MPV’s often find a special place in the heart of Indians, as they are very useful in our highly social communities and can be used for various purposes ranging from everyday commutes, to the weekend road trips, from the school trips to the wedding runs. MPV’s can be relied on, to do it all with ease, and as a result of all this, MPV’s are very much in demand in our country and this is leading to all the mass market car manufacturers scrambling to design and launch their own MPV. Honda too took the MPV route to win over hearts in India, and launched the Mobilio half way through 2014. Here, we have a detailed review and mega picture gallery of the Honda Mobilio.
The Honda Mobilio got quite a lot of attention at the 2014 Auto expo in Delhi and this only grew as everyone waited with baited breath for Honda to launch the Mobilio, and Honda launched it within a few months time. All the attention was rightly deserved by the Mobilio, as it was a Honda, which some consider to be one of the best Japanese automobile manufacturers and this was Honda’s first MPV in India and the best part was that it was offered with the 1.5 liter i-Dtec diesel engine, which was the engine that pushed up sales for Honda like no other.
The Mobilio was intended to compete with cars like the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga, and even the Toyota Innova, but we feel that the Mobilio did not pack enough punch to threaten the Toyota Innova. Honda already had a lot of experience in the MPV segment as they have many MPV’s in International markets, but this was their first in India and hence they decided to use architecture built on its younger sibling, the Honda Brio, which was a logical choice, as it saved a lot of costs in the R&D process.
The front of the Mobilio is exactly like that of the Brio and the Amaze, the only major difference being the new design front bumper. The fog lamp housings on the front bumper look very sporty indeed, all credit to the wing shaped design. The front design of the car neatly flows all the way to the back, with a lightning bolt design etched into the side profile of the MPV. This design element allows the car to become wider as it goes from the front to the rear, and even the glass window for the third row of seats has been contoured to give the car a stylish edge.
The designers have done a brilliant job in hiding the large dimensions of the Mobilio as, even though it does not look like it, at 189mm the Mobilio has a higher ground clearance than the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga and the Toyota Innova. Coming to the rear, the tail gate too is contoured and the split-tail lamps add a bit more jazz to the design. At both the corners of the rear bumper is a honeycomb plastic grille design with integrated reflectors, and at the bottom is, a faux diffuser, which when combined with the tail gate mounted rear spoiler, makes the Mobilio look very sporty indeed.
Inside the Mobilio, the cost cutting strategies Honda has employed are pretty evident as the whole dashboard has been lifted straight off the Honda Amaze, and the fit and finish of the plastic does leave something to be desired, but that said, it is not all that bad either. The top end variants get faux wood finish on the center console whereas other variants get normal black or beige finish interior panels. The instrument cluster includes three protruding gauges and is illuminated in white and blue which is very pleasing to the eye.
The top end variant gets a touch screen infotainment system with in-built GPS navigation and also a reverse camera. The system supports USB/AUX-IN/i-pod connectivity and sounds just alright. The seating is very comfortable and flexible in the Mobilio and the seats can be slid or folded into various combinations and has 60:40 split second row seats, with armrest integrated into the bench. The space is best-in-its-class with the Mobilio being able to seat seven full size adults in comfort, and even with all three rows in their upright position, the Mobilio has enough space left in the boot to accommodate two medium sized luggage bags. One of the major factors contributing to the spaciousness of the Mobilio is the floor which is almost flat throughout the car, which is also advantageous when moving goods with the second and third rows folded down.
Honda has launched the Mobilio with both, a petrol and a diesel engine – the petrol engine is a 4-cylinder, 1.5 liter, i-Vtec unit found across the range of Honda sedans on sale in India right now and this engine develops 118 PS of peak power and 145 NM of peak torque is quite fun to drive, as it is a rev-happy engine and asks to be redlined all day long, but the engine which is expected to sell most in a MPV like the Mobilio is, the 1.5 liter, i-Dtec turbo-diesel engine. With a maximum power output of 100 PS and 200 NM of maximum torque on tap, the diesel can be fun to drive too, but only if it is kept within the powerband, this engine does not like to be revved and to get the most out of it, one would have to use the torque wave and shift up a little early.
Both the engines are offered with a 5-speed manual gearbox which is really fun to use in the petrol, as one can shift up higher in the rev range, but in the diesel, the gear ratios have become taller which increases driveability. Ride wise, the Mobilio is quite supple and firm at the same time, it swallows bumps very easily but at the same time does not have a lot of body roll. Quick lane changes can be done with confidence and one can cruise at triple digit speeds all day long, because of the ample power available from both the engines and also because of the confidence inspiring steering feel, which weighs up nicely as the speed builds up.
Taking care of the safety aspect is the high-tensile steel used in the Mobilio’s Frame which absorbs energy and minimizes impact from any direction. Also increasing safety in the Mobilio is dual front airbags and Anti-lock Braking system (ABS) with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD).
Honda had a winner in the form of the Mobilio, and they have been reaping the benefits ever since the launch and they rightly deserve this, as the Mobilio is one of the best MPV’s in India today.
Car Courtesy: Whitefield Motors (P) Ltd
Sales Team: +91 – 9845008060
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