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Old 21st July 2014, 08:19   #1
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Default Honda Mobilio : Official Review

The Honda Mobilio has been launched in India at a price of between Rs. 6.49 - 10.86 lakhs (ex-Delhi).

What you'll like:

• Great choice of engines. Both - the diesel & petrol - are fast and fuel-efficient
• Suspension offers compliant ride quality & neutral handling. 189 mm of ground clearance is a big plus
• Light controls, slick gearshift and easy maneuverability for the city. Effortless to drive
• 1st & 2nd row of seats have ample leg & headroom. Middle row beats most C2 segment sedans
• 3rd-row access is easier than in the Ertiga. 3rd row fold-down doesn't affect 2nd row space (like the Ertiga)
• Practical 223 liter boot with all seats up. 521 liters of capacity with the last row folded away
• Honda's reliability & fuss-free ownership experiences

What you won't:

• Low 3rd-row seat is best for kids or occasional usage only. This isn't a full time 7-seater
• Noticeably more expensive than the Maruti Ertiga
• The Brio's unconventional dashboard & interior design are too basic for this class of car
• Front styling is identical to its smaller siblings. Face should have been differentiated
• i-DTEC isn't as refined or high-rpm friendly as the Ertiga diesel. Also, overall NVH insulation is poor
• Brio-level cost cutting doesn't work at this price (thin sheet metal, slim seats, uneven shut lines, missing insulation & cladding)
• Many practical features missing (seatbelt height adjustment, adjustable front neck restraints, auto-locking doors, bluetooth connectivity, full MID etc.)

This review has been jointly compiled with Mpower. Thanks to him for the expert observations & comments!

Last edited by GTO : 23rd July 2014 at 12:30.
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Old 21st July 2014, 08:21   #2
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Default Re: Honda Mobilio : Official Review

The Mobilio is Honda's 3rd mass market launch in a year (after the City & Amaze) and the brand's first MPV in India. Only 5 years back, Honda had a single product in the sub-10 lakh segment (i.e. City) and 3 over (Civic, Accord & CR-V). Today, it has 4 products below 10 lakhs, while the CR-V is their sole premium offering. Clearly, the Japanese company has shifted its primary focus from expensive cars to the volume segment. Of course, this strategy was only possible with the introduction of Honda's first diesel engine for India, the 1.5L i-DTEC. Aided by its volume cars and the oil-burner, Honda has more than doubled its sales figures and is now firmly ensconced at the no.4 position in our market. It even snatched the no.3 podium spot from Mahindra in June 2014. To put things in perspective, consider this: Honda was at position 9 in March 2011 (related thread (Honda India : The Way Forward)). The product onslaught isn't over yet. The new Jazz is going to be positioned against the premium i20 and there is talk of a compact SUV too.

BHPian Gordon had spotted the 1st-gen Mobilio way back in 2006 at a Honda showroom in Mumbai. It was part of customer clinics & market research. Too boxy, glad Honda didn't launch the 1st-gen here:

Maruti has a hatchback (Swift), compact sedan (Dzire) and 7-seater MPV (Ertiga) built on the same platform. Taking a leaf out of that book, the Mobilio shares its underpinnings with the Brio & Amaze. Do note these 3 budget Hondas are built for emerging markets only, and not the developed nations. This is actually the 2nd gen Mobilio; the 1st gen was sold from 2001 to 2008 in markets like Japan, Australia, Thailand & Malaysia. Like the Amaze, the Mobilio will be manufactured at Honda's Greater Noida facility which is already running at full steam. The 1st year's production is going to be in the range of 45,000 units (or 3750 / month) while the localisation level is ~90%.

The Ertiga & Mobilio are the new breed of midsize MPVs with a monocoque construction under their skin. Not everyone wants to drive a large & unwieldy 7-seater around town everyday...these are a size smaller than traditional body-on-frame UVs like the Xylo, Tavera & Innova. Monocoque UVs are also lighter, incredibly car-like to drive and offer superior road manners. That said, they aren't as tough as the ladder frame UVs, especially in load carrying and rough road applications. While commercial users will undoubtedly stick to conventional UVs, it's the personal user that the compact MPV has square in its sight. Cross-shopping across segments is commonplace in India, and the target customers include those who are considering a C segment sedan. There will be inevitable product overlap between the Mobilio & Honda's own sedan offerings. The company expects healthy demand from Tier 2 & 3 cities / small towns for its MPV. The Mobilio is perhaps a more relevant product for these markets than the very urban Honda City.

Honda Mobilio : Official Review-honda-mobilio-specifications.png

Honda Mobilio : Official Review-honda-mobilio-price.png

The Mobilio's edgy design looks contemporary. It's not 'van-like' boring at all and that's a good thing. The styling should appeal to mass market tastes. Personally, I think it lacks symmetry and there's no denying that the designers went overboard with creases & cuts. I prefer the cleaner, more proportionate look of the Ertiga. The Mobilio's face is identical to that of the Brio & Amaze. Honda should have changed the headlamps & grille, as Maruti did with the Ertiga. The Mobilio's bumper & radiator grille are slightly different from its smaller siblings, but not enough to create a unique identity. Viewed independently, the Mobilio is actually a decent looker, although an 8 - 10 lakh MPV being so similar to a 4 lakh hatchback won't go down too well with showroom visitors. The Mobilio's 2652 mm wheelbase is 247 mm longer than the Amaze' while the overall length has shot up by nearly 400 mm. This is immediately evident from the side view. The rear door is truly XL-size (along with the window)!! You'll notice the Mobilio sits surprisingly low and is actually more of a station wagon than an MPV. The rear & rear 3-quarter views are the best to view the Mobilio in. The styling here reminds me of the Mitsubishi Outlander, very nice & smart. Overall, I'd say the Mobilio looks good from some angles and not so from others. Mpower loved the dark maroon colour, saying that it made the Mobilio feel premium, although I liked it in the lighter shades. Honda will be offering 7 colour options to choose from.

Despite having larger engines, the Mobilio's kerb weight is lower than that of the Ertiga. It's a light car and feels so. The doors shut with a tinny clunk you'd only associate with economy cars from Japan. The sheet metal does feel awfully thin for the segment. 4-lakh rupee Brio owners won't complain of this factor as much as 8-lakh rupee Mobilio customers will. Then, there are the wide panel gaps around the tail-gate area which aren't expected on a Honda. On the flip side, paint quality is topnotch and finish levels are mostly good (rough edges are hidden away where non-enthusiasts won't notice them).

