Sporty and chic, the 2023 Honda VEZEL embodies an expansive and feature-laden interior, elevating its allure beyond conventional standards. Boasting a more potent and responsive engine, the all-new platform incorporates a smooth-riding independent rear suspension. At the same time, the clean and cutting-edge interior showcases a standard digital instrumentation display. The inclusion of Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ compatibility further propels the VEZEL into a realm of contemporary connectivity, marking a significant advancement. Anticipated to grace dealerships in early June, this revamped model signals a new era for the VEZEL.
The second-generation VEZEL has been meticulously crafted without compromise, resulting in a vehicle that is longer, wider, and exudes both comfort and sportiness. Outperforming its predecessor in terms of driving enjoyment, it offers increased rear-seat legroom and boasts one of the most expansive cargo areas in its class. The extension of VEZEL’s wheelbase, coupled with significantly widened tracks, contributes to a dynamic stance that enhances stability and agility. Leading the pack in safety features, the VEZEL is equipped with standard Honda Sensing®, next-gen front airbags, and standard side-impact and front occupant knee airbags.
Michael Kistemaker, assistant vice president of Honda National Sales at American Honda Motor Co., Inc., expressed, ‘The new Honda VEZEL perfectly caters to the preferences of young, active buyers seeking a blend of sporty driving dynamics and ample space for adventurous getaways. This redesigned VEZEL is poised to attract fresh customers to the Honda brand, solidifying its position as a leader in the segment among young buyers, first-time buyers, and those from diverse backgrounds.’
Key VEZEL Features
• Clean, sporty and upscale exterior and interior styling
• Standard 7-inch digital instrumentation includes the tachometer, digital speedometer and multi-information display (separate analog speedometer included)
• Standard 7-inch color touchscreen with Apple CarPlay® & Android Auto™ compatibility
• Available HD 9-inch color touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay® & Android Auto™ compatibility (EX-L)
• Based on the new Honda global architecture, like the new 11th-generation Civic
• New fully independent rear suspension
• Larger, more responsive 2.0-liter engine
• Available Real Time AWD with Intelligent Control™
• New Hill Descent Control feature standard across the lineup
• Standard Honda Sensing® system with new front wide-view camera, new Traffic Jam Assist (TJA) and Traffic Sign Recognition (TSR)
• Standard front occupant knee and rear passenger side-impact airbags
Expressive Exterior Styling
The redesigned VEZEL introduces a fresh aesthetic marked by a sleek, horizontal beltline commencing from the elongated hood and traversing the swell of the rear fenders, enhancing the vehicle’s graceful and commanding profile. The widened stance (2.6 inches broader) is accentuated by wide-set LED headlights and taillights, underscoring the increased width and robust presence. With an overall length growth of 9.4 inches, the VEZEL exudes a more substantial and dynamic appearance.
At the front, an expressive grille is flanked by air curtain inlets, strategically directing airflow for heightened aerodynamic efficiency around the front wheels. Laser-brazing technology contributes to a refined exterior by eliminating the need for roof moldings, and the windshield wipers cleverly tuck away under the hood line, ensuring a clean and upscale look when not in use.
The rear of the VEZEL showcases a sculpted hatch and a standard tailgate spoiler, emphasizing its sporty proportions. The taillights’ outer edges are meticulously shaped to enhance aerodynamics, further contributing to the vehicle’s performance-oriented design.
Distinctive design elements characterize each VEZEL grade. The VEZEL LX boasts a matte finish on its honeycomb-style grille, extending to the lower sections of the front and rear bumpers. Standard 17-inch alloy silver-painted wheels enhance its visual appeal.
The VEZEL Sport takes on a more aggressive stance with an enhanced horizontal-themed grille mesh, a gloss-black rear spoiler, and a chrome exhaust finisher. The rear bumper’s lower section is painted gunmetal metallic, and the VEZEL Sport exclusively features 18-inch split 5-spoke wheels finished in gloss Berlina Black.
