The new 2014 Honda Mobilio debuted in Thailand recently, and it’s creating more buzz in the Multi-Use Vehicle market than any car in recent memory. The Mobilio is based on a lengthened version of the Brio chassis, so even though it’s brand new, consumers will find the styling elements familiar and have a track record of performance and quality to go by.
The Honda Mobilio Is Small Outside But Big Inside
Honda knows that in the MUV market, consumers want more space in the cabin and less taken up by the drivetrain, and they’ve used their maximum man, minimum machine approach to give the car a roomy feel on a fairly short chassis. The Honda Mobilio pushes the wheels as far out to the corners of the frame as possible, extends the roofline straight back for increased headroom, and keeps the hood short and sporty, delivering more interior space in a small and efficient package.
The Honda Mobilio is efficient in more than just looks and interior space. A 1.5-litre diesel I-Dtec engine powers the tops of the line models, and they deliver an impressive 24.2 kilometres per litre. If you’re on a budget, the lower end of the line is equipped with an iVtec petrol mill that achieves a respectable 17.3 Km/l.
A Quiet, Well-Appointed Cabin
Of course diesel engines can be a bit on the noisy side, and since the engine is crowded to the firewall, there’s a danger of engine noise overpowering the cabin. Honda has thought of that, and has made efforts to heavily insulate the Mobilio’s passenger compartment to make driving, even at higher speeds, much quieter.
While the Honda Mobilio benefits from a quieter cabin, at high speeds noise isn’t the only problem you might encounter. Honda has kept the weight way down on the Mobilio, and at high speeds it becomes noticeable. The Mobilio has a responsive gearbox, and you can quickly and efficiently shift your way up to fifth gear, but the car can feel a bit twitchy at high speeds. Honda seems to have designed the car to perform best when it’s got more than just a driver in the passenger cabin, and the extra weight helps make the car seem less jittery at high speed, although it will take a tick or two off your mileage, and gives an increased feel of body roll when cornering.
Plenty of Power Under the Hood
The 1498 cc diesel engine gets a very capable 98 bhp with 200Nm of torque, while the less expensive but also less fuel-efficient 1.5-litre I-Vtec delivers a whopping 117bhp, but just 145nm of torque. Honda is unlikely to offer their CVT gearbox on any model, so you’ll get a 5-speed manual no matter what the power plant or cabin options.
The Honda Mobilio has lots of luggage space and legroom inside. There’s room for full-size suitcases in the back even with all three rows of seats upright, or you can fold the third row down to get 521-litres of cargo space. Honda has even scooped out a concave dish in the back of the first and second row seats in order to maximize knee room for rear passengers.
The Motoring Press Likes the New Mobilio
Judging by the interest shown by the general public and the motoring press, the Honda Mobilio hits a sweet spot between comfort, style, performance, and economy.
Buyers should expect to pay between 597,000 to 739,000 Baht depending on model and options.
Posted: 11 October 2014