Honda Cars India have worked to try their luck for the second time with their re-incarnated Mobilio and have named it BR-V. Frankly, BR-V is based on the Mobilio platform just like Jazz and City share same platform. No matter what Honda may project BR-V as but in simple words, it is just another MPV with side cladding and a new face and rear profile. The side profile is unchanged and looks still quite unimpressive. One of the main reason behind Mobilio's pre-mature death was it's bland looks. So, knowing well how the tastes and perceptions of buyers have changed ever since launch of the Mobilio, Honda Cars India probably thought that by changing the face and rear, they'll be able to attract the customers but it is again turning out to be a luke-warm response. About the front profile, in flesh, the BR-V does grab eye-balls for it's XUV-500ish look but front stance is not actually that attractive. The big chrome mustache just like Honda CITY has been placed but that too doesn't help much. The projector headlamps are a welcome move by Honda but frankly you'll not like to see the front profile over and over again. It's just a one time attraction. Coming to the side profile, over here, the most unappealing and unimpressive design language will leave you asking as to what for were the Indian buyers made to wait for? The side profile screams of Mobilio's carry-over and even as a good 2nd opportunity, Honda Cars India have miserably failed to provide a decent look on the sides. Another thing, there has been a new fashion in Indian Car sector i.e to grab buyers put side cladding and present it as a SUV on budget without giving a slight consideration to the fact whether the cladding serve the purpose or not and whether they enhance the looks or not. There are brands which call their hatchbacks as Mini-SUV and why so, because it has raised height and side cladding. Same way, with the soul of an MPV, just by adding a side cladding and skid plates, on what basis have Honda projected it as a SUV for that matter? and some even still believe it to be a compact SUV as well! On what basis does BR-V qualify as a compact SUV? It is having the same old Mobilio platform and since Mobilio was never an SUV or compact SUV, so BR-V too is not a SUV as a matter of fact. Also, for being a Compact SUV, the length has to be less than 4m and BR-V on this front also exceeds the dimensions. Frankly, the as much as the front profile might look new, the same old side profile would be a big deal breaker for many. Talking of the rear profile, the rear of the BR-V sports a look which resembles to some of the Toyota's international MPVs. With the rear profile and new design tail lights, Honda has to some extent given a refreshing feel but not an outstanding look if I may say. Overall, with these type of looks, only a marginal increase might be seen in the coming months in sales numbers of BR-V. Honestly, the external looks of BR-V in particular are not something you'll like to remember always. In my opinion, as its said, opportunity knocks on the door only once, and Honda seems to have lost that opportunity by re-introducing the Mobilio as BR-V with a half-hearted attempt. Honda as a brand has the potential of making good looking cars but it has failed here even with BR-V. So, those who have seen it and those who are yet to see it, please do not keep very high hopes upon the looks of BR-V. Coming to the re-worked bumpers, as the talking point in BR-V is the new front and rear profile so keeping in line with these changes, Honda has provided new bumpers to BR-V which do gel with the respective profile but do not give it a look of a heartthrob as the competitors have done. I would over here say, Maruti Suzuki Ertiga even with the cosmetic facelift still has a better over-all appearance and even the under-rated Renault's Lodgy looks its part and both of them unlike this new BR-V, never imitate or project themselves as SUV. Honda could have gone by a more linear and better external design. It might be projected as a new product but frankly it lacks the appeal of being a new product.
From the Mobilio, the interiors of BR-V look more inviting. However, with the facelift Amaze launched recently, the similarity between BR-V's dashboard and that of Amaze can be well related to. For the 1st time 2 months back when Honda introduced the new dashboard in the Amaze, it was looking more attractive with the finishing and better quality plastics and ergonomics. But within 2 months, I fail to understand, as to what went wrong and the same dashboard's finishing has gone down. The plastic quality of the interiors has went to an all time low it seems with Honda. Being an owner of Honda CITY I-vtec, I can vouch for the fact that my base model 2011 Honda City still has far better finished interiors than BR-V and my car still has better quality plastic than this BR-V. The amalgamation of Amaze and Jazz Facelift dashboard does give a better feel than Mobilio but definitely the finishing could have been far better. Comparing it to Ertiga, the plastic quality of BR-V has gone down by quite a few notches. The all Black interiors though are easier to maintain from stains but it would have been remarkable move if taking lessons from Mobilio's failure, Honda would have improvised on the plastic's finishing as well. About the ergonomics, if I may say, on this front, the BR-V still maintains acceptable levels of button's/ switch's placement.
Seating of Honda BR-V
Honda's new BR-V is a 7 seater. The seating comfort is good enough and there is no issues of leg-room or headroom both in front and rear seats. The transmission tunnel being pretty low enable better seating comfort for the 2nd row passenger. Also since the 2nd row seats can be slided in front so the legroom for 3rd row passenger is also not an issue. The cushioning and the under-thigh support is quite good too. Coming to the 3rd row, I would say, the 3rd row passenger won't complaint much since it has sufficient space for seating with comfortable seats and good legroom. Apart from the base variant, all the other variants get 2nd row slide feature. The 2nd row seats come with the 60:40 split feature as a standard. The 3rd row has fully foldable and reclining seats with the 50:50 split as standard feature. All 3 rows get adjustable headrests as standard with seat-belts. Coming to egress and ingress, even with the 210mm GC, the BR-V doesn't feel too high to get in and come out. Without use of foot-boards one can come in and move out of the car but yes, for 3rd row passenger it may take a slight bit of effort to come out. Also, a point to be mentioned here, with all 3 rows up-right, very limited boot space is there and in flesh, the standard capacity mentioned by Honda doesn't seem to translate.
The Boot Space of BR-V: Firstly, the boot door in BRV gets hydraulic arms and the standard boot capacity is 223 Lt which can be increased to a maximum of 691 Lt on folding the seats. The boot is well carpeted with proper cladding on the boot door from inside and insulated nicely at strategic places. The folding of 3rd row would be proving a plus point for a family of 5 Pax. The loading lip of the boot has proper plastic cladding as well and it is not much on higher side and luggage can easily be loaded.
To use the spare wheel, you'll have loosen up this bolt by removing the cover on it.
The new design of headlamps is much more bold and aggressive than Mobilio. The Projectors at present are coming as a standard fitment across all variants of BR-V. The Parking lamp and Indicator however have halogen bulbs. The top end variant which I drove also had the LED positioning lamps and fog lamps with chrome surround.
The new design of Tail lights include LED element as well and standard in all the variants. They extend to rear quarter panels on each side and run through the middle of the boot door. The design looks sharp but with these the profile resembles to international MPVs too.
Side Markers* (Variant Specific). My TD Car was VX variant so it had the markers integrated in ORVM.
Rear Bumper Reflector.
2nd Roof Lamp in cabin for the rear passengers.
Roof mounted brake lamp is located behind rear windscreen instead of the roof spoiler.