Honda has made a grand re-entry into the SUV market with the unveiling of their latest offering, the Elevate. The global premiere took place in New Delhi, marking an exciting new chapter for Honda in India. Having previously introduced models like the CR-V and BR-V, Honda is no stranger to the SUV segment. However, the Elevate represents a fresh and bold approach as they strive to cater to the growing demand for SUVs.
Honda will commence bookings for the Elevate in July 2023, followed by the official launch shortly after. This eagerly anticipated SUV will compete against popular rivals such as the Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, Volkswagen Taigun, Skoda Kushaq, Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara, Toyota Urban Cruiser Hyryder, MG Astor, and the upcoming Citroen C3 Aircross.
When it comes to dimensions, the Elevate shares similarities with the Creta, measuring 4,312mm in length, 1,790mm in width, 1,650mm in height, and boasting a 2,650mm wheelbase. With 458 liters of boot space and a segment-leading ground clearance of 220mm, the Elevate promises practicality and the ability to tackle various terrains with ease.
Design-wise, the Elevate exhibits a striking resemblance to the CR-V available in international markets. It features a prominent grille, a flat nose, sleek LED headlights, and fog lamps positioned underneath. The distinctive chrome bar connecting the headlights and LED daytime running lamps adds a touch of sophistication. The SUV’s sides showcase flared wheel arches with robust plastic cladding, while the upward tapering window line converges at the thick C-pillar. Sporting 17-inch alloy wheels reminiscent of the facelifted City, the Elevate exudes a sturdy and muscular aesthetic. At the rear, a slightly raked window and connected tail-lights, reminiscent of the latest-gen WR-V, contribute to its modern look, while an indentation on the tailgate accommodates the number plate.
The occupants of the Elevate will be welcomed by a free-standing 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system. The SUV offers a host of features, including a single-pane sunroof, a 7-inch semi-digital instrument cluster, a lane-watch camera, wireless charging, wireless smartphone integration with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and a rear parking camera. Honda has also incorporated its Sensing ADAS suite, comprising safety technologies like collision mitigation braking, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, road departure warning, and automatic high beam assist. This places the Elevate alongside the MG Astor as one of the few midsize SUVs currently offering advanced driver assistance systems.
Under the hood, the Elevate is powered by the same 1.5-liter, four-cylinder petrol engine found in the City. This engine delivers 121hp and 145Nm of torque, ensuring a spirited and efficient performance. The Elevate transmits power to the front wheels through either a 6-speed manual gearbox or a CVT.
Honda’s confirmation of introducing an electric powertrain option for the Elevate within the next three years aligns with the brand’s global vision for electrification, generating excitement among enthusiasts.
With India serving as the manufacturing hub for the Elevate, Honda plans to export the SUV to multiple international markets, further solidifying the country’s importance as a strategic base for the company.
Honda’s foray into the SUV segment comes at a crucial time when their current lineup primarily consists of sedans. The Elevate represents a strategic move to captivate the market and breathe new life into Honda’s product portfolio. While details about pricing remain undisclosed, Honda enthusiasts and industry experts eagerly await the official announcement in the near future. The stiff competition within the midsize SUV segment ensures that Honda will need to strike the right balance between features, performance, and pricing to secure a significant share of the market.