Honda Mobilio : Official Review-honda-mobilio-features.png

Rear 3-quarter is nice. The Mobilio looks good for an MPV, even if it's more 'estate' than MPV:

Front is identical to its cheaper siblings, the Brio & Amaze, save for a couple of small changes. Honda should've given it a more unique face. This won't go down too well with potential customers. Bumper & air-dam treatment are superior to the plasticky effect of the Amaze:

Smart rear reminds me of the Mitsubishi Outlander:

Short bonnet & bulky rear are out of sync with each other. Longer wheelbase & large rear door evident from the side view. Might not look it, but the Mobilio is shorter than the Honda City:

Almond shaped headlamps:

Housing is different, yet the actual foglamp is the same as the Amaze:

All 3 siblings get different grille treatment. Although I found the fat chrome grille to be garish, another reviewer liked it. With every new launch, these chrome strips seem to get thicker & thicker:

No dog bar, with the air-con condensor far out in the front. There is another horn unit placed elsewhere in the engine bay:

Single washer throws out 3 jets of water. Works well:

Ugh, cost-cutting means no rubber beading on the side of the windshield. This could be a contributor to the wind noise. In this picture, notice the uneven panel gap at the base of the A-pillar:

Beefed up wheel arches:

The Mobilio gets 185/65 R15 tyres (Amaze = 175/65 R14) with taller sidewalls. This wheel & tyre upsize is responsible for most of the ground clearance increase. Unlike the awful MRF ZVTVs of the Amaze, the new generation of Bridgestone B250s offers decent traction by OEM rubber standards. They run loud though:

Front wheel well gets partial cladding, rear has absolutely nothing! Cost-cutting again. This contributes to the excessive road noise at the back:

Thin doors shut with a tinny clunk. Feel extremely light:

The cheaper Amaze gets integrated blinkers on its ORVMs, but not the Mobilio? Strange:

Massive rear door has two creases, with the lower one being subtler:

This unique kink brings the window line lower:

Roof antenna mounted toward the rear. No ribbed roof section, as we usually see with the new generation of lightweight automobiles:

Sharp BMW-esque taillights look awesome! That said, they don't match with the curvy headlamps at the front:

Like the way in which the rear window glass section merges with the windshield, giving the D-pillar a glossy black bottom:

Black inserts succeed in breaking the mass of the bumper:

Panel gaps around the tail-gate area are big & inconsistent. Seriously unexpected on a Honda:

Tail-gate doesn't open up too high. Those of medium-height should be able to pull it back down without issue:

Alongside target no.1. Maruti gave the Ertiga a different face than the Swift & Dzire:

The Mobilio has more length & lesser height. The Honda's design is edgy, the Ertiga is clean:

Ertiga's simple rear with tiny taillights is awfully boring:

A look at the Mobilio in a darker body shade:

Parked next to a traditional UV to illustrate it's relatively low slung design:

Last edited by GTO : 24th July 2014 at 09:53.
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Old 21st July 2014, 08:21   #3
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Default Re: Honda Mobilio : Official Review

Interiors - Front

NOTE: After the media drive, Honda decided to remove the cheesy wooden dashboard panels, artificial leather seat covers, buggy touchscreen stereo & illuminated door sills from the equipment list. Kindly ignore them in the pictures.

The interiors at the front are almost identical to that of the Amaze / Brio, with most changes found at the rear of the car. The Amaze's spartan dashboard looks awfully basic for an MPV whose top diesel variant will nudge 10 lakh rupees. This will be a common area of complaint with Mobilio owners. There isn't a doubt that the Maruti Ertiga's fascia is more complete and a superior overall design. The Mobilio gets a black & beige colour combination with silver accents. This colour palette is similar to other Hondas sold in India and remains popular with customers. Unlike the Amaze's beige carpeting, the Mobilio has black flooring which is easier to clean & far more practical to live with (note: Mobilio RS variant gets beige carpets).

Overall part quality is just about acceptable, nothing more. A Rs. 4 lakh Brio owner won't complain about this as much as a Rs. 8 lakh Mobilio customer will. After all, expectations are different at a higher price point. The interiors are well-screwed together and feel durable. Obviously, there isn't a soft touch dashboard in here, and the Ertiga's cabin provides a better ambience. Like all Hondas and Toyotas, there are no serious ergonomic faults, with the Mobilio coming across as very user-friendly. You feel at home within 5 minutes of driving the car. The dashboard might look basic, yet it is very functional. The steering is a standard 3-spoke design; it's small and wonderful to hold. No, it doesn't get leather cladding, but the soft touch rubber feels high quality. Strangely, the stereo is angled towards the front passenger and away from the driver! Some drivers might need to stretch their left arm to access the stereo controls. As is typical with Hondas, most buttons are from the XL-size parts bin, including the ones for the air-conditioner & stereo (of lower variants). Even the outdated fresh air <-> recirculate slider is big. If you have driven a Honda before, you'll find familiarity with the meter fonts. While the Brio & Amaze had orange illumination on the console, the Mobilio uses blue instead. The meter cluster stays illuminated during the day. Under direct sunlight however, there is some amount of glare on the speedometer, thus requiring a second look at times. The basic MID only has a single trip meter and fuel consumption data. A distance-to-empty counter is missed.

The driver sits slightly higher than in the Amaze, albeit low by MPV standards. The A-pillar is thick but doesn't obstruct visibility that much, partly due to the low positioning of the ORVMs (wing mirrors). Frontal & lateral views are topnotch, although rearward visibility is a pain. The thick D-pillars & small rear windscreen greatly limit your view. Things only get worse when the rear seats are carrying passengers. You'll do well in watching out for motorcycles & the like parked close to you. Parking sensors or a reversing camera will be popular accessories for this vehicle. The ORVMs are appropriately sized and have a wide field of view. The interior mirror, on the other hand, is narrower than what I usually prefer.

The thin front seats have integrated head restraints (cost-cutting). They protrude out enough for you to comfortably rest your head on, from time to time. It's strange that the 2nd & 3rd seat rows get adjustable neck restraints, but not the front chairs!! The seats offer decent support (including in the lumbar area) and have excellent knee room, thanks to their long travel range & the scooped-in dashboard (the glovebox is placed far from the front passenger's knees). They can accommodate both, the shortest & tallest amongst us. At 5'10'', I actually had to move the seat one notch ahead for my ideal driving position. One useful feature owners will miss is a driver armrest which elevates comfort levels on long drives (just what MPVs are built for). Cabin width is limited as the Mobilio is based on what is a small hatchback after all. Still, it does feel bright and airy due to the greenhouse. Seatbelt height adjustment - a convenience offered by cheaper cars - is conspicuous by its absence in the Mobilio.

The glove compartment is medium-sized, although its large lid would have you believe otherwise. The front door pockets are wide and can hold 1 liter bottles. Two large cup-holders and a storage bin are placed right ahead of the gear lever. Then, there is the large cubicle / bottle holder between the front seats. The rear doors have an even bigger pocket & bottle holder. Both front seats get useful seat-back pockets.

The air-conditioner did a fair job of keeping the cabin cool when it got sunny outside. Note that it kept us comfortable, but didn't chill us to the bones. I'm surprised Honda isn't offering a climate control system on the Mobilio (note: even the Ertiga doesn't), would've helped in making the dashboard feel more premium. The rear air-con is an absolute requirement in a cabin of this size; those buying lower variants without the rear unit will definitely miss it. All of the four (dashboard) rotary A/C vents can be adjusted any way you like. They also have a 'full close' function that, unfortunately, doesn't really shut them airtight. Some amount of cool air finds its way through anyway. While the front air-con isn't too loud, the rear air-con on blower level 3 can get prominent. Best to keep it at level 2.

