Honda BR-V Overview
Honda has a fair amount riding on the BR-V. At the outset let me say it will need to be very aggressive on price if it hopes to realise any volume ambitions with this car. They explain why through this piece. The Honda brand was one we expected to get nothing wrong – always shrewd with the right products – always cutting edge with the right interior and equipment – and always attractive on design. It was the reason the Japanese brand could always command a premium on pricing and yet stay in demand. In fact ‘premium’ was the most commonly associated word with Honda cars. All that has gone and the Honda BR-V is another product that does little to try and revive that old Honda feeling! Request a test drive for BR V in Tryaldrive
Honda BR-V Exterior & Design
The Honda BR-V isn’t your classic, butch SUV but it has an imposing stance nonetheless. Undoubtedly, the best angle on this machine is the CR-V inspired face with handsome wraparound headlamps that house a projector low beam and LED daytime lamps. The sculpted front bumper adds a dash of aggression without looking overdone and the silver treatment for the faux skidplate looks premium. Front on, the Honda BR-V looks both capable and expensive and will definitely turn heads.The view from the side however reminds of the BR-V’s sibling the Honda Mobilio. From here, it looks more MPV-like with a long windowline that has a pinched end, another CR-V theme. There are some points of interest like the kink in the windowline, creases in the bodywork and funky looking 16-inch wheels that reside within rugged looking, black plastic clad wheel arches.
The MPV impression is reinforced by the long rear overhang which allows the accommodation of the third row of seats. If the Honda BR-V had a shorter, more abrupt rear overhang, it would have probably looked at lot more ‘SUV’. Still, the high ground clearance and roof rails attempt to inject some of that back into the design. A smartly executed rear end uses a couple of wraparound LED lamps that are connected by a reflective strip. The rear windscreen is large and offers good visibility.
Honda BR-V Interior & Cabin
One of the biggest aspects of the BR-V that everyone keeps talking about is the fact that the BR-V is a seven seater SUV. So lets talk about seats, space and comfort levels first before we talk about design. For starters, the BR-V is genuinely spacious when it comes to comparing it with other cars of its category. All variants get black interiors with the top of the line versions getting a full leather pack which includes seats, side rests and a leather wrapped steering wheel and gear knobs.Front seats are comfortable and have adequate comfort levels with good padding. But most owners might use the rear seats a lot more and in terms of legroom, the BR-V outclasses almost everything else. The middle row also gets a 60-40 split and a one touch folding setup which makes getting access to the last row very easy. Headspace in the middle row is also good and the large window makes the cabin feel very airy. However, there just is not enough room to fit three large adults in the rear seat and it feels pretty much as spacious as the likes of your average compact sedan or hatchback in terms of overall shoulder space.
The third row, which comes with a 50-50 folding option and one might assume it to be as cramped as some of the other SUVs that have seven seats. However it could fit two adults with relative (but slightly cramped) comfort if the journey is short. Now, with a third row of seats, one cannot really expect a lot of boot space, but the BR-V does have enough space for a coupled of small bags and if you really had a lot of luggage, you could always fold down the rear row.Coming to design and equipment, there are sections that impress and then there are sections that disappoint. Let us start with the positives. Personally, I like the simple and clear layout of the BR-V although some might argue that Honda has lost it’s flamboyance in recent years. You get a very horizontal theme with slim AC vents and an accent piece on the dashboard. And you get climate control on the top of the line variants instead of a set of conventional knobs. And now the most disappointing thing about the BR-V! The infotainment system looks and feels like it deserves to be in an entry level micro hatchback and not in a Rs 10 lakh+ crossover. This one thing actually ends up ruining the experience of the BR-V to an unparallel level as it does not have touchscreen, navigation or facilities like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. And it continues. You get no automatic headlamps, automatic wipers or cruise control. Truly a disappointing move from Honda India.
