The Honda Mobilio has reached dealership stockyards in India and the MPV is just weeks away from being officially launched in India, in what is only the second car market for the MPV after its launch in Indonesia. The Japanese automaker has released a rash of images, detailing the various features and interiors of the 7 seat MPV, which is expected to sit in between the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga and the Toyota Innova, in terms of price and market positioning.
In the run up to the launch, Honda has also begun exhibiting the Mobilio MPV at malls across the larger Indian cities, which will give prospective buyers a look and feel of the new MPV in town. This strategy is similar to what other car markers have employed, and rather successfully at that. Ford created quite a buzz by displaying the EcoSport at malls across India, and so did Nissan with the Datsun Go.
Coming back to the Mobilio, while the MPV is available only with a petrol engine in Indonesia, Honda will add a diesel motor to the equation in India. The Mobilio’s diesel engine will be the 1.5 liter i-DTEC turbocharged unit that also does duty on the likes of the Amaze and City sedans. This all-aluminum engine outputs 98.6 Bhp and 200 Nm, with low turbo lag and high fuel efficiency being its stand out traits. A five or six speed manual gearbox will be standard with this engine.
The Mobilio will borrow its petrol engine from the 2014 City. The 1.5 liter i-VTEC motor outputs 117 Bhp-146 Nm and is mated to a five speed manual gearbox. Honda could also offer a CVT automatic gearbox with this engine. However, the automatic variant of the Mobilio is something that is still in the realm of speculation as Honda hasn’t confirmed the same just as yet.
That said, a CVT automatic option for the Mobilio will help the MPV stand out from rivals such as the Ertiga and the Innova, both of which aren’t available with automatic gearboxes. Why, the entire MPV segment in India doesn’t host a single automatic version across brands as MPVs are seen more as vehicles meant for people moving than personal cars with a bent on driver comfort.
The Mobilio MPV is based on the Honda Brio platform that is designed for emerging car markets. Since the Mobilio shares its platform with the likes of the Brio hatchback and the Amaze compact sedan, parts are shared. The localization level is another area that is high on the Mobilio and all these factors are likely to come together for a cracker of a price tag, especially going by Honda’s past couple of launches.
With a sharp price tag, the 7 seat Mobilio, which is larger than the Ertiga but smaller than the Innova, could turn out to be the third big success for Honda in recent times, coming close on the heels of the Amaze and the City sedans. We guesstimate the Mobilio to start a little under 6.5 lakh rupees.