When the all-new City Hatchback officially arrived in the country, it spelled the end of the Jazz in the Philippine market. With the Jazz moving upmarket, the City Hatchback now serves as the spiritual successor of the five-door model in the country.
Following the Jazz's departure, we now say goodbye to another Honda model: the Mobilio. The vehicle vanished from the local website of Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. (HCPI).
When we asked HCPI team members to confirm, they did: their 7-seat MPV has been discontinued for the Philippines. With that, the only 7-seater models HCPI has in the country are the BR-V and the CR-V.
But why did HCPI decide to stop offering the Mobilio in the country? They released this statement:
“We mainly considered the changes in market demand. By focusing on other growing segments, we can better cater to our customer needs”
This doesn't come to us as a surprise since the market continues to shift towards SUVs, crossovers, and pick-ups. More importantly, its closest cousin, the BR-V (which was first launched in 2016), continues to rake in more sales than the Mobilio. In 2020 alone, Honda sold 2,041 units of the BR-V, whereas the Mobilio only sold 169 units in total. There's also the matter of stiff competition from the Toyota Avanza, Mitsubishi Xpander, and the Suzuki Ertiga.
The Mobilio was first launched in the country back in April 2015 and served as a direct competitor against the likes of the Toyota Avanza and Suzuki Ertiga. At the time of its launch, it was one of the longest in the segment but was still behind (back then) by the now-discontinued Kia Carens and Nissan Grand Livina. It was also one of the most powerful MPVs in the market thanks to a 1.5-liter i-VTEC engine derived from the City/Jazz. It put out 120 PS with 145 Nm of torque and can be mated to either a CVT or a 5-speed manual gearbox.
In 2018, the Mobilio received its first-ever facelift and received a sportier front fascia. Not only that, but it also borrowed some interior styling cues from the City with its new digital air-conditioning system, three-gauge instrument panel, and sleek touchscreen infotainment.
There's no word yet as to whether Honda actually plans on launching a second-generation Mobilio. However, Honda already has plans to launch a second-generation BR-V. Back in May, the company revealed the N7X concept which is essentially a thinly-veiled preview of the all-new 7-seater model. It no longer borrowed styling cues from the Mobilio and now looks more like a proper crossover from every angle.
With the Mobilio now gone from the Philippine lineup, the small MPV market just got smaller. For now, the only small MPVs available are the Toyota Avanza, Mitsubishi Xpander, and the Suzuki Ertiga.