If you're a party of 7, the cheapest Honda you could buy before with that many seats will set you back a good P2.348-million for an Odyssey. But now, they have a new, more affordable 7-seater that goes by the name Mobilio and prices start at only P807,000.
This is Honda's first-ever entry into the mini MPV market, going up against the likes of the Toyota Avanza, Chevrolet Spin, Suzuki Ertiga, and some say even the much-bigger but aging Toyota Innova. Honda, however, is confident that they're able to set themselves apart from the others by “avoiding a boxy look typical in the segment.”
Oooh... shots fired.
As it's loosely based on the Brio's plaform, the all-new Mobilio does share a fairly similar front end to the subcompact. But this is a much bigger machine, measuring 4,398 mm long, 1,683 mm wide, and 1,603 mm tall – making it 776 mm longer and 133 mm taller than the hatchback. With the extra canvas, Honda's designers toyed with the theme “Progressive Private Jetliner” concept to sculpt the rest of the Mobilio. And what they ended up with looks like a miniaturized Odyssey, with the added “lighting bolt” belt line, floating rear pillar, and integrated rear spoiler.
Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. (HCPI) even offers a sportier RS version (which apparently stands for Road Sailing) as part of the regular line-up. It gets aesthetic upgrades such as an exclusively-designed front grille, front bumper, and 15-inch alloy wheels. Meanwhile, the add-ons include a side sill garnish, tailgate spoiler, rear bumper with exhaust pipe finisher, and the all-important RS badge.
Honda likes to call their new baby a 'Multi-Purpose Utility Vehicle' or MUV, adding the word 'Utility' probably because of its very flexible seating configuration. Aside from ample legroom in the 2nd and 3rd rows, the seats also tumble, fold, and even slide 90 mm forward/aft. This allows for added space, easier passenger access, and increased luggage volume. As a result, the all-new Mobilio could serve both as a comfortable people carrier and cargo hauler.
But is it really a true 7-seater? The Brio is marketed as a 5-seater, so adding an extra row technically increase the Mobilio's capacity to 7. We'll let you, and your waistline, be the judge of that.
The dashboard is mostly carried over from the Brio, including the 7-inch touch screen infotainment unit with navigation. But you only get that with the top-of-the-line RS version. The mid-range V variant gets a 2-DIN unit with Bluetooth audio and hands-free telephone (HFT), while the entry-level E is fitted with a simpler 1-DIN radio. Thankfully, the entire range gets rear A/C to help keep rear passengers cool.
This 'MUV' relies on a 1.5L i-VTEC engine sourced from the City for propulsion – one that delivers 120 hp and 145 Nm of torque. At a glance, that makes the Mobilio the most powerful people mover in its class. It's also the only mini MPV to offer a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) with Earth Dreams Technology for the better-equipped variants. But there is also a 5-speed manual transmission available for the entry-level Mobilio.
Safety features include driver and passenger airbags, ABS with EBD, ISOFIX child seats, and Immobilizer, which are all standard equipment across the range.
When Honda developed the all-new Mobilio, they had one main goal in mind and that was to “surpass what other MUVs have offered.” Hopefully, they got it right.
The all-new Honda Mobilio is now on sale starting at P807,000 for the 1.5 E MT. The 1.5 V CVT, on the other hand, is listed at P877,000 and the top-of-the-line 1.5 RS Navi CVT goes for P967,000. Available colors are Alabaster Silver, Taffeta White, Crystal Black Pearl, Sunset Orange, and White Orchid Pearl.