Honda BR V Overview
The BR-V is Honda’s new small SUV for India. It’s an all-new model but comes built on the same platform as the Honda Brio, Amaze and Mobilio models. In case you are wondering, BR-V expands to ‘Bold Runabout Vehicle’ and Honda has no pretensions in admitting this is a car meant for an urban clientele. Those looking for something with mud-plugging ability had better look elsewhere. Not to say the BR-V is an exception. Rather, it fits right into a market segment where off-road prowess is rarely ever a consideration for buyers. You are probably already familiar with the Hyundai Creta, Maruti S-cross, Renault Duster and Nissan Terrano that the BR-V will take on, so let’s get straight to it and see where and how the Honda hopes to differentiate itself.
Honda BR V Design
The Honda BR-V belongs to the Brio family as the compact SUV is based on the same platform. However, the BR-V is the first car from the Brio lineup to break the mundane styling cues. It has got a heavily revised front, spruced up side profile and a new look for the rear. The projector headlamps are sleek and chunky, merging with the signature Honda chrome grille seamlessly. The front bumper is brawny getting some nice styling details along with a faux silver skid plate and an upright hood for that SUV stance. The front three-quarters of the BR-V manages to exhibit the SUV look but as you go towards the side profile, things are quite different.
The Honda BR-V resembles the Mobilio MPV to a large extent when viewed from the side angle. It has got the same kink on the B-pillar, roofline is identical and the lengthy MPV silhouette is quite visible. Honda has given it some rugged details for making it look a bit SUVish and these include tall roof rails, 210 mm of high ground clearance and black cladding on the lower half of the body. The rear has got some eye catching elements such as the new LED tail lamps with a long reflector panel connecting the cluster which gives it a wide look. There is chrome garnishing on the tailgate and a skid plat for the rear bumper. The overall design looks more MPV oriented rather than being an upright SUV.
Honda BR V Cabin
If there’s a positive to the BR-V’s medium height, it’s that it’s a very easy vehicle to get in and out of. Once inside, you get a feeling of familiarity. That’s because the BR-V uses the same dash as the one you’d find in the updated Honda Amaze which itself looks like a derivative of the Honda Jazz’s dash. The BR-V’s cabin looks quite smart and the all-black theme only helps the impression. Plastic quality is decent though not quite at the Hyundai Creta’s benchmark levels.
What might be a deal-breaker for many buyers, however, is the absence of a touchscreen infotainment system, something that is almost de rigueur for vehicles in this class. The car’s infotainment system does feature Bluetooth for telephony and audio streaming. Automatic climate control, steering-mounted audio buttons, push-button start, electrically foldable outside rear-view mirrors and rear air-con vents are some of the features that will be part of the kit on the top-spec versions. Still, reverse parking sensors should have been offered too. Honda has not revealed the exact variant break-up as yet, but has confirmed dual airbags will be standard across the range. Also what’s worth noting is anti-lock brakes will be standard on the diesel BR-V, but will be available only on mid-range and higher versions of the BR-V petrol.
The feel from behind the BR-V’s smartly finished steering wheel is that of sitting in a jacked-up Jazz. The seating position isn’t all that high but visibility is still good, as is comfort. The front seats are well cushioned, and the middle-row seats with adjustable backrests are quite nice as well, notwithstanding the somewhat lack of thigh support. Middle-row legroom is good (the seats can be moved back to create more space) and headroom is aplenty. However, the SUV’s cabin simply isn’t wide enough to seat three abreast in comfort and that’s when the last row comes handy. Access to the back is decent and space is not bad either; the large windows help this section of the cabin feel reasonably airy. However, the knees-up seating position means even those who will fit here won’t be happy for too long.
Honda BR V Engine
Powering the BR-V are the same engines which sit under the hood of the Mobilio. The diesel oilburner delivers similar power output of 100 PS at 3600 RPM and torque of 200 Nm at 1750 RPM. This engine is mated to a 6-speed manual transmission (derived from the City). However, the gear ratios have been reworked to suit the BR-V. While the first five gears have the same ratio, the sixth gear is shorter by 7.7% for better SUV performance.To know more information on Honda BR V visit Basna
There is negligible turbo lag after which performance is quite linear. Even with four people in the car and some heavy camera equipment, the Honda BR-V never felt underpowered. Low-end performance is much better now and Honda has added some insulation to the engine compartment thereby making the NVH levels mildly better in the cabin but this engine is far from being the quietest in the segment, getting quite vocal in the higher end of the rev band. The ARAI certified fuel economy is 21.9 km/l, we reckon it should return around 14 km/l in the routine driving cycle.
