Honda likely to debut a compact SUV by Mid next year to take on sub-4-metre SUVs such as the Maruti Vitara Brezza, Hyundai Venue and upcoming Kia Sonet
The sub-4-metre SUV segment has been witnessing huge demand, with cars like Maruti Vitara Brezza and Hyundai Venue selling like hotcakes. Apart from these two vehicles, even other contenders, including the Mahindra XUV300, Tata Nexon and Ford EcoSport, have been bringing in decent sales to their respective manufacturers.
Basically, there’s a reason for the high popularity of these vehicles, which is the good mix of affordability and SUV-like driving characteristics that they provide. Currently, almost all mainstream car manufacturers are either already present in the segment or plan to do pretty soon.
Among the latter are Kia and Honda. While the former will launch its sub-4-metre SUV in August this year, Honda will likely unveil a global product mid next year. This new model will make it to India soon thereafter.
So far, the closest that Honda Cars India has got to launching a sub-4-metre SUV is introducing the WR-V. The Jazz-based pseudo crossover has performed better than its B2-hatchback sibling owing to a more rugged styling package and higher ground clearance.
However, next year, the company will finally launch a full-blown sub-compact SUV that will be sold not only in India but also in some international markets. The all-new product from Honda will share its platform with the Amaze compact sedan. It may be noted here that the architecture of the Amaze is light-weight and flexible enough to easily accommodate different body styles.
In terms of design, the new model is expected to feature a chrome-laden front grille and all-LED lighting fixtures. It could also share some design cues with the latest generation Jazz that is available abroad. Internationally, powertrain duties will be handled by 1.0-litre turbo-petrol and 1.5 litre hybrid petrol options. India, however, could get a 1.2 litre petrol and a 1.5 litre diesel option. The upcoming model is likely to come loaded with features such as electric sunroof, cruise control, wireless smartphone charger and large-screen infotainment unit.
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