Honda’s upcoming midsize SUV for India spied testing for the first time

Spy photos confirm that the new Honda SUV for India resembles the Honda HR-V and WR-V sold abroad.

Autocar Pro News Desk By Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 26 Feb 2023 Views icon11450 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

A little over a month after Honda Cars India released a teaser image of its upcoming midsize SUV for India, the vehicle has been snapped testing on Indian roads.

Slated for launch around Diwali 2023, the new SUV will be Honda’s made-for-India salvo into the hugely competitive and profitable midsize SUV segment. These scoop pictures give an idea of what to expect from Honda’s upcoming Hyundai Creta rival. 

Although the upcoming SUV is heavily camouflaged, it reveals certain design elements. At the front, it gets an upright nose and grille with sleek headlamps, a consistent design trait of many new Honda SUVs sold globally, including the Asia and Euro-spec Honda HR-V. The images also reveal the sunroof and roof rails. 

At the rear, the tail-lights look similar to the new-gen WR-V, which Honda showcased in Indonesia late last year. The new Honda SUV features a sloping roofline with a tailgate-mounted spoiler. The SUV gets large, multi-spoke wheels, and a squarish design for the wheel arches.

What is also visible is a large glasshouse and a prominent shoulder line. Look closely and you will observe a camera attached to the wing mirrors hinting at the possibility of a 360-degree camera or, at the very least, Honda’s Lane Watch system. 

In terms of dimensions, the new Honda SUV will measure 4.2-4.3 metres in length. 

Powertrain options

The upcoming Honda midsize SUV will likely share its engines with the fifth-generation City sedan, which will mean a 121hp, 1.5-litre, naturally aspirated petrol engine and the 1.5-litre strong-hybrid powertrain seen on the City Hybrid. This will make the new Honda SUV the third SUV in the segment to feature strong hybrid tech, after the Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara and Toyota Urban Cruiser Hyryder.

Gearbox options are likely to be similar to what’s already offered on the two powertrains – a six-speed manual and a CVT for the 1.5-petrol, and eCVT for the strong hybrid. 

While Honda’s 1.5-litre diesel engine would have been a good fit for this SUV, it will not be on offer, as Honda is axing its diesels in India ahead of the Real Driving Emission (RDE) norms, which will come into effect from April 2023. 

Launch timeline and rivals 

According to sources, the new Honda midsize SUV will debut in India in the coming months, with a price announcement expected during the festive season. When launched, it will enter a highly competitive segment with credible rivals like the Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, Skoda Kushaq, Volkswagen Taigun, MG Astor, Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara and Toyota Urban Cruiser Hyryder. It is also understood that the new Honda SUV will be heavily localised, and hence one can expect the company to price it competitively. 

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