Honda is planning to launch its first compact MPV (7-seater) based on the next generation Jazz hatchback’s platform in the Indian car market by the end of 2014.
The Japanese auto major already sells Freed, an MPV based on the Jazz hatchback in other Asian markets. Hence, the upcoming India-bound MPV is expected to be the next generation Freed.
The Honda MPV is expected to be powered by a 1.5-litre petrol engine that powers the Honda City. This engine will however be given an upgrade of will be tuned before it powers the MPV. The diesel version of the Honda MPV is expected to be powered by a 1.4-litre or a 1.6-litre diesel which at present, is under development.
Honda is known for its spacious cars and hence, its MPV can be expected to have maximum cabin space. The interiors can also be expected to have quality plastics and precise fit and finish. The upcoming people mover from Honda’s stables will have to face competition from the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga, Toyota Innova, Mahindra Xylo and upcoming MPVs such as the Chevrolet Enjoy, Nissan Evalia and Force Motors upcoming MPV.
The present generation Freed measures 4,215 mm in length, 1,700 mm in width and 1,735 mm in height. When compared with the recently launched Maruti Suzuki Ertiga (4,265 mm x 1,695 mm x 1,685 mm), the Ertiga is 55 mm longer than the Freed but the Freed is 5 mm wider and 40 mm taller than the Ertiga.
However, both the cars have the same wheelbase (2,740 mm) and hence, the interior space may not be remarkably different. It is yet to be known whether the next generation Freed will have the same dimensions as the current model. The upcoming Honda MPV can be expected to be priced starting at around Rs. 8 lakh.
(Source: Autocar India)