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Renault Lodgy vs Honda Mobilio: Comparison Review

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  • Jul 9, 2015
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The latest entrant in the MPV segment, the Renault Lodgy takes on the proven Honda Mobilio in a neck-to-neck battle to be the segment leader. We tell you which one emerged as the segment winner.

 

Renault Lodgy vs Honda Mobilio

 

In the past few years the demand for cars in the MPV segment has grown like never before. Buyers are now starting to see the practicality in owning an MPV as they offer lots of space for that long distance trip with family and at the same time work fairly well for your daily commute. And that is exactly the reason why more and more manufacturers are bringing in products in this class. Not so long ago, Tata, Toyota and Mahindra were the only players, in this segment. Last year though, Honda introduced the Mobilio and more recently Renault brought in the Lodgy. We pitch the two against each other to find out which one is the smarter buy.

 

Lodgy vs Mobilio

 

Design:

Renault Lodgy: rating_3.0_rating

Honda Mobilio:  rating_4.0_rating

Most cars in the MPV segment don’t quite have a design that will turn a lot of heads. They focus more on function than form and rightly so. The Honda Mobilio and the Renault Lodgy follow the same norm. But between the two it is the Mobilio that scores marginally better. It looks contemporary; we have to give it that. The bonnet, headlamp and the grille look similar to the Amaze, but the large bumper and fog lamp casing do give it a unique identity. In profile, is probably the worst angle to look at the Mobilio. Despite having a sharp shoulder and character line, it looks like a stretched out version of the Honda Amaze. The rear though has some very interesting details, like the wrap-around taillights, the sharp creases on the bootlid and the plastic inserts on the rear bumper.

Lodgy vs Mobilio rear

 

At close to 4.5metres in length, the Lodgy is considerably larger than the Mobilio and it is wider and taller too, thanks to which its size does look intimidating. The large pulled back headlights and that massive chrome grille that flaunts the Renault badge gives it an upmarket feel. But in profile and at the back, its looks don’t have anything to write home about and looks a lot van-like. The taillights too look a little oddball. While the Lodgy doesn’t look as good as the Mobilio, no points can be taken away from the fact that it does have presence.

 

Renault Lodgy dashboard

 

 

Interior and Space:

Renault Lodgy: rating_4.0_rating

Honda Mobilio: rating_3.0_rating 

What the Lodgy loses out in terms of exterior design, it makes up very easily in terms of interiors and comfort. Needless to say, the larger dimensions of the Renault Lodgy do make more space on the inside than the Honda Mobilio. The Lodgy is wider thanks to which there is ample of shoulder and elbow room even in the second row. Passengers sitting on the last bench too have ample of knee room, but then the seating is a bit odd due to the high floorboard which might make it a bit uncomfortable on long journeys. The seats on the Lodgy however are wide and are well cushioned for superior comfort.

 

Honda Mobilio dashboard

 

Although the Mobilio has more knee and leg room than the Lodgy, its seats don’t have enough support for the thigh. And then thanks to the wafer thin seats, it isn’t the most comfortable seat when driving distances either. Moreover, sitting in the middle on the second row isn’t the most comfortable affair thanks to the centre arm rest. That said, the last row does feel slightly more comfortable than the Lodgy. It would have been a lot cooler had it been equipped with AC vents for the third row passengers as well.  

Renault Lodgy rear leg room

 

Let’s face it, both these MPVs aren’t by any means cheap and you would expect a certain kind of quality from cars that come in the Rs 7-12 lakh price bracket. And in that regard, the Lodgy scores marginally better than the Mobilio. The beige-grey dashboard shares a lot of its parts with the Duster, like the steering wheel, the touchscreen infotainment and more. Quality of plastics, and the overall fit and finish all round is good. The shift of the ORVM controls from under the hand brake in the Duster to behind the steering on the dash is noteworthy.

Honda Mobilio rear leg room

 

The Mobilio’s dashboard is the same as the Brio and the Amaze, which is absolutely fine considering keeping in mind the cost saving. But then the price that it comes at, its quality feels sub-standard. Moreover, we didn’t quite like the faux wood finish on the dash and thought it to be a little tacky. Overall, in terms of interior and space, the Lodgy is the clear winner.