The petrol too is the same 1.5-litre i-VTEC unit and this engine churns out 119 PS at 6600 RPM and a maximum torque of 145 Nm at 4600 RPM. This powerplant comes with an all new 6-speed manual gearbox and a segment first petrol CVT. This manual transmission has been optimised for the BR-V by lowering the first gear ratio by 12% while the top gear ratio has been increased by 7%. The manual variant has an ARAI certified fuel economy of 15.4 km/l, it should return around 11 km/l in the regular driving cycle.
We had a small run in the petrol CVT version at the drive. Honda has reduced the weight as well as the friction for the CVT in order to get better performance and fuel efficiency. The CVT feels quite good for city driving offering the comfort and convenience of an automatic. However, it is only when you give it the beans that it gets quite noisy with a pronounced rubber band effect. In theory, this CVT is more fuel efficient than the manual at 16 km/l.
Honda BR V Riding
The CVT-equipped BR-V does feel nice and responsive for city use. Initial responses are good and pottering around town is a smooth and relaxed affair. But press down hard on the accelerator and you get that rubber-band effect CVTs are notorious for. The gearbox has the engine hold revs until speeds build and this also brings out the engine’s noisiest side. The otherwise smooth engine sounds gruff when this happens, and seems especially thrashy close to the 6,500rpm. Drive with moderate throttle inputs and you’ll like the CVT a lot more. Enthusiasts will like the option of the paddle shifters that work without any delay and let you shuffle between the gearbox’s seven ‘steps’. However, due to the characteristics of the CVT setup, you don’t get the same sort of connect you would with a traditional automatic or dual-clutch transmission. Request Honda BR V Test Drive.
The BR-V is a long vehicle and you can feel its length from behind the wheel, especially around tighter bends. It’s no corner-carver, but you do get a reassuring sense of security in the bends. What adds to this feeling of confidence is that the steering has little slack and also has a nice weight to it. Straight-line stability is not quite at Duster levels, but is good nonetheless. The BR-V also does well for ride comfort. You do feel a bit of firmness in the setup, but the suspension is absorbent enough at low speeds and contains undue body movements at high speeds too. The BR-V has a generous 210mm of ground clearance that did come handy clearing some rough patches on our test drive.
Honda BR V Safety
Honda is offering dual front airbags and ABS as standard across all the variants except the base E petrol version of the BR-V. It is a good move but considering the marginal price increase with ABS, they should have offered it on the base petrol trim. None of the cars from the Brio family have been crash tested by Global NCAP so we can’t judge the structural strength of the BR-V yet. However, the after sales of Honda is quite trustworthy and low on maintenance, which is a boon for Indian buyers. The Japanese automaker currently has 298 outlets across 190 cities in India and they plan to ramp it up to 340 outlets by March 2017.
Honda BR V Price in Chennai
Honda Brv On-Road Price in Chennai ranges from 5,58,076 to 16,47,586 for variants BRV E Petrol and BRV VX Diesel respectively. Honda Brv is available in 8 variants and 6 colours. Below are details of Honda Brv variants price in Chennai. View offers on Honda BR V at Autozhop.
Honda BR V Verdict
In the last three months Honda BRV travelled with us for a total distance of over 5000 kms. During this period we did not come across any technical glitch barring a minor failure of internal air circulation switch, which got rectified promptly by the local dealership. The BR-V worked with us like a loyal horse without the regular whine and complaints. It returned a very good city mileage and could carry seven occupants with ease offering reasonable comfort even for the third row passenger. Check for car loan interest calculator.
Overall we found Honda BR-V to be a sensible and trouble free buy for someone looking for a large family car offering comfort, reliability and a bit of status for the owner. While its not exactly ideal for long distance travel, it fit in well for daily usage and also your weekend getaways.