More from Motoring

Oh, Honda Elevate! You marvelous, unexpected bundle of joy! Let’s dive right into the quirky wonderland that is the backseat of this automobile marvel. Normally, I’m the first to commandeer the driver’s seat, but this time, fate (or rather, another eager driver) nudged me to the rear. And boy, am I grateful! The rear seat is the VIP lounge of the Elevate, where the black-and-tan decor whispers sweet nothings of comfort and class.

You know that awkward yoga you usually do getting into a car? Forget it. The Elevate welcomes you with open doors, literally, and those faux leather seats feel like they’re giving you a gentle hug. Stretch out, my friends, for this cabin is roomier than a bachelor pad. Whether you’re a Honda die-hard or a newbie to the badge, you’ll find solace here, especially with those three-across seating that can handle even your most uninvited guests. And with a 60/40 split rear bench, you’ve got more flexibility than a gymnast. Backseat perks? Oh, just the usual – bottle holders, A/C vents, a 12V socket, cupholders, and a 458-liter boot that’s more spacious than my garage.

Front row aficionados, fret not! The driver’s throne offers a majestic road view, coupled with seats as snug as a bug in a rug. Tech junkies will drool over the 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system (the biggest Honda has blessed India with), wireless smartphone charger (switchable, because options are classy), and a chunky steering wheel with enough buttons to make you feel like a jet pilot. Honda has generously sprinkled real buttons for the A/C controls – because touchscreen controls are so passé. The 7-inch TFT instruments are the epitome of Honda’s understated elegance, packed with features like paddle shifters, sunroof, Android Auto/Apple CarPlay, and multi-angle cameras. It’s like a tech lover’s dream, minus the VR headset.


Now, let’s get to the gossip you’re really here for – the not-so-glamorous bits. The cabin, while plush, doesn’t have the same glitz and glam as those Hyundai and Kia rockstars. Honda’s signature piano black surfaces? Smudge magnets, I tell you. The materials and finish? Good, but not quite Kardashian-level luxury.

Step outside, and the Elevate greets you with a face that’s more North American than a burger joint. That bold front end, the chrome strip over the LED eyes, and the chunky grille – it’s like a Honda went on an American adventure and came back with a new wardrobe. Personally, I dig the new look. It’s hefty, yet simple, with wheel-arch cladding adding just the right amount of rugged charm. The rear’s connected-strip lighting is the cherry on this SUV sundae.

Engine talk – the heart and soul. Honda’s trusty 1.5-litre i-VTEC petrol engine, with 119 bhp and 14.8 kgm of torque, is like your favorite pair of jeans – reliable, but maybe a tad snug after a big meal. In the City, it’s a star performer. In the Elevate, with its extra weight, the pep fades a bit. It’s as quiet as a ninja at startup, great in city traffic, but when you ask for speed, it’s like asking a sloth to sprint. The CVT combo? Let’s just say it tries its best, but the rubber band effect is as pronounced as ever. Paddle shifters help, but only the manual gearbox truly saves the day.

Honda Elevate

Fuel efficiency? Honda quotes 15.3 kpl for the manual and 16.9 kpl for the CVT. Not exactly brag-worthy, and with a 40-litre fuel tank, expect frequent pit stops. But hey, for city slickers, it’s manageable.

Ride quality, though, is where the Elevate shines. The suspension whispers sweet nothings to the road’s nastiness, keeping you blissfully unaware. With 220 mm ground clearance, this SUV is ready for the urban jungle and beyond. Cornering? Stable and predictable, like your favorite sitcom rerun. Brakes are standard fare, doing their job without drama – more feel would be a nice touch, though.

Safety-wise, Honda’s got you covered with its SENSING suite – collision mitigation, lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, and more. Thankfully, I didn’t get to test these, which means either I’m a great driver, or the car is just that safe.

Honda’s challenge? Convincing the badge-hoppers to stick around. The Elevate is late to the SUV party, and without diesel or turbocharged options, it’s a tough crowd. It’s got a lot to prove on a tight budget. But beneath it all, it’s still a Honda – reliable, sturdy, and charming in its own way. So here’s to hoping the Elevate elevates Honda’s game in this cutthroat segment!