KOZHIKODE: After its compact sedan Amaze, Honda has now impressively made a mark in the MPV segment in the Indian market with its new Mobilio. With close to 6,000 pre-launch bookings across the country, Mobilio has entered the market with a bang, putting up a tight fight to its nearest rival Maruti Suzuki Ertiga.
But, is Mobilio a contender only to the Ertiga, the Chevrolet Enjoy and, to a good extent, the Toyota Innova? A big 'no' once you have a close look at the new member from the Japanese car-maker. To put it bluntly, it will not be a surprise if Mobilio wins the hearts of those who think of Renault Duster, Nissan Terrano and the Ford Ecosport. Even, it looks a perfect option for a family which goes for a compact sedan but, of course, be ready to pay out a little more.
Coming back to Mobilio, 'basically, it is engineered to flaunt,' as Honda says. Eschewing the typical 'box-type' structure of its rivals, Mobilio is stylish and sporty. Having built on the 'Brio' platform, certainly you will notice elements of Honda Brio and Amaze on Mobilio while viewing from the front and the sides. Quite fantastically, the rear section with a combi tail lamp unit blends perfectly. Arguably, the best tail section among the MPVs now in the market.
With dual solid motion design, character lines, lightning bolt belt line and floating-roof look, Mobilio presents not only looks sporty but a premium seven-seater. The lightning bolt line, Honda claims, 'increases the visibility and flow of light into the vehicle as the rear window glass panels are lower and larger than that of the front doors.'
What looks more striking from outside is the 189 mm ground clearance, which is the best in class, to tackle the 'pot-holed' roads here. Having a length of 4.4 m, the Mobilio is longer than the Ertiga and the Enjoy, but a bit smaller than the Mahindra Xylo and the Innova. And, the exterior trivia includes 10-spoke alloy wheels, micro antenna, fog lamps, rear defogger, rear wiper with washer, chrome grille, electrically adjustable ORVMs and the like.
Getting inside, the Mobilio is more or less the Amaze. Compare to the stylish exterior, the interior looks somewhat ordinary despite the single tone and the dual tone beige. The dash board gives you a feeling that something is missing somewhere. The silver accents are appealing but the gear shift lever could have been more muscular. Surely, Honda had the challenge of finding more space in the interiors with the 2652 mm wheelbase of the Mobilio, which is less than the Ertiga. And, they have succeeded in making sure that there is 'abundance in space' with its 'Man Maximum, Machine Minimum' philosophy.
Clearly, there is no compromise on driving and seating comfort except for the fact that you have a thin seat at the third row. There is steering mounted audio control, keyless entry, driving seat height adjuster, tilt steering, accessory socket and USB port, second row air-conditioner vents, second row armrest, third row mobile and glass holder, 2-din integrated audio system and almost a dozen cup-cum-bottle holders. There is an independent condenser for the a/c vents at the rear for better cooling but not compromising on the vehicle's performance.
Importantly, stepping inside the third row is quite comfortable. A gentle twist on the lever will fold up the middle row seat, which is 60:40 split and tumble. There is enough leg room in the front row even for large-sized adults, while both the second and third rows are reclining, enabling the passengers to adjust as per their requirements. Having a long ride on the back row will be challenging if you cannot compromise on the space in the middle row. Unlike the rivals in the segment, Mobilio gives pretty decent useable luggage space even with all three rows of seats in place. On the engine side, Mobilio outperforms its rivals with five-speed manual transmission 1.5 L i-DTEC Diesel engine and 1.5L V-TEC petrol engine versions, producing 110 ps and 119 ps of power respectively. And, there is no compromise on efficiency with the company boasting 24.2 km in a litre of diesel and 17.3 km per litre in the petrol variant.So, do test drive the Mobilio, which has the style, substance and the brand value at an affordable price.
n Six colour variants, including Brilliant Gold Metallic, Urban Titanium Metallic, Carnelian Red Pearl, Taffeta White, Majestic Blue Metallic, Alabaster Silver and Crystal Black Pearl (RS)
n Has a minimum turning radius of 5.2 m on the petrol variant while it is marginally higher at 5.4 m for diesel. For, the Ertiga features a turning radius of 5.2 m, while it is 5.4 m for Innova
nTop-end variants get dual front airbags and Anti-lock Braking System with Electronic Brake Distribution
nThe 185/65 R15 tyres and ground clearance of 189 mm promise a comfortable ride.
nEx-showroom price ranges from `6.49 lakh to `10.86 lakh