In our press vehicles, the touchscreen system had serious issues with the display & reflection levels. Honda said they're going to offer the Amaze's simple head-unit instead. No CD player, you have to choose from USB, AUX or FM as your music source. The USB cable is placed near the front cup holders, while the Aux-in is located on the HU itself. Fitting an after-market head-unit won't require a dash kit. Front speakers have the usual location on the doors. However, the rear speakers are located all the way back, next to the 3rd row seat (and not the 2nd row door). Sound quality is standard OEM fare, nothing to write home about.

Brio's unconventional dashboard looks terribly basic in the Mobilio. Will be a significant source of complaint. Honda's done a u-turn and this gawdy wood finish (thank God!) won't make it to customer cars:

High quality steering wheel is fabulous to hold:

Zooming in on the integrated audio controls. Stereo buttons only, nothing for smartphones:

Meters stay illuminated during the day. Mobilio gets blue backlighting (Amaze = orange). Speedometer suffers from glare at noon:

Instrument console looks too simple for this segment of cars. Spartan MID only has a single trip meter and average FE data. No distance to empty counter:

Indicator stalks feel durable:

A close look at the much discussed faux wood finish. Luckily, it won't be making its way to production cars:

Awkward placement of the front foglight button (next to the air-con controls). It's usually on the control stalks or to the driver's right:

Press cars were kitted with an aftermarket-feeling touchscreen headunit. It suffered too many bugs: sluggish to operate, excessive glare making the screen unreadable and more. Honda's ditched this HU:

What you'll get instead is the basic stereo of the Amaze (picture taken from its review). No CD player, choose from USB, AUX or FM as your music source. Bluetooth connectivity is conspicuous by its absence in an 8 - 9 lakh vehicle! USB cable is placed near the front cup holders (Amaze picture link), while the Aux-in is located on the HU itself. Fitting an after-market headunit won't require a dash kit:

Large air-conditioner controls. No climate control. Slider for recirculate <-> fresh air mode feels outdated:

Between the recirculate <-> fresh air slider is a light that illuminates the front cup holder area:

Jazz' golf ball gearshift knob. Light & easy to engage gears:

2 cup-holders, a storage cubicle & 12v power socket ahead of the gear lever. USB port wire will be dangling around here (sample picture from the Amaze report):

Wheel well has adequate width. No dead pedal, though there is space for your left foot to rest:

Fret not, only the RS variant has the beige carpets pictured above. The regular trims get more practical black carpeting:

Thin front seats offer decent support. Integrated head restraints are a cost-cutting measure. These leather seat covers have been dropped from the equipment list (link to picture of fabric seats from the Amaze). That's a welcome move as the fabric seats are more comfortable:

Seats are awfully thin. If a rear passenger is short on legroom, you can feel his knees through the backrest:

Driver's seat height adjustment has a healthy 50 mm range. Keeps the shortest of drivers happy:

The front side of the rear air-con. Unit sucks in air from here:

A peek inside. Yep, it has an evaporator and is a proper air-conditioner (not merely a blower like the Sunny):

Nice looking door panel. Pocket has a 1-liter bottle holder:

Driver's window gets auto-down function (not auto-up). Round button (on the top left) electrically folds in / out the ORVMs. That central locking button is one you'll be using frequently...the Mobilio doesn't have auto-locking doors!

Chrome-ringed air vents look classy. Vent design allows you to direct air flow any way you like. None of the 4 vents get independent air flow control:

Both sun visors get well-sized vanity mirrors:

Lack of height-adjustable seatbelts at this price point is shocking:

Glovebox isn't particularly accommodating. Ignore the AUX / USB / iPod wires (they're part of the touchscreen head-unit that's now deleted from the equipment list):

Check out the difference in panel gaps at the top & bottom of the glovebox...

...and also on the passenger-side airbag lid (top of the dashboard) which doesn't sit flush:

The handbrake console area. Notice storage cubicle / single bottle holder behind the handbrake:

In the Amaze, it had a carpeted base (image link):

Thick D-pillars & small rear windscreen greatly limit your view. Things only get worse with passengers on the backseat:

While reversing, you had better watch out for objects close to the vehicle. Parking sensors / camera will be a popular accessory:

On the other hand, the wing mirrors offer sufficient visibility:

Last edited by GTO : 22nd July 2014 at 10:03.
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Old 21st July 2014, 08:22   #4
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Default Re: Honda Mobilio : Official Review

Interiors - 2nd Row of Seats

The massive rear door, along with that wide gap between the B-pillar & rear seat, makes ingress and egress easier. Of course, the Mobilio is a low vehicle and you still have to 'sit down' on the seats. You don't just walk into the car like in some other MPVs. Also, be sure to watch your head; Mpower hit his when getting in, due to the low roof line.

There is a phenomenal amount of glass area in this cabin. The ambience is bright and airy for all passengers. Even in the 3rd row, there's a lot of light coming in. Things aren't dark or groggy at all. The 2nd row window is huge. It literally feels like sitting by the window of your house & getting a crystal clear view of the happenings outside. The bummer here is that the window doesn't roll all the way down (goes in ~85% of the way).

The 2nd seat row is very spacious due to the longer wheelbase and it has ample headroom too. What's more, these seats (two individual seats in a 60:40 split) offer fore & aft adjustment as well as an adjustable seatback recline. The fore & aft adjustment range is 90 mm. Slide it all the way back and legroom is comparable to some D1 segment sedans. Though if you're feeling generous to 3rd row passengers and slide the 2nd row all the way forward, then the legroom becomes B-segment hatchback like. With the 2nd row all the way back, I (height 5'10") had ample space sitting behind a 5'9" driver. With the seatback reclined and the armrest down, you could say that I was 'totally chilling'. Few C2 sedans can match the space offered here, except perhaps for the Sunny & Manza. It beats the Ertiga...a major disadvantage of the Maruti is how 2nd row legroom reduces if you fold the 3rd row down. Not so with the Mobilio. The seatback recline has a wide adjustment range. You can choose from an upright position to a really relaxed angle (of ~45 degrees). I prefer things reclined, but the maximum level was a bit too much for me. The 2nd last position is what I preferred. It's noteworthy to mention that body roll is well-controlled on the Mobilio. This keeps long drives pleasant. Those who've ridden in a bouncy, wavering Xylo will know just what I'm talking about.

On the negative side, the 2nd row seats are rather flat. They are thicker than the 1st & 3rd row seats, yet lacking supportive contours to hold you in place. With an aggressive driver behind the wheel, it's easy to be thrown about. Thigh support is run-of-the-mill too. While the Mobilio's space can match D1 sedans, the seat's cushioning (or lack of) simply doesn't. The Ertiga's 2nd row seat is better in this area. The center armrest (connected to the RHS seat) isn't perfectly implemented either. With the seatback in upright position, the armrest sharply slopes downward and isn't comfortable to use. With the seatback all the way reclined, it points upward! Keeping the seat recline at the 2nd or 3rd last position makes the armrest more ergonomic to use.

The floor is nearly flat and there's sufficient foot room. That said, cabin width is the same as a 4 lakh hatchback (i.e. Brio), hence 3 healthy adults on the backseat is too much of a squeeze. It's best for two. The one sitting in the center will find the seat hard and the backrest flat. Mpower adds, if he were the 5th occupant, he'd rather jump on the 3rd row than sit in the center of the 2nd row.

