HONDA MOBILIO: DRIVETRAIN AND DYNAMICS
- Swift, economical – and a pleasure to drive
- Powerful, economical 1,5-litre i-VTEC petrol engine used across the board
- Willing performance linked to exceptional fuel economy and low emissions
- Relatively long wheelbase and wide tracks ensures stability
- Electric power steering and optimised suspension for comfort and control
Both models in the new Honda range are powered by a lively and efficient 1,5-litre i-VTEC engine. The four-cylinder unit has an enviable reputation for performance, longevity and economy, and is also fitted to the highly successful Honda Ballade.
Despite its modest 1 497 cc capacity, the engine has a power output of 88 kW at 6 600 r/min, combined with a torque peak of 145 Nm at 4 600 r/min. Drive is to the front wheels from a five-speed manual gearbox. A Constantly Variable Transmission (CVT) option will be added in January 2015.
The engine employs Honda’s i-VTEC intelligent variable valve timing system, which optimises torque delivery at lower engine speeds in the interests of response and tractability, but moves the emphasis to power delivery at higher revs for optimum performance.
However, i-VTEC also ensures that the engine operates at optimum efficiency, which directly benefits fuel consumption. The manual-transmission models achieve a combined-cycle fuel consumption figure of just 6,1 litres/100 km*.
For all its obvious MPV traits, the Mobilio is an eager performer. It makes the most of its relatively low mass to deliver brisk straightline dynamics. Acceleration of the manual gearbox model is set at 10,8 sec.
Responsive road manners
The Mobilio’s kerb mass of just 1 110 kg benefits straight-line speed and performance, contributing to the new MPV’s handling prowess. The relatively long wheelbase and the wide tracks, give the Honda a poised, stable stance.
The front suspension configuration links MacPherson struts to coil springs and an anti-roll bar, while the rear features a compact torsion beam axle. The generous 15-inch wheels are shod with 185/65 R15 tyres.
The Honda’s agile road manners are augmented by a quick and responsive steering system. Electrically assisted in the interests of efficiency, the rack-and-pinion set-up allows a turning circle of 10 metres, which in turn benefits handling response.
The result is an MPV that always feels responsive and easy to drive, regardless of the road surface or the traffic conditions. A rigid body construction, and well insulated cabin, ensure that noise levels are well controlled