Friday, June 22, 2018

Road Tripping with the Honda Mobilio: Yay or Nay?


With the rising popularity of 7-seater vehicles in the country, it’s no wonder why Honda came up with not one, not two, but 3 three-row offerings in the market: the Mobilio, the BR-V, and the CR-V. Clearly, they think there’s a market for each, and for the purposes of this story, we’ll take a closer look at the Mobilio—their MPV that was designed to rival the Toyota Avanza and the Suzuki Ertiga.

I’ll be frank: in terms of design, there’s no comparison. Although the Honda Mobilio does resemble a minivan, it still has that some of that signature sporty Honda look that makes it look less of a purely functional vehicle (i.e. mom car) and more like one designed for a truly modern family.


Light and Easy

On the upside, I appreciate how easy the Mobilio is to maneuver in and out of traffic. The light steering is perfect to someone who’s had more seat time in smaller vehicles and sedans. The size of the Mobilio may be intimidating at first, but once I got used to it, it afforded me to have extra confidence. It’s easy to move from lane to lane and its acceleration felt safe. It also responds quickly to braking without the slow glide/abrupt stop that some vehicles would tend to have.

On the downside, it feels too light at times. For something of its size, I expected it to have a more solid feel similar to the Jazz or City. However, once I got it to the highway and accelerated to around 80 km/h, it felt like catching air. This actually made me doubt as to how much control it afforded once you come across things like cross winds or tackling a sharp turn or a sudden lane change.

In short, it does pretty well around city dwellings, but perhaps requires a bit of driver confidence when taken on a longer road trip.


That Bounce, Though

I’m chalking this up to its lightness. We took the back roads to Tagaytay (and back) as a shortcut — because Waze said so — and came across more bumps and potholes than you can imagine. While I was expecting the suspension to be stiffer than that of a sedan or a crossover, I didn’t expect to feel every little bounce. Since the purpose of the Mobilio is to move lots of people in comfort, it may be more adept that doing this sort of thing fully loaded.

Spacious and Comfortable (It Depends)

One of the factors in choosing a vehicle for a barkada or family road trip will always be space. Not only do we account for how many people can come along, but it also has to be roomy enough for all the essentials, whether it’s for a day trip or an overnight stay. The Mobilio, at least, offers that. Despite its compact exterior, the second and third row seats can actually squeeze 7 typically-sized adults and up to 9 petite-sized individuals if you dare.

However, considering the Mobilio’s size, the cargo capacity is a challenge if the third-row is kept up. Increasing cargo space means having to fold down the third row and this automatically reduces the seating capacity to five.


The Verdict

Based on this experience, I’d say that the Honda Mobilio works well for day-to-day city driving, but perhaps not so much for a long highway drive. It scores high because of its functionality and packaging. And while the 1.5-liter engine could easily keep up with the demands of highway driving, it feels less than stable at high speed. I also wished for a more pliant ride. It’s a great daily driver, but those looking for a more adept road trip car, perhaps the CR-V would be the better choice.

Words and Photos by Gen Tiu.

23 comments:

  1. You get what you paid for.

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  2. The Mobilio may not suit everyone's taste but this is definitely better than the Daihatsu rebadged Avanza and Suzuki Ertiga. I've tried riding in one, it's pretty comfortable inside.

    Definitely not the best car but has decent value for money.

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  3. I've taken mine to La Union with 7 adults and luggage for 3 days. Handled it perfectly with absolutely no problems. Love mine.

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    1. We also took my friends Mobilio to Baguio (7 of us) He did say that the trip was fun and comfortable. BECAUSE HE OWNS THE DARN CAR. The rest of us had to switch seat at stops since only the front passenger seat offered "comfort". At the back we all had to sit straight hold legs closed and tucked. Otherwise you'll smell like each others cologne after a long trip. We've had better.. longer trip using 2001 toyota revo before.

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    2. All full-sized adults? Yeah that's a squeeze I imagine, especially on the rear.

