Honda Mobilio Vs Maruti Ertiga Road Test Comparison Review

We pit new Honda Mobilioagainst Maruti Ertiga in this road test comparison review and here’s our verdict.    

Honda Mobilio Vs Maruti Ertiga Road Test Compariso

Even before its market launch, Honda Mobilio sent shivers down the spine of its rivals by garnering unprecedented support from Indian auto enthusiasts. And now after arriving in Honda’s facility near you, Mobilio has wreaked havoc among its adversaries; so much so that competition is now forced to take a relook at its strategy. Wherein Toyota reportedly has gone back to drawing board to sketch the new Innova, Maruti Ertiga, closest rival of Mobilio, has come out with heavy discount to offset the denting prospects of Mobilio on its average monthly sale of about 6000 units.Symbolically this may seem a triangular fight between Honda, Toyota and Maruti though scratch down a bit and it becomes apparent than the real contest boils down to Maruti and Honda only. In heart of hearts both Honda and Maruti is aptly aware of this fact and that’s exactly why Maruti is swift to retaliate Mobilio’s entry by offering heavy discount on Ertiga. Now with clear battle lines drawn between Honda and Maruti, all we need to do is to pit then against each other and that’s what precisely this road test comparison review is all about. With knives out on both sides we predict this battle for coveted title of MUV king will be nothing but ferocious and vitriolic and one who successfully leverage on its positive while exploiting another’s negatives will finally adorn the throne of people mover segment.
Arrive In Style 
With enhanced choices and higher discernment quotient, Indian auto market has become one of the most competitive industries in the world. On every aspect of retailing new benchmarks are being made every day through the demolishing of the older ones leading to further intensifying of the flurry of competitiveness. For example MPV segment that once hardly bothered for styling as single-minded focus was used to be on utility, today experiencing exactly an opposite phenomenon.

