Honda Mobilio 2015 Review: Mo' Mobility

Derryn Wong


Singapore – 

With Toyota’s Corolla Altis being the best-selling car of 2014, it’s patently obvious that the segment for a five-seat (not necessarily five-door) car costing less than $140,000 is likely the hardest fought of them all.

Up the seat requirement to seven though, and the choices narrow dramatically, but not as dramatically as when you simultaneously lower the price by a mere $10,000. In this arena, there are really only two choices: The Toyota Avanza and now, the Mobilio.

So it’s very interesting that Honda made the car look very un-MPV: it looks like something aimed a younger people, almost hot-hatch-esque. The huge air intakes, the front lip spoiler, the main grille, all capped off by a massive rear wing, and matched by turbine-like 15-inch alloys.

The interior is more basic than the excellent Jazz hatch, and here the car’s Thai origins become more apparent. There are far less flourishes than on the outside, hard plastic and solid, stolid equipment and displays. Up front though, there’s an Alpine double DIN infotainment system which has navigation, Bluetooth and iPod connectivity and a reverse camera.  

Getting in and out is simple, thanks to the one-pull fold out seat which folds down and upwards, and although the side panels impinge on shoulder room in the third row, it’s comparable to the rear seats of more costly Continental, small MPVs.

So where it’s most important – room and seats – the Mobilio certainly delivers, although in some areas, the Mobilio feels built to a price. The third row flips upward to give more boot space, as opposed to folding flat into the floor, while the second row can also flip down for more cargo space, you’ll have to load long objects onto the seatbacks.

With the same 1.5-litre i-VTEC engine and CVT combo as the City sedan and previously the Freed, the 120bhp 140Nm powerplant does well for a small-capacity unit. Our lunch run with a full busload of people showed the drivetrain doesn’t lack for low-end and neither does it struggle to move off. It’s leisurely of course, doing 0-100km/h in 11.6 seconds, but for the segment it’s entirely decent. It is, however, less frugal than the Jazz, being heavier.

Its extrovert skin belies its nature, and under it the Mobilio offers a very basic premise of ownership – more space and more seats for as little cash as possible. Even if COEs fluctuate either way, it’s a powerfully effective buying proposition.

Honda Mobilio

Engine 1,497cc, 16V, inline 4
Power 120bhp at 6600rpm
Torque 145Nm at 4600rpm
Gearbox CVT
Top Speed 160km/h
0-100kmh 11.6 seconds
Fuel Efficiency 6.2L/100km
CO2 148g/km
Price $124,888 with  COE
Availability Now

Also Consider: Suzuki Solio, Toyota Avanza



4-door 7 seat honda Mobilio MPV petrol

About the Author

Derryn Wong

CarBuyer's former chief editor was previously the editor for Top Gear Singapore and a presenter for CNA's Cruise Control motoring segment.

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