Honda has begun work on two new SUVs for the Indian car market. Both SUVs will be built on the 2UA platform of the new Honda Amaze compact sedan. This platform supports large wheel wells and tall wheels, the two major requirements of an SUV. One of the new SUVs will be a sub-4 meter offering, meant to compete with the likes of the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Ford EcoSport and Tata Nexon. The other will be a Hyundai Creta rival, and will measure between 4.2 to 4.3 meters in length. While the new, sub-4 meter compact SUV from Honda will be a 5 seater, a decision on whether to go with 5 or 7 seats for the larger, Creta-rivaling SUV is yet to be taken.
Both SUVs are at least 3 years away from a market launch in India, which means that they won’t be here before 2021. This will also give Honda the right timing, for both the WR-V and the BR-V would be around 5 years old by then, and ripe for replacement models. The smaller SUV is likely to use the same engine options that the WR-V offers – a 1.2 litre i-VTEC petrol and a 1.5 litre i-DTEC turbocharged diesel. Both manual and CVT automatic gearboxes are likely on both engines. The larger SUV could borrow the 1.5 litre i-VTEC petrol and 1.5 litre i-DTEC turbocharged diesel engines from the Honda City/BR-V models, again with manual and automatic gearbox options on both engines.
Honda is bullish about adding a hybrid option to its next generation cars beginning from the all-new City and Jazz models. What this means is that both new SUVs could also have hybrid options on offer with petrol engines. More details about this is likely to emerge in the coming months.
For now, we do know that Honda is betting big on the SUV segment in India considering the fact that the WR-V – a hatchback-based crossover – is now its second best selling car in India. SUVs make a lot of sense for the Indian market due to their high ground clearance and imposing street presence. It’s now time to look forward to Honda’s new SUVs for India.