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The 2016 Honda HR-V small SUV will go on sale May 15 with a starting price of $19,995, including destination.

American Honda Motor Corp. expects to sell 70,000 of the sporty crossovers a year, with more than half of the customers new to the Honda brand. The HR-V is based on the same platform as the Fit and is built at the same plant in Celaya, Mexico.

The HR-V is a new entry in the booming small crossover segment that is attracting drivers who want to sit higher and want the function of a crossover, but with a smaller price tag. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is offering a new Jeep Renegade SUV, which just went on sale, and Chevrolet began selling the Trax subcompact crossover a few months ago. Honda’s entry is expected to compete with the 2016 Mazda CX-3 and 2016 Fiat 500X. More vehicles are slated to join the segment in future years.

Standard features and technologies include 17-inch alloy wheels, push-button electric parking brake, rearview camera with guidelines, Pandora radio and Bluetooth HandsFreeLink. The Japanese carmaker expects most buyers to be from Generation Y, or 18- to 34-year-olds.

Kelley Blue Book senior analyst Karl Brauer said Honda should surpass its sales targets for the HR-V, given its success with the Honda CR-V and the HR-V’s attractive looks and low price point. Brauer said it likely will be a top seller in the segment.

“They’re going to have this built-in following that will quickly embrace an even lower cost, newer model that still has lots of interior volume and functionality,” he said.

Honda said the entry HR-V, smaller than the CR-V and cheaper, will get an estimated 25 miles per gallon city, 34 mpg highway and 28 mpg combined when equipped with a six-speed manual transmission. The SUV with continuously variable transmission will do a bit better, achieving an estimated 28 mpg city, 35 mpg highway and a combined rating of 31 mpg.

It is powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder that generates 141 horsepower and 127 foot-pounds of torque. It will be available in LX, EX and EX-L Navi trims and the manual transmission is available on LX and EX models with two-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is available, but only with the continuously variable transmission.

The most expensive model, the EX-L Navi, with features such as navigation, roof rails and leather-trimmed seats, steering wheel and shifter, is priced at $25,470 including destination. The EX-L Navi version in all-wheel drive costs $26,720.

mburden@detroitnews.com

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