The new Honda SUV that will be launched around Diwali 2023 will be the Japanese brand’s made-for-India salvo into the hugely competitive and profitable midsize SUV segment. Now, for the first time, we have spy photos of the SUV being tested on Indian roads and these pictures give us an idea of what to expect from Honda’s upcoming Hyundai Creta rival.
- New Honda SUV will measure 4.2-4.3 metres in length
- To feature petrol and strong hybrid powertrains
- Will debut in the coming months
New Honda SUV for India: design details
Although the upcoming SUV is heavily camouflaged, it reveals certain design elements. At the front, it gets an upright nose and grille with sleek headlamps, a consistent design trait of many new Honda SUVs sold globally, including the Asia and Euro-spec Honda HR-V. One can also make out the sunroof and roof rails from these images.
At the rear, the tail-lights look similar to the new-gen WR-V, which Honda revealed in Indonesia late last year. The new Honda SUV features a sloping roofline with a tailgate-mounted spoiler. The SUV gets large, multi-spoke wheels, and a squarish design for the wheel arches.
What is also visible is a large glasshouse and a prominent shoulder line. Look closely and you will observe a camera attached to the wing mirrors hinting at the possibility of a 360-degree camera or, at the very least, Honda’s Lane Watch system.
As far as the dimensions go, the new Honda SUV will measure 4.2-4.3 metres in length.
Honda midsize SUV: powertrain options
The upcoming Honda midsize SUV will likely share its engines with the fifth-gen City, which will mean a 121hp, 1.5-litre, naturally aspirated petrol engine and the 1.5-litre strong-hybrid powertrain seen on the City Hybrid. This will make the new Honda SUV the third SUV in the segment to feature strong hybrid tech, after the Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara and Toyota Urban Cruiser Hyryder.
Gearbox options are likely to be similar to what’s already offered on the two powertrains – a 6-speed manual and a CVT for the 1.5-petrol, and eCVT for the strong hybrid.
While Honda’s 1.5-litre diesel engine would have been a good fit for this SUV, it will not be on offer, as Honda is axing its diesels in India ahead of the Real Driving Emission (RDE) norms, which will come into effect from April 2023.
Honda midsize SUV: launch timeline and rivals
Sources tell us that the new Honda midsize SUV will debut in India in the coming months, with a price announcement expected during the festive season. When launched, it will enter a highly competitive segment with credible rivals like the Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, Skoda Kushaq, Volkswagen Taigun, MG Astor, Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara and Toyota Urban Cruiser Hyryder. Sources tell us that the new Honda SUV will be heavily localised, and hence, one can expect the carmaker to price it competitively.