The door armrests are sufficiently wide and they run quite long (helped by the long door). They're a great spot to rest your forearms on. The 2nd row neck restraints have just 1 level of adjustment; they are either in or out (nothing in between). The rear door pockets are accommodating and can hold a big bottle & the knickknacks without a fuss. Yep, there are nifty seatback pockets too.

The rear air-conditioner is a proper cooling unit (not merely a blower). It's very effective and airflow easily reaches 3rd row occupants. Honestly, with all that glass area in an Indian summer, you are going to need it. Passengers will have a tough time travelling in the lesser variants without rear a/c vents. Observation: It's loud on level 3 and you'll probably leave the setting on level 2 most of the time. Another one: The LHS vents throw out noticeably more air than the one on the RHS.

Interiors - 3rd Row of Seats

The 2nd seat row flips forward completely, thereby making entry into the 3rd row significantly easier than in the Ertiga. With the Ertiga, only the 2nd row backrest folds down (not the seat) and ingress to its 3rd row is way more difficult. That said, getting in & out of the Mobilio's 3rd row is clearly not a job for the elderly. Also, as mentioned earlier, be sure to watch your head as the roof line is low.

The 2nd row's seat recline lever is used to completely fold it away. Yank on this lever and flip the seat forward. It's a tricky affair flipping it while standing outside though, and we couldn't get the hang of it even after spending two days with the car. Unless you pay attention, the 2nd row backrest will fall forward & lock in place, but the entire seat won't fold. The trick is to gently nudge the backrest forward (pushing on the neck restraint), while pulling the recline lever to completely fold the seat. Good news is, it's much easier for 3rd row occupants to fold the 2nd row. They can do it themselves without requiring any assistance. Simply pull the lever and push the seat slightly.

Sit on the 3rd row and you'll immediately realise that it's suitable for children or short adults only. The seat is placed far too low. As a result, you sit on your butt, with your knees pointing skyward. There's no under-thigh support to speak of. I could sit out here for 45 minutes (60 tops), but certainly not over long drives. Need to move 7 adults for the movies? It'll do. On the highway? Best left to kids. The seat is also very thin and doesn't offer much in the way of cushioning.

Foot room for 3rd row passengers is scarce. Sitting on the left side of the seat, my right foot wants to be exactly where the (2nd row) seat latch plastic housing is. If I tuck my feet to the left, then I am forced to sit with both my legs touching each other. I could move it to the right of the seat latch, although that's not the most comfortable position. The person sitting on the right side (of the 3rd row) does have more width for his feet, but vertical space remains limited.

On the positive side, the 3rd row seat has 4 levels of recline adjustment. Setting it all the way down brings a relaxed seatback angle. With the headrest pulled up, your upper body won't complain (lower body will). Legroom depends on the mood of the 2nd row occupants and how much they're willing to move their seat ahead. Headroom was just about adequate. I had an inch of clearance from the roof. Just like the neck restraints of the 2nd row, even the 3rd row units are either all the way in (for kids) or all the way out (for adults). There's no adjustment in between.

Both 3rd row occupants get a wide armrest, cubbyhole for their smartphone and a cupholder. The rear speakers are located right next to the 3rd row seat. If the driver likes his audio loud, you'll have music blaring in your ears. The 3rd row quarter glass lends a decent look of what's outside. It's fixed though. No sliding or butterfly window option here.

Ertiga owners themselves admit that their MPV is a 5+2 at best, and not a full-time 7 seater. The Mobilio is no different. Use the 3rd row occasionally and it serves the purpose. If you need to carry 7 adults all the time, consider UVs like the Xylo instead.

Don't forget that, as is the case with most MPVs, 3rd row occupants have poorer ride quality than others, due to the location of their seat (relative to the axle). You'll feel more vertical movement here than on any other seat.

Interiors - Boot & Storage

Boot space with all 3 rows up looks comparable to the Innova! You have 223 liters of storage capacity with the last row up, and can easily fit in 1 large + 2 small bags, or 3 - 4 medium size pieces of luggage. Take a look at this image. The Mobilio has nearly a 100 liter advantage over the Ertiga's small 135 liter boot. Even the loading bay is low, thus making it easy to place your bags in. Fold the 3rd row away and you get a 521 liter boot. Another advantage over the Ertiga is that the 3rd row backrest has a 50:50 split. This offers greater cargo flexibility.

Unfortunately, the Mobilio isn't equipped with auto-locking doors and the tail-gate's security is linked to the car's central locking system. If you place your laptop or any valuables in here, be sure to keep the doors locked while driving.

Doors open wide, aiding ingress & egress:

This wide gap between the seat & B-pillar also makes getting in / out easier:

Big door = big door panel. Rear armrest is long. Good place to rest your forearm:

Larger bottle holder & storage pocket than those on the front doors:

2nd-row legroom is impressive. Beats most 10 lakh rupee sedans:

These 60:40 seats offer fore & aft adjustment (to increase legroom for the last row). The LHS seat has been moved all the way forward in this shot:

The backrest recline angle is adjustable too. In the upright position shown here, the center armrest tapers down sharply & isn't comfortable to use:

With the backrest reclined. The seat & armrest are most comfortable with the backrest at the '2nd last' position:

Rear seats are thicker than those at the front. However, they lack supportive contours and are rather flat:

Small floor hump isn't a bother at all:

Rear air-conditioner is much needed with all that glass area. Air flow easily reaches 3rd-row passengers:

A window that's as big as the one in my house! To say that 2nd-row passengers have a clear view of the action outside would be an understatement:

Unfortunately, the window doesn't roll all the way in:

Rear cabin lamp is placed right above the 2nd-row neck restraints. Speaking of which, the neck restraints are adjustable on the 2nd & 3rd row of seats (but not on the 1st row):

The Mobilio indeed has 2 seatback pockets (concealed by the covers here). Take a look at them in this image:

The 2nd row tumbles away for allowing entry to the 3rd row. This makes things easier than in the Ertiga where only the backrest folds down (image link):

Yes, seats on both sides can tumble. No lock or strap to hold them in this position (you aren't supposed to drive around with the 2nd row folded):

That's Mpower (height 5'9") on the last seat:

Seat is placed so low that your knees point skyward:

3rd-row legroom depends on your relationship with those on the seat ahead. Captured here is legroom with the 2nd-row pushed behind...

...and with the 2nd-row moved forward:

For the one seated on the left side, foot room is scarce. Vertical space is too limited. Then, the plastic housing (of the 2nd-row seat latch) is just where I'd want my foot to rest:

Mpower found the headroom to be adequate:

Each 3rd row passenger gets an armrest, cupholder, rectangular cubby hole (for his smartphone) & adjustable headrest:

3-point seatbelts on the last row . Observe the less-than-ideal position of the rear speakers:

Those on the last row have a reasonable view outside. Glass is fixed:

Turn around and you'll see ugly, naked spot welds. Why has no rubber beading been provided here?

223 liter boot (with all seats up) is substantially bigger than the Ertiga's 135 liters. The loading bay is low too:

Placing a medium-size laptop bag to show the relative size. The boot is easily on par with the Innova's. Boot lamp missing:

Rear seat backrest has a 50:50 split (not so with the Ertiga):

Pull on this strap...

