Earlier, there were rumours about Honda working on a new mid-size SUV for the Indian market. Now, Honda has confirmed that they are developing a new mid-size SUV that will launch in the Indian market. This is because many people are now upgrading to the mid-size SUV segment. Due to this, we have seen a lot of new launches in this segment and Honda now also wants to be a part of it because they have realised that SUVs are going strong and are attracting more people than ever before. The new mid-size SUV has been codenamed 31XA internally.
It is expected to be based on Honda City’s platform. Rajesh Goel, senior vice president and director, Sales and Marketing, Honda Cars India said that it will be India specific model. So, expect the SUV to be first launched in India and then it gets launched in the foreign markets too because developing a new SUV from the ground up requires a lot of investment and time. So, it makes sense for the manufacturer to launch it in other countries too. It could take some design cues from the Honda N7X Concept SUV that was unveiled in Indonesia. Honda 31XA will enter production in August 2023.
Gaku Nakanishi, President & CEO, Honda Cars India said, “Last time I said that we were investigating and preparing, but now I can confirm that Honda is under development of a new SUV product specially developed for the Indian market since the customers are focusing more on SUVs and its segment share is increasing,”
Honda also filed a trademark for the name “Elevate” which could be used for the upcoming SUV. It could be offered as a 5-seater as well as a 7-seater SUV. However, nothing is confirmed as of now.
The mid-size SUV segment is a very dynamic segment. Manufacturers keep making an addition to the features and keep changing some things to ensure that their SUVs stay competitive in the segment. For instance, Kia is working on a new X-Line variant of the Seltos, they also launched a new iMT transmission for the Seltos. MG added a CVT automatic transmission to the Hector and they also gave a facelift to it at the starting of the year. Hyundai and Tata also launched new variants of the Creta and the Harrier.
Honda 31XA would be going against the likes of Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, Renault Duster, Skoda Kushaq and the upcoming Volkswagen Taigun. Because of its price, the 31XA will also go against MG Hector, Tata Harrier and the recently unveiled Mahindra XUV 700.
Honda is expected to use the same engines as the City. Part sharing is important because developing all-new powertrains would require a lot of investment and time and Honda is already behind other manufacturers in terms of having a successful SUV in the segment.
So, expect the Honda Elevate to come with a 1.5-litre petrol engine that produces 121 PS of max power and 145 Nm. There could also be a 1.5-litre diesel engine on offer that produces 100 PS of max power and 200 Nm of peak torque. Honda might retune the power outputs to handle the added weight and there could also be a hybrid powertrain.