The Honda BR-V is the company's first offering in compact-SUV segment. USPs include a SUV-ish design, 210mm of ground clearance and a spacious 7-seater interior
Alabaster Silver Metallic
Urban Titanium Metallic
Golden Brown Metallic
Carnelian Red Pearl
The Honda BR-V is an urban crossover/SUV meant to ferry rather large families. While the exterior looks alluring, the interior is a let down and the build quality is not what one would expect in such a segment. That said, the BR-V has a decent interior and a fairly large and comfortable cabin that can seat up to five adults save the third row restricted to children.
Overall, the Honda BR-V can be best termed as a grown up Mobilio and competes with the likes of Renault Duster, Mahindra Scorpio, Tata Safari/Storme, Hyundai Creta and Nissan Terrano. And the SUV has the advantage of being a spacious 7-seater vehicle with efficient and reliable engines.
The Honda BR-V gets black-and-grey interior across all variants of the crossover. The top-of-the-line VX variant gets a leather pack – the seats, armrests on the doors, and the steering-wheel wrap are all leather. The steering wheel with the multimedia control buttons, the ‘3D’ instrument cluster, a slab-like face for the centre-console with piano black trim, rectangular A/C vents, silver highlights, the integrated multimedia console and the climate control system – everything looks familiar, in a good way. The piano black trim on the centre console is a dust and fingerprint magnet, and can disrupt easy viewing of the multimedia screen or the climate control display. However, the manual-adjust lever for cliimate control re-circulation button stands out like an eyesore.
The seats are comfortable enough for short to medium duration drives, but can be painful if used for long inter-city journeys. That said, there is no dearth of legroom, knee room, head room or shoulder room in the front two rows but short seat bases and thinner than usual seats mean that your thighs and bottom will be uncomfortable if you sit on these seats for hours on end. While some passengers may feel the heat, thanks to the uncomfortable seating, the climate control system can keep things cool in the cabin. As the BR-V is a big crossover, it gets roof-mounted A/C vents to keep the second and third-row seats cool.
You can slide and recline the front two rows to get the best seating position, captain seats in the second row would have been more appealing though – Honda is not offering captain seats on any of the variants of the BR-V, but accessories dealers around the country should be able to offer you alternatives soon after the crossover is launched. The third row of seats, as was the case with the Mobilio, should be used to seat children for longer journeys . Getting into the third row is easy as the second-row seats fold forward with ease with a use of a single lever. Even with the third deployed, the BR-V has a decent luggage space of 223-litres. This can also be improved if you fold forward the third-row seats, which frees up 691-litres of space.
Features is a section where the BR-V is most disappointing. For a crossover that is going to cost you more than Rs. 10 Lakh, ex-showroom, it does not offer a touchscreen infotainment system, rear-view camera, auto-folding mirrors, auto-dimming IRVM, auto-headlamps, cruise control etc. Some of these features could have been overlooked if the cost cutting around the car wasn’t so obvious. The metal and the plastics flex on touch, the plastics on the inside feel rough and belong to a segment much lower, the sound deadening material used is inadequate, especially in the diesel variants.
Spacious Cabin; Comfortable Seating for the city
Build Quality; Overall appeal of the cabin
The Honda BR-V looks good, but there are too many things that make it look too similar to the Mobilio MUV. This is not the case with any of the other cars based on the Brio platform – the Amaze and the Mobilio have their own identities. The BR-V on the other hand, at first glance at least, looks like a Mobilio which has been given a facelift and given some new accessories. That said, the BR-V has a handsome face with the sleek headlamps, a re-imagined Honda signature wing-like chrome grille, aggressive front bumper with a silver faux skid-plate and clam-shell bonnet. The side profile with the black lower-cladding, large 16-inch aggressive looking 5-spoke alloy wheels, large doors, stretched windows with a generously large rear quarter-glass, and the roof-rails is well proportioned. The chrome handles and the chrome strips at the bottom of the doors look quite nice for a change. Many other companies can learn a thing or two from the BR-V in this matter. Move to the rear and you get to see the other important sector where designers from the company spent a lot of time. The new tail-lamps which stretch from side-to-side (the centre part consists of reflectors only, though) makes the BR-V look wider.