Honda BR-V Engine & Gearbox
Both engines are very familiar aren’t they? Yup think City and Mobilio. Honda says its reworked them though and it’s immediately apparent that it’s been done largely to get great mileage. Honda claims segment best figures at 21.9 km/l on the diesel and on the petrol it’s 15.4 km/l (manual) and 16 km/l (CVT). So on to the performance then. The CVT is pleasant and convenient but certainly lacks punch. The petrol in general seems lacklustre and certainly not what you expect from an i-VTEC motor. But the CVT comes across as refined and will certainly feel much smoother (primarily in city traffic) than the clunkier auto from the Creta or the AMT in the Duster. The engine gets noisy and very rev-happy when you put it from D to S mode (or use the rather welcome paddle shift) but it is more noise and less action as performance only enhances marginally. There’s no cruise control on offer either, which is a bit of a miss.
On the diesel things get better. The engine is much more responsive and has great low and mid torque. This affords a nice city driving experience – with infrequent gear changes, and also gives you a good highway cruising character. But even though Honda says a lot of work’s been done on reducing NVH the loud common rail engine easily filters into the cabin. That’s quite disappointing, especially since the BR-V is meant to be more premium than the rivals. The new 6-speed gearbox though is a delight – very smooth and very forgiving too. Lag is controlled and overall the diesel will give you the nicer drive; the extra weight up front also makes the diesel variant feel more planted.
Honda BR-V Ride & Handling
Honda’s surveys indicated that 65 per cent of buyers valued a comfortable ride quality and that’s exactly the way the Honda BR-V has been set up. The car doesn’t feel overtly soft or squishy but absorbs bumps and irregularities well.The suspension feel is similar to a Honda City, placing ride comfort over sporty handling. The electrically assisted power steering is well weighted and not as light as the Hyundai Creta. The driving position, while comfortable, isn’t very high up and commanding. From behind the wheel, it feels more urban crossover than a full on SUV.
Grip levels from the Michelin Primacy tyres are good and the Honda BR-V feels perfectly adept on a winding road but not really involving or exciting. 210mm of ground clearance is the highest in the class and allows stress free driving on the worst of broken roads.Highway stability is good and the Honda BR-V is happy at a steady 120kmph without feeling light or flighty. Harsh NVH has been a Honda weak point for a while on this platform and the company has worked hard to fix that. While the engine is still quite vocal, road noise has been significantly reduced thanks to extra insulating materials used in the doors, hood, roof, floor and dashboard. The cabin in the CVT petrol was quite silent and well insulated. The BR-V feels far more isolated than its Brio-based siblings and is up in the realm of the Honda City.
Honda BR-V Braking & Safety
The Honda BR-V offers dual airbags as standard across the range. ABS, however is only standard on diesel trims while the entry level petrol doesn’t get it. ESP is not an option.The BR-V has a decent offering of kit like electrically adjustable and folding rear view mirrors, a proper rear aircon, a third row, LED DRLs and projector headlamps. However there are also many absent features for this segment like reverse parking sensors/camera, cruise control, auto headlamps, auto wipers, auto-dimming rear view mirror or a touch screen audio system.
Honda Brv Ex-Showroom Price in Bangalore ranges from 9,07,725/- (BRV E Petrol) to 13,24,676/- (BRV VX Diesel). Get best offers for Honda Brv from Honda Dealers in Bangalore. Check for BR V price in Bangalore at Carzprice
Honda BR-V Conclusion
The Honda BR-V is a crossover SUV that India has waited for with bated breath for years primarily because it is Honda’s first diesel SUV offering in the country. But, we think that Honda has tried to play it way too safe with the BR-V, which makes it an underwhelming product. Now the perfect target audience for the BR-V would have been the middle class family man with a couple of children who go out over the weekend for a holiday or two ever so regularly and want a car that has a premium Japanese badge and a sense of pride in ownership. This customer also wants something reliable which means that the Honda brand caters perfectly to him or her. But we think that even this perfect target customer might be concerned about a few things.