Snapshot: Japanese automaker Honda is likely to go ahead with the production of the Brio platform based compact SUV. The compact SUV could share engines with the Mobilio. Apart from the Indian car market, the Indonesian car market is tipped to play host to the Brio platform based compact SUV.
Honda’s purported decision to build a compact SUV based on the Brio platform has to do with the recently unveiled Vezel SUV being too expensive to build/re-engineer for emerging markets. The latest word coming in from Indonesia suggests that the Brio platform based compact SUV is likely to be built in that country and also that the SUV would share its engines with the Mobilio MPV. The Mobilio MPV is India bound and is likely to be launched here by the middle of this year.
The India-spec version of the Mobilio will square off against the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga, and will seat seven adults. In India, the MPV will be powered by 1.5 liter i-VTEC petrol and i-DTEC turbo diesel engine. As the Honda Brio platform based compact SUV is said to share its engines with the Mobilio, expect the 1.5 liter petrol and turbo diesel engines to be used on the India-spec version of the upcoming SUV.
Interestingly, if Honda uses the 1.5 liter i-VTEC petrol engine on the Brio platform based compact SUV, the car maker will not be eligible for the lower excise duty that the Indian government confers upon sub-4 meter cars. Therefore, it remains to be seen if Honda is targeting the sub-4 meter SUV space, which is currently populated by the likes of the Ford EcoSport, Premier Rio and the Mahindra Quanto, or whether the car maker is looking at the SUV segment with lengths over 4 meters. The Brio platform based SUV could take a couple of years before hitting the production line.