11 non-expert observations on the Honda Elevate after a showroom visit

The i-Vtec was marginally more sprightly than the Creta, while the Korean engine is just a shade more refined.

BHPian TribalRoar recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Finally visited my local Honda showroom to see the Elevate in metal and did a short test drive of the ZX MT. Here are a few (non-expert) observations I made:

  1. The car looks better in the flesh. The front grille also does not look too bad.
  2. Despite many expressing their gripe over the interior space, I found it to be quite adequate for a car of its segment. It may feel a shade narrow but not significant enough to be a negative. Headroom and kneeroom are nothing to complain about if you are my height (5'10). The sales assistant, myself and a friend sat at the back (all of us with skinny frames) and the back seat just about accommodated all our shoulders flat on our backs. Not a 5-person car for long journeys and definitely not a rear space for 3 heavily built passengers.
  3. The engine did not feel too different to the other 1.5 NA engines in the segment as I did not get a chance to rev it too hard because the driving was mostly in traffic. My feeling was that the i-Vtec was marginally more sprightly than the Creta while the Korean engine is just a shade more refined.
  4. The car absorbs the bumps, potholes and undulations very well. The suspension seems to be very well-tuned and the car feels adequately planted.
  5. The brown leatherette interior of the ZX looks better in real life but will likely feel a bit stuffy after a while. I did not think its quality was much better than the leatherette of the Grand Vitara. Okay, but nothing to write home about. I would personally prefer the beige/black combo of the lower variants despite their fabric/plastic materials.
  6. Loved the opening screen animation of the infotainment system. It really imbues a very satisfying proprietary vibe to the whole unit. The interface and response also felt good.
  7. The build quality of the car seems to be really polarizing opinions. My take is that it falls somewhere between the blandness of the Marutis and the polish of the Koreans (I am not talking about structural integrity or safety here). The door thud has decent weight but somehow sounds 'hollow'. I could not get past the overall vibe of 'softness' in the car despite Honda's 'masculine' pitch. It's not flimsy but definitely not as robust as it is being made out to be.
  8. The driving position is cool and the boot space at the back looked fantastic.
  9. The much-touted turning radius of the car seemed to make a difference in real life.
  10. The raised shoulder line which gives the car a more enclosed feeling while eating into the total window area did not feel good. One good thing though is that the rear window glass goes down all the way.
  11. Lastly, I can confirm that the body-coloured area below the outline of the door-side cladding is just a paint job and not a part of its metal body. Honda has just painted over the plastic cladding of the doors. The shade of the paint seems to vary due to the material it's being applied on which you can clearly notice in all the colors. I happen to like this aesthetic touch in the car and found it to be quite petty on the part of Honda to provide it only on the top variant and leave the lower trims with the unpainted bare plastic. Anyhow, I am having it painted on as soon as I get the car (VX).

All in all, I felt that the car was a well-rounded package. It has its shortcomings but none of them stick out like a sore thumb to make it a deal breaker. Honda has sprinkled the variants just about well enough to make it palatable to almost every prospective buyer of a naturally aspirated car in the segment. And yes, though the price is not aggressive I am thankful they have not overpriced it.

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