Honda used the "HR-V" designation on two generations of mini SUVs. The first production cycle, which lasted from 1998 to 2006 (model years 1999 to 2006) involved the Honda Logo. The second generation of HR-Vs, which started in 2015 for the 2016 model year, involved the third-generation Honda Fit.
Honda started producing the Logo, which would eventually morph into the first-generation HR-V, in 1996. The HR-V was introduced as a concept vehicle dubbed the "Wild and Joyfull J-WJ" ride at the 1997 Tokyo Motor Show. The following year, it was sold exclusively at a Japanese dealership network called Honda Verno; and in 1999, it was finally released to the rest of Japan. Marketed as a "Joy Machine" to a younger demographic, the first-gen HR-V was available as a three-door or five-door compact utility vehicle. It came with two 1.6-liter inline four-cylinder engine choices -- one with 104 horsepower at 6,200 RPM and a VTEC version with 123 horsepower at 6,700 RPM. The engine was paired with a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) or a five-speed manual transmission, and customers had a choice between a front-wheel drive and a Real Time all-wheel drive. In addition to Japan, the first-gen HR-V went on sale in Europe and select Asian markets. Honda discontinued the three-door in 2003 and the five-door in 2006.
The second-gen HR-V uses the same platform as the Fit, a subcompact vehicle that hit its third production cycle in 2013. Debuting at the 2014 New York Auto Show and going on sale in more markets than the previous generation, this HR-V presents a choice between a 1.5-liter inline four-cylinder engine and a 1.8-liter one. The manual transmission now has six gears instead of five, and overall it's a larger SUV than the first-gen model.