generation model. Another novelty is a sports trim level called RS. The new model is about to go on sale in Thailand. There should be a facelift in 2022 and a successor in late 2024/early 2025.

C segment

Honda's biggest seller in the global Compact/C segment is two years away from being replaced by the eleventh generation model. Honda of Canada Manufacturing, which started making the current sedan in October 2015, will likely again be the lead global plant for the next Civic.

All build of the five-door continues to take place in England, the Swindon plant having been manufacturing this car since August 2016. Honda is yet to state which factory will make the successor to the hatchback but it seems likely that one of its US or Canadian facilities will gain this model due to the closure of Swindon in 2021.

American Honda has given the Civic hatch a minor facelift for the 2020 model year. Honda Motor Europe also announced the facelift in November.

The Envix (Chinese name Xiangyu) is a sedan built in China by the Dongfeng Honda joint venture. It was revealed as a prototype at the Guangzhou motor show in November 2018. The car is closely based on the Crider, a sedan built by Guangqi Honda. More details on these vehicles can be found in PLDB (see link below).

D segment

The tenth generation Accord sedan (3GA), announced to the media in July 2017, went on sale first in the US, Mexico and Canada two months later for those countries' 2018 model year. There should be a facelift for the 2021 model year. The eleventh generation is expected for the 2023 model year.

The Inspire, which replaced the Spirior, is a special model for China's Dongfeng Honda joint venture. GAC Honda has the Accord, so this is a car closely linked to that model for Honda's other JV partner. Sales of the current generation commenced in October last year, and that means a facelift is due in two years' time. The next generation model is pencilled in for the second half of 2024.

E segment

Even though the current model isn't very successful, still Honda intends to replace the Legend. This big sedan is now five years old and is the twin of the Acura RLX Hybrid. Recent reports indicate that a new Legend will be launched in Japan in August 2020, with a high-priced variant which comes with Level 3 self-driving technology to be part of the range.

MPVs/Minivans

The 2GM series Freed, a compact minivan, went on sale in Japan in September 2016. It has three rows of seating, whereas the Freed+, which replaced the Freed Spike, has two rows. Both variants are powered by a 1.5-litre petrol engine linked to a CVT. A facelifted line-up went on sale in Japan in October after premiering at the Tokyo motor show earlier that month. The next news should be a fresh generation model. That should be launched in 2023.

One size up is the Odyssey, one of two MPVs to have this name, the other one being a full-size minivan for North America. The smaller of the two is mainly for Asia, Japan and China being the two core markets. Now in its fifth generation, Asia's Odyssey was announced in October 2013, then had its world premiere at the Tokyo motor show and was in Japanese dealerships the following month. The successor model will likely be launched in Japan in a year's time.

Another derivative, the Odyssey Hybrid, was revealed at the 2015 Tokyo show. It went on sale in February 2016, the same month that the rest of the range had a mid-life facelift. There was a second facelift in October 2017. Cars for certain export markets, such as Australia, went on sale from January 2018.

The current generation Odyssey brought with it a new architecture: Ultra Low Floor (ULF). The vehicle's standard engine was also new, a 2.4-litre i-VTEC direct injection four-cylinder petrol unit. Production in China was added from July 2014, with local market sales commencing one month later.

The larger Odyssey (2YM) which is US-made, had its world premiere at the Detroit auto show in January 2017. New for the 2018 year, it entered series production three months later at the same Alabama plant which built the previous shape model. This was the world's first front-wheel drive vehicle to have a ten-speed auto transmission, this gearbox being Honda's own design. The base version has a nine-speed automatic supplied by ZF.

North America's Odyssey should be facelifted next year, with the sixth generation model due for the 2024 model year.

SUVs

The recent announcement of a mid-life facelift means the successor for the CR-V is three years away. The fifth generation model, which is 4,586mm long, is based on the platform introduced by the tenth generation Civic. Although China is now a major market too, this SUV is especially successful in North America. Along with the styling refresh, American Honda has dropped the former 2.4-litre base engine, made the formerly optional 1.5 turbo standard for the 2020 model year and added the CR-V Hybrid.