Renault Lodgy reversing camera

 

Features and Equipment: 

Renault Lodgy: rating_4.0_rating

Honda Mobilio: rating_3.5_rating

As far as features are concerned, both cars come equipped with almost the same amount of equipment. The top-end Lodgy with the captain seats though gets leather upholstery which isn’t available on the Mobilio. Aside from that, the Lodgy as well as the Mobilio come with a touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth, AUX, USB connectivity and a navigation system. However, the touch on the Lodgy is a lot more responsive and easy to use. Both cars get reversing camera and parking sensors but due to the wrong angle of the screen on the Mobilio you can barely see anything. The Lodgy’s reversing camera though is offset a might take a little getting used to. With respect to safety, both cars come with ABS, EBD as well as Airbags, but then the Renault Lodgy gets Brake Assist as well.

 

Renault Lodgy engine

 

Engine: 

Renault Lodgy: rating_4.0_rating

Honda Mobilio: rating_3.5_rating

Now, the Lodgy comes with an engine that has already proven its mettle in the Renault Duster. The 1.5-litre unit makes 110PS and 245Nm. The Lodgy comes mated to a 6-speed gearbox which although precise, feels a tad bit rubbery. The car is a little slow to getting off the line, but once the turbo spools in, it doesn’t quite feel as big as it dimensions suggest. The engine has a strong mid-range and really feels punchy once beyond the 2,000rpm marker. On open roads, it has enough grunt to make those swift overtaking moves. It even feels a lot more refined and smoother. The clutch though feels heavy and isn’t progressive - a criticism that we had on the Duster as well. However, Renault had addressed this issue on the AWD, making us wonder why they haven’t done the same on the Lodgy in the first place.

Honda Mobilio engine

 

The Honda Mobilio also comes with a 1.5-litre engine but this one makes 100PS and 200Nm. Unlike the Lodgy, the Mobilio feel quick on its heels from the word making it extremely easy to drive in the city. The Mobilio feels amply energetic even when you step on the throttle from crawling speeds of 30kmph in the third gear. A lot of that attribute is thanks to the lighter all-aluminium, one of the reasons that make the Mobilio 120kg lighter. On the flipside though, due to the aluminium construction there is a lot of engine clatter that seeps into the Mobilio’s cabin. Another characteristic that sets the Mobilio back is its notchy 5-speed gearbox. The clutch though is a lot lighter than the Lodgy making it easy to drive in stop-and-go conditions as well.

Renault Lodgy and Honda Mobilio in action

 

Ride and Handling:

Renault Lodgy: rating_4.0_rating

Honda Mobilio: rating_3.0_rating

When it comes to ride quality, the Lodgy like the Duster can make easy work of the worst of roads. You don’t quite feel the bumps inside the cabin irrespective of which row you sitting on. However, when fully loaded, the 174mm ground clearance might just cause a hindrance. The Mobilio on the other hand isn’t as relaxed over a rough stretch of road. Going slow over rough roads or driving over larger bumps the car does feel unsettled. But be bold take the bumps head-on and the Mobilio will absorb them all with relative ease.

Mobilio and Lodgy in action

 

With regards the handling, the Lodgy is the surprise package here. It feels absolutely stable at high speeds and even when you push it hard it doesn’t feel nervous. The long wheelbase and the direct steering feel too have a part to play in its handling dynamics but it would be wrong to deny that that the Lodgy feels slightly van-like. The Mobilio too is fairly easy to drive around bends and doesn’t feel alien when you throw a curve at it. But better feedback from the steering and grippier tyres would have done it a world of good.

 

Honda Mobilio

 

Price and Fuel Efficiency: 

Renault Lodgy: rating_3.0_rating

Honda Mobilio: rating_4.0_rating

The Lodgy is on sale with a diesel engine only and starts at Rs 8.17 lakh. The base Mobilio diesel is priced Rs 2,000 higher. But then the top-end trim of the Mobilio is close to Rs 1.10 lakh cheaper than the similar specced Lodgy. In terms of fuel efficiency too, the Lodgy’s 1.5-litre 110PS variant claims an ARAI figure of 19.98kmpl while Honda claims that the Mobilio would return 24.2kmpl.

 

Renault Lodgy badge

 

Verdict: 

Renault Lodgy: rating_4.0_rating

Honda Mobilio: rating_3.5_rating

So which one of the two is the better MPV? The Mobilio looks better, has a decent enough engine and is well equipped too. But then it is more of a case of Jack of all trades master of none. And that is exactly where the Lodgy manages to gain some ground. It may not be the best looking MPV out there, but when it comes to offering a plush ride quality and moving a bunch of people in utmost comfort the Lodgy clearly stands out. Plus the refined engine and its handling dynamics serve as the last nail in the coffin. 

Recommended Variant : Lodgy Stepway 110PS RXZ 7S

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