Honda Elevate SUV: Honest observations by a Hyundai Elite i20 owner

The choice of material of the front black grill seems to be from a segment below.

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Checked the Elevate last weekend. While the features looks disappointing on paper, the vehicle turned out to be good.

Since there are a lot of reviews posted here already, I would like to provide the perspective of my cousin who is looking to upgrade from an Elite i20 (in no particular order):

  • Sheet metal seems to be at par with other Honda vehicles or even the competition. However, when my cousin rested his palm on the bonnet, I could not help but notice the flex on the bonnet. Build seems to be decent otherwise. Also, the panel gaps are not consistent at some places. The bumper of the TD vehicle seems to be misaligned at the left – I am guessing this is a one-off situation since the TD vehicle seems to be well put together.
  • The choice of material of the front black grill seems to be from a segment below. While it looks okay from a distance, it does not look that great upon closer inspection.
  • All 4 wheels have plastic cladding.
  • While my cousin is still scratching his head if he likes the dashboard or not, I found it to be typical Honda – may be not as good as a Kia or Hyundai, but close.
  • Sunroof is tiny. Neither the driver notices it nor the rear passengers. It seems to be put in place just for the sake of it (Can’t really blame Honda here, they gave what the general population wanted).
  • I am 5’8” with normal build, and the seats seemed comfy for me (both front and rear, more on this later). Leg room with the driver’s seat set to my usual position is more than adequate.
  • Boot is practical. However, there is a loading lip and given the GC of the car, it might take some effort to load it.
  • Display vehicle was Blue, which I felt to be okay. The White TD vehicle looked good in comparison (subjective, I know). SA says Red is the best of the lot. I would refrain from commenting on this until I see one in person.

Coming to the test drive experience. When we checked the car on a Saturday, the SA said he cannot arrange for a TD that day since there are a lot of people waiting in line already (turns out he is right, people were literally trying to get into the car as soon as another customer returned from TD). He did however mention that he would happily arrange one for us on a weekday. As promised, he called yesterday asking if we could drop by the showroom for a TD. The TD vehicle was a white ZX manual. Here are our observations:

  • Clutch is super light. I thought I felt this way because I am used to driving a MT Diesel. My cousin felt the same. Even the gear shifts are one finger light. My cousin mentioned that the Elevate felt more refined compared to his i20.
  • Suspension seems pretty well calibrated. You could sail over small potholes without an issue. We encountered a bad patch which we took slow. No thuds or other noises. The suspension silently worked its magic in the background.
  • TD was within moderate to dense city traffic, so, we could not really test high speed stability or pick-up. However, the vehicle felt very easy to manoeuvre in the city. With 3 persons on board, the power on offer was adequate. My cousin was of the opinion that the pick-up and general drivability is marginally better when compared to his petrol i20. Power on offer might not be class leading, but it felt adequate for regular city usage.
  • Coming to the seats, while they felt comfy when I first sat on them, the side bolstering turned out to be too soft when taking turns. I mean I was not being tossed around but felt that the side bolstering should’ve been a bit stiff. Rear felt okay though I would’ve liked a bit of under thigh support.
  • AC felt good. Since the car was continuously being used for TDs, the cabin was already cool when we got in. So, I cannot really say if it cools down the cabin quickly or not, but it did maintain comfortable temperature throughout the TD.
  • Body roll is evident on sharp turns. This is expected anyway given the ground clearance.
  • Thankfully, Honda ditched the old touchscreen. The new ICE felt light years ahead compared to the old one in the City. I cannot really comment on the stock audio system since we turned off the Radio as soon as we got in since we wanted to keep an ear out for refinement and general NVH. Happy to report that the NVH within the city limits we drove in was decent. There were no squeaks, rattles or abnormal noises.
  • Visibility is good all round. The flat bonnet helps judging gaps. I did not notice the lane watch camera’s feed until I took the back seat. If someone is going for a lower variant, I don’t think they would miss it.

SA says on-road (Hyderabad) for ZX and VX CVT is around 18L and for VX to be around 16-16.5L. CVT is expected to command a premium of around 1.3L over MT. Although the official prices are not out yet, he seemed pretty confident about it. They have a few vehicles in their yard ready for delivery (which they intend to do after the price announcement). However, they can only show them to the customers who booked the vehicle so that they could finalise on a colour of their choice.


Honda seems to have put some effort into this vehicle. While I too felt that Honda launched it a couple of years too late, I seem to have changed my opinion after trying out the vehicle in flesh. If someone is looking for no-nonsense vehicle for pottering around city and for occasional highway drives, this should be a strong contender. I agree that there are some missing features, but when I got to experience the vehicle firsthand, I really could not find any flaws to point at. Sure, I could nitpick, but no vehicle is perfect. This is a jack of all trades king of none sort of vehicle. I really hope Honda prices this one right. If I were to pick a 1.5 NA between Seltos, Creta and Elevate, I would go with the Elevate. Somehow, this vehicle seems more practical to me. Even my cousin who is torn between Seltos and Elevate is leaning towards the Elevate. However, he is smitten by that 1.5 turbo in the Seltos. He is still unable to choose an engine option. If he wants that turbo (which I could sense is what will happen), Seltos it is. If not, he intends to book the Elevate.

For those interested, the dealership is Pride Honda, Allwyn X roads. They have TD available as well. There seems to be discounts on the City now. Although the SA did not disclose the exact amount, he did mention that we could negotiate the price if we were interested in the City and the discount should be a “good amount”.

Apologies for not taking any pictures. There were a lot of families checking out the vehicle and I did not want to make them uncomfortable by pointing a camera at their face.

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