support and cannot seat big adults (but by pushing the middle seats forward, a bit more space can be created). However, there are two good things about the last row. One, the seats can be reclined. Two, the access to the last row is one-touch—simply by pulling a lever, the middle seat folds forward with a spring and the wide door ensures you can easily enter the last row. Then, there is decent luggage space (223 litres) that can be expanded to 520 litres by folding the third row. Overall, while the look and finish of the cabin is not as striking as the exterior, it doesn’t really disappoint you. And as far as space management is concerned, this cabin is hard to beat.
The Mobilio borrows both its petrol and diesel motors from the City. The 1.5-litre petrol i-VTEC is a gem of an engine that produces a peak power of 118 bhp, while the 1.5-litre diesel i-DTEC produces 99 bhp. The claimed fuel-efficiency is 17.4 kmpl (petrol) and 24.2 kmpl (diesel). Pretty impressive for an MPV. Both engines are mated to a five-speed manual transmission and, as of now, Honda has no plans to launch the automatic version of the Mobilio.
The Mobilio is very car-like to drive and it is only the high seating position that makes you realise you are steering an MPV. Both the petrol and diesel motors are powerful enough to haul it and the diesel engine, especially, has ample torque. The outstanding 189-mm ground clearance and a long wheelbase ensure the ride even on broken roads is comfortable. While the Mobilio’s straight line stability is impressive, the best thing is that, unlike some other MPVs, there is very little body roll in it. The turning radius of the petrol version is 5.2 metres while that of the diesel version is 5.4 metres (because of a heavier engine). And while parking is not much of a problem, we believe Honda should install rear parking sensors across all variants.
As I said, while the Mobilio adds “upmarket styling” to features such as space, comfort, ease of driving and affordability, yet its success, to an extent, depends on its pricing. If Honda is able to price it at around Rs 7 lakh for the base petrol model and Rs 8 lakh for the base diesel, the Mobilio will be a champagne on a beer budget. This way, it will