The Beijing Auto Show has turned out to be a lot busier than expected with all kinds of models breaking cover. One of the more interesting models is the Honda Avancier SUV that will serve as Honda’s resident flagship SUV in China. The name in Chinese is 冠道, which is pronounced “Guandao.” For those of you who have spent some time in Japan in the past, the name may actually sound familiar as Avanicer was once used as the name for a crossover/ wagon that was sold in Japan from 1999 to 2003.
This time around, Honda has done its homework and, from the look of things, the Avancier name will be around for much longer than its first go around. This new model boasts a spacious interior and will be Honda’s first model that is powered by a 2.0-liter, turbocharged engine. Takahiro Hachigo, the President, CEO, and Representative Director of Honda Motors said, “We are so grateful that our sales in China reached the one million-unit milestone in 2015. We view 2016 as a year for us to make another leap forward. We will begin local production of our hybrid vehicle and turbo engines and further accelerate the localization of our business. Honda will continue taking on new challenges in China.”
With that said, the Avancier is expected to go on sale in the Chinese market by the end of this year. Before that happens, though, let’s take a look at Honda’s new Flagship SUV for the Chinese market and talk a little about what it brings to the table.
Up front, the Avancier somewhat resembles the 2015-2016 Honda CR-V that we have here in the States – at least as far as the shape of the headlights and grille. Those headlights look to be of the LED variety, and the front grille sports a wavy mesh with a big grey louver at the top with an affixed Honda emblem. Down below, the corners have cutouts for vents, but they are filled with a trim insert and LED fog lights. The air dam in between those vents features a rectangular mesh inside and a great insert at the bottom.
There is also grey body cladding along the center of the side skirts, similar to that insert on the bottom of the air dam.
To the sides, we see a triple vent setup on the side of the hood. The wheel arches, the lower portion of the doors, and the side skirts are all wider that the upper portion of the vehicle – basically a manufacturer’s version of a stock wide body kit. There is also grey body cladding along the center of the side skirts, similar to that insert on the bottom of the air dam.
The rear hatch has a mild overhang that also supports the high-mount brake light. The Honda emblem is perched on top of a bright chrome stripe that runs from taillight to taillight. The taillights themselves feature a C-shape with the reverse lights located in the hatch-mounted lenses. Down below, the rear fascia has a rectangular red reflector on each corner. There are rectangular exhaust outlets integrated into the fascia with a large, grey insert place between them. In the images we have here, the Avancier looks to come standard with roof rails as well.
Honda hasn’t divulged much as far as specifics go, but by looking at the interior of the Avancier, we can see that it is quite luxurious. It looks to sport leather upholstery on the seats, center console, lower dash, and the door trim panels. The dash isn’t exactly of the wraparound style, but it does flow pretty smoothly into the doors. The instrument cluster features a tachometer and a speedometer with what looks to be a six-inch display nestled between the two. A push-button ignition switch sits just below the driver’s right HVAC vent.
Mounted inside the center stack is a large touchscreen display, with several buttons on the left edge and more underneath
Mounted inside the center stack is a large touchscreen display, with several buttons on the left edge and more underneath. We can’t say for sure, but the storage area under the display screen may offer inductive phone charging. Furthermore, the Avancier has triple-zone heating and cooling, a panoramic glass roof, electronic parking brake, push button gear selection, and heated and ventilated seats.
In the rear, there is seating for five, but laying down the center seatback opens up space for two cup holders and another touch screen display for rear passengers. Notice how the rear speakers are mounted above the rear seats for better sound quality? Pretty could from a design standpoint. All told, this thing looks to be more luxurious than what you would expect from Honda.
As of the time of this writing, we know that the Avancier will be offered with a 2.0-liter, “Sport Turbo,” four-cylinder. However, some sources are indicating that the entry-level model will have a naturally aspirated 2.4-liter and that there will eventually be a hybrid variant as well. As of now, Honda has yet to release any performance figures or specifics on the engine whatsoever, so if you’re interesting in hearing more, stay tuned. More information should come to light as we get closer to when the Avancier officially goes on sale.
This is another department that Honda has been rather vague about to date, but we do know that the Avancier will come with the Honda SENSING suite of safety features. That should bring things like lane keep assist, active cruise control, rear park assist, collision mitigation with steering assist, and a few other features.
Considering the Avancier is being built primarily for the Chinese market, it’s only fair that we look to another contender in the Chinese SUV market – the BYD S6 . It is slightly larger than the Avancier and is offered with one of three different engines. The entry-level model comes with a 2.0-liter gasoline engine that delivers 138 horsepower and 127 pound-feet of torque. Moving up the line, there is the 1.5-liter, turbocharged unit that delivers 158 horsepower and 159 pound-feet of torque. The range-topping model comes with a 2.4-liter, naturally aspirated, four-cylinder that delivers 158 horsepower and 234 pound-feet of torque. Current pricing for the BYD S6 isn’t available at this time, but it’s estimated to start at $14,700 with a five-speed manual transmission.
Honda seems to have done an exceptional job with its Chinese-based flagship SUV. After so many years of being in a design slump and releasing less-than-worthy models, I think that with the debut of this Chinese-based SUV, along with all of the other recent releases, that Honda has finally out of that slump.
This model should be a big hit on the market, and I suspect Honda will be rather happy with the results. Normally this is where I would say that Honda needs to bring it to the U.S., but we’ve already got plenty of Honda SUVs on hand, so for now, our Chinese neighbors can keep the Avancier.
- Catchy Styling
- Very spacious inside
- First Honda turbocharged 2.0 in market
- Looks a lot like the CR-V
- Chinese market only
- Only being released with one drivetrain at first
Honda Motor (China) Investment Co., Ltd., a wholly-owned Honda subsidiary in China, today exhibited the world premiere of the all-new SUV model, Avancier (Chinese name: 冠道/Guandao) at Auto China 2016*. The all-new Avancier will become Honda’s top-of-the-line model in China.
*The 14th Beijing International Automotive Exhibition (Auto China 2016)
Press days: April 25 – 26, Trade days: April 27 – 28, Public days: April 29 – May 4, 2016
The all-new Avancier was developed as Honda’s new flagship SUV model in China, which features a spacious cabin and high-quality driving experience. For the first time among all models sold by Honda in China, Avancier is equipped with a 2.0-liter turbo engine that realizes a dynamic driving experience. Moreover, Avancier is equipped with the Honda SENSING™ suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies. Adopting such advanced technologies of Honda, the all-new Avancier SUV will provide customers with further enhanced joy of mobility.
The all-new Avancier will go on sale before the end of 2016 from Guangqi Honda Automobile Sales Co., Ltd., a sales subsidiary of Guangqi Honda Automobile Co., Ltd.
In addition to all-new Avancier, Honda will exhibit the all-new Civic (Dongfeng Honda Automobile Co., Ltd. product) which was recently introduced on April 12, 2016, as well as the all-new Accord Hybrid (Guangqi Honda product) which will be the first hybrid model Honda will produce locally in China.
Comments by Takahiro Hachigo, President, Chief Executive Officer and Representative Director of Honda Motor Co., Ltd.:
“We are so grateful that our sales in China reached the 1 million unit-milestone in 2015. We view 2016 as a year for us to make another leap forward. We will begin local production of our hybrid vehicle and turbo engines and further accelerate the localization of our business. Honda will continue taking on new challenges in China.”