Seven-seater Honda Mobilio hits SA!

source: http://motoring.iafrica.com/newmodels/964953.html

Honda Motor Southern Africa has added the seven-seater Mobilio multi-purpose vehicle to its local passenger vehicle line-up.

The local arm of the Japanese automaker says that the Mobilio brings “the space and practicality of a family-friendly MPV within reach of a wider audience”. In effect, it will be competing with the likes of the similarly priced Suzuki Ertiga and Toyota Avanza.

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Although the Mobilio is able to seat seven, it’s a relatively compact MPV, measuring 4385mm long, 1683mm wide and 1621mm tall, with a wheelbase of 2645mm. It boasts a handy ground clearance of 189mm.

The front-wheel drive Mobilio is offered in two trim levels: Trend and Comfort. Each model is powered by a 1.5-litre i-VTEC petrol engine (the same as found in the Ballade and Jazz) linked to a five-speed manual gearbox.

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This 1497cc four-potter makes 88kW at 6600rpm and 145Nm at 4600rpm. The obligatory sprint from standstill to 100km/h takes a claimed 10.8 seconds, while the average fuel consumption is rated at 6.1 litres per 100km.

For the time being, there is no automatic transmission on offer, although Honda says that a CVT model should join the local range in early 2015.

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At the vehicle unveiling in Cape Town, the members of motoring media unfortunately weren’t afforded the opportunity to drive the new Mobilio, but we did have a decent poke around inside. And it’s in this area that the new Honda MPV is perhaps strongest.

The seats seem fairly comfortable, while the legroom is particularly generous in all three rows of seats (yes, even your author’s six-foot frame could squeeze onto the rearmost bench, although head-room was a little tight back there).

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The 60:40 split second seat row has a slide and recline function as well as a one-motion fold-down function, rendering access to the final rather convenient. This third row is split 50:50 (also with a reclining function). Both seat rows can be folded flat and tumbled forward to maximise cargo space. With all seats in place, the Mobilio is able to swallow 223 litres of luggage, which increases to 521 litres with the third row folded down.

Crucially, Honda says it has “learnt its lesson” in terms of interior colour schemes, offering the Mobilio exclusively with black cabin trim rather than the beige that didn’t find favour with South Africans on the first Brio models. Speaking of the Brio, we noticed that the Mobilio shares more than a just a handful of dashboard bits and bobs (from the steering wheel and air-con controls to the front air vents) with the little A-segment runabout.

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So, what are the differences between the two trim levels? Well, the Trend model — which Honda expects will find favour mostly with hotels and guesthouses — features colour-coded bumpers, an integrated rear roof spoiler and 15-inch steelies (with wheel covers). Key-operated central locking, electric windows all round, height-adjustable headlights, and a tilt-adjustable steering wheel are also included.

The Comfort variant, meanwhile, adds colour-coded door handles and exterior mirrors, mud flaps, chromed air vent rings, and metallic finishes for the door handles, gearlever knob and steering wheel accents. The centre stack features a built-in audio system (radio/CD/MP3/USB/Aux), while the steering wheel features multifunctionals controls.

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This model — which Honda says will likely form the bulk of its sales to private buyers — also includes with air-conditioning (with separate vents for rear occupants), remote central locking, electrically adjustable side-mirrors, a rear wiper, and a 12V accessory socket in the centre console, as well as a short service plan.

Safety equipment on both models include dual front airbags, head restraints, and ABS (with EBD).

“The arrival of the Mobilio represents another important chapter for Honda in South Africa,” said Graham Eagle, operations director at Honda Motor Southern Africa. “It extends our model offering to include a value-added seven seater with real space, comfort, style and dynamic appeal.

“Vitally, the Mobilio also meets Honda’s stringent quality and safety standards, providing our customers with real peace of mind, while the interior’s versatility and practicality will ensure that it delivers what MPVs do best: meet a very wide spectrum of family and lifestyle motoring requirements.”

Price:
Honda 1.5 Trend: R179 990
Honda 1.5 Comfort: R198 990

Included:
Three-year or 100 000km warranty (Comfort model also gets two-year or 30 000km service plan).

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