However, the BR-V is not an SUV, and is at best a crossover. It does sit higher than the Mobilio though, with a ground clearance of more than 210mm the BR-V is at par with the Renault Duster AWD.
Mature Design; Rugged look thanks to the black cladding and roof rails; Projector lamps, LED Guidelights, 5-Spoke Alloy Wheels and Tail lamps add to the premium-ness.
Profile looks too similar to the Mobilio; Not as Butch as an SUV
The Honda BR-V is offered with two engine options, both familiar motors – the 1.5-litre, 4-cylinder naturally aspirated petrol motor and the 1.5-litre, 4-cylinder turbocharged diesel motor – both of which are mated to six-speed manual transmissions. The petrol motor is also offered with a CVT and with paddle-shifters behind the steering wheel. For the geeks, the rated performance figures for the petrol motor are 117PS @ 6600rpm and 145Nm @ 4600rpm, while the diesel unit pumps out 99PS @ 3600rpm and 200Nm @ 1750rpm.
While the diesel motor here may seem like it has oodles of torque available, the reality is that it is not that fun to drive. Below 2000rpm, the engine speed rises slowly – the added weight of the diesel engine does not help acceleration – the turbo spools up as the revs climb just above 1700rpm and by 2000rpm you get this shove which restores your faith a bit. Now, from an enthusiast’s point of view – this motor is a no-no, but so is the case with a buyer who is going to use the BR-V in the city. The turbo-lag and the general lethargic nature of the engine at lower engine speeds mean that driving it in bumper to bumper traffic is going to give your left hand and foot a thorough workout. Where this engine shines is at higher speeds on the highways, where you can slot the gear in the sixth cog and enjoy the benefits of an engine that stays closer to idle – this is a motor tuned to deliver fuel-efficiency over anything else. The diesel motor has an ARAI-certified mileage of 21.9kmpl.
Refined & Reliable Engines; Proven workhorses
Diesel engine is noisy and runs out of steam too quickly. Best for highway use
The BR-V petrol mated to the CVT is best used as a city runabout. One needs to be light footed for best results in terms of efficiency and comfort. There is absolutely no use going pedal to the metal as the only result is a rise in noise. The paddle shifts help shift to a higher ‘gear’ faster and reduce the noise, but that’s it. The petrol i-VTEC motor mated to the CVT has an ARAI-certified mileage of 16kmpl. Honda has missed an opportunity here by not offering an automatic diesel variant of the BR-V, the combination of a diesel-automatic SUV has gained a lot of popularity across price points. For the manual transmission, the throws are short and slick. Honda has been known to make cars that are effortless to drive.
The diesel on the other hand is more frugal. However, if your commute does not involve travelling a lot in the city, it is best to stick to the motor as initial cost, maintenance would be lesser.
Frugal and very refined Engines; Reasonable to Maintain
Not as reasonable to maintain as a homegrown car maker
|i-DTEC E MT||21.9 kmpl|
|i-DTEC S MT||21.9 kmpl|
|i-DTEC V MT||21.9 kmpl|
|i-DTEC VX MT||21.9 kmpl|
|i-VTEC E MT||15.4 kmpl|
|i-VTEC S MT||15.4 kmpl|
|i-VTEC V MT||15.4 kmpl|
|i-VTEC VX MT||15.4 kmpl|
|i-VTEC V CVT||16 kmpl|
The Honda BR-V is a great handler. Especially the petrol engine. Ride is not too supple and not too stiff and the steering offers right amount of feedback. Throw the BR-V petrol into a corner and you would come out at the other end gracefully. However, this car is in no way meant to do lap times. On the safety front, the BR-V gets ABS and dual front airbags as standard across all variants. This is a good move considering the car priced slightly higher.
Great Handler; ABS and Airbags as standard