Honda’s new compact SUV will target segment stalwarts like the Hyundai Creta and Kia Seltos.
Back when the Amaze got a facelift, Honda let slip its future plans for India and one of the key points was a compact SUV to take on runaway successes like the Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, and, the more recent duo of Skoda Kushaq and Volkswagen Taigun.
It is now reported that there is an established timeline for the SUV to go into production, and that we will see it in Honda showrooms sometime in the first half of 2023. Honda will be keen to bring this SUV to life as quickly as possible, as the City hybrid will be its only major launch this year.
Now there are some speculations to make as far as the powertrain is concerned. Honda could choose to plonk in the 1.5-litre i-VTEC motor found in the City, and while its 119bhp would be enough for an SUV, the 145Nm of torque could prove to be a bit of a let-down. Nonetheless, the Vitara Brezza makes do with 138Nm of torque from a similarly sized motor and that’s a fun engine to rev!
Another great option for Honda would be to use the hybrid setup from the City e:HEV, aka, the City hybrid. It makes 124bhp and 253Nm, numbers which are more suited to an SUV. However, we also feel Honda should also introduce a diesel engine, the 1.6-litre diesel that was found in the CR-V and the Civic in particular. One might think these many engines might be overkill, but let’s face it, coming in so late Honda will need an ace in the hole and these engine options to cater to different demands will definitely be one way to go.
While this is a shot in the dark, the styling of the upcoming Honda SUV could be based on the BR-V sold in other Asian markets. As far as features are concerned, the usual suspects are 6 airbags, a digital instrument cluster, a sunroof, ventilated seats, a big infotainment screen with wireless smartphone connectivity and more. Honda could choose to differentiate itself by offering ADAS features also found on the hybrid City. No other car in the segment apart from the MG Astor offers ADAS and it would be a big plus for Honda.
All of this won’t come cheap and we are expecting Honda to price the SUV anywhere between Rs 11 lakh and Rs 18 lakh, but as its launch is still a little while away, these numbers could go up or down.