Honda BR-V Review & Pictures: Bold Runabout Vehicle


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TSIVipul

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“Bold Runabout Vehicle”

Honda-BRV-Front-View-1.jpg

Honda BR-V Review Synopsis:
  • Honda BR-V price starts at Rs.8.91 Lakh (Ex.showroom, Delhi). It officially launched in India on 5th May 2016.
  • The BR-V falls in the compact SUV segment and is aimed squarely at Hyundai Creta which has been ruling since launch.
  • Presently BR-V is available only in Petrol motor: the well-known 1.5L V-Tec, 4-Cylinder that powers Honda City as well as Mobilio.
  • The 1.5L i-VTEC engine produces 119 PS of peak power and 145 Nm of peak torque with an ARAI certified fuel economy of 16 Kmpl.
  • The biggest unique-selling proposition of Honda BR-V as of now is the availability of seven-seats along with Petrol (automatic) version.
Has Honda finally managed to crack the code? Let's find out.
 
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Honda BR-V: Introduction and Overview


Back in 1998 when Honda entered the Indian market, the car to mark the beginning of its innings (opening batsman?) was the much adored Honda City. The City at that time simply revolutionized the way the upper middle class used to move. Adding more pep; Honda gave the cutting-egde (for that time) VTEC to delight the enthusiasts and what an awesome car it was. Having driven the 2003 VTEC a couple of times, I still have every moment spent with that car afresh in my mind, so much exciting it was a car to drive. It is the City which has maintained its position quite well in the market along with other products from the stable of Honda like Civic and Accord which also have tasted the success in their respective segments quite well.

But every story isn’t a fairy tale. Is it? Where Honda made an unshakable reputation with their initial offerings, today we have a bunch of buyers who are termed as enthusiasts and aren’t happy with what Honda is currently offering. I also fall in same category, the City i-VTEC when reached our shores for first time was fun as hell to drive with those taut dynamics and true sporty driving experience, but the City now is no more the City which it used to be and has biased more towards the ‘daily office commuter’ car from its previous sportiness that was associated to it. Anyways, City still offers what it stands for to some extent and that has kept it enjoying a successful run throughout its journey in the Indian market. Where Honda has made massive success stories like City, there have been flops too. Models like Jazz, Brio, Amaze etc couldn’t shake up their respective segments unlike the City, which keeps doing it with every new translation. Although Honda put quite an effort in making a very practical MUV for the Indian market in form of 7-seater, Brio-platform based Mobilio, it was unable to pull the crowd as it was expected to.

So Honda went back to drawing board and started preparing a new car for getting back into the buyers’ radar. BR-V is their latest offering in the fastest growing compact SUV segment. The compact SUV segment has players like Ford Ecosport, Hyundai Creta and Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, all of them are enjoying a fair share of success in the market, so Honda also decided to join in. Well, that makes the BR-V different from Mobilio, the latter was pitched as a people mover but BR-V is claimed to be an SUV. We spent 2 days with its automatic (CVT) guise and put it through our exhaustive road test just to discover what to expect out of this latest offering from Honda.
 
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TSIVipul

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Honda BR-V: Looks and Design


Measuring over 4453 mm in length, 1735 mm in width and 1666 mm in height, the BR-V is basically the largest Honda built on the Brio platform till date. That becomes the perfect utilization of a single platform and helps keep the costs in check too.

Coming to the front, what actually grabs your attention is the thick chrome strip on the front grille. This thick chrome strip seems to have become the new signature grille style of Honda as it’s being offered more or less the same way in every new generation Honda car. Under the thick chrome strip runs a thinner one which integrates into the headlights. Some may argue but doing both these strips in matte black can add a distinct character to an already good looking nose. Did I just mention good looking? Well, we expected the BR-V to be more of a Mobilio facelift but Honda has worked real hard to prove us wrong. Anyways, face has been literally lifted and everything is set higher than it was in Mobilio. There is a fair bit of merit as compared to the Mobilio, the front fascia is now more UV looking compared to the Amaze/Brio inspired front of the Mobilio. Additionally there is the large grille, large air dam, two small round fog lamps surrounded with chrome and a sculpted bonnet which is sloping less sharply as we get to see in the Mobilio. The higher ‘VX’ variant which is available in manual trims gets a faux skid plate too which adds a bit more character but the CVT which comes in only ‘V’ variant gets it only in black. All these touches give the BR-V a bit muscular stance, on the other hand the smart wrap around headlamps with integrated blinkers and their blacked out/