Indian auto market is flooding with MPVs. Almost every major automotive manufacturer in the country, is offering a compact crossover for the Indian market. This is because the compact crossover segment has seen a growth of 15 percent in past five years. The segment dominator, Toyota Innova has some new threats like the Mahindra Xylo and newly launched Maruti Ertiga. Receiving over 32,000 bookings in one month from launch, the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga is expected to be the biggest rival in this category. Gladly, the Ertiga MPV won’t be the last seven-seat MPV to feature decent packaging, excellent reliability and a reasonable price tag. The Japanese automaker, Honda is planning to bring an Ertiga rival based on the Jazz hatch platform.
Though Honda is not doing wonders in terms of sales figures, it certainly has built up a great repo in the Indian market with decent petrol cars. So it does not come as a big shock if the Japanese automaker plans to stretch its fabulous hatch into an MPV. Honda Jazz is first of hatchbacks offered by Honda in India. Featuring class leading cabin space and a powerful petrol engine, the Honda Jazz sets the bar pretty high for hatchbacks.
Honda offers a longer wheelbase Jazz, called Freed for the South East Asian markets. Come 2014, Honda could launch the next-gen Freed, coded 2NH to battle against the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga in Indian market.
Coming as a 7 and 8 seat MPV, the Freed features Honda’s Man Maximum-Machine Minimum design philosophy, sitting at just 4.2 meters. So the next-gen Freed will presumably set the bar pretty high in terms of interior space and comfort. Powering the Freed MPV is a 1.5-liter iVTEC petrol unit. Transmission options include a CVT transmission and a five-speed automatic transmission.
If the next-gen Freed makes it to India, the lack of diesel engine could turn out miserable for the Honda MPV. We had recently reported Honda working on EarthDreams technology, to develop small capacity turbocharged diesel engines featuring top-notch fuel-efficiency, torque and low emission figures. This could make up for the diesel option of the next-gen Freed when it comes to our shores.