Honda Mobilio Spike

What is the Honda Mobilio Spike?

Picture of a black 2004 Honda Mobilio spikeA 5 seater compact minivan with ‘interesting’ external appearance and superb interior functionality and flexibility.

The Honda marketing materials talk of ‘metal ingot styling’ and refer to the car as a ‘rugged toolbox.’  Several people questioned my sanity when I expressed an interest in this car.  I think it looks quirky in a good way, you may not agree!

There is also a 7 seater version of this car, the Honda Mobilio.  Much more staid in appearance, the loss of the metal ingot styling hasn’t done it any favours in my view.

Why you’ll want one

The interior design and functionality are excellent.  Honda called it ultra cargo.  There are so many clever features to enable you to transport long stuff, tall stuff, wide stuff, lots of stuff….oh and people too.  Five ‘modes’ are used to describe this functionality: Utility, Long, Twin, Refresh and Adjust.  Click the link above for more information on these modes from Honda.

Twin sliding rear doors for added practicality.

The engine is a slightly larger and more powerful 1.5 litre version of the excellent 1.4 litre VTEC engine found in the Honda Jazz (aka Fit).

Why you might not want one

I’ll admit it is possible you won’t like the looks of this car.  Maybe metal ingot styling isn’t your thing.

The CVT gearbox.  This was the deal breaker for me.  There have been a lot of problems reported with the CVT gearbox on the Honda Jazz.  Honda has extended the warranty on these cars to 7 years for the CVT.  I think it is likely that the Honda Mobilio Spike has the same gearbox, although I have not been able to confirm this.  Many of the problems with this gearbox seem to be resolved with regular transmission fluid changes (make sure the correct fluid is used), but there do seem to be further problems not so easily remedied.

Look out for

2004-2005 Honda Mobilio Spike rear view CVT gearbox problems.

Summary

An interesting and extremely practical car that didn’t catch on in Japan.  I would be very tempted to try one were it not for the CVT reliability worries.

Are there any similar alternatives?  I’d suggest having a look at: Toyota bB, Nissan Cube Cubic, Toyota Sienta.

Get in touch or ask a question in the comments section if you’d like to learn more about any of these cars.

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