Honda’s midsize and compact SUV plans have been the subject of speculation for the last couple of years. Unlike many mainstream carmakers, it does not have a presence in the popular segments. Honda’s portfolio shrank to Amaze, City and WR-V after the closure of its Greater Noida plant and discontinuation of CR-V and Civic.
Since the Amaze and City garner strong sales every month, Honda’s majority of sales volume comes from sedans, unlike most automakers. As of a few weeks ago, the Japanese automaker expanded the midsize sedan’s lineup with a strong hybrid model, while the facelifted Amaze was launched in India last year.
Honda is working on adding two all-new SUVs to its lineup, according to a recent report on the internet. One is a sub-four-metre SUV that will take on Hyundai Venue, Kia Sonet, Renault Kiger, Nissan Magnite, Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Tata Nexon and Mahindra XUV300 while the other will be a midsize SUV internally codenamed 3RA.
Codenamed 3US, the compact SUV is rumored to have a 1.2-litre hybrid petrol engine, a 1.5-litre diesel engine, and a larger 1.5-litre petrol engine. It will the first to arrive by the middle of this year while the midsize SUV is expected to hit the market in early 2014. The five-seater 3RA will likely measure 4.3 metres in length and it will borrow engines from the City.
In a similar manner to the compact SUV, it will also be based on the updated platform of the Amaze. It will have Honda’s new electronic architecture and screen system and thus a large touchscreen infotainment system with the latest connectivity features can be expected. Furthermore, it could boast a hybrid powertrain more tailored to the urban environment.
Honda is believed to be evaluating six- and seven-seater variants after the five-seater, and they could compete against Tata Safari, MG Hector Plus and Hyundai Alcazar. Having a wider presence in the midsize space will certainly help in appealing to a larger band of audience and Honda is targeting 4,100 unit sales per month with the SUV.