Honda has been facing difficulties in the Indian market for a while now. The company's range of products in India is not as varied as in other places. A significant factor in Honda's difficulties in India is the absence of an SUV in its lineup. Finally Honda is planning to unveil its new midsize SUV designed specifically for India, with the code name 3US (Honda Elevate), on June 6, 2023, at an event in New Delhi. It may be called the Honda Elevate and will be available for purchase in India before being released in other markets later in the year. The SUV is built from scratch and has a unique design that distinguishes it from other midsize SUVs.
Honda Elevate engine option
The mid-size SUV from Honda will initially be launched with a 1.5-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine borrowed from the fifth-generation Honda City. This engine currently produces a maximum power of 120 bhp and 145 Nm of torque in the City, but it's possible that the SUV could be tuned for increased power output. Gearbox options are expected to be similar to those offered on the City - a 6-speed manual and a CVT for the 1.5 petrol engine.
Reports suggest that after the launch, the car could receive a hybrid powertrain from the City e:HEV and a more powerful turbo-petrol engine as well. Unfortunately, there won't be a diesel engine option for this SUV since Honda Cars India has stopped producing diesel engines in India.
Honda Elevate - Design
From the spy shots, it's evident that the new Honda SUV has proper SUV features, unlike the BR-V, which was a mix of SUV and MPV elements that didn't work out well. The camouflaged pictures of the 3US show design elements such as a strong front and upright proportions. Honda dealers who saw the SUV at a private preview in Thailand were happy with the design and believe that it will boost Honda's sales.
Expect chunky cladding, muscular wheel arches, and lots of chrome, with a sharp and stylish front featuring LED headlights for the top variants. The back of the SUV has tail-lights similar to the newer Honda products, like the latest-gen new-gen WR-V in Indonesia. Special attention has been given to the lights, which add to the overall design.
The new SUV from Honda appears to be their most significant effort to enter the rapidly expanding midsize SUV market in India. The market already has popular options such as the Creta, Seltos, and newer contenders like the Grand Vitara, Hyryder, the Taigun, and the Kushaq. Honda aims to produce up to 8,000 units of this SUV each month in India, with a significant portion earmarked for export.
The new SUV from Honda will have a length between 4.2-4.3 meters, with a wheelbase and interior space comparable to other models in its segment.
Honda’s Creta rival will come with a large 10.2-inch free-standing touchscreen and the rest of the features list is also expected to be competitive.
New Honda SUV: India launch details and expected price
While the new Honda SUV will make its global debut in India on June 6, 2023, it will go on sale only in August 2023. It is likely to be priced at a slight premium over its rivals, somewhere in the Rs 12 lakh-19 lakh price range.
Honda's upcoming SUV is expected to provide strong competition to other C-segment SUVs, including the Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, Volkswagen Taigun, Skoda Kushaq, Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara, Toyota Urban Cruiser Hyryder, and MG Astor