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    3. I wonder how he was able to fit 7 adults + luggage (good for 3 days) in that mobilio... company owns one and if the doors on 2nd row wasnt sturdy enough, 3 normal pinoy adults might get ejected on tight corners at hiway speeds...

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    4. Yes all full size adults. We didnt have to switch seats as we were all comfy. We all have our own opinions so maybe you weren't comfy and some were. My family loves it and for what it is, it's very good. On a side note, we took it up to 140kph and averaged 14km/l the whole trip.

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    5. Baka si Dagul yan. Lunch box lang dala, akala nya luggage na.

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    6. Say what you wanna say but I'm trying to comment maturely and say my ownership experience.

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    7. Lol at the one comparing Mobilio to Revo. They are basically the same in dimensions. Mobilio engine is more capable as well and it weighs less. I rode one of this when Uber is still around and it rides a lot better than vehicles with ladder frame chassis.

      Mobilio 120HP / 145NM torque / 1175KG
      Revo diesel 85HP / 165NM torque / 1480KG

      Mobilio 4,386mm Length / 1,683mm width / 2,652mm wheelbase
      Revo 4,495mm Length / 1,670mm width / 2,650mm wheelbase

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    8. Thats physical dimensions dinosaur REVO vs MOBILIO, how about position height and ceiling height? That really made the Revo road trip comfortable. You dont feel flush seated on a bucket.

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    9. May Revo kami dati. Legroom 2nd row masikip. Better legroom ng Mobilio. Ceiling height pantay sila. Unibody chassis has lower floor height maximiziming vertical room. Body om frame chassis has higher floor, reducing vertical space.

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    10. Revo road trip comfy lol that is if you prefer unlimited body roll.

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  4. ^I wonder why the author did not give feedback on the transmission... CVT which, when overtaking (even trikes on hiways), needs a bit of courage...

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  5. You forgot the Pilot, but yeah it's RIP here, even if it's miles better than the Explorer. Ang mahal naman kasi.

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  6. It's a crappy little car. The ones that are love by owners only. Filipinos love bargains. They thought buying a cheap small car that can sit 7 is value for money. The Japs are more than happy to give us one crappy cars after another. There is no going around sizes. 7 seats for compact cars with 1.5 liter engine. Really? Get real guys. Size does matter. There are appropriate sizes for both engine and car. You just cant put a 1.5 engine to haul 7 people plus cargo in a compact size car. If you have to squeeze inside uncomfortably at least make it fast. The 1.5 engine will make you suffer more.

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    1. How about try driving it first before you say things about the car.

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    2. I don't know how trying it first will change anything. The specs won't change. It's tight its underpowered. I know, if driven within the city and with few passengers it is adequate. But that's it

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    3. You speak for yourself, it seems.

      This model works for most needs and sells well as a result. For developing countries, not just us, carrying more people seems more important than other aspects.

      What Honda did here, like others, is to merely respond to market demand. It put Honda on the pang-masa shortlist, a piece of the pie it had been missing for a long time. And if you know what's good for you, as a mass-market car maker, you'd jump into this bandwagon.

      Value is subjective. What you value may be worth nothing to others.

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    4. In short it's a crappy little car that the Japs happily filled up for poor countries. My values of course are different from others but that doesn't mean I'm alone in criticizing such underpowered little car as a 7 seater. I didn't say don't buy it if. I didn't say small engines are bad. It's the pretensions that I'm dissing, of a small car that's a 7 seater. But then again it's nobodys business if one will buy it. I'm just saying it's a crappy little 7 seater.

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  7. Kasi nasubukan na nila. At alam nila expectation nila. Try mo muna.

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  8. Tried 7 plus 1 child. City driving is okay.

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  9. The Mobilio is redundant (given the BR-V). Honda should just bring in the Honda Freed. This Jazz based MPV has 2 auto sliding doors and 2nd row captain seats. These features would be their competitive advantage (or at least separate them) over other MPVs and even mini SUVs. It also fills a void as there are currently NO sliding door mini vans in the market. You'd have to buy a Starex or Carnival.... then hire a driver... I think this could be a differentiating product from Honda that could potentially be a seller for them.

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