Honda posts photo of Duster and EcoSport rival SUV

Honda is planning to unveil a new compact SUV at the Detroit Motor Show that will be based on the Honda Jazz platform. This concept SUV has been on the drawing boards for a while with an earlier rendition also showcased at the Beijing Motor Show in 2010, which has drawn a lot of interest. The company has just released a teaser image of what it will look like, and one can see the similarities with the earlier concept.

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This compact SUV will make it into production in the next three years and should be a rival to the Ford EcoSport and Renault Duster when launched, although by then the other two would have gained considerable traction in the market going by projections of demand for compact SUVs. Also read: Honda plans compact MPV based on Brio

The Honda Jazz itself is due for a makeover and is getting a new platform next year. This concept compact SUV will be based on that Honda Jazz platform. The Jazz is one of the roomiest premium hatchbacks in India, with plenty of interior space, good ride and handling and a peppy petrol engine. Unfortunately, it sells in limited numbers because Honda can’t make enough of them in India, as kits are imported from Thailand. The car is also slightly expensive compared to its competitors.

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Photo: Honda Jazz-based compact SUV concept from 2010

The Jazz-based compact SUV that was showcased earlier was supposed to come with a 1.8 litre petrol engine and would be a front-wheel drive SUV giving it enough heft for urban duties. This vehicle will be customized to suit local markets for Honda around the world. It’s likely that when Honda does decide to bring it to India, about three years from now, it may also come with a diesel power plant – probably the 1.5 litre diesel engine that is soon to come to India in the Honda Amaze compact sedan. That is, if the demand skew is still in favour of diesel vehicles and if fuel price parity has not taken place by then. Also read: New cars from Honda in the next two years

Honda earlier also showcased a Brio-based MPV concept at the Beijing Auto show, which will also likely go into production in the next two years and is well suited to markets like India – given the demand for compact SUVs and MPVs, especially those that can seat seven.

We only wish Honda’s plans to launch these products were a little faster.