...to fold the 3rd-row away. Enough room to move home (Ertiga's seats completely disappear, image link):

Use that strap to lock the seat in position:

Unlike the Amaze & City, the Mobilio gets a cover on the underside:

It's super thin & poorly fitted though:

Neat arrangement of tools in the boot:

The spare wheel's unlocking bolt:

Spare is a regular steel wheel and located under the MPV:

Some areas look crude & unfinished by Honda's usual standards:

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Default Re: Honda Mobilio : Official Review

Honda has done a pick & choose from its parts bin, offering the Mobilio with two 1.5L engines. While the engine bay is the same size as the Amaze / Brio, the diesel motor & 5-speed gearbox are from the Amaze (City gets a 6-speed) and the petrol is from the City. Why a 1.5L petrol when the Amaze / Brio make do with a 1.2L? To carry the additional weight of the vehicle & 2 additional passengers. It's a similar approach to the Maruti Ertiga which uses an 89 BHP diesel (Dzire / Swift = 74 BHP) and a larger 1.4L petrol (Dzire / Swift = 1.2L). It was a no-brainer as MPVs from both car makers are longer than 4 meters, hence there weren't any tax advantages in using the small 1.2L petrols.

We asked Honda why the CVT automatic variant is missing from the list. Honda replied that they have the necessary hardware ready. However, market research showed negligible demand for a 7-seater petrol automatic. Their tone seemed to imply it might follow in the future, but the Mobilio CVT isn't a priority for now. I completely disagree. In my opinion, it would've fit in nicely with the lineup. A Mobilio CVT would have no direct competition and make a compelling addition to the variants offered. Honda has always given automatic trannys on its cars, with the Mobilio being the only Honda currently on sale without one.

Driving the 1.5L Diesel

99 BHP (@ 3,600 rpm) and 200 Nm torque (@ 1,750 rpm) on tap. To view all technical details of the 1.5L diesel, please click here (Honda Amaze : Official Review):

Full length under-hood noise blanket on the diesel. Much needed!

2 different types of flaps used to prevent wind & water intrusion into the engine bay. Seen on diesel only:

Engine mount appears to be the hydraulic kind:

Exhaust manifold with turbocharger (turbine, compressor and wastegate actuator) made by Honeywell:

Aluminum block with the oil-cooler bolted on:

Diesel variant gets an engine guard below:

Underbody shield with center portion made of aluminum (for heat protection):

Unlike the petrol, the diesel's ECU is fully encapsulated in a plastic housing:

Pump attendants - still in denial - need to be constantly reminded that Honda now drinks diesel:

ECO lamp comes on whenever you're driving economically:

As opposed to the Honda petrols we know, this 1.5L i-DTEC focuses entirely on low-end power delivery. Simply put, in-city driveability is outstanding. Turbo lag is nearly inexistent, with the diesel motor responding well from idle rpm itself. Power delivery is far more linear in comparison to the Ertiga's 1.3L diesel that suffers from turbo-lag (last thing you want with 7 people onboard). It also means there is none of that sudden punch at 1,800 - 2,000 rpm which many turbo-diesels give. The engine has an incredibly tractable nature and within town, you only need to give it light accelerator inputs to potter about. The 1.5L moves away from crawling speeds in 2nd without breaking into a sweat, and even passes the 2nd gear speed-breaker test with flying colours. Throttle response at <2,000 rpm is satisfactory, unlike the Ertiga which is still waiting for its turbo to spool up. Though it isn't recommended, I managed to pull away from standstill in 2nd with very minor clutch slipping. When driving in slow traffic, we are constantly shifting between the 1st & 2nd ratios, and this is exactly where the Mobilio blows the Ertiga away. In-city driveability is a highlight of the engine. When traffic conditions are less dense, you could use 3rd gear as an automatic from 25 kph to beyond 100! Though you feel the engine generating peak torque past 1,800 rpm, there is no turbo kick that some other diesels deliver.

Because the power-to-weight ratio of 82 BHP / ton is superior to most 10 lakh UVs, the Mobilio offers good performance on the open road. Straight line acceleration is peppy, with the engine feeling noticeably more muscular than the Ertiga's. The Mobilio is easily capable of keeping up with C segment sedans on the highway. The engine has solid grunt and overtaking fast vehicles is effortless. You don't have to worry about turbo lag catching you out in the middle of an overtaking manouveur either. This motor isn't as high-rpm friendly as the Ertiga's 1.3L MJD though. The i-DTEC revvs to a max of ~4,450 rpm. There's no point in taking the revvs that high, and it's best to upshift at 4,000 rpm tops. At high revvs, the motor doesn't sound or feel good. Surprising for a Honda engine, I must say. Just like the Amaze, top speed has been electronically limited to 140 km/h. The Mobilio diesel is an able long distance cruiser. 100 km/h is seen @ 2,300 rpm in 5th gear. Mpower preferred driving the diesel over the petrol, as he didn't have to revv it that much on the highway. The section we drove on had a fast mountain section. The Mobilio made light work of the inclines, delivering a quick run up the hill. Recovering from a stop on a steep incline is easy too, as the lack of lag means you don't have to slip the clutch. This absence of lag is a notable advantage when you're carrying 6 passengers with a full load of luggage.

If you maintain a light foot and go easy on the rpms (1,500 - 1,800 range), the green ECO sign lights up on the meter console, indicating an economical driving style. A variety of parameters (including current gear, speed, road incline etc.) are considered by the ECU for the ECO mode. The ECO light also comes on whenever you are decelerating, or the car is free-wheeling. Low turbo-lag cars usually record high fuel economy figures within the city as there is no need to unnecessarily revv, and the Mobilio is no different. Its ARAI fuel economy is 24.2 kpl (Ertiga diesel = 20.77 kpl).

The short throw gearbox with well-defined gates is good to use (note: petrol transmission is smoother). Honda says that this gearbox has been developed specifically for the 1.5L i-DTEC. The clutch isn't as light as that of the Mobilio petrol, yet isn't a pedal I'd call heavy and complain about either. It's par for the course in terms of effort required.

Honda has worked on feedback from Amaze owners and reduced the diesel's noise levels. No, it's far from the best in class, but surely isn't a deal breaker anymore. We'd say that the diesel's overall refinement levels are now 'acceptable'. The engine start / stop process remains far from seamless and there is significant shake felt in the cabin, as the engine rocks about on its mounts. Some vibrations are felt on the pedals too (most prominent on the clutch pedal). Of course, other than the pedals, vibrations aren't present anywhere else in the car and passengers won't be complaining at all. Good news is, no longer is the motor unduly loud and the sound levels are far better contained than in the Amaze. On the move, the diesel engine always makes its presence felt, yet it's not excessive. The engine note isn't pleasant though and the motor sounds rather UV'ish. As I took the rpms higher, it reminded me of how the Innova sounds, albeit at a lower decibel.

While engine noise may be better controlled, road & tyre noise aren't. At 100 kph, road noise is on the higher side! This was on a clean tar road; it will be louder on concrete expressways. Above 120 kph, wind noise is excessive as well. These undesirable sounds are so prominent at high speed that 3rd row occupants won't be able to follow a conversation between the driver & co-passenger.

