According to some media reports, Honda has started development on two new SUVs. There will be a new compact SUV and a new mid-size SUV. The name of the new models is not yet known. The new SUVs are expected to launch sometime in 2023.
The compact SUV will share its underpinnings with the Honda Jazz premium hatchback. It will replace the current WR-V crossover which is currently on sale. WR-V is not doing so well in the Indian market because competitors have better styling as they look like compact SUVs whereas WR-V looks more like a crossover.
So, expect it to share the same platform and engine options. There would be petrol and diesel engine on offer. The current 1.2-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine of Honda Jazz produce 90 PS of max power and 110 Nm of peak torque. This engine might feel a bit underpowered for the new compact SUV.
So, we expect Honda to use a different engine or a turbo petrol engine that can produce more than 100 PS of max power. The diesel engine will stay the same with 1.5-litre of capacity. It will produce 100 PS of max power and 200 Nm of peak torque. The transmission options will include a 5 or 6-speed manual gearbox and a CVT automatic transmission.
Earlier, it was reported that Honda has scrapped the plan of developing a compact SUV. So, it might happen that the new compact SUV only goes on sale in the international markets. If the compact SUV comes to India then it will compete against the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Hyundai Venue, Kia Sonet, Renault Kiger, Nissan Kicks, Tata Nexon, Toyota Urban Cruiser and Mahindra XUV300.
Honda’s mid-size SUV
Honda is also working on a new mid-size SUV. They have also revealed that a mid-size SUV is under development specifically for the Indian market. Till now, Honda was only known for its sedans. The Amaze and City have been quite successful. The previous-gen Civic also sold in decent numbers but the new one was not able to capture the market. Because of this, Honda discontinued it and also discontinued the CR-V SUV which was not selling well.
The new mid-size SUV has been codenamed 31XA and is being referred to as S-SUV internally. Honda has already filed a trademark for the “Elevate” nameplate. So, we can expect the new SUV to be called Honda Elevate.
It is expected to measure around 4.3 metres in length. According to the rumours, Elevate will be offered as a 5-seater as well as a 7-seater. The 5-seater version will go against Kia Seltos, Hyundai Creta, Maruti Suzuki S-Cross, MG Astor, Skoda Kushaq and Volkswagen Taigun. Depending on the pricing and size, it can also compete against MG Hector and Tata Harrier. The 7-seater version will be competing against the Mahindra XUV700, Tata Safari, Hyundai Alcazar and MG Hector Plus.
Honda Elevate will share its underpinnings with Honda City. We are expecting the new SUV to be offered with a naturally aspirated petrol engine, hybrid petrol engine and a diesel engine. Sharing underpinnings will help Honda in saving some development costs.