With the market for family cars getting bigger and bigger, you might want to consider other options than your typical sedan. In terms of practicality, the 2018 Honda Mobilio 1.5 RS Navi comes to mind. Compared to SUVs, this 7-seater mini-MPV is smaller and easier to maneuver compared to the bigger SUVs while still managing to fit 7 people comfortably (with room to spare!) With that being said, let’s take a quick look at one of the more sportier looking of the mini-MPVs.
The previous generation Mobilio looks innocent and cute with its rounded edges, but with the recent facelift, that cute face took a more sporty look.
The unit we have here is the top-of-the-line variant which comes with exterior goodies and chrome accents on the front and rear bumpers, grill, and spoiler. It even comes with a shiny chrome muffler tip! Also included is new 15-inch alloy rims and an RS model exclusive paint job “Phoenix Orange Pearl.”
The orange paint job compliments the bold and sporty look of the Mobilio RS, so it does make sense that this color is only made available on the RS variant.
The interior also got a pretty big make-over switching its cute design with a more modern look. With an all-black interior and orange stitched seats, the interior is definitely sleeker than the previous generation.
While the steering wheel comes with basic controls (channel, volume, and mode), the accessories have also been updated; namely the 7-inch touchscreen with the usual features such as Bluetooth connectivity, USB connectivity, and navigation.
This might be a bummer for some, but there are a lot of hard-touch plastics. Though even then, it leans a little more towards the premium side. Basically, it doesn’t feel cheap.
The rear passengers do get some airconditioning vents, though not as pretty than the rest of the interior.
Moving to the rear, we did some tests on how well the Mobilio RS can work as a family car. It can easily fit a baby seat and the uncovered Isofix anchors are very easy to connect. Using myself as a test subject, legroom is more than enough with the front seat adjusted to my height (5’9″). I have around 5 inches of space from my knees to the front seat.
It’s also worth noting that the second-row seats can fold up, making it easy to hop into the third row. Space back there is more than enough for any person smaller than 6″0 ft. For those who are a little taller, it could be uncomfortable, unless for some reason you like the feeling of your knees rubbing against the seat in front of you. But that’s okay, we’re not here to judge.
Folding up the third-row seat opens up a lot of space. This makes it the perfect car for grocery shopping days. Loading items on the back are no problem, due to the Mobilio’s low loading height. Even with the third-row down, there is still a lot of space back there. Both the second-row and third-row seats can be folded down for more storage space.
Performance and Fuel Economy
The Mobilio RS boasts the same engine with the Honda Jazz and City: a 1.5L i-VTEC gasoline motor that produces 120ps @ 6,600 rpm and 145Nm of torque mated with a CVT transmission. With such a sporty look, you’d expect it to have a sporty handling — unfortunately, this is not the case. The Mobilio RS’s suspension is more on the soft side. It is comfortable and much more livable than the stiff suspension that most sporty cars have. After all, this is a vehicle that’s meant for a family and everyday use. But it does have good on-center steering and response.
It is agile around corners and steering is easy and light. It’s comfortable and quiet, making it perfect for everyday use.
It has more than enough pep moving 5 adults with a lot of groceries, though you could feel the extra weight and it does get a bit noisy at higher revs.
The Mobilio RS shines the most in tight city environments. With light steering and a very tight turning radius, it goes in and out of cramped parking spots with ease.
Fuel economy-wise the Mobilio is pretty good. Driving around villages, we’d get around 5.5-6 Km/L moving at an average speed of 20 km/h. In combined city and highway driving, we were able to get 12 Km/L, which is not bad at all.
At the price of Php 1,058,000/$20,400, it all comes down to the question of “is it worth the premium?” In my personal opinion, It’s a definite yes. In terms of quality, fit and finish, the Mobilio RS is a step above the competition even with its higher price point.
2018 Honda Mobilio RS specs:
- 1.5-liter i-VTEC gasoline I4
- CVT (Continuously variable transmission)
- 120ps of power @ 6,600rpm
- 145Nm of torque @ 4,600rpm
- 15-inch alloy wheels
Other Mobilio variant prices:
- 1.5 E M/T – PHP 874,000/$16,854
- 1.5 V CVT – PHP 948,000/$18,280
What we liked about it:
- Sportier appearance overall
- Revamped interior
- Roomy & comfortable
- Light steering
- Tight steering radius
- Looks premium
What we didn’t like:
- Noisy at high revs
- Front seats height not adjustable