China's Dongfeng Honda joint venture premiered its locally-built CR-V at April 2017's Shanghai motor show. The world premiere of the Hybrid, which has a 2.0-litre petrol engine and two motors, took place at the same event. So as to keep its other main joint venture partner happy, Honda added the Breeze in August. This is a CR-V with some styling changes and it is manufactured by Guangqi Honda.

An evolution of the current model's platform will form the basis of the next CR-V. American Honda should be the first global division to start selling this vehicle (Q4, 2022).

New for the 2019 model year and in dealerships from early in 2019, the Passport, an SUV which is mostly for North America, was a global debut at the LA auto show in November 2018. It shares the GLTP2 architecture with the larger Pilot and is built in the same factory. The only engine is a 280hp 3.5-litre V6 linked to a nine-speed automatic gearbox. There are both front- and all-wheel drive variants. There should be a facelift for the 2022 model year with a replacement due in CY2024 for MY2025.

As for the current Pilot, this eight-seat SUV was new for North America's 2016 model year. It is three inches longer than the second generation model and 300lbs lighter. It uses the platform that was introduced by the third generation Acura MDX in mid-2013. A 280hp 3.5-litre V6 is the standard engine. There was a facelift for 2019 and the Black Edition, a new trim level, is the main news for the 2020 model year. The third generation Pilot should be in US dealerships during CY2022. A PHEV will likely be part of the line-up.

Pick-up

American Honda's latest generation Ridgeline (model code: 2KM) is now three and a half years old. A nine-speed automatic gearbox, which replaces a six-speed unit, is the main news for the 2020 model year. There should be a mid-cycle facelift for MY2021 and then a successor in CY2023.

Electric

Honda staged the world debut of an EV prototype at the Frankfurt IAA in September 2017. The e, a small hatchback with large circular headlights and which was 10cm shorter than the Jazz/Fit, will be sold in Europe, Japan and certain other regions, but not North America.

Another concept, the e Prototype, was revealed at the Geneva motor show in March. The main difference was its five-door body. The public premiere of the series production model took place in Frankfurt at the IAA Cars in September. The e has a water-cooled 35.5 kWh Panasonic battery pack and a single motor which, in the prototype, produced a claimed 110kW (150PS) and "in excess of" 300Nm (221 lb-ft). The production model is to be offered in two forms: 100kW (136PS) or 113kW (154PS) with peak torque of 315Nm (232 lb-ft).

This 3.9m long rear-wheel drive car is said by Honda to have an EV-specific platform. Among its unusual features are a wide dashboard screen; the charging port located in the middle of the bonnet; and timber trim for the interior which, like the steering wheel, has the look of Hondas from the 1960s and 1970s. The maximum range is a mere 220km.

The sales release should start in mid-2020, although cars for some markets, such as the UK, won't reach dealerships until August. Expect a six year life cycle, with a facelift in 2023/2024.

Honda is also believed to be developing a small, electric rear-wheel drive sports coupe. The looks would be similar to those of the Sports EV, a concept revealed at the 2017 Tokyo motor show. The production model will probably be on sale in selected markets from 2021.

Ciimo & Everus brands

Honda's two joint venture partners in China each have an own-brand vehicle based on a B segment SUV: Dongfeng Honda's Ciimo X-NV and GAC Honda's Everus VE-1.

Ciimo was a dormant brand name until it sparked back into life this year. For the moment, there is just the one vehicle which is sold solely in China. The X-NV is an electric version of the Honda HR-V, as is the Everus VE-1. The second of the pair was initially a concept called Everus EV and exhibited at the Beijing motor show in April 2018. This Vezel/HR-V-based plug-in crossover would go into production at a GAC Honda plant during the second half of 2018, Honda stated when revealing the prototype at AutoChina.

The EV-1 premiered at the Guangzhou motor show in November 2018 and after an extended delay, Chinese market sales commenced in October, which is also when Dongfeng Honda began selling the Ciimo X-NV. The claimed maximum range for each is 400km. More data on these vehicles, including their expected life cycles, can be found via the link to PLDB below.

Reports for many other manufacturers' future models are grouped in the OEM product strategy summaries section of just-auto.com.

Future product program intelligence

More detail on past, current and forthcoming models can be found in PLDB, the future vehicles database which is part of QUBE. That includes those Honda models which do not appear in the above report.