Honda BR V Overview
Auto Expo 2016 has kicked off in India, and Honda had quite the stand setup for the world to see. Honda is showcasing all of the current models in its lineup for India, but on top of that, it brought the Honda Accord, the Honda Project 2&4 Concept, and the McLaren Honda M4-30 Formula 1 car. Next to all of these in Honda’s pavilion, sits the Honda BR-V, which is finally being introduced to the Indian Market.
The President and CEO of Honda Cars India, Katsushi Inoue, said, “As we celebrate 20 years of our existence in India and building an affinity with over 1 Million Indian customers, HCIL is adopting a new brand direction of ’Advanced and Exciting’ and our products, dealerships, and communication will be guided by this new brand direction. Year 2015 has been a very successful year for HCIL as we achieved our record sales of 200,000 units in a calendar year. The launch of exciting new models Honda BR-V and Accord in 2016 will help us accelerate our growth this year and also strengthen our brand in the country.” Test drive for Honda BR V
As you can probably guess, the BR-V is essentially the CR-V’s little brother. It was designed by Honda R&D Asia Pacific as an exclusive model for the Asian market. Will it prove to be a worthy family-based utility vehicle for the Indian market as well? Join me as I take a closer look at the BR-V and give it some good, old-fashioned, American critiquing.
Honda BR V Design & Style
The BR-V looks best from the front three quarter. That huge chrome grille, the big headlamps, the chunky bumper complete with a pseudo skid plate, does give the BR-V SUV overtones. The tall roof rails helps too.
It’s not the best looking SUV when viewed from the rear, though. But, it does look distinct, even if a tad busy with those large wrap around tail lamps and reflectors running across the width of the tail gate. It is in profile, that the BR-V fails to mask its Mobilio roots. It runs larger 16-inch wheels (which strangely still look under-tyred), has 30mm higher ground clearance at 210mm, and runs the mandatory black cladding (mandatory for city cars posing as SUVs, Duster and Creta included). But, the doors, the roof line and even the rear quarter panel screams Mobilio.
Now, if you haven’t heard or seen a Mobilio, which is possible given the MPV didn’t do too well, you might not be able to draw comparisons. And if you can’t, then you will end up liking the overall presence of the BR-V.
Honda BR V Cabin & Space
The Honda BR-V shares some components with its siblings such as the new dashboard that we saw first on the Amaze facelift. The three-spoke steering wheel is borrowed from the outgoing Jazz that feels good to hold and offers controls for the audio system as well as paddle shifts for the CVT variant. The instrument cluster is 3D, which is borrowed from the new City and it looks quite nice to read having a sizeable MID display showing trip meter, range, average fuel consumption, instant fuel consumption, time and ambient temperature. Sadly the BR-V comes with a tiny screen and there is no touch screen infotainment system, no rear parking camera and no rear parking sensors as well, which is quite shocking for a car this big. However, the good thing is that the Bluetooth audio system with telephony comes standard across all the variants except the base trim.
The Honda BR-V is offered with an automatic climate control system, which we didn’t see in the Mobilio. It works quite well along with the rear AC vents, both of which are standard on offer excluding the E variant that comes with a manual AC. There are generous amount of cubby holes to keep the cabin neat and tidy. It comes with two cup holders for the front passengers, bottle holders on all door pockets and cupholders for the third row passengers as well. The BR-V offers an all-black leatherette upholstery which feels quite good and is comfortable. The seats are supportive up front and there is great legroom for the second row passengers including good headroom but shoulder room is a bit tight since the BR-V is narrow.
The second row of seats can be slided forward and backward and are reclinable too. The third row is best used for two kids but average sized adults can also fit in since there is decent amount of legroom but under-thigh support is lacking. The best part about the Honda BR-V is its flexible seating and storage capacity. The second row seats offer one touch tumble along with 60:40 split. The third row seats can be fully tumbled and offer 50:50 split and still you have enough room for cargo even if all rows are up. The BR-V offers 223 litres of boot space when all three rows are up and 691 litres when third row is folded. Some of the key features include projector headlights, heat absorbing windshield, keyless entry with push button start, power foldable ORVMs, auto AC and more. For Honda BR V check isc2013.in
Honda BR V Engine & Performance
The Honda BR-V gets two engine options, both 1.5-litre, four cylinder units. The same ones that power the Honda City. The petrol makes 118bhp of max power and 145Nm of torque. It is an engine that’s known for its nice sound, its refined nature and its ability to deliver both in the mid and top end of its rpm range. And it is no different in the BR-V. The only real downside if at all is the shift quality of its 6-speed manual. It’s a little too notchy for our tastes. The petrol also comes with a CVT option for a less strenuous drive.
The diesel, meanwhile, makes 99bhp and 200Nm of torque. And it too comes with a 6-speed manual gearbox. There is however no CVT or automatic option for the diesel yet. As you’d expect, the diesel is the torquier of the two. And even though it has a much smaller power band, it gathers momentum without a fuss. Only thing to note here is to keep that rpm needle over the 1500rpm mark, because otherwise the lag will bog you down. Now Honda says, in order to derive this peppiness from the engine – not to mention enhance its pulling power (for it is an SUV) – the final drive ratio (compared to the City which runs the same engine and gearbox combo) has been shortened. And again, like the petrol, the gear shifts for this ‘box are notchy and require some effort.
Honda BR V Driving Dynamics
The BR-V has higher ground clearance and this has rendered it some amount of body roll, but it is well within the limits. On the other hand, higher ground clearance makes it apt for our road conditions. Bad, broken roads and those usually high speed humps don’t intimidate the BR-V at all. The steering feel is good and it weighs up well with very predictable handling, the diesel feeling better than the petrol. Ride quality is quite mature but it gets a little bouncy on bad roads, especially at low speeds. At high speeds, the ride is more sorted. We did take the BR-V off tarmac on many occasions and it felt upto the task most of the times. Brake bite is quite good and the Michelin tyres on our test car did the job quite well.
Honda BR V Safety & Security
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 Brv On-Road Price in Bangalore ranges from 9,73,597 to 16,19,097 for variants BRV E Petrol and BRV VX Diesel respectively. Honda Brv is available in 9 variants and 6 colours. Below are details of Honda Brv variants price in Bangalore. Check for BR V price in Bangalore at Carzprice.
Honda BR V Final Thought
The Honda BR-V might be many things, but as of now it must seem like a great buying proposition to both upgraders, and first time young car buyers. The BR-V has the dynamics, the flexibility, the economy and the brand to do it. But, it can’t match the likes of the Creta in terms of upmarket appeal and desirability. It’s also not exactly SUV material with long overhangs and no all- wheel drive option.