A ‘mystery vehicle’ photographed in Los Angeles late last year has now been identified as Honda’s new Crossroad – a compact SUV for the Japanese domestic market – which goes on sale in Japan from tomorrow (23 February).

Honda describes the the car as an “active life navigator” or “a car that helps people enjoy their active new lifestyles, unbound by conventional thinking.”

With a length of 4,285mm, the new car contains three rows of seats for up to seven passengers.

It is offered with a 1.8-litre or a two-litre i-VTEC engine, paired with a five-speed automatic transmission.

It is available with either front or four-wheel drive, and the four-wheel drive model is also equipped with hill-start assist function, which temporarily maintains brake pressure after the brake pedal is released when starting on a hill to ensure smoother starts and enhanced ease of use.

Some US press reports have speculated that the Crossroad may replace the HR-V in future and there have also been suggestions it would replace the US-built Element, though that is a smaller five-seat model.

The Land Rover Discovery was badged Honda Crossroad in Japan for a time during the Japanese automaker’s 1979 to 1993 alliance with Rover.