Elevating the VEZEL’s character to a distinctly upscale level, the VEZEL EX-L showcases a unique gloss-black version of the honeycomb grille, along with gloss black door pillars and trim on the front and rear bumpers. Riding on 17-inch alloy wheels painted Shark Gray with an exclusive machined finish, the EX-L epitomizes sophistication.
The VEZEL offers a palette of seven different colors, including two exclusive hues: Nordic Forest Pearl and Urban Gray Pearl, further allowing drivers to personalize their VEZEL with a touch of individuality.
Simple, Sporty and Spacious Interior
The VEZEL’s interior seamlessly blends cleanliness with a sporty edge, aligning with Honda’s innovative ‘simplicity and something’ design philosophy, as first introduced in the 2022 Civic. Notably, the low cowl, expansive greenhouse, and strategically positioned outside mirrors enhance outward visibility, contributing to a more engaging driving experience.
The top of the VEZEL’s broad instrument panel is thoughtfully crafted with minimal cutlines, minimizing windshield reflections and visual distractions. A captivating metal honeycomb mesh accent spans from door to door, serving a dual purpose by visually separating the audio and information displays from the climate controls. This intricate design not only adds a dramatic touch but also cleverly conceals the air vents, maintaining an uncluttered and harmonious aesthetic.
Premium materials adorn the interior, showcasing meticulous attention to detail in the operation of all switchgear and controls. The center console stands out with its unique curved design, enriched with French stitching. A practical pass-through, equipped with USB charging ports, serves as a convenient storage space for small items like smartphones.
Introducing the innovative Body Stabilizing Seats, the VEZEL prioritizes driver and passenger comfort on long journeys by providing firm support to reduce fatigue. The rear seat area is widened to comfortably accommodate three passengers, featuring thoughtful touches such as a rear tray designed for smartphone placement.
Cargo space receives a significant boost, with the standard cargo area behind the rear seat expanding to 24.4 cu.-ft. across all trims. The low lift-over height of just over 27 inches simplifies the loading of large or heavy items. The standard 60/40 split rear seatbacks effortlessly fold to create a flat floor, expanding the cargo space to an impressive 55.1 cu.-ft. Notably, the lower door panels and side panels of the cargo area feature an attractive wavy pattern, effectively concealing scratches and scuffs. These thoughtful design elements collectively enhance the practicality and aesthetic appeal of the VEZEL’s interior.
The VEZEL cabin seamlessly integrates technology for an enhanced driving experience. In a groundbreaking move, the VEZEL now boasts a digital instrument display, accompanied by larger standard and available color touchscreens that feature standard Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ compatibility.
All VEZEL grades come equipped with a 7-inch color LCD instrument display, featuring an all-digital speedometer and tachometer on the left side of the instrument panel, complemented by a physical speedometer dial on the right side. The 7-inch multi-information display offers user-selectable functions, including Honda Sensing® settings and comprehensive vehicle information.
Standard on LX and Sport models is a new 7-inch color touchscreen, featuring physical knobs for audio system volume and station tuning, along with buttons for mode switching and a simplified menu structure.
Stepping up, the VEZEL EX-L introduces a substantial 9-inch color touchscreen, boasting wireless Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ compatibility. This advanced model also includes a Qi-compatible wireless charging pad and an upgraded audio system with eight speakers for an immersive listening experience. The new touchscreen is designed with a physical volume knob, easily recognizable icons, and a simplified navigation structure with fewer embedded menus. Convenient hard buttons for Home and Back functions are located on the left, while mode selections are at the bottom of the touchscreen, featuring a 0.8-inch finger rest for added stability during operation. These technological enhancements elevate the VEZEL’s interior to a new level of connectivity and user-friendly functionality.
To deliver a sportier driving experience, the 2023 VEZEL undergoes a comprehensive upgrade with a robust structure, a new independent rear suspension, and a more potent engine.
