MPVs are all about space and Honda has given the Mobilio a leg up. Its 2,650 mm wheelbase is 245 mm longer than the Amaze’s, which itself has a longer wheelbase than the Brio.
Compact seven-seat MPVs lend themselves well to the Indian market. Not too large for city traffic, car-like to drive and spacious enough—they have considerable appeal. Yes, seven-seat SUVs are probably more appealing, but they are much larger, heavier, more cumbersome to drive and mostly more expensive too.
The Maruti Ertiga, the first of these hatchback-based compact MPVs, came in last year and created quite a sensation. Based on the Swift, it was able to carry seven passengers, but it was also compact, affordable and easy to drive.
Now, Honda wants to get in on the action with the new Brio-based Mobilio, its recently shown seven-seater. Unveiled in Indonesia, one of the largest markets for cars like these, the Mobilio uses a longer wheelbase to give it more space, just like the Ertiga.
Honda has made sure its seven-seater looks very different from the Brio hatch and the Amaze saloon. The front does resemble the Brio, as the basic proportions are similar, but a wider grille and a sportier new chin give the nose an all-new look.
Honda has also used many visual tricks to help mask the car’s length and van-like proportions. There’s a kink in the window line, two upward moving cuts along the side of the body, massively flared wheel-arches and even a ‘floating’ design for the rear pillar of the car, the latter achieved using part sheet metal and part blacked-out glass. Big wheels hide the back of the body and complete the picture. The Mobilio looks best from the rear though—the wraparound look of the rear windscreen, the flared haunches, the big tail-lights and the attractive split at the bottom looking just stunning.
But MPVs are all about space, and Honda has really given the Mobilio a leg up here. The Mobilio’s 2,650 mm wheelbase is 245 mm longer than even the Amaze’s, which itself has a longer wheelbase than the Brio. This should give the compact MPV plenty of space, especially considering how good Honda is when it comes to interior packaging. What’s important to note, however, is that Maruti’s Ertiga has an even longer wheelbase—at 2,740 mm. The Mobilio fights back with a longer overall length and a roofline that has also been changed to create