Honda Enters The Entry-Level MPV Market With The Mobilio

Honda wants to increase its appeal, and in order to cover all important segments in the market, Honda needs an entry-level MPV to rival the Toyota Avanza, Suzuki Ertiga, and Chevrolet Spin, and here is Honda’s answer. The Honda Mobilio.

The Honda Mobilio is based from a stretched platform of the Brio. It is developed around the needs of affordable mobility for 7 people, hence its name. HCPI’s Toshio Kuwahara states that when developing the Mobilio, careful though and analysis on the cultures of numerous Asian countries was carefully considered into the development. As a result, the Mobilio stands as Honda’s first foray into the affordable MPV segment, but as they so claim, with the excitement and a little bit of sportiness a Honda is known for.

Honda Mobilio 1.5 RS

Honda Mobilio 1.5 E

The exterior of the Honda Mobilio is clearly based from the Brio, but with added excitement from its global MPV siblings. What happens if the JDM Honda Odyssey and USDM Honda Odyssey had a honeymoon in Tahiti? They give birth to the Mobilio. The window line that mimics the lightning bolt window line of the USDM Odyssey is present, while the D-pillars with a semi-floating effect is clearly inspired from the chrome character detail found in the JDM Odyssey’s D-pillar. As a result, the exterior design is a mishmash of different inspirations that, while may not seem as a unified design, does create an athletic and sophisticated looks when compared to all of its staid-looking rivals.

The interior design is also based from the Brio, including the center console that is angled towards the driver, a clear hint of what the Mobilio possesses. The interior is mainly done in black, which brings a sophisticated and youthful look over its rivals that have a more grown up but harder to clean beige interiors. Window lines are low, especially in the second row where the lightning bolt window line takes effect. Access to the third row doesn’t require heavy use of anyone’s muscles, thanks to the one touch tumble and fold operation of the second row seats. 9 cupholders throughout the cabin means that all 7 people will surely have their smiles despite the summer heat we are currently experiencing.

Powering the Honda Mobilio is a 1.5 liter i-VTEC engine from the Honda City and Jazz. It produces 120 hp and 145 Nm of torque, sent either through a 5-Speed Manual, or Honda’s Earth Dreams CVT. I have reviewed the Honda City and Jazz equipped with the said CVT, and if you have read my review, you know how I liked the transmission because of its refinement, responsiveness, and fuel efficiency. The CVT transmission puts the Honda Mobilio at a huge advantage over the competition with an ancient 4-Speed Automatic. Yes kids, other manufacturers still make a 4-Speed Automatic for their vehicles.

The Honda Mobilio is aimed to be a game changer in all respects. In terms of interior space, exterior design, and powetrain, I believe they have raised the bar in these aspects. What about features? It is a firm yes. Steering wheel controls, blue-lit instrument gauges, LED high mount stop lamp, and rear AC vents are offered as standard across the range. LED side mirror turn signals, foglights, A 2-DIN radio with USB Audio with Bluetooth telephone and audio is offered from the 1.5 E CVT upwards, while the 1.5 RS Navi is equipped with a touch screen system with navigation. ABS and Dual SRS airbags, are the safety features that are equipped as standard across the range. With the growing concern towards child occupant safety, ISOFIX child seat anchors are standard across the range, and the Mobilio is the first in its segment to offer this safety feature across the line-up.

The Honda Mobilio is aimed to be a game changer in the segment, and in the pursuit of increasing Honda’s appeal to a wider range of customers, the Mobilio might give Honda an edge. With the Mobilio being priced quite well given its features and powertrain, especially the lower end variants, the Mobilio may eventually become one of Honda’s best sellers in the Philippines.

1.5 E MT: P807,000
1.5 V CVT: P877,000
1.5 RS Navi: P967,000