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TEST DRIVE (with VIDEO): 2018 Honda Mobilio RS – Lady Luck

Many believed that the number seven is good luck, with the Bible stating that the world was created in six days and God rested on the seventh. The seventh day is also the day of Sabbath, which is the day to give back and praise His goodness. Aside from that, seven is also the number of colors in the rainbow.

While many have been fascinated by the number, there is also luck for the automotive manufacturers in the number seven as there is now a growing need for seven-seaters in the automotive industry.

A little trivia here: back in 2008, very few batted an eye over the seven-seater MPVs. Look at what happened back then when then-Nissan distributor Universal Motors introduced the Nissan Grand Livina. Despite updating it to the ‘Highway Star’ variety in 2012, not many followed, thinking that they would rather buy a crossover, or even a full-size SUV should they want to get the space they needed.

But times sure changes the needs of the market. Now, there is a growing demand for this type of vehicle to suit the needs of our daily lives because, let’s face it: our buying power has been affected by numerous reasons (effect of TRAIN law being only one part of the effect).

Now, before I get carried away (and might delve into another point of concern), let’s tackle one MPV that’s been one of the most-sought-after: the Honda Mobilio RS.

The Mobilio RS variant has relived the close family ties that’s been in the heart of every Filipino family. Aside from that, the Mobilio per se, gives that ample space that fits the needs of our daily living. So what makes this Mobilio RS sell like hotcakes? Read on.

Lookin’ lucky

The Honda Mobilio RS has the looks. The updated fascia gives the Mobilio mature features, shying away from the looks of its baby brother, the Brio. To add icing to the cake, the RS trim around made it sportier compared to the regular Mobilio.

The over-all boxy look in the front–complemented by the solid face grille and the new headlights–made it also better-looking version of the Mobilio (but not boxy enough to be identical with BR-V).

For the interior, leather trimmings is in order as the Mobilio RS is pegged as the top variant of the vehicle as the seat material is made up fabric with orange stitching.

Other lucky numbers

The adage “if it works, don’t change it” is the case for the Mobilio RS. While it is just a few millimeters longer than the regular Mobilios (4,398mm versus 4,386 mm), it has retained all its other dimensions–1,683 mm width and 1,603 mm high.

Ground clearance across all variants of Mobilio is set to 189 mm given that the RS variant has body kits, which surprisingly, is only some kilos heavier compared to its regular automatic transmission variety.

Godspeed

Aside from space, they have also retained the powertrain for Mobilio RS–a 1.5 SOHC i-VTEC engine mated to Earth Dreams Technology CVT. The result? 118 horsepower and 145 Nm torque, enough to be city crawler knowing the traffic conditions of the metro.

Since it’s also built for green technology, it passes Euro 4 standards on emissions (much like many automotive vehicles nowadays), hence, contributing much for the environment.

Not banking on pure luck

Despite the figures stated, the Mobilio RS seems to be need a little push when driven on the twisties east of Metro Manila going to Pililia, with all the uphills and winding roads there.

And while the engine is the same as with the Honda City, the Mobilio consumes a bit more on city driving that could be attributed to the worsening traffic and the vehicle’s physical attributes as well. On the highway, it clocked around 16 kilometers per liter but dropped to as much around 8 kilometers per liter in city driving (even lower as the test was done with only 3-4 vehicle occupants).

Since it is a people carrier (being a seven-seater), riding comfort should not be overlooked. Although it may not dish out the best, the ride is a little tolerable compared to those available in the market, and the NVH could be improved further for overall ride comfort.

Occupants would feel lucky with its features: the push start system (found oddly at the left side instead of the usual right) and keyless entry system, the seven-inch touchscreen infotainment with navigation system, a rearview camera that provides clear view, electronic stability control and hill start assist and immobilizer. However, fitting curtain airbags as it is designed as seven-seater will be very much welcomed.

When it comes to pricing, the Honda Mobilio RS is pegged properly (PHP1.017 million), one of those good vehicles to be considered for a big family looking for a city slicker, in case you want to try and get lucky in the war against skyrocketing fuel prices.

Pros

+ Good for highway drive, average city consumption
+ Ample technology
+ Good ground clearance, turning radius
+ Updated fascia looks good
+ Nimble for its dimensions

Cons

– Curtain airbags will be highly-welcome
– Push-start button is oddly placed
– Needs a little push on uphills and twisties
– Still with fabric seats
– NVH, ride comfort needs improvement

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