Honda Japan Only; Honda Mobilio Feature

In 2008 Car and Driver had a nice article about 10 Japanese vehicles that we'll never see here in North America....

Imagine driving a CVT-equipped tall Civic wagon and you've pretty well nailed the Mobilio experience. Its 2800 pounds are apparently enough to overwhelm its 89 horses. What this handsome shoe box wants is Honda's 2.4-liter four, as found in our CR-V and Element. In Japan, however, fuel costs $3.50 per gallon.

Although the Mobilio is nearly seven inches shorter than an Element, it features three rows of seats that fold faster than Balkan gymnasts. Honda swears seven adults will fit. More like four grownups and two gravy dunkers. This vanette is most notable for a cockpit as beautifully finished as any American Acura's—a warm and harmonious blend of velour, pebbled vinyl, brushed aluminum, and fake wood.

The Mobilio is every bit as refined as the Nissan Cube—with which it directly competes—although not as sporty. At $13,900, though, it's a three-base steal.

MANUFACTURER: Honda Motor Company

VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, front-wheel-drive, 7-passenger, 5-door wagon

PRICE(Japan): $13,900

ENGINE TYPES: DOHC 8-valve 4-in-line, aluminum block and head, Honda PGM-FI engine-control system with port fuel injection

Displacement: 91 cu in, 1497cc Power (SAE net): 89 bhp @ 5600 rpm Torque (SAE net): 97 lb-ft @ 2700 rpm

TRANSMISSIONS: continuously variable automatic

DIMENSIONS:Wheelbase: 67.9 in Length: 159.6 in Curb weight: 2800 lb