Honda Releases the new Mobilio --- A New Style of Compact Minivan

December 21, 2001, Japan


Tokyo, December 21, 2001 --- Honda Motor Co., Ltd. has announced the release of the Mobilio, a new compact minivan with futuristic styling built on Honda's Global Small Platform. It features a newly developed 1.5L i-DSI engine in a compact, 4-meter-long body that seats up to seven adults. Its nimble driving performance is matched by an impressive fuel economy of 18.2km/L*1-top in its class*2. The new Mobilio goes on sale December 21st at all Honda dealers throughout Japan. The Mobilio, which combines a new-generation i-Series engine with the revolutionary technology of the Global Small Platform, is Honda's second model in the Small Max series. This compact minivan, designed around the concept of everyday functionality, offers new value to those who view their car as a tool for everyday life and want to get the most out it on a day-to-day basis.

Mobilio W Type (with optional equipment)

Mobilio W Type (with optional equipment)

  • *1Front-wheel drive vehicle, except for the W Type (Fuel consumption when driven in 10-15 mode. Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport figures.)
  • *27-passenger vehicle class

The Mobilio was developed based on the following themes:

S = Smart packaging, with a compact body and spacious, ergonomic interior
U = Urban styling that blends refinement and functionality
U = Utility that combines easy handling and comfort with money-saving fuel economy

The Mobilio embodies these development themes through a blending of new concepts and technologies, such as its Global Small Platform, which delivers a high level of crash protection in a short-nosed design, along with a spacious, low-floor cabin and center tank layout (the fuel tank is located under the first row of seats) that allows versatile arrangements of three rows of comfortable seats, and a sliding rear door for easy entry and exit. The specially developed 1.5L i-DSI engine and Honda Multimatic S transmission provide outstanding fuel economy. And to top it off, the Mobilio offers a stylish, futuristic design based on a European streetcar motif.

All model types are recognized by the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport as Excellent Low Emissions Vehicles, and meet fuel efficiency requirements for 2010.

Main Features

<Smart Packaging>

  • High-efficiency packaging
  • The Global Small Platform enables a short-nosed, low-floor design that creates a spacious 2,435mm-long by 1,360mm-wide cabin--while affording a high degree of safety in the event of a crash.
  • The center tank layout in which the fuel tank is located beneath the first-row seats allows the floor to be lowered, giving even adult third-row passengers ample room to stretch out. The third-row seats fold neatly away under the second-row seats, creating a spacious 579-liter cargo space (front-wheel drive vehicles). The versatile seating arrangements allow stowage of luggage up to 1,360mm tall or 2.6m long.
  • The second-row seat slides backward or forward up to 260mm.
  • Smart door opening
  • The front doors employ forward-angled door hinges that allow the doors to open upward at a large angle. The doors are also set to open at three different angles, making it easier to get in and out of the car in tight places.
  • Both rear doors slide open and closed to facilitate entry and exit in tight places. The sliding doors, combined with the low, 405mm-high floor (front-wheel drive vehicle), make getting in and out of the third-row seats or installing a child seat a breeze. The left-side sliding door is equipped with a stopper that prevents the door from opening more than 300mm when the fuel filler lid is open.
  • The large tailgate opens up to a low, 495mm-high floor (front-wheel drive vehicles) for easy loading of heavy or bulky items.

