Honda’s new SUV for India has long been under development, one that will be crucial in keeping the carmaker afloat in our market. Come April 2023, Honda will have just two models on sale in India – the petrol-powered City (and its hybrid version) and the Amaze – as the brand will have to pull the plug on models such as the Jazz and WR-V, as well as the fourth-gen City, and the City and Amaze diesel. A new SUV will, therefore, be crucial in filling up the void in Honda’s portfolio in India.
- New Honda SUV will be around 4.2-4.3 meters long
- Will share its underpinnings with the Amaze
- Expected to come with pure petrol, petrol hybrid options
Expected to debut sometime around mid-2023, Honda’s new SUV will be positioned as a direct rival to the Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara and also the Toyota Urban Cruiser Hyryder. It will likely go on sale later during the festive season of 2023.
Honda midsize SUV: design and dimensions
Honda’s new midsize SUV will measure around 4.2-4.3 metres in length and will be based on an updated version of the platform used by the Amaze in India. There are, however, no other details on what the model could look like – in fact, there have been no camouflaged sightings of the SUV either.
However, if Honda’s global portfolio of SUVs is anything to go by, one can expect to see a similar design language as the new-gen WRV SUV from Indonesia, the latest-gen CR-V and BR-V three-row SUV sold overseas. The face will likely get a large, hexagonal grille flanked by wraparound headlamps; it could feature clean and crisp lines and have an upright stance with a tall nose. Honda says the midsize SUV will be specific to India, which means we could see generous use of chrome to suit local tastes.
Honda midsize SUV: interior and features
While we do not have specific details about the interior of Honda’s midsize SUV, sources tell us that the upcoming Honda SUV for India will get an all-new electronic architecture and screen system that’s seen on the new Accord and CR-V sold abroad. It could, therefore, get a 10.2-inch fully digital instrument cluster and a 12.3-inch infotainment screen layout.
Higher variants of the midsize SUV will also likely get Honda Sensing, which debuted with the City e:HEV in India. It is essentially Honda’s suite of ADAS features and will bring functions such as adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, lane-keep assist and more.
Honda midsize SUV: powertrain options
The upcoming Honda midsize SUV will come with the 121hp, 1.5-litre, naturally aspirated petrol engine from the fifth-gen City. Higher-spec trims could also be offered with the 1.5-litre strong-hybrid petrol powertrain seen on the City e:HEV.
This engine is currently imported to India for use in the City e:HEV, although if Honda manages to achieve economies of scale with the midsize SUV, it could then localise the engine in India, and that will help to bring down prices for the strong-hybrid variants. Gearbox options could be similar to what’s already offered with both powertrains in India – a 5-speed manual and CVT for the 1.5-litre NA petrol and an e-drive transmission for the strong-hybrid.
Honda midsize SUV: launch timeline and rivals
Honda is expected to take the wraps off the midsize SUV in India sometime around mid-2023, followed by a market launch later in the festive season. Upon launch, it will find itself in the thick of one of the most booming segments with rivals including the Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, Skoda Kushaq, Volkswagen Taigun and also newer models like the Maruti Grand Vitara and Toyota Hyryder that come with strong-hybrid powertrains. The upcoming SUV will have high levels of localisation, so one can expect prices to be competitive.