Honda BRV Overview

Honda’s affinity for contemporary design is evident in its products, the company stuck to high priced premium models initially, but change is inevitable, and so Honda had to alter its strategy for the Indian market. The company has been foraying in volume segments lately and has finally rolled out its first product in the compact SUV space-the BR-V. Honda already has a much premium model in its product range for India- CR-V, and so it was a challenge to build a car that lived up to customers’ expectation. Hence, Honda played smart and used the versatile Brio platform for BR-V that has been used in other models like Amaze and Mobilio. But, the question remains will customers really like a similar looking model yet again? Well, maybe. Coming back to the new BR-V, it shares strong resemblance with Mobilio MPV, flanks in particular, while the front and rear profiles have been redesigned. Featuring the seven seat layout as standard, the cabin offers ample space, although it is a bit disappointing in terms of equipment and design. Engine set up comprises of 1.5 litre units in both fuel types and transmission duties are handled by a manual unit along with a CVT. View offers on Honda Cars from Honda dealers in Hyderabad at Autozhop

Honda BRV Look

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 BRV Comfort

The snuggery cabin has generous space split across three rows offering enough leg and head room to occupants. Even the third row offers comfortable space, but wouldn’t be advisable for long journeys. The dark interior theme coupled with hint of chrome around AC vents and dashboard lends a premium touch to the cabin. Quality of plastic used on the dash is pretty decent; it doesn’t look compromised or cheap. Interior styling is inspired form the new Amaze, the contemporarily styled dashboard gets a flat looking centre console featuring an audio system and temperature dials. The instrument cluster is large and visible clearly from behind the three-spoke steering wheel. One of the other areas Honda has worked upon is the storage space, as BR-V gets cup holders on floor-console, doors, a large glove-box and seat back pockets etc. Despite the low height, the visibility from cabin is quite good and the driver’s seat can be adjusted for height.

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 BRV Gearbox

As we mentioned earlier, the Honda BR-V comes with a diesel engine. And of course, like with all other compact SUVs in the market today, a petrol engine too. Both are 1.5-litre units that get a 6-speed manual gearbox (with the petrol also getting a CVT gearbox and paddle shifters). The diesel is a turbocharged four-cylinder unit makes 100PS of peak power and 200Nm of peak torque. The petrol is also a 4-cylinder i-VTEC four-cylinder unit that makes 119PS of peak power and 145Nm of peak torque.We first got a chance to drive the petrol engine in both its manual and automatic avatars. As always, the 1.5-litre motor is revvy and sounds glorious when taken all the way to the red-line. Of course, power bands are quite linear but there is a bit of a lag at the lower end of the rev-range. The new 6-speed gearbox is as good as the old 5-speed and has short and very precise shifts along with a good clutch action which makes it ideal for start-stop city traffic. However, if you are a city slicker and like me spend about three hours a day stuck in traffic, then you have to consider the CVT gearbox.

And as with the Honda City, the CVT on this car also gets a paddle shifter option. Now, in general ‘Drive’ mode, the CVT behaves like any other whiney CVT out there. But push it into ‘Sport’ and you can go through gears with the paddles giving yourself a very Jenson Button-ish feel.Of course, everyone is going to be most concerned about the diesel engine and the tried and tested 1.5-litre engine is most certainly going to loose all games of ‘Top Trumps’ when compared to its rivals on the basis of power and torque figures. But the Indian customer is more than these power numbers – the Indian customer is all about the fuel economy number. And in that aspect, the BR-V does score high with a figure of over 21kmpl (according to ARAI). On the whole, yes, the diesel does feel a bit laggy when it comes to punch, but once you get it going, it pretty much holds its own. The NVH levels though have definitely improved with Honda putting in a lot more effort to dampen heavy acceleration noise and general roughness. Sadly, Honda has no plans for an automatic variant of the BR-V, which we think would have done extremely well in the present market circumstances.

Honda BRV Rideing

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 BRV Safety

BR-V gets dual frontal airbags for driver and co-passenger as standard fitment across the line-up. Other than this the SUV also gets preeminent safety features like vehicle safety assist and hill start assist.Exterior feature key styling elements such as bold dual chrome slat grille, body cladding around wheel arches, black projector head lamps, power adjusting outside rear view mirrors with integrated turn indicators, roof rails, integrated spoiler at rear and single unit tail lamp. Cabin gets handful of goodies like a three-spoke steering wheel, large instrument cluster, well-cushioned front seats, cup holders, back seat pockets, rear AC vents, glove box etc.

Honda BRV Price in Hyderabad

Honda Brv Ex-Showroom Price in Hyderabad ranges from 9,10,759/- (BRV E Petrol) to 13,27,470/- (BRV VX Diesel). Get best offers for Honda Brv from Honda Dealers in Hyderabad. Check for BR V price in Hyderabad at Carzprice

Honda BRV Bottomline

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.

And those things are not the fact that the BR-V looks a little too much like a MPV (particularly the Mobilio from the side), or the fact that in terms of power (on paper) it isn’t up there with the best. And even though this ideal customer would have loved the seven seater layout and the sheer amount of space that the BR-V brings, this same customer also wants a gadget rich option. And the BR-V is nowhere even remotely close. Does the BR-V still have the potential to move the Indian market like every Honda City has ever done? Yes, but if and only if Honda prices the BR-V extremely aggressively and takes a cut on their profits in order to get the units out of the showroom floors and onto the streets!

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