Honda is planning to launch its first compact MPV (code: 2NH) around the end of 2014, to rival the Maruti Ertiga. Honda has begun development of the three-row, seven-seater that will be based on the next-gen Jazz platform.
Honda currently sells the current-Jazz-based Freed MPV in other Asian markets and hence the 2NH is likely to be the next-generation Freed, albeit pared down to meet cost targets in key markets like India. Hence the sliding doors, which the current model has, are likely to be replaced with conventional doors.
India, along with Indonesia, will be the main market for Honda’s new MPV, which will come with both petrol and diesel engines. The 2NH is likely to use an updated version of the City’s current 1.5-litre i-VTEC petrol motor, but the main demand will be for the diesel version, which will be powered by an all-new motor (1.4 or 1.6 litres) that Honda is currently developing.
Given the legendary packaging efficiency of the Jazz platform, the 2NH is likely to have best-in-class space, as well as good driving dynamics. Honda officials recently confirmed that the company will concentrate on the Brio and Jazz platforms in India and spawn various derivatives off them. The Brio saloon is another variant that is expected in 2013.