After Grand Vitara and Toyota HyRyder, Honda compact SUV could be the third SUV in this segment to offer strong hybrid powertrain
One of the fastest growing segments with huge future potential, the compact SUV space will soon witness a new entrant from Honda. The compact SUV segment already seems saturated, with popular products like Hyundai Creta, Maruti Grand Vitara, Kia Seltos, Toyota HyRyder, Skoda Kushaq, Volkswagen Taigun and MG Astor. Citroen has revealed C3 Aircross, which is due for launch later this year. It’s apparent that Honda’s upcoming compact SUV has a challenging road ahead.
The top three bestselling compact SUVs command a collective market share of more than 75%. It’s a tough situation that any new entrant will have to deal with. Honda’s upcoming compact SUV will have to be really good to get noticed. And hopefully, Honda will choose a catchy name for its new SUV, instead of the usual codename-styled names.
Honda compact SUV – Interiors spied for first time
Honda’s upcoming compact SUV will be based on a tweaked version of the platform used for City sedan. It will be around 4.3 meters long. Based on spy shots of test mules, it appears that Honda is aiming for a best-in-class wheelbase for its new compact SUV. Latest spy shots are credited to automotive enthusiast Gaurav Beniwal.
The overhangs have been reduced to achieve a longer wheelbase. The SUV could have a wheelbase of around 2,700 mm, which will be longer than Creta / Seltos (2,610 mm), Grand Vitara / HyRyder (2,600 mm) and Kushaq / Taigun (2,651 mm). MG Astor has the smallest wheelbase in this segment at 2,585 mm.
From a design perspective, Honda’s new compact SUV has the typical boxy profile. Front fascia looks rugged with a large grille section and chunky bumper. The lighting setup seems conventional with top-mounted headlamps with integrated LED DRLs. The SUV appears to have a unique design for the foglamp housing.
Door panels have mild and smooth carvings, which complement the SUV’s overall profile. Other key highlights include sporty alloy wheels, blacked-out pillars and roof rails. At rear, the tail lights appear to be borrowed from the recently launched WR-V SUV in Indonesia.
Honda’s new compact SUV is expected to offer a comprehensive range of premium features. It could include a panoramic sunroof, multi-zone climate control, connectivity suite, large touchscreen infotainment system, digital instrument cluster and wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Honda could also drop in ADAS features to improve its positioning against rivals. Spy shots also reveal the presence of camera on the ORVM, most likely for ADAS functions and / or 360 view.
Honda new compact SUV to get hybrid option
At the time of launch, Honda new compact SUV is expected to be offered with only a petrol engine. It is likely to be a 1.5-litre NA petrol motor. Top-spec variants are expected to get hybrid powertrain based on the same engine. The 1.5-litre engine could be tweaked in line with the needs of the SUV. Honda’s new compact SUV is expected to be offered at a starting price of around Rs 10 lakh. Launch is expected by mid-2023.