Cars/ First-drive/ Honda Elevate | First Drive Review | Comfort level: It’s over 9000!

Honda Elevate | First Drive Review | Comfort level: It’s over 9000!

Comfort level: It’s over 9000!


Comfortable, impressive NVH levels, Honda Sensing


Misses features like rear curtains, type-C ports, etc.


Limited by powertrain, and unlimited ride comfort

The Honda Elevate features the same powertrain and transmissions as the Honda City, the 1.5L i-VTEC + VTC petrol engine churning ~119bhp and 145Nm paired to a 6-speed MT or CVT. This refined unit features a broad power band across the revs and gears. The gear shifter, too, is similar to the Honda City and a charm with short precise movements, only to become much faster with regular use. The commanding stance and Honda City-like driving pleasures make the Elevate a charm to drive. The short turning radius of 5.2M makes this car feel smaller than it looks, while the entire visible hood from the driver seat makes one perceive they’re driving a much larger car. We drove through twisties of Raita hills, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India, and although we could not rip through the latter gears, the car seemed eager in CVT while typically Honda rev-happy in MT. The steering wheel is lightweight, and the overall car behaves beautifully among twisties responding to all the inputs with utmost confidence. Reassuring this driving pleasure was the excellent suspension setup and chassis tune of the Elevate. It would not be wrong to term this car as the most fantastic ride quality and comfort in its segment of cars! The Honda Elevate is just that good. The chassis, the suspension setup and the seats work harmoniously to soak undulations of everything under the wheels. The perception this builds with the visible hood is like driving something significant and nothing but the utmost comfort unmatched by the best competitors. 

The ample ground clearance, multi-angle cameras and Honda Sensing add to the ease of driving this beautifully tuned vehicle. We direly wish there were more engine and transmission options available. The car is confident but sometimes can feel soft on the suspensions. Never unsettling the ride comfort or confidence, the neat warnings alerts from Honda Sensing have a subtle tone that is not too intrusive in a relatively peaceful cabin with impressive NVH levels. While the MT shifter and light clutch action are a charm to work with, the paddle shifters on the CVT are one of the most satisfying to use. The latter also sports a sport mode which engages the engine revs to nearly touching the red line each step as it eagerly builds speed, almost mimicking a smaller turbo-charge engine feel. Honda has drastically reduced the rubberband effect on the CVT, and the tune is also more eager and efficient than the MT. The Honda Elevate elevates the Honda line-up and brings a new benchmark to ride quality and cabin comfort paired with a reliable engine locked sanely at a top speed of 160km/h. The car is confident in straight lines, fun to handle across twisties, and easy to drive through all terrains. It features one of the best in-cabin experiences doing it all with minimum body roll and confident body control. The brakes and the camera-featured ADAS - Honda Sensing work admirably. There is an innate bite to the brakes with confident stopping power, and adaptive cruise control also features brake capabilities and alerts. Honda Sensing is similar to the City e-HEV.

TopGear Magazine July 2024