Honda Cars India has delivered successive hit cars in the form of the Amaze, City and Mobilio. The Jazz is up next and gauging by the big interest the car is garnering, sharp pricing from Honda is likely to make the B+ segment premium segment hatchback a hit too. However, there are two last bastions that Honda currently doesn’t have a presence in, as far as the Indian budget car segments are concerned – the entry level hatchback and compact SUV segments.
While the former isn’t likely anytime soon, the 2016 Auto Expo could spring a surprise from the Japanese automaker what with rumours suggesting that a 7 seat Honda SUV to challenge the likes of the Renault Duster and the Mahindra XUV500 is in the works. The 7 Seat Honda SUV will not be the Vezel, which has been earmarked for developed car markets. Instead, the new 7 seater will be aimed at emerging markets around the world, including that in India. Also see: New Honda Jazz India launch details
The Brio platform, which has already been lengthened for use in the Mobilio MPV, is likely to underpin the new vehicle. Given the 7 seat layout, the Honda SUV for emerging markets is likely to measure over 4 meters in length. Petrol and turbo diesel engine options are a given. The 1.5 liter i-VTEC unit that makes 118 Bhp-146 Nm and the 1.5 liter i-DTEC turbo diesel engine, good for 98.6 Bhp-200 Nm, are likely to be the engines offered on the new SUV.
Honda may have to widen the track of the new SUV considering the fact that the Mobilio is long and narrow. While the length of Mobilio could suffice for the new sports utility vehicle, a wider track will be imperative for butch looks, a parameter that drives buyers towards SUVs. Also, the interiors of the new SUV is likely to take an upmarket route after all the criticism Honda has come under for basic, utilitarian interiors on the Brio, Amaze and Mobilio trio.