Driving the 1.5L Petrol

117 BHP (@ 6,600 rpm) and 145 Nm torque (@ 4,600 rpm). Honda’s famous i-VTEC appears in a people mover:

Under-hood noise blanket covers only half the bonnet:

Unique bonnet mounted air-intake duct takes in air from the front, and feeds the air box located at the rear:

Elaborate drain gutter to catch spilled / leaking engine oil and route it to the front of the engine. A feature never seen before:

Hydraulic engine mounts on the petrol...a contributor to its silky smooth idle:

Coolant reservoir bottle weirdly mounted too low & onto the radiator. Makes top-ups inconvenient. You can see the grass below as the petrol doesn't get an underbody shield:

Petrol's teeny-weeny battery is the same size as that of 800cc engines:

Unlike the diesel, the petrol's ECU isn't encapsulated in a plastic housing:

Firewall wears adequate insulation:

Instead of wrapping the muffler in a heatshield, Honda has placed an aluminum shield between the exhaust & tyre, to protect the latter from heat:

To test the Mobilio's full-load performance, Mpower actually filled the vehicle up with 6 others:

The 1.5L SOHC engine is the same as that of the new City. This motor has been around in India since the 3rd-generation City was launched in 2008. Honda recently made some improvements to it for the 4th-gen City. The changes include different valve timing, EGR (after CAT), low tension oil seals, integrated resin intake manifold, lower friction pistons (zigzag pattern coating) and double-needle spark plugs. The cooling system has been modified with the objective of warming up the engine quickly (after a cold start). The sooner you reach operating temperature, the higher will be your fuel economy.

The 1.5L petrol makes 117 BHP (@ 6,600 rpm) and 145 Nm of max torque (@ 4,600 rpm). These power ratings are identical to the new City. Because the Mobilio is heavier by 66 kilos, and that's not counting the weight of two additional passengers, the City remains the faster car. Fire the petrol up and the excellent refinement levels are immediately obvious. It's very silent at idle. In fact, at regular driving speeds, you won't even hear the engine. Driveability is decent by petrol engine standards. The Mobilio manages to commute fairly well in traffic conditions. No owners will be complaining of poor low end torque. It's not as good as the 1.5L diesel obviously, and you'll have to drop a gear from time to time. Let the engine rpm fall too low and you'll find the response to be dull.

On the highway, there is a certain eagerness with the i-VTEC that is missing on the i-DTEC. Yes, the petrol Mobilio makes for a fast MPV. How many 7-seaters do you know of anyway with a power-to-weight ratio of over 100 BHP / ton? It has an incredibly revv-happy nature and quickly shoots up to 7,100 rpm. 2nd gear sees ~100 kph before the revv-limiter kicks in. Give it some stick and you'll make rapid progress on the highway. 100 kph in 5th gear is seen just under 2,900 rpm. Overtaking is as simple as dropping a gear and flooring the accelerator. Power delivery is fairly linear in nature, yet the motor really comes into its own past 4,500 rpm. Throttle response is sharp too. Best part is, the petrol engine sounds sweet at high rpm and has an addictive engine note. On the expressway, the Mobilio i-VTEC possesses a level of performance that can be delightfully entertaining. As is the case with the diesel variant, Honda says that the petrol has an electronically restricted top speed of 140 km/h. The press cars didn't appear to have this restriction in place though.

We actually loaded the Mobilio petrol up with 7 occupants and it cleared this 'full-load test' positively. Even driving up an incline with 7 onboard posed no issues at all, there were sufficient power reserves on tap. The petrol engine is mated to a light clutch and slick gearshift. Even though the gear throw isn't as short as that of the i-DTEC, it is noticeably smoother to use. Between the two gearboxes, this one would be our pick. Drive easy and the Mobilio should provide reasonable fuel economy. On the other hand, a redline-happy right foot will easily see the FE drop to single digits. Additionally, keep in mind that petrols are more susceptible to weight. The fuel efficiency with a full load of 7 onboard + luggage won't be anywhere as impressive as that of the diesel. The Mobilio petrol's ARAI rating is 17.3 kpl (Ertiga = 16.02 kpl).

Ride comfort, Handling, Braking etc.

Can smoothly 'handle' the curve you see right behind:

The suspension is a ubiquitous McPherson strut front & torsion beam rear. The Mobilio offers a great balance between ride & handling, and owners won't have any complaints on this front. As mentioned earlier, monocoque MPVs (Mobilio, Ertiga etc.) offer superior road manners to the body-on-frame variety (Xylo, Grande MKII etc.). The former are also far more light & car-like to drive, thus easier to live with in the city. Monocoque MPVs are usually front wheel drive (as the Mobilio is), unlike the body-on-frame UVs that utilise a rear wheel drive layout.

Urban ride quality is satisfactory. The suspension is compliant over most road conditions and absorbs bumps in an effective manner. The taller tyre sidewalls & bigger wheels (relative to the Amaze) noticeably improve bump absorption capability. We were particularly impressed with how potholes were handled by the Mobilio. It did a great job of minimising jolts felt on the inside. Ride quality remains comfortable at speed and the Mobilio flattens out bad roads acceptably well. It's important to mention that the rear is stable and there is none of the excessive vertical movement or bounciness that so many UVs suffer from. Driving side by side with a Mahindra UV, we noticed its rear bobbed up & down far more than our Mobilio. Don't get me wrong though, it's no 'magic carpet' suspension like the Renault Duster. Sharp + big bumps are prominent in the cabin, especially on the last row of seats where it comes in solid. Then, there is a certain amount of suspension stiffness that is felt more on the 2nd & 3rd rows than at the front. 3rd row occupants - because of their seating position relative to the axle - have poorer ride quality than the front rows.

By MPV standards, the Mobilio's handling is excellent. Let me put it this way: If you're moving from a regular hatchback / sedan to the Mobilio, there is no learning curve for you to master. It drives just like a regular car. Conversely, if you're moving from a body-on-frame UV, a pleasant surprise awaits you. The light steering / gearshift / pedals and compact size make it a breeze to drive within urban conditions. Parking is a lot easier too. The petrol variant's turning radius of 5.2 meters is identical to the Ertiga, although the diesel's 5.4 meters is similar to larger UVs like the Innova & Xylo. The steering is effortless to operate at low speeds and very direct in action. As the speedometer climbs, the steering does weigh up, but not as much as we'd like. It's too light at highway speeds (diesel variant's EPS felt marginally heavier than the petrol's) and you need to maintain a firm grip on it at 100+ kph. We've never been fans of OEM Bridgestones, yet will admit these latest B250s offer nice traction for stock tyres. The Mobilio's body roll is well-controlled and there is no 'top heavy' feeling. You can actually push it around corners, it doesn't even understeer too early. Within 10 minutes of driving on the Nasik highway, Mpower was at home with the Mobilio's behaviour. He put the car through some high speed turns and commented that it didn't feel nervous...including on wet roads. The Mobilio is no corner carving tool for enthusiasts, but suffice to say, it has competent road manners. An emergency lane change which would have a Xylo turning turtle is handled safely by the Honda.