Built upon the new Honda global architecture shared with the 11th-generation Civic, the VEZEL’s updated platform brings about enhancements in ride quality, handling, and overall refinement. The fully independent suspension, featuring MacPherson struts in the front and a new multilink arrangement in the rear, is designed with low-friction components to elevate ride quality and responsiveness, contributing to a dynamic and sporty driving feel.
The VEZEL’s wheelbase sees an extension to 104.5 inches (+1.7 inches), promoting a smoother ride, while significantly wider tracks (+2.0 inches in the front and +2.5 inches in the rear) enhance stability on the road.
Drawing inspiration from the acclaimed steering system of the 11th-generation Civic, the VEZEL boasts a refined steering column and specially tuned electronics for improved straight-line stability and an exceptional driving feel. Larger brakes not only increase stopping power but also feature a low-drag caliper design to support fuel efficiency.
Powering the 2023 VEZEL is a larger 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine generating 158 horsepower and 138 lb.-ft. of torque. Compared to the previous 1.8-liter 4-cylinder, this new engine exhibits increased power (+17 hp and +11 lb.-ft. of torque), alongside enhanced drivability, refinement, and reduced emissions.
The standard continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) undergoes reengineering for improved power delivery, refinement, and engine sound. The updated transmission includes Honda’s ‘Step-Shift’ programming, simulating gear changes during full-throttle acceleration for a more responsive feel.
In challenging weather conditions, the VEZEL’s available Real Time AWD with Intelligent Control™ is re-tuned to allocate more engine torque to the rear wheels when encountering slippery surfaces.
Introducing a new feature for Honda SUVs, the VEZEL includes Hill Descent Control for controlled navigation on steep, slippery declines. Drivers can set a speed between 2 and 12 mph using the brake or gas pedal, and the VEZEL will maintain that speed, allowing the driver to focus on steering.
Customization is key to the VEZEL driving experience, with the drive mode switch on the center console offering three modes: Normal, Eco, and a new Snow mode. The Snow mode adjusts drive ratios and throttle mapping to optimize traction and performance in snowy conditions, while Eco mode conserves fuel by reducing throttle and transmission sensitivity, along with air conditioning output. This comprehensive set of upgrades elevates the VEZEL’s capabilities and adaptability to various driving conditions.
Small Crossover Safety Performance Leadership
The second-generation VEZEL stands out as a leader in crossover safety performance, boasting a comprehensive suite of advanced active and passive safety technologies that come standard. At its core is Honda’s cutting-edge Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) architecture, meticulously designed to meet current and future collision standards while minimizing additional weight. This achievement is made possible through the extensive use of lightweight materials like aluminum and various high-strength steel grades, combined with an expanded application of structural adhesives.
Honda’s latest front airbag technology, designed to cradle the head for enhanced protection, is now incorporated into the VEZEL. In a first for the model, standard front-occupant knee and rear-passenger side impact airbags are featured.
The VEZEL showcases the new single-camera Honda Sensing® suite, initially introduced in the 11th-generation Civic. This advanced system boasts a 100-degree field of view, twice as wide as the previous camera-and-radar setup. It excels at detecting feature points and recognizing attributes of objects, including vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists, road signs, and road boundaries such as curbs.
New additions to the VEZEL’s safety repertoire include Traffic Jam Assist (TJA) and Traffic Sign Recognition (TSR), enhancing existing features like Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow and Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS) with more natural responses.
Introducing blind spot information (BSI) for the first time on the VEZEL, EX-L grades are equipped with four sonar sensors on the front and rear bumpers. These sensors enable Low-Speed Braking Control and front and rear false-start prevention, effectively reducing the risk of low-speed collisions.
The VEZEL now includes a Driver Attention Monitor, issuing a warning on the dashboard if it senses driver inattentiveness. Additionally, a standard Rear Seat Reminder alerts drivers to check the rear seating area for children, pets, or other valuables upon exiting the vehicle. These innovative safety features collectively position the VEZEL as a frontrunner in prioritizing the well-being and attentiveness of both drivers and passengers.