Majority would agree that a diesel with a Honda badge is something that deserves a closer inspection. And that’s exactly what, it seems, is heading for our shores in the form of Honda Mobilio.
It has already been unveiled to the world in Indonesia and deliveries will begin sometime in February or March. It is expected to be introduced here in India sometime in mid 2014 according to Autocar India.
So, if you are out in the market for a people carrier that doesn’t look like a van but still does the duties of a van than look no further, Mobilio should fit your bill perfectly.
Maruti’s Ertiga, its closest competitor, has been early to rise and consequently is getting all the proverbial worms it could eat. Latching on to the opportunity, Honda is coming out with this long wheelbase (2650 mm) MPV which has been derived from its successful Brio.
In the guise of a sedan, Mobilio would have looked ordinary; even ugly, but as an MPV and with its fairly well laid out exteriors, Mobilio does look acceptable, if not good.
If the interiors are packaged perfectly as has been the case with Amaze, Mobilio should be able to accommodate 7 in reasonable comfort (read better than the competition), although the placement of the rearmost seat will decide how much it could carry in the way of luggage.
Although Mobilio is expected to sport the 1.5L i-VTEC petrol motor from New-City, the preferred choice in India would be the 1.5L i-DTEC diesel motor which we currently see in the Amaze. Now the most important bit here is that Amaze comes with FGT (Fixed Geometry Turbo) whereas the All-New City will get the VGT (Variable Geometry Turbo) powered version of the same engine which means more power on tap.
And since Mobilio is a 7-seater MPV which will be lugging a higher load, we expect and hope Honda lends it with the higher powered VGT diesel mill for effortless cruising.
Honda will most probably showcase Mobilio at the Auto Expo in February to assess public response. Along with you, we are also awaiting to see the car in flesh to make an opinion about it. However, what is certain is the fact that Honda is squaring up against the settled players in the market and awakening them to the competition that is brewing up real fast. How would Maruti respond; this also remains to be seen.
– By Sufi