The Mobilio gains 24 mm of ground clearance over the Amaze. The SUV-like 189 mm GC ensures this is one Honda you don't have to worry about scraping the road surface in. With a driver & 6 passengers onboard, we conveniently missed slowing down for 2 large speed-breakers and the Mobilio's underbody just flew through, without making any contact at all. Braking is car-like as well. Brake feel is linear & predictable. We slammed the brake pedal at 90 kph; the Mobilio stopped in a straight line, with the rear end staying in line. No sliding out or anything negative of that sort.

Last edited by GTO : 27th July 2014 at 15:52.
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Old 21st July 2014, 08:23   #6
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Other Points:

• One vehicle that ought to watch out for this new breed of monocoque MPVs is the expensive Innova. The Ertiga & Mobilio do 85% of what the Innova can at 65% of the price. The base Ertiga diesel starts at 7.22 lakhs while the Innova D-4D (with air-con) does at 10.5. The monocoque MPVs are also easier to drive / live with in urban India.

• Unless you have a large immediate family or are part of the taxi segment, the 3rd row of seats will be used very occasionally. Why lug it around all the time? For the 4 or 5 times a year that you need a 7-seater, simply hire a self-drive option from Zoomcars or Myles!

• Lack of auto-locking doors is a big, big omission. This is an immensely practical feature which costs absolutely nothing to incorporate. Remember that the tail-gate is linked to the central locking system. If you forget to lock the doors with a laptop in the trunk, well, that's just asking for trouble. I parked my laptop bag ahead of the 3rd row seat (and not in the boot).

• The Brio's price starts 40K lower than the Swift. How is an MPV based on it more expensive than its Swift counterpart??!! IMHO, the Mobilio ought to be priced on par with the Ertiga (just as is the case with the Amaze & Dzire).

• Honda can definitely price the Mobilio competitively. Remember, it doesn't have to pay any license fees to a 3rd party like Maruti does to Fiat for the diesel engine. Honda has developed its own oil-burner.

• The company's next launch is the Jazz. They insist that the pricing will be realistic this time around.

• The Mobilio gets a larger (42 liter) fuel-tank than the Amaze (35 liters) & City (40 liters). It also has fatter tyres & better looking rims than the City.

• It did feel like the Mobilio is running shorter gearing than its sedan siblings. Short gearing = more torque for the additional weight. The easiest way to accomplish this would be to lower the final drive.

• The front seats are so thin that, if a rear passenger is short on legroom, you can feel his knees through the seatback!

• Though the rear air-con has its own evaporator, it sucks in air from the front. Therefore, the front air-con setting (blower & temperature) affects the temperature of air coming out from the rear unit.

• Flip the 1st-row backrest forward and it comes up in a nicely damped manner. Not the case with the 2nd row though.

• Honda's marketing department did an 'EcoSport' with the Mobilio. That is, prior to the official launch and media drives, they showcased the car at various malls across the country. Link to mall schedule.

• Honda should definitely consider a 'captain seat' version a la Innova. The 2nd row seat is anyway best for 2 only. Why not optimise them? The comfort level offered by captain seats is unbeatable.

• Tumble down the 2nd row with the armrest open? No problem, it'll fold itself in.

• Why has Honda enforced a 140 km/h cap on the top speed? The most obvious reason is to differentiate between the cheap (Amaze) & expensive (City) cars using the same engine. That's precisely why the City diesel gets a 6-speed manual. Another reason could be safety. The Amaze & Mobilio are light vehicles in their respective segments.

• A single 12v outlet at the front. No power sockets for rear passengers in this age of smartphones? Better get one of these to avoid fights.

• Since the 1.5L i-VTEC obviously fits into the Brio's engine bay, imagine the performance potential of a Brio 1.5L petrol. Man, that would be a true hot hatch. Its power to weight ratio would be in the region of 125 BHP / ton....that's not too far from the Octavia 1.8 TSI's 129 BHP / ton! To put things in perspective, the Polo GT TSI has a power to weight of 'merely' 91 BHP / ton.

• In reference to the budget interiors, attention-to-detail Moderator Vid6639 makes a solid point in this post.

• The Amaze's diesel to petrol sales ratio is 70:30. I don't expect the Mobilio to be much different. If anything, the diesel's % might go up, as only oil-burners are popular in the 7-seater segment.

• It's usually easy to point toward the superior engine for any car. Not so with the Mobilio. The diesel is a practical workhorse, yes. But the petrol is also a fun, refined and high-rpm friendly motor. Both are extremely competent.

• Interestingly, the Mobilio's regular variants don't get those wind deflector flaps ahead of the tyres. The Amaze had them - picture link. Note: we did see these fitted on the Mobilio RS variant.

• The driver-side Airbag features Honda's i-SRS system; continuously staged inflation which can accommodate a broad range of occupant positions and collision situations.

• India just loves 'em people movers! Over the course of our test-drive, the Mobilio garnered more public attention than the Brio, Amaze & City combined.

• The event was held at Nasik. This highway is the best for enthusiasts...clean tar roads, with a variety of driving conditions: fast straights, fast curves, tight corners, one-way ghat section et al (pictures here). No way I was going to take a cab. Drove down myself.

• A huge shout-out to Talented Moderator Stratos for post-processing my review pictures.

Disclaimer : Honda invited Team-BHP for the Mobilio test-drive. They covered all the travel expenses for this driving event.

Last edited by GTO : 23rd July 2014 at 12:39.
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Default Re: Honda Mobilio : Official Review

The Smaller yet Significant Things:

Afterthought placement of the safety triangle (under the front passenger's seat):

Standard Honda key:

Fuel tank is located below the 2nd-row of seats:

The inboard leg of the front seat - instead of coming straight down - goes off at an angle and mounts onto the center tunnel. By doing that, it liberates more than half an inch of foot room side to side. A clever way to mount the seat:

As an effect:

These fake leather seat covers have been dropped from the equipment list. It was poorly fitted, with various inconsistencies spotted across the different media cars. More like an accessory shop installation than one done at the factory:

Clips to prevent the driver's floor mat from sliding around:

Wow, the recommended tyre pressure with load is surely on the higher side:

Remember how I earlier mentioned that the 2nd row seat doesn't have a strap to lock it in fold-away position? A slight movement of the vehicle pushes it back down. On the underside of both middle-row seats is a warning to remind you of the same:

An exposed (ABS?) wire in the wheel well. The absence of a wire sleeve is appalling. Small things like these show that Honda's usual attention-to-detail is missing in the Mobilio:

A line hanging lower than it should be:

Sweet looking door open levers:

3 grab-handles for the regular lot of passengers. No coat / bag hook:

That has to be the crudest fitment of a seatbelt-warning wire I've seen in recent time:

You'll see a stripe of beige inside the armrest pocket. Use it as a finger grip when pulling the door shut:

Lack of attention-to-detail. Here's the blower position sticker before...

...and after merely 5 seconds of rubbing it in:

Neat detailing on the ORVM housing:
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Default Re: Honda Mobilio : Official Review

The RS Variant

Honda will be launching the Mobilio RS in a handful of months. All changes are cosmetic only, the RS is mechanically identical otherwise. There's a fair chance that the faux wood dashboard panels, artificial leather seat covers & touchscreen stereo will be offered on the Mobilio RS.

