Honda opened pre-bookings for the just-launched Mobilio MPV a couple of weeks ago and the Japanese automaker is already sitting on a pretty pile of bookings that have crossed the 7,000 mark. Interestingly, 85 % of the Mobilio MPV’s bookings have been registered for the turbo diesel engined model. Clearly, MPV buyers in India prefer turbo diesel engined models, and this also explains why Honda is not launching the RS version of the Mobilio in petrol guise.
The Mobilio’s turbo diesel engine is the 1.5 liter i-DTEC unit that uses a fixed geometry turbocharger to output 98.6 Bhp-200 Nm. This turbo diesel engine also does duty on the likes of the Honda Amaze and the City car models. On the Mobilio, this all-aluminium turbo diesel engine uses a five speed manual gearbox to drive the front wheels of the MPV and comes with an ARAI rated fuel efficiency figure of 24.2 Kmpl, which incidentally is the best on any MPV sold in India.
Honda also offers a petrol engine on the Mobilio, with the 1.5 liter i-VTEC petrol engine (117 Bhp-145 Nm) borrowed from the City sedan. The Mobilio Petrol uses a 5 speed manual gearbox and although Honda does offer a CVT automatic gearbox with this engine in Indonesia and India, on the Mobilio and City respectively, the car maker isn’t likely to offer such an option on the India-spec Mobilio, especially given the initial booking trends that clearly favour the diesel engine model.
The initial booking trend for the Mobilio also indicate that buyers are focusing on the utility aspect of the vehicle, which again explains the higher off take of the diesel powered versions. A 7 sear people mover, the Mobilio is expected to put to this very use. With the Mobilio, Honda is also looking at penetrating smaller cities and towns of India and the diesel powered model is expected to be at the forefront of the automaker’s semi-urban strategy.