Whilst enjoying a genteel weekend away on the Suffolk coast, I spotted one of these:
I was very much interested and taken by it as an overtly practical piece of design. Closer inspection revealed it to be a Mobilio, a name I recognised, but could not for the life of me place ….
I think that my brain had been influenced by Richard’s ‘grown-up’ Daihatsu, featured recently and hence took notice of such a distinctly inside-out design. Wikipedia reveals that the car is only just over 4m long (the same as a C3 Picasso), just under 1.7m wide (just narrower) and just over 1.7m in height (a little taller). In the metal, it looked bigger than that, possibly a trick of the eye caused by the proportions (that’s a very long wheelbase and shot rear overhang), form and small wheels. Wiki also says it comes with 7 (!) seats and the option of 4WD, powered by a 1.5l VTEC engine. At least it did, because this car was built between 2001 and 2008. The example I saw was obviously a grey import.
And then, scrolling down the Wiki entry, I remembered where I had heard the name before … because in late 2013 the badge was revived on this:
We’ve “discussed” this later car before, but I had not appreciated that it had such a nicer antecedent. If ever there was a visual metaphor for how the once wonderful Honda has fallen, for me, this is it! And no, I don’t like the new Civic Type-R (vulgar in a repelling way), nor the new NSX (derivative) either. So there!