More chrome, a different radiator grille and bumper:

Chrome door handles & side skirts added. The RS' ground clearance is supposed to be lower by 15 mm:

Rear gets a bigger spoiler, more chrome, some bumper treatment & a chrome-tipped exhaust:

Sweet projector headlamps with daytime running lights:

After-market looking rims. I didn't like them, although many others did:

ORVMs get integrated blinkers:

If the touchscreen stereo comes back on the RS, so will this reversing camera:

Beige carpeting:

Illuminated door sills at the front:
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Default Re: Honda Mobilio : Official Review

Mobilio versus Ertiga Face-Off

Honda Mobilio : Official Review-hondamobiliovsmarutiertiga.jpg

Honda Mobilio : Official Review-honda-mobilio-vs-maruti-ertiga.png
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Default Re: Honda Mobilio : Official Review

Chief Competitors of the Honda Mobilio

Maruti Ertiga

What you’ll like:
• A 7-seater MPV at the price of a C segment sedan. The petrol variant, especially, is very well priced
• Car-like ride, handling & driving experience. Effortless to drive in the city and on highways
• Flexible seating & luggage options. Cargo capacity runs as high as 735 liters
• Competent petrol & diesel engines. The latter offers outstanding fuel economy
• ABS available on all variants, except the base petrol. Bigger brakes than the Swift & Dzire
• Maruti’s excellent after-sales service & wide dealer network

What you won’t:
• Not a spacious 5 seater if you fold down the 3rd seat row for luggage. Limited width for the 2nd row too
• 3rd row is best suited to adults for short trips, or kids over long trips. Not really a full-size 7 seater car
• Minimal 135 liter luggage capacity with all 3 rows of seats in place
• Diesel engine carries a hefty Rs. ~1.3 lakh premium over the petrol. On-road difference is ~1.5 lakh rupees
• Even the top-end ZXi / ZDi variants don't get climate control

Chevrolet Enjoy

What you'll like:
• A well priced 7-seater MPV
• Compliant low speed ride, matched to neutral on-road behaviour
• 1.3L diesel offers excellent urban driveability and fuel economy
• Compact size & light controls make it easy to drive in the city
• Equipment list includes leather seats, dual-airbags, ABS, EBD, dual air-con, parking sensors etc.

What you won't:
• Not as well-rounded as the Ertiga or Innova. Several loose ends that need tying up
• Uninspired interior design. Ordinary part quality too
• Poor NVH insulation. Refinement levels miss the mark
• Underwhelming 1.4L petrol. Weak low end torque
• Missing essentials (MID, dead pedal, steering-mounted controls, tumble-down 2nd row seats etc.)

Nissan Evalia

What you’ll like:
• Light steering, gearbox and tight turning radius. Easily driveable in the city
• Fuel efficient 1.5L diesel engine is a proven workhorse
• Generous cabin space, very usable 3rd row of seats and a large luggage capacity
• Features include a colour MID, reversing camera, keyless entry/go, 3rd row air-con etc.
• Safety kit : ABS, EBD & BA are standard. 2 airbags on all, except the lowest variant

What you won’t:
• Boxy looks & sliding rear doors give it a commercial van look & feel
• Middle row missing basics like roll-down windows and door armrests
• Small 1.5L engine has mediocre highway performance. Overtaking needs to be carefully planned
• Thin 165/80 R14 tyres are a joke on an MUV of this size
• Nissan's patchy dealer network & service quality

Mahindra Xylo

What you’ll like:
• A 7-seater UV at the price of entry-level sedans
• Robust, abuse-friendly build & construction. Rough road friendly
• Very spacious! Interior ranks high on practicality
• Diesel engine is fast, torquey & fuel-efficient
• Features include voice control, reverse parking aid, dual front armrests, lumbar adjustment etc.

What you won’t:
• Awkward styling. Design isn't proportionate either
• Bouncy ride quality. Unsettled over any type of surface
• Driving experience marred by excessive body roll and a slow, numb steering
• Lacks quality & finesse
• Mahindra's after-sales service remains a gamble

Tata Aria

What you’ll like:
• Solid body-on-frame construction. Seemingly robust
• Futuristic styling, especially the face. Good street presence
• Spacious 1st & 2nd seat rows. Interior quality a big leap ahead for Tata
• Balanced road behaviour. Strong brakes too
• Premium level of equipment. Many segment firsts, including AWD
• Safety : Traction control, ABS, 6 airbags & all-round disc brakes

What you won't:
• AWD variants are very expensive
• Third row of seats best suited to kids only
• Unsettled ride quality at highway speeds (compared to the Innova)
• Niggling issues & problems persist, as reported by existing Aria owners
• Tata's un-premium after-sales service experiences

Toyota Innova

What you'll like:
• Indestructible build & durability. The Innova is known for its bullet-proof reliability
• Spacious, flexible interiors. An extremely comfortable long distance commuter
• Segment-best interior fit, finish & quality. Superior to the Xylo, Evalia etc.
• Diesel engine has excellent driveability on tap
• Balanced handling & road manners. Car-like to drive
• Toyota’s fuss-free ownership experience & excellent after-sales

What you won't:
• Price just goes up, up, up with time! Direct competitors are substantially cheaper
• Garish front grille design! The earlier (2012) facelift was far more pleasing to the eyes
• Noisy diesel engine, especially over 110 kph / 3,000 rpm
• Gearing too short for highway runs. Taller 5th gear (or a 6th) would've been preferred
• Service interval of merely 5,000 kms (diesel variant). Inconvenient for those with heavy usage
• The same generation has been around since 2005 in India. Where is the all-new replacement?
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Old 21st July 2014, 08:42   #11
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Default Re: Honda Mobilio : Official Review

Thread moved from Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Official Reviews Section!
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Old 21st July 2014, 08:53   #12
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Default Re: Honda Mobilio : Official Review

That indeed is a superb review GTO!
Sad, Honda missed out on things like auto-locking doors, bluetooth etc.
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Old 21st July 2014, 09:07   #13
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Red face Re: Honda Mobilio : Official Review


Thanks a ton for the much detailed review of the most over hyped car from the Honda stable. Your flair to the details and the writing is unmatched on the forum.

The Car simply oozes cheapness, the same way it does with the Amaze (Sorry no offence to any onwers). The build quality as seen in the pics (if seen in real it would be more awkwardish) is flimsy with huge panel gaps. We already seen in one of the threads the condition of Amaze when it bumped an Alto. The creases on the sides are similar to Amaze's, so would even the doors be a direct lift from Amaze? Space is the only plus of Mobilio, in rest of dept it lags behind the market leader.

Looking at Mobilio, it gives a feeling that Ertiga is VFM buy in comparison
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Old 21st July 2014, 09:36   #14
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Default Re: Honda Mobilio : Official Review

Was eagerly waiting for this review. Thanks a ton GTO.

I agree to ghodlur with respect to the cheapness perception.

The introduction of Amaze started it (no offence guys, I own a Honda too), but I feel they are pursuing it with Mobilio!

Last edited by laluks : 21st July 2014 at 09:38.
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Old 21st July 2014, 09:58   #15
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Default Re: Honda Mobilio : Official Review

Excellent review as always. Less impressed by the Mobilio than I have ever been with a Honda. The interiors are indeed a sore point especially for the expected asking price. The overall build just does not exude the kind of confidence that a Honda should. Makes it look like a half hearted job than a committed thing.
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