Honda BRV Overview
India is currently the fifth largest automobile market in the world and is estimated to be the third largest in the next four years. Despite the economic downturn, the automobile industry is showing growth. In order to keep costs in check, manufacturers have developed platforms which can accommodate numerous models. Now, with the SUV craze at its peak, Honda decided to bring in the BR-V, a crossover based on the Brio Platform (Mobilio) and will compete in the compact SUV segment. For information on contact details of Honda car dealers in Hyderabad
Honda BRV Look
This will likely be the most contentious and polarising part of the BR-V road test, and it’s easy to see why. For a start, there are the underpinnings – it’s based on the same GSP platform as the Mobilio, Amaze and Brio, not the Jazz or City, let alone the CR-V. And though it’s been significantly modified for its role as an SUV – raised ride height, wider tracks and a wheelbase longer than even the Mobilio’s – this is still inherently a compact car platform. Being built on this platform, the suspension setup is as conventional as you’d expect – MacPherson struts up front and a torsion beam at the rear, and before you ask, no, Honda has no plans for an all-wheel-drive version, the BR-V will be front-drive only.
Then there’s the look. Honda has done an excellent job with the nose, simultaneously bringing it up to speed with the more modern design template of the City and Jazz, and also making it suitably tough and rugged looking. Beneath the flat, clamshell bonnet, the thick chrome grille leads into purposeful-looking projector headlamps, the grey plastic-clad bumper is sharp and rugged, and the whole thing is capped by the roof rails that give it that final SUV touch. Viewed head on, then, it’s got all the right stuff, but the moment you look at the profile, it starts to fall apart. Yes, the new 16-inch wheels and 60-profile tyres, added ground clearance and wheel-arch cladding try to impart that off-roader feel, but the car is simply too long in relation to its height and width. It looks too much like the Mobilio, and what really gives it away is the very recognisable kink in the second window that debuted on the Honda MPV, as well as an abnormally long rear overhang that extends far beyond the back axle.
The rear is suitably new, with smart tail-lamps that meet each other in a band across the tailgate and a nice chrome strip, but it too doesn’t do enough to erase that MPV image from your mind.
Honda BRV Space
When we first saw the Honda BR-V in Japan, we were relieved that Honda was dumping the low rent interior from the Brio family for a more premium design. Since then, Honda has upgraded the Amaze in India offering the very same new dashboard and it is only a a matter of time before both the Mobilio and Brio get a similar update.
The layout follows a similar design to the Honda City and Jazz but unlike their touch controls for the sensitive automatic aircon, the Honda BR-V uses conventional buttons. Quality is good and the plastics feel durable. More importantly, the dash is no longer a deal breaker. The Honda BR-V also gets a new instrument cluster that uses white ringed dials with a separate multi-information display that has dual trips, average and instant efficiency, driving range and ambient temperature.
The audio system is a simple unit with a small black and white screen. It has USB, AUX and Bluetooth playback but sound quality is only average.
Where the Honda Amaze offers a standard key, the BR-V has a push button start system. The cabin is thoughtfully laid out, there are enough storage spaces, large bottle holders in the door pockets and an Innova-like roof mounted second AC for the rear passengers. Having roof mounted vents is logical as it sends some of the cool air to the third row. Low mounted ac vents like the ones in the Duster and Creta won’t send air so far back. That having been said, the rear aircon, while effective, is quit
The seats on the top spec model are leather wrapped and supportive. Being the longest car in its segment has its advantages and space is generous, even the third row is quite usable. Middle row knee room isn’t on the same level as a Honda City and you can tell Honda has sacrificed a little here to make the third row more practical. I’m 6″1 and I could fit in there with reasonable comfort. Being a conventional third row, passengers also get seatbelts unlike those silly jump seats in the sub-4m 7-seaters from Mahindra.
Honda BRV Transmission
Honda will offer the BR-V in two engine trims of petrol and diesel. The diesel will be the 1.5-litre motor that is also seen in the Honda Jazz and the Honda City. Similarly, it will produce 98 bhp of power and 200 Nm of torque. It will come with a six-speed manual transmission. The diesel typically will serve well for the highway mongers but then for the city commuters, it will be the petrol doing rounds.
We got a chance to test drive the Honda BR-V under a controlled environment at a specified speed on a special track. The duration was too less for us to form definite judgements about the riding dynamics and the overall performance but based on our brief experience with the car, we concluded the following.
Firstly, the 1.5-litre iVTEC engine will power the petrol variants and will come with a six-speed manual transmission. In addition, Honda will also offer the same engine with a seven-speed CVT transmission. This 1497cc motor makes 118 bhp of power at 6000 rpm and generates an impressive 145Nm of torque at 4600 rpm. The power delivery has been deliberately tuned in such a way to order more push in the lower range.
Honda also claims to have made the engine smoother than before and has been tweaked according to the body type. Even the efficiency has been increased by usage of low friction rings along with piston stroke noise reduction. Also, tackling criticism against this transmission, Honda has developed a new CVT unit for small sized engines. This has helped in reducing the lag by quicker acceleration from standstill as well as reduced overall weight of the unit increasing the mileage.
Honda BRV Rideing
The drive on the flat profiled track was done in the 1.5-litre CVT variant. It did feel sluggish at lower engine speeds but once the engine enters the lower range, the motor feels livelier. The transmission has a low ratio high torque mode for the initial push while climbing hilly sections. The motor revs smoothly across the power band and the shifts too are smooth.
However, as we drove around corners at speeds of 70 km/hr, there was no body roll as such since the overall exterior profile has been designed to offer lesser resistance. The suspensions have been tuned to offer a more rigid ride compared to that of the MPV. The steering lacked direct response but seemed to gain weight at higher speeds which will make it convenient on highways. The brakes too offered decent levels of bite to stop the vehicle at any given speed without any hassle.
Honda BRV Safety
The braking system of Honda BR-V features disc brakes at the front and drum brakes at the rear. The ABS with EBD is used as a standard in all variants except the petrol E variant.The body shell is made strong with ACE body structure and front dual airbags are introduced in all variants for complete safety of the occupants
Honda BRV Price in Mumbai
Honda Brv Ex-Showroom Price in Mumbai ranges from 9,07,725/- (BRV E Petrol) to 13,21,762/- (BRV VX Diesel). Get best offers for Honda Brv from Honda Dealers in Mumbai. Check for BRV price in Mumbai at Carzprice
Honda BRV Verdict
Lacks SUV appeal, but stands out for its unique seven-seat layoutThe BR-V is another example of the new Honda. This was once a pioneering company that commanded a premium and was full of innovation, but now it’s playing catch-up and ‘match-the-price’. That’s the sense you get with this car, except that in some crucial areas, it hasn’t caught up. Its performance isn’t class leading, it isn’t thrilling to drive and, most of all, its equipment list lacks some crucial items.But then, it’s got some aces up its sleeve, especially that last row of seats – it’s a unique proposition in this class, and one that will no doubt be a deciding factor for many. But that practicality has come at a cost, and that’s the looks. Though it tries quite hard, it just doesn’t give you the full SUV feeling. In image-conscious India, that’s a big misstep.So, it’s not a car you that will tug at your heartstrings, but it is a practical, reasonably priced and sensible choice, and for some, that will be plenty. Look at it for the sum of its parts and it does make a lot of sense. We just wish there could have been more equipment.