Honda today revealed its MPV derivative of Honda Brio/Amaze, called Honda Mobilio. Despite being labelled as a concept, the MPV is a thinly veiled production version sans the flashy alloy wheel and fancy interior decor. Unlike the Datsun GO+ which is tipped to be on sale for less than 100milion Rupiah, Honda Mobilio is targeted to be class above that with price inching closer towards 180milion Rupiah.
Honda Mobilio does not hide its Honda Brio origin in its front end design, where the headlight and grille is unmistakably derived from its hatchback sibling. That is where the similarities end, although we could see some carry over parts in the dashboard too. The rest of the body design ends the similarities. Despite the class typical of mundane styling, Honda has tried to inject some character to the design to spice up the aesthetic. The beltline is characterized by "lightning bolt" line split, which came from US version of Honda Odyssey. This greatly reduce the visual mass that is usually associated with the MPV rising beltline. The D-pillar too is partly blackened, and the rear fascia too is much more elaborated with multi-surfacing which split the tailgate upper surface and the use of protruding rear light.
Unlike Toyota Avanza which sits on a lorry-type platform, Honda Mobilio sits on a stretched Honda Brio platfrom with the wheelbase extended to 2,650mm, a monocoque chassis it is. Overall length is 4,390mm, 1,680mm wide and 1,610mm tall. In comparison, segment stalwart Toyota Avanza measures 2,655mm, 4,140mm, 1,660mm and 1,695mm respectively in the dimensions which makes Honda Mobilio much longer than its fellow Japanese rival. Space is designed for 7 occupants although one can expect a second class final row of seats.
Honda Mobilio is powered by the familiar i-VTEC mill displacing 1.5L picked from Honda City stablemate. Kicking out 118PS and 144Nm, the drive will be channeled to the front wheel (unlike Toyota Avanza rear wheel drive setup) via 5 speed manual or CVT gearbox.
Equipment level will be class competitive. Double blower aircond will be featured, so the 50/50 split 3rd row seat, and the flexibility will be help further with 2nd row seat that can be folded in 60/40 ratio. Safety will be taken care by dual airbags, ABS and EBD which is a standard affair from any bargain basement car today.
The significance of Honda Mobilio is that it signals Honda arrival into the lucrative Asian small MPV segment which was previously played by Toyota Avanza/Daihatsu Xenia, Nissan Gran Livina and Maruti Ertiga. Will Honda later join the pick-up bandwagon too?
Photos from Indonesia International Motor Show courtesy of Autonetmagz.