                                                         Honda Mobilio  Stylish and Contemporary
Not only the MPV customers’ are looking for the styling and contemporary designs, manufacturers too seem to have come to terms with the reality. Honda Mobilio, the newest kid on MPV block, is testimony to fact that MPVs’ have come to age in terms of their styling and one can flaunt their design statement too just like hatchbacks and sedans. Honda has executed a terrific job while designing Mobilio as this people mover looks fresh, modern and contemporary. Despite of being familiar frontage that also features on other Hondas’, Mobilio lures with its sophistication and modern demeanour. Liberal chrome usage, clever use of creases, floating pillar and wrap-around rear windscreen equip Mobilio with eye-catching composition. Further the kink in the windows and large alloy wheels not only serve the aesthetic purpose but also aid the overall practicality of this MPV. 
Maruti Ertiga in comparison to Mobilio looks a bit understated and bland in its overall pretensions. Though Ertiga looks more like a car than MPV thanks to its small footprints and tight skinning, it misses out heavily on oomph factor that its compatriot Mobilio exuces in plenty.
                                                                                      Maruti Ertiga Showing its age now
Front of Ertiga traces similarity to its younger sibling Ritz and side view too is more of plain-Jane job. Rear of this Maruti is even more boring with small puny tail lamps further aggravating the meekness of its overall design. It seems Maruti has gone overboard in terms of keeping the Ertiga proportions under check and that confined the artistic imagination of company’s engineers. 
On dimensional front, Mobilio dwarfs Ertiga in length parameter though on crucial aspects of width, height and wheelbase, Ertiga triumphs over its Honda rival. Not only Ertiga boasts of between cabin width and height, it also comes with around 100 mm more between the wheels that could prove instrumental in liberating more cabin space. On another concerned aspect of ground clearance, Honda regains its edge as it comes with best-in-class ground clearance of 189 mm though Maruti finished close second with its belly 185 mm off the ground. Further in boot space, Mobilio seems to have an edge with all three rows upright as it still has got some space to accommodate healthy amount of luggage unlike Ertiga where the same is not possible. 
Honda Mobilio: *****                          Maruti Ertiga: *****
Comfort Philosophy
Both Ertiga and Mobilio are wonderful examples of comfort and convenience as these vehicles come with three-row of seats that is touted to seat 7 adult persons in comfort. Both MPVs’ in question here features flexi-seat arrangement that make this people mover far more comfortable option for family buyers than sedans and hatchbacks. On space front, both Honda and Maruti are genuinely roomy though the overall comfort feel is wee bit better in Maruti than Mobilio. The amount of legroom, headroom and especially shoulder room in Ertiga is a notch higher than what Mobilio features. The extra width to tune of 12 mm and considerably taller Ertiga liberates more space for its passengers in 2nd row than what Mobilio does.
Honda Mobilio High set 3rd Row
Further even in 3rd row, Maruti engineers have been able to hit the sweet-spot with Ertiga featuring low bench floor that helps the occupants to sit in more comfortable way than the upright and high seating position that Mobilio offers. Although Honda tries to save the day for itself using the reclining option in 3rd row; still it is nowhere as comfortable as of Maruti. Another culprit that hampers Mobilio comfort proposition is its slim seats that offer poor thigh support. This could be bearable for small city circuiting though in case of long journeys this is sure to hamper the comfort aspect.
                                                                       Maruti Ertiga Quality Interiors
In terms of cabin quality too, Maruti leaps forward with its sober choice of material and overall sophisticated quality than a bit low-rent that Mobilio comes with. Moreover Maruti cabin shows a kind of coherence where dash board, centre console and transmission tunnel make a symmetry that is soothing to eyes whereas in Mobilio every things seem to be out of place showing lack of respect for other’s design theme. 
Now despite of being shorter in length, Ertiga proves its mettle thanks to its larger width and taller proportion. Further the Maruti’s design prowess come to fore into 3rd row of seats where the passengers feel less awkward and jittery due to a more proper seating position. 
Honda Mobilio: *****                          Maruti Ertiga: *****
Power Shove 
Honda Mobilio features 1.5-litre, 4-cylinder, i-DTEC diesel engine that makes 100 PS and 200 Nm of max power and max torque respectively. In comparison, Maruti Ertiga comes with a smaller 1.3-litre, 4-cylinder, DDiS diesel engine that puts out 90 PS of max power with 200 Nm of max torque. Now both of these engines are quite a masterpiece of the technology in their own terms despite of being of opposite character when it comes to their power delivery. Honda’s i-DTEC technology lays more stress on drivability quotient and it becomes evidently apparent the moment driver steps on the gas. The power generation is smooth, linear and happens in a very sedate manner; like somebody stepping up the ladder in a measurable way. Torque generation starts from as low as around 1200 rpm and there is hardly any noticeable turbo lag that Mobilio owners will ever feel. That makes Mobilio quite at home in start-stop city traffic and one can easily amble around in town even in higher gears with speedometer hovering between 30-40 km/h.
                                                                     Honda Mobilio Very drivable i-DTEC
In stark contrast, Maruti Ertiga is just like a sleeping beast that needs to be revved to 2000 rpm before it finally wakes up to scorch the tarmac. Once the turbo spools in Ertiga DDiS, there is tide of torque that provides you an addictive and progressive push; something that one can thoroughly enjoy on open stretches of highways. Though in city, Ertiga is not as happy as Mobilio as low torque down the rev-range forces the driver to shift the gears more frequently than one has to do in Mobilio. But that said one won’t mind doing so as Ertiga gearbox feels quite confident and assuring.
                                                                          Maruti Ertiga Highway friendly 
Just like Mobilio, Ertiga too comes with 5-speed manual transmission and both the transmission units are precise, direct and crisp in their operation. Still we find Honda Mobilio shifting a wee bit slicker than Ertiga though the difference is very subtle one. Brakes of both the cars are reassuring though steering feedback of Ertiga is better than Mobilio. Mobilio clutch is lighter of the two and there is more progressive feel to it. 
In terms of claimed mileage figure, Mobilio not only trounces the Ertiga claims but also defeats many segment lower smaller cars with its ARAI certified efficiency of 24.2 km/l for diesel variant. In comparison Maruti Ertiga covers 20.77 km in a litre which is also a decent figure to have, at least considered in isolation. 
Honda Mobilio: *****                          Maruti Ertiga: *****
Driving Manners
In terms of driving comfort, Mobilio has an edge over Ertiga thanks to its better absorption ability. Though none of the vehicle here features soft-suspension setting still Mobilio does the job of absorbing undulation in a far more confident way than Maruti. Not only slow-speed ride is more comfortable in Mobilio but even the high-speed stability of this Honda prevails over Ertiga. Maruti feels a bit jittery at low whacks though the things start settling down as the shove increases. Overall for family outing, Mobilio is well prepared than Ertiga that seems to lose its composure over broken patches.
                                                                            Honda Mobilio Better Ride Comfort 
On handling front though, Maruti is swift to claw back its ceded ground as it handles better than a bit longer Mobilio. Now it’s not that Mobilio is a bad handler but in comparison to Ertiga, Mobilio shows more inclination to body roll. Maruti taut chassis and tight skinning ensure that no body roll threatens the driver to get its foot off the accelerator; something that is necessitated when Mobilio is thrown around on twisty section. Further Mobilio steering is too light to convey any feedback to driver though it is not something that we appreciate in Ertiga too. 
Honda Mobilio: *****                          Maruti Ertiga: *****
Overall Verdict
Mobilio range retails between Rs 6.49 – 10.86 lakh while Ertiga is priced between Rs 5.84 – 8.53 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). On important aspect of value for money, Maruti enjoys massive lead over Mobilio and the current discount offers have made already sweet Ertiga pricing even more adorning in nature. Undoubtedly Ertiga is going to prove a tough nut to crack for Mobilio and coupled with its low pricing and brand value of Maruti, it’s won’t be a walkover for new Mobilio. But then on other side, new Mobilio has lot of things going for it. Mobilio not only looks and feel more upmarket than any other MPV including Ertiga; it’s hard to beat this Honda on critical aspect of practicality that Mobilio comes with in abundance.  Large boot space, better riding comfort and snob value of Honda are some of the crucial ingredients that are capable to fetch the customers for on any other day. Further the aging factor of Ertiga and charm of new offering are sure to tilt the scale in favour of this new Honda. Now if you are hell-bent on pricing front then Ertiga fits your bill otherwise there is every other reason to go for the new and fresh Honda Mobilio. Give it a try and you will be pleasantly surprised with tremendous capabilities this Honda comes equipped with. 
Honda Mobilio: *****                          Maruti Ertiga: *****

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