Honda has officially entered the newly hot sub-compact crossover arena with their all-new 2016 Honda HR-V. It’s compact, falling between the Honda Fit and Civic in footprint and promises to become a best seller with what’s expected to be an attractive entry price.

With a 102.8” wheelbase and length of 169” it’s actually smaller than even the first generation Honda CR-V and at 63” tall it however stands about 6” over the roof of the Honda Fit. Some of that height is afforded by is generous ground clearance.

Styling is decidedly Honda but brings a lot of new cues and character lines that exude a more complex and artful theme. The overall silhouette has a four-door coupe thing going on which makes it racy to the eye.

A confident new facial design has carefully sculpted features including headlights that wrap interestingly into the hood line. Down the side flanks is a deeply inset contour which adds character as it wraps up into the rear C-Pillar.

The interior shows that Honda has been sharpening its pencils in the design department. Shown here in EX-L trim, the two-tone cabin has a very upmarket style with clean and uncluttered lines throughout. A simpler design in the dash and console looks much cleaner.

Soft-touch materials with the latest stitched style abound along with brushed chrome and piano black accents. A center-mounted infotainment screen will offer all today’s expected connectivity features and options for navigation.

The rear passenger compartment features what Honda calls Magic Seat. The lower cushions can fold upward affording a tall cargo space, more so than in the rear. This might be perfect to carry things like a new flat screen TV.

Those 60/40 split rear seats allow seating for three across can also be folded flat to open up the rear cargo area for an impressive 58.8 cubic feet of space.

The HR-V comes atop an all-new global platform architecture which features a center-mounted fuel tank for increased safety and packaging. It can be had with either front-wheel drive or Honda’s Real Time all-wheel-drive.

138 horsepower comes from its 1.8 liter 4-cylinder engine which can be paired with either a continuously variable transmission or a 6-speed manual transmission. The manual is only available in the front-wheel drive model.

While safety ratings have not yet been released, the HR-V is likely to fare well as it comes with Honda’s next-generation ACE front body structure, designed to better handle frontal collision forces and tests like the IIHS small-offset.

It will come with driver assistance features such as Honda’s exclusive expanded view driver mirror and a multi-angle rear-view camera. As such, Honda says they expect the 2016 HR-V to earn top safety ratings from the NHTSA and IIHS.

The 2016 Honda HR-V will launch in North America next year with pricing and fuel-economy specifications to be announced closer to launch.