MPVs to be the next big thing in India
Like diesel, SUVs too will continue to draw customers for years to come. Needless to say, every car maker worth its salt either already has one or is making one. Or, is in fact, busy procuring one. But, there's another segment that holds potential to rake in the numbers affordable MPVs. Maruti-Suzuki and Chevrolet are already present in this category with the Ertiga and the Enjoy respectively, with the former actually selling quite well. Now, Datsun and Honda are ready to join the party.
Datsun, Nissan's affordable brand for emerging markets like India, will launch the GO+, a 5+2 MPV next year. It is based on the GO hatch the company unveiled a few months back and is amazingly less than 4 metres in length. It carries the same face and is in fact identical to the hatch up to the B-pillar. It is identical to the hatchback on the inside too. The dashboard, the equipment levels, the seats, et al, has been carried over as is. It will also share the 1.2-litre petrol with the GO and will also get a 1.5-litre diesel engine from the Micra. Both these engines along with its sub-4m length will qualify the GO+ as a small car and it will therefore attract lesser excise duty. We expect the GO+ to be significantly cheaper than the Ertiga.
Honda meanwhile will take the more expensive route. The Brio Mobilio will use the same platform as the Brio and the Amaze and will sport a longer wheelbase like the latter. The Mobilio clearly looks more upmarket and snazzier than the GO+ and the Ertiga and expect it to cost more than the latter even though it might not be better equipped.
Honda Mobilio Concept
The Mobilio will share its diesel engine with the Amaze. The 1.5-litre, all aluminium engine has already proved to be a good all round performer. It has adequate performance and fantastic fuel efficiency. The Mobilio will be heavier than the Amaze and as a result the fuel economy ratings might not be as high, but an ARAI figure of over 23kmpl is a given. It will also get the 1.5-litre i-VTEC petrol unit from the City.
Hyundai, which is already developing a compact sedan and a compact SUV for the Indian market, will also join the MPV ranks, but at a later stage. The MPV is expected to use the Grand i10 platform which will also underpin the compact sedan. We expect it to come with the Kappa 2, 1.2-litre petrol engine and a diesel unit as well. Whether the diesel engine will be the three-cylinder one used on the Grand i10 or a larger unit will depend on whether Hyundai chooses to go the Datsun way by making a sub-4m MPV, or a more spacious, larger vehicle. Stay tuned for further updates.
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