In these times when our living rooms can barely seat 5 in comfort, a 7-seater car sounds like opulence. Now, if you have to feel like the king of square feet on road, your choices are the Ertiga, the Tavera, the Xylo, the Evalia and the Innova. The Ertiga in particular has been pulling in some good sales numbers for Maruti, the Innova on the other hand is a proven, yet premium product. The Evalia’s design will not win many hearts, while the Xylo and the Tavera dominate the Taxi market. Honda now wants a pie of this real estate on wheels market, as it will soon launch it’s Mobilio. We managed a quick review and here’s our take on Honda’s new mobility tool for India. (Click on any picture to enlarge it).
- The design looks premium, proportionate and well finished.
- Front look is familiar, as the headlamps are shared with those on the Amaze and the grille is identical to the one on the City.
- Mesh inserts around the elliptical fog-lamps and reflectors in the rear bumper, gives it a sporty feel.
- Side profile is smart. Drop in window line increases glass area, makes the interiors feel airy and roomier.
- D-pillar is blacked out, gives an impression of a floating roof.
- Strengthening ribs on the roof are absent, has mounting points for a roof rails though.
- Tail-lights reminiscent of the City.
- The front track is smaller than the Amaze, rear track is wider, has been done to accommodate wider tyres.
- Front seems narrow when viewed head-on
- At 4386 mm in length, is longer than the Ertiga, while the Maruti MPV is marginally wider and taller than the Mobilio.
- At 189 mm, ground clearance is 4 mm more than the Ertiga.
- Factory fitted 185/65 R15 tyres, the one we drove came with Bridgestone rubber. Gives the car good stance.
- Spare wheel doesn’t eat boot space and sits below the chassis.
- Instrumentation, center console and steering wheel has been carried over from the Amaze. Only difference being, it lights up in blue.
- Electronic odometer does not show distance-to-empty. Has provisions for tripmeter, odometer and average fuel efficiency.
- The Mobilio in India comes with two-tone interiors.
- Top variant gets faux wood inserts.
- Fit-n-Finish is great on the inside.
- Audio unit is a touchcreen and has in-built GPS, comes with a separate remote control for the passengers.
- A/c vents feature chrome inserts for a premium feel.
- Front seats are comfortable, driver seat is height adjustable, seatbelts are not.
- Middle row seats provide good legroom and headroom. seating position is comfortable.
- The middle row is comfortable for two passengers, third is a squeeze.
- Third row of seats are good for short distances. Seating position is low and knees point upwards.
- No A/c vent for the third row, three roof mounted vents are provided in the second row with speed settings.
- Air-conditioning is good, although not exceptional.
- Top-end variant features leatherette upholstery, no leather option.
- Second row gets a central arm-rest.
- The Mobilio has 13 bottle/cup holders.
- 2nd row seats split in 60:40, third row seats split 50:50.
- Boot space at 233 litres is more than the Ertiga.
Engine, Performance and Handling:
- Honda will provide two engine options in the Mobilio, the 1.5 litre iVTEC Petrol and the 1.5 litre iDTEC Diesel.
- The petrol engine puts out 117.4 bhp at 6600 rpm and produces 145 Nm of torque at 4600 rpm
- The iDTEC diesel pumps out 98.6 bhp at 3600 rpm and 200 Nm of torque at 1750 rpm.
- Although engines are shared, gearing has been changed to suit the MPV’s profile
- Honda claims a best-in-class fuel efficiency of 24.2 kmpl for the diesel and 17.3 kmpl for the petrol version.
- Surprisingly, although the City, Amaze and the Mobilio share the same diesel engine, NVH levels in the Mobilio are better than the other two.
- The Diesel is the pick of the two to drive. Nose feels planted due to additional weight of the oil burner.
- Steering feels light on the petrol version, the one on the diesel feels well weighted.
- The Mobilio drives like a sedan and doesn’t make you feel you are piloting an MPV, no agricultural feel here.
- The diesel motor, like on the Amaze, is tractable, linear, provides good torque and low-rpm power. Drivability is where it shines the most.
- Suspension is firm when driven with a co-driver, however, settles down when the seats are occupied.
- Petrol version has a turning radius of 5.2m, while the diesel has a radius of 5.4m. Is a dream to manoeuvre in the city.
- Car felt firm and planted at speeds, especially the diesel.
The Honda Mobilio will be priced aggressively and will carry the premium Honda badge. It will also be more fuel efficient than the competition, and after driving one, we feel it is an excellent family oriented product. A sportier ‘RS’ version will also be available with similar performance. The RS version though, gets a body kit, new chunky alloys, different bumpers, projector headlamps, side-skirts, chrome on the door handles and blinkers on the ORVM.
The Mobilio is a pretty comfortable vehicle for seven people and a strong product. It will pose a serious threat to the Maruti’s Ertiga’s sales numbers and could also manage to polarise potential buyers of the Toyota Innova. Stay glued to Motoroids for our comprehensive review of the Honda Mobilio.