The Mobilio is Hondas answer to the ever growing MUV Market in india, which is following in the footsteps of Indonesia, one of the worlds largest markets for MUVs. Indian road conditions and large joint families make perfect sense to have a car that can seat more than 5 people at one go. This is the main reasons why the Innova has seen brilliant success in the past years, apart from the fact that there was no real competition until Maruti-Suzuki jumped on the bandwagon with the Ertiga.
To start off, the Mobilio has an upper hand in looks compared to the Ertiga. Where the later looks more of a hatchback on stilts with a flat tailgate and extended belly, the mobilio comes across as a full sized MUV. The Brio inspired front end carry the new Honda grille combined with the sharp front bumper makes the front look sporty. Adding to the sportycharacter is the rest of the body raking forwards, concentrating mass towards the front end. While the Ertiga might look small and made from a common part bin, there are several other things going against it.
The Ertiga isn’t a true seven seater. It has seven seats but the last row of seats are more for the kids rather than for seating any full grown adult with comfort. Comparing with the Mobilio, which is a proper seven seater can comfortably carry 7 people over long distances in comfort. Although that said the Ertiga would be easier to drive in the city due to its overall length of just over, the Mobilio would be a better place to be in for most of the time-due to its better build quality compared to the Maruti.
Honda has better powertrain options as compared to Maruti too. While Maruti is limited to the Fiat borrowed 1.3-litre DdiS engine, producing 84bhp (which works great in every other car but really suffers from massive massive turbo lag in the Ertiga) and the 1.4-litre K-Series petrol engine producing 94bhp, both the powerplants are no march for Honda’s 120bhp 1.5-litre i-VTEC and 100bhp i-DTEC engines. The Honda engines are better in delivering economy too. Both the petrol and diesel powertrains are on of the best in their segment with the diesel managing milage of more than 25kmpl.
If Honda gets the pricing right, it could might as well spell doom for the Ertiga. While rumour has it that the entry level Mobilio would be priced at Rs 6.2 lakh, which is already a dangerously close number to the Ertiga’s Rs 5.8 lakh starting range. For the marginal cost Indian buyers would certainly no mind upgrading to a much larger car with better features and ergonomics.