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MPVs for 2014

We give you an in depth look at the MPVs expected to hit Indian shores in 2014
Although the Indian economic scene seems to be in a bit of a lull, the average middle class family is always looking to upgrade their standard of living in general. The most obvious upgrade for most families is that of their automobile. In recent times, the segments that have seen the most growth are the ones that offer both practicality and space at a price point that doesn’t burn a hole in one’s pockets i.e. the small SUV and MPV segments. A Multi Purpose Vehicle (MPV) does exactly what it sets out to do: carries a family in as much comfort as an average sedan, has the space to rival a large SUV and is just as practical as the family hatchback. In short, the MPV has become popular simply due to the fact that they are a fantastic value proposition to the typical price sensitive Indian buyer. Here are 5 new MPVs that should make it to our shores in 2014!

Honda Mobilio
Expected Launch: Late 2014
Expected Price: Between Rs 8-12 Lakh

Honda Mobilio Front
Based on the Honda Brio hatchback and the Honda Amaze sedan, the Mobilio is Honda’s answer to theMaruti-Suzuki Ertiga and the soon to be launched Hyundai MPV. The Mobilio was officially introduced at the 2013 Indonesia International Motor Show and will be offered with seven seats. 

The Honda Mobilio will be powered by Honda’s all-new 1.5 Litre i-Dtec engine which produces 100PS of peak power and 200Nm of peak torque. The Mobilio will also have a petrol option and will be powered by the 1.5 Litre i-Vtec engine that currently does duty in the Honda City. The Honda Mobilio might also be offered with a factory LPG/CNG option but details on that front seem to be a little sketchy. TheHonda Mobilio will be available in both manual and automatic versions with the Automatic expected to have features like paddle shifters. 

Honda Mobilio Rear

At first glance, the Mobilio will look very similar to the Brio and the Amaze but will feature a larger grille with a more prominent chrome styling feature running across the front of the car. The rear though will be completely new with large tail lights and an angular recess to house the license plate. The floating D-Pillar and the kink in the window line along the side will help to break the visual bulk of theHonda Mobilio. 

The Honda Mobilio will share its dashboard with Brio and Amaze although we assume the Mobilio will be offered with a two-tone beige interior so as to give it a slightly enhanced feel of luxury. Expect Mobilio to be priced between 8-12 Lakh when it is introduced in the second half of 2014. In fact, considering Honda's recent price strategies, we wont be surprised if a base version of the Honda Mobilio is priced even lower.

Datsun Go+
Expected Launch: Late 2014
Expected Price: Rs 5-8 Lakh

Datsun Go Plus Front

Datsun unveiled it’s second car, the Go+ in Indonesia last month. Based on the Go hatchback, the Go+ is a 7-seater MPV that will make it’s way to India in 2014. The GO+ is based on the Go hatchback platform and features similar styling. The Go+ will share most of its components with the Go hatchback including identical styling and powertrain options. The Go+ will also share the same wheelbase as that of the hatchback at 2450mm but will feature an extra 210mm length to accommodate the extra seats. The overall length though will still be under the 4-meter mark, which will entitle the Go+ to be entitled for excise benefits when it reaches Indian shores. 

Just as with the exterior, the Go+ will share its interior with the Go hatchback. This means that the Go+ too will have a semi-bench seat format and will feature a dashboard mounted gearshift lever. TheDatsun Go+ will also feature the Datsun Mobile Docking Station for smartphone integration. The big difference in the interior will be the addition of two extra seats in the third row. We believe these seats will be removable so as to facilitate extra baggage space to suit every customer preference. 

Datsun Go Plus Rear

The Go+ will be made at Nissan’s Chennai plant and is expected to be priced extremely competitively. We expect the Datsun Go+ price to be between Rs 5-8 lakh with entry-level models priced as low as Rs 5.5-6 Lakh. If priced correctly, the Datsun Go+ will definitely make a dent in the MPV segment and the Indian automotive scene en masse. 

Hyundai’s new MPV
Expected Launch: mid 2014
Expected Price: Rs 8-12 Lakh

Hyundai MPV Front

Hyundai’s MPV was on our ‘Cars for 2013’ list too but sadly hasn’t made it to India yet. However, the Hyundai’s new MPV will certainly make it to Indian during the first half of 2014. Based on the Hexa Space Concept, code named the HND-7 that caught many eyeballs at the 2012 Indian Auto Expo, Hyundai’s new MPV is said to be in final stages of development and testing. 

The Hexa Space derived production MPV will feature the same fluidic design elements like a large grille and swept back headlamps. We expect the new MPV to derive its mechanical components from the Grand i10. The Grand i10 platform will also derive a sub-4 meter saloon next year along with the MPV. 

Hyundai MPV Side

Although no information is known about the upcoming MPV, we assume the car will be have a seven seat option and will feature both petrol and diesel variants. The MPV will also be offered with both Petrol and Diesel power train options and will also be available in both manual and automatic gearbox options. It is unclear if the Hyundai MPV will be under 4 meters, however we do expect a range topping version to have some of the mechanicals from cars like the Hyundai Verna too. Expect the Hyundai MPV to be one of the biggest hot sellers of 2014. We expect the new Hyundai MPV to be priced between Rs 8-12 Lakh. 

Renault’s new MPV
Expected Launch: Late 2014
Expected Price: Rs 8-12 Lakh
Renault Lodgy Front

Renault has tasted success with the Duster and is now all set to enter the MPV sector with its Lodgy MUV. With plans to bring out the Lodgy MPV by the end of 2014 and a second MPV, which will be a badge engineered version based on the Nissan Evalia, Renault is serious about entering the highly competitive MPV market. 

The Lodgy, originally marketed as a Dacia in certain European markets, is a 7-seater MPV with similar underpinnings to the likes of the Renault Duster. Codenamed the J92, the Lodgy will be a key MPV to take on the established contenders like the Toyota Innova and the Mahindra Xylo. The Lodgy should be about 4500mm long and feature ample amounts of interior space for both passengers and luggage. 

Renault Lodgy Rear

Mechanically, the Lodgy will share it’s engine offerings with the Renault Duster. Expect the Lodgy to be available in both Petrol and two Diesel engine options. The Lodgy will also share most of the Duster’s interior trim like dashboard and seats so as to minimize costs. Expect the Lodgy to be priced extremely competitively between the range of Rs 8-12 Lakh and an even cheaper entry level model aimed at fleet and taxi operators. 

Force Motors’s new MPV
Expected Launch: Mid 2014
Expected Price: Rs 8-12 Lakh

Force Motors MPV based on Mercedes Viano

Force Motors has forever been associated with Mercedes-Benz. Even its best-known product, the Traveller, is an old Mercedes really. Moreover the engines powering most Force vehicles are made under license from the German giant. Now on its way is another such MPV. The company is soon going to launch a version of the Viano. While most of the Viano’s looks will remain the same, it will be rebadged and renamed as a Force Motors product.  

Expect Force to offer it in multiple variants and with multiple seating configurations, quite possibly with one configuration that will allow the van to accommodate upto ten occupants. Powering Force’s version of the Viano will be the same 2.2-litre common rail engine seen in the recently launched Force One SUV.


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