The Honda Mobilio, the company's first MPV for our market is about to arrive in our showrooms this July. The MPV will be the first serious challenger to the Maruti Ertiga and Toyota Innova. But how is Honda planning to take the fight to these well established and competent rivals? Here's a look at five things that could give the new Honda Mobilio an edge.
Honda's new 1.5-litre diesel engine for India that debuted in the Amaze last year and also powers the latest-generation City will find place under the Mobilio's hood. The motor churns out 20.4kgm of torque but the best bit is that it has almost no turbo lag, something the diesel Maruti Ertiga has plenty of. The petrol motor in the MPV will be the same as in the City sedan and is also brilliant, known for its strong top-end.
Honda is known for its packaging capabilities, as clearly demonstrated in the Amaze and this expertise should be evident on the Mobilio as well. The dashboard is shared with the Brio and will be compact and pushed as close to the windscreen as possible, to free up space on the inside. The seats are also expected to be made slimmer and have captain chair-like flexibility.
While the Honda Mobilio in Indonesia has a five-speed manual gearbox, for India, the company could add a CVT automatic gearbox for the petrol version.
All in the build
The Honda Mobilio is based on the same platform as the Brio hatchback and Amaze sedan. This will allow parts sharing among these three models, helping Honda price the Mobilio competitively. At 4.4 metres, the Mobilio is considerably longer than both the hatchback and sedan and this should definitely translate to more space on the inside.
Honda has put a lot of effort into getting the styling right. While the nose does resemble that of the Brio and Amaze, the carmaker has used a new, more aggressive chin to transform it rather nicely. The doors share a lot of details with the Brio as well but a kink in the window gives the Mobilio distinguished styling. It's the rear that's a sight to look at. The rear posts have been blackened out and that gives the roof a floating look and the rear windshield appears like a single piece of glass wrapped around the back of the car. The large 15-inch wheels help make the car look more planted down. Here will be one stylish MPV in a segment not really known for focussing on looks.
At launch, Honda is expected to price the Mobilio MPV competitively, owing to the parts sharing with the Brio and the Amaze. It is likely to cost around the same as the Maruti Ertiga and may come at a slight premium.