The Jazz-based Honda Vezel has just gone on sale in Japan, and will soon arrive in other markets with a different name and possibly turbo power too. One market that will not be getting the small SUV is India, as Autocar India reports that a smaller, more affordable model is being developed for a 2016 debut.
Originally planned to slot in between the Honda City and CR-V, the Vezel has been deemed too costly to be adapted for the Indian market, especially in light of the Rupee’s recent decline. Apparently, the new SUV has “technologically advanced features” that would require too much “effort and expense” to be viable for the cost-sensitive market.
Instead, an even smaller SUV will be developed for India, based on the Honda Brio platform. Designed specifically for emerging markets, the Brio base has already been adapted to underpin the Amaze compact sedan and Mobilio MPV, with the latter having a considerable 2,650 mm-long wheelbase.
An extensive redesign will be needed to accommodate an SUV body style, but it will still be more cost-effective than localising the Vezel, Honda told the Indian magazine. When it arrives in 2016, the yet-unnamed model will carry an affordable price tag to rival the likes of the Ford EcoSport, Renault Duster and Nissan Terrano.