The Honda Elevate national media drive last week was a scenic and smooth ride

The Honda Elevate national media drive last week was a scenic and smooth ride

Bizmudra had the special opportunity to travel to Taj Aravalli in Udaipur to check out Honda's latest arrival, their mid-size SUV, Elevate.

We all know Honda for its immensely successful Honda City, which has a fiercely loyal supporter base. However, they did not have a presence in the SUV/C-SUV segment. To address this, the Honda team designed this model, Elevate, during the pandemic, to compete with the likes of existing mid-size SUVs; the Kia Seltos, Hyundai Creta and the Maruti Grand Vitara.

The style motto for its design is 'Urban Freestyler', a bold design that appeals to younger families more prone to splurge on an SUV for style as well as comfort.

The body is designed as masculine and sturdy with a high nose and broader appearance, targeting the audience's preference towards exterior outlook.

High nose and broad appearance

Udaipur is famed for its Palaces, lakes and scenic routes across the mountains; we made the best of it by driving down to Badi Talaab with our brand-new Honda Elevate. As luck would have it, the climate gods favoured us with a light drizzle across the striking mountainous and gorgeous lake-facing view.

Badi Talaab is a very popular spot for youngsters to hang out. Although, as soon as they saw our cameras come out, they scurried away. We do apologise for ruining their party. We were now alone in the most beautiful centre of the lakeside surrounded by lush patterned green hillocks.

Badi Talaab

As mesmerised as we were by the view, we had to capture photos and videos for you to get a glimpse of the beauty.


Finally, let's talk about the car now. The Elevate features a front grille and vertical line from bumper to hood that offers a confident look and feel to the design. From the outside, the vertical line extended the front upper grille with thin, sharp headlights highlighting a modern view of a strong sporty design.

For the first time, variants are also coming in a finish of dual-tone colour options which offers a premium touch to the appearance.

The LED headlights, DRLs & Front Turn Light are designed in the same unit where the Lo/Hi beam technology is integrated. The dual-LED taillights have a distinctive signature feel.

The SUV has the best ground clearance in the segment, 220mm.
Ground clearance, 220mm.

While the exterior design gives a masculine and macho feel, the interior is highly inviting and cosier as it is not intimidating at all.

In fact, the upper portion is clean to ensure visibility which is something this car is unique in offering comfort for a first-time SUV driver.

The interior material and colours provide a premium and luxurious finish.

Honda CONNECT brings intelligent telematics technology which cooperates with wireless telecommunication and informatics application for vehicle function remote operation.

The 10.25-inch In-Plane Switching High-definition resolution touchscreen display audio turns on with welcome graphics and cool animation.

The touchscreen display has a user-friendly interface with an additional sub-screen that can be customised to provide easy access to useful information such as ASVM (Assistant Side View Monitor), ARVM (Assistant Rear View Monitor) and other shortcuts.

The audio can connect wirelessly with various types of compatible smartphones including Apple's CarPlay and Android's Auto.

An extremely useful feature that Honda has added to this SUV is the Honda Sensing. Honda SENSING system uses a front wide-view camera that can detect features of a target and recognizes attributes of objects.

Sub screen shows (blind) left-side camera -- ASVM (Assistant Side View Monitor)
Sub screen shows the rear camera – ARVM (Assistant Rear View Monitor)

It also comes equipped with first of its kind wireless charger for your phone along with two handy side holders for the phone.

wireless charging area

The SUV uses a 7-inch high-definition full-colour TFT multi-information that displays the meter on premium white light and a black background.

The meter shows information such as fuel consumption, trip meter, outside temperature, G-Meter, Honda SENSING information and a clock on a large display screen.

It also allows the driver to customize the operations and vehicle settings, such as the meter set-up, keyless access, lighting set-up, door set-up, and Honda SENSING functions.

Interior Features: Infotainment cluster and Instrument cluster

The SUV offers a 5-person seating capacity with plush leather seats that is comfortable as well as provides optimized backrest and leg space to ensure convenience during long trips and avoid exhaustion.

The Honda team has optimized the seat surface and backrest through repeated testing.

Driver's seat space
Rear seating space
The boot space of 458 l is one of the most spacious provided in this segment. In fact, the rear seats are foldable to increase the space further, ideal for moving.
Boot space - 458 l
Rear seats folded down
Extended spacing with rear seats folded 

The car boasts premium utilities such as an electric sunroof with one-touch operation.

It is equipped with rotate type Grab Rail with Coat Hook, Cup holders in the console area for convenient use, a 1L bottle holder on the front and rear door pockets, a Power outlet 12V for both front and rear passengers, a Rear air conditioner vent with an automatic system, Cupholders in Rear Center Armrest, rear view mirror auto-dimming amongst some.

Cup holder in the rear seat armrest

The powertrain engine is water-cooled inline 1.5l i-VTEC DOHC with a displacement of 1498 cc and 16 valves (4 per cylinder). The petrol engine has both an Advanced CVT and 6-speed manual transmission offering fuel efficiency of 15.31 kmpl for manual and 16.92 kmpl for the CVT.

Column EPS is precisely controlled with the linear-curve characteristic so that the driver can feel more smooth operation and better handling.

For a more fun driving experience, several parts have been adjusted and enhanced for all driving scenes by the adjusted rear suspension geometry and damping characteristics for optimum performance and comfort.

The engine noise and vibration are improved by using engine head cover, urethane cover and optimizing several parts around the engine. There is High-performance engine vibration control to reduce engine sound radiation.

The Honda Sensing system measures distance and the lateral position of objects based on the change in the size of the target object, how long it took for the change to occur, and the vehicle’s speed.

Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS) will warn you with audio and multi-information display alerts. In an emergency, the system will apply braking to stop or slow down the vehicle to help mitigate the collision or reduce the damage.

Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS) reduces the driver’s burden by supporting steering operation to keep driving along the centre of a lane while driving on a highway.

Auto High Beam helps ensure the driver’s good visibility by automatically switching between low and high beams when driving at night.

Road Departure Mitigation System supports steering operation when the vehicle is likely to stray from the lane. When the vehicle is likely to stray from the lane without a turning sign, steering vibration and visual warnings are provided.

Adaptive Cruise Control is a support function to keep a distance from a preceding car. When driving on a highway, the system supports acceleration and braking operations to reduce the load on the driver. It also responds more quickly when changing into an open lane from behind a slower car, and when a slower car moves out of the lane ahead.

Lead Car Departure Notification System informs the driver of the start of the preceding car. At the time of stops such as waiting at a traffic light, the system will alert the driver about the departure of the car in front.

These safety features appear not just in the CVT unit but also in their Manual cars, which is a first for the segment.

The passive safety features include Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body, pedestrian protection, 6-airbags and Honda has assured us that they even performed internal crash tests.

The remote engine start feature can help when you can cool your car on a hot sunny day even before you reach inside your car. Remote Keyless Smart Entry with an Outer Handle Touch sensor assists in giving third-party access to your car eg. car cleaning service. The walk-away door lock helps the driver remotely lock it without worrying about it. Five-year subscription is included for this service when you buy the Elevate.

We had the most fun taking this car for a spin. To our surprise, even the manual version was packed with safety features like the Smart Cruise control which made our drive smoother and safer. From the driver's seat, the view ahead is so straight and clear, it would make an ideal car for first-time SUV drivers. The CVT version, of course, impressed us further with its 'elevated' functions.

This is a great car for families, however, we are still in the dark regarding the pricing. Honda is expected to launch this car in September. With the right pricing, this car can be a great option amongst its competitors.

Text and photos by Gunjan Solanki and Akshaya M