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Honda is working on two ‘mass market’ SUVs for India – a new sub-four- metre compact SUV and a
Hyundai Creta rival. The two cars will be launched here post-2020. The same platform that underpins
the new Amaze will be used for these cars.
The first new SUV from Honda will be the sub-four- metre model that will take on the likes of the Maruti
Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Tata Nexon and Ford EcoSport. Expected to go on sale in 2021, this small SUV will
effectively replace the WR-V crossover. Given that the compact SUV will be built on the lower cost
Amaze platform, pricing should be more competitive than the WR-V which uses the Jazz/City platform.
In design, the new model is expected to sport an upright silhouette that will clearly establish it as a
compact SUV. Generous cabin space is said to have been given due consideration on the new SUV.
The second model could be a larger 4.2- to 4.3-metre- long SUV that'll target the Hyundai Creta. This SUV
will be positioned as a premium offering and will sport a more conventional and SUV-like upright stance,
compared to the decidedly MPV-like BR-V crossover. The current BR-V is unlikely to be replaced in India
but it is expected to continue in countries, like Indonesia, with sizeable MPV markets. What is unclear
for now is if this new SUV will be a five-seater or a seven-seater like the BR-V. The fact that the next-gen
Creta that comes in 2021 will be offered in seven-seat form is sure to have got Honda thinking.
Both the SUV models from Honda will use existing engines and gearboxes. While the larger SUV could
get the City’s 1.5-litre petrol engine, the compact SUV will get the 1.2-litre petrol engine from the
Amaze. The new models will also be offered with a diesel engine option, something essential to success
in the SUV space. The engine in question will be Honda’s 1.5-litre Earth Dreams unit, albeit upgraded to
meet upcoming BS-VI emission norms. Manual and automatic gearbox options will be on offer too,
including the new diesel-CVT combo that made its debut on the new Amaze.
Honda has already revealed plans for six new models by 2020. By the looks of it, there’s even more
coming from the Japanese carmaker in the next few years.