<Urban Styling>

  • Exterior
  • Rather than employing concepts such as 'flow' and 'dynamism' emphasized in passenger cars in the past, the Mobilio is designed around a European streetcar motif, employing straight lines and ample glass area to effect a distinctive vertical sentiment. The emphasis on vertical and horizontal planes results in a functional form that is spacious, easy to get in and out of, and offers an excellent field of vision.
  • Ten body colors are available, including two new ones.
  • Interior
  • The panoramic cabin features plenty of glass, creating a feeling of spaciousness and freedom, and the sills of the door windows have been positioned low so that even small children can enjoy the passing scenery.
  • A metallic center panel accentuates the interior space while increasing operability. (Standard in W and A Types.)
  • Contour-fitted seat material conforms to occupants' bodies while remaining wrinkle-free.
  • Utility
  • Visibility and ease of operation
  • The Mobilio incorporates such features as high-positioned seats for a commanding view, a large triangular window to reduce the blind spot during right turns, and expansive window glass with a super-low sill height, providing the driver with a superior field of view in all directions. A compact body and wheels positioned close to the vehicle's four corners make for easy handling around tight corners and when parallel parking.
  • The in-panel shift lever provides easier operability and permits walk-through access from side to side. Center panel controls are within easy reach and the shift knob fits comfortably in the palm of the hand.
  • Rigid body and quiet operation
  • The Mobilio's design is based on Honda's Global Small Platform, which employs a center-tank layout in which the fuel tank is enclosed in the floor frame, providing both high body rigidity and ample cabin space. Additional measures such as an extra cross-member to compensate for the extended wheelbase, a cross-member with a large cross-section incorporated into the rear panel, and frame construction in the outer panels are employed to create an extremely rigid body frame. At the same time, the Mobilio's compact, 4m-long body provides a spacious interior and three full rows of seating.
  • The floor's highly rigid design suppresses unwanted noise in the interior, and a rigid engine frame and high-performance engine mounts effectively reduce the transmission of noise and vibration from the power train. A variety of lightweight, highly efficient noise reduction measures, including packing roof and floor areas with sound-suppressing materials on par with a luxury car and use of sound-suppressing materials throughout the interior, ensure a quiet, comfortable ride. The body is further designed to suppress wind noise and noises seeping in around the doors, for superior all-round quiet operation.
  • Engine and transmission
  • The 1.5L i-DSI engine was specially developed for the Mobilio to ensure smooth operation even with seven passengers onboard. Narrow-angle valve positioning and other innovations minimize the size of the engine's combustion chamber, and Honda's i-DSI (Dual and Sequential Ignition) system employs twin plugs (two plugs per cylinder) to obtain optimum ignition timing control for crisp, powerful off-the-line acceleration. The engine is also tuned for maximum torque at low engine speeds (131N-m/2,700rpm) for sprightly performance in everyday city driving.
  • The i-DSI system's high combustion efficiency and reduced friction throughout contribute to improved fuel economy. This fuel-efficient engine, when paired with the Honda Multimatic S transmission, attains a fuel rating of 18.2km/L*3-the highest in the 7-passenger vehicle class.
  • *3Front-wheel drive vehicles, except the W Type (Fuel consumption when driven in 10-15 mode. Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport figures.)
  • The new-generation Honda Multimatic S CVT (continuously variable transmission) delivers a natural driving feel with no shift shock, and has been specially optimized for the Mobilio with an "S" shift position added to facilitate sporty driving. The transmission continuously monitors the amount and duration of driver foot pressure on the gas pedal, optimizing gearing regulation to automatically shift between driving modes for smooth, nimble off-the-line acceleration and just the right amount of engine braking during deceleration. Automatic change of driving mode in response to throttle operation, optimized gearing regulation for each driving condition, and reduced friction for more efficient power transfer also make a major contribution to the Mobilio's outstanding fuel economy.
  • Suspension and brakes
  • A front-strut suspension is employed for space efficiency and road-hugging responsiveness. The springs have been angled and shock absorber friction significantly reduced, for a more comfortable ride.
  • The rear employs an H-shaped torsion beam suspension with shock absorbers and springs separately located under the floor, resulting in a lower floor and an increased wheel stroke. This configuration achieves both expanded cabin space and superb handling stability.
  • The brakes are configured to deliver decisive response to a light touch. The Mobilio also comes with ABS (4-wheel, anti-lock braking system) with the EBD (electronic brake-force distribution) system and brake assist, which provides supplemental braking force during emergency stops, as standard equipment on all model types.


  • Honda's original G-CON (G-force Control) technology is incorporated to create a new body with a crash safety design that is among the best in the world. It offers protection to vehicle occupants in a 55km/h full-frontal collision, a 64km/h front offset collision, 55km/h side collision, and a 50km/h rear collision. Also, a new energy-absorbing structure employing an arch-shaped side frame in the front of the vehicle to efficiently absorb impact energy in a short distance results in a shorter nose and reduces weight, while ensuring a high level of collision safety performance.
  • To further improve safety in real-world collisions, Honda has implemented its own vehicle-to-vehicle collision testing program with its own independently-established research standards. (Testing involves a 50% front offset collision with a 2-ton class passenger car, both vehicles traveling at 50km/h.) This collision testing is much more demanding than conventional tests in which the car is crashed into a fixed barrier. The Mobilio's safety design meets even these stringent testing requirements.
  • The number of body sections designed to reduce pedestrian injury has been increased to protect pedestrians' lower limbs as well as their heads. Even the bumper employs an impact-absorbing design.
  • The interior is designed to protect occupants' heads in a collision, and front-row seats are also designed to alleviate shocks to the neck.
  • An SRS dual front airbag system is standard equipment, and an i-side airbag system is also available for the front row as a manufacturer's option. ISO FIX compatible child seat anchoring bars and tether anchors (left and right second-row seats) are also standard.

<Environmental Performance>

  • The exhaust system's rear-port configuration reduces exhaust-gas heat loss, rapidly activating the catalytic converter for cleaner performance on cold starts. Hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, and other pollutants in the exhaust gas have been greatly reduced. In fact, the Mobilio runs so clean that all model types are recognized by the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport as Excellent Low Emissions Vehicles, with emissions of less than 50% of those allowed under year 2000 emissions regulations.
  • The Mobilio attains a fuel rating of 18.2km/L*4-the highest in the 7-passenger vehicle class. All model types meet Japanese government fuel efficiency requirements for 2010.
  • Recycling starts at the production stage. Almost all interior injection-molded parts are made of olefin resin for superior recyclability. This and other measures result in an overall vehicle recyclability of over 90%*5. Use of lead has also been reduced to less than 50% of 1996 levels.
  • *4Front-wheel drive vehicles, except the W Type (Fuel consumption when driven in 10-15 mode. Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport figures.)
  • *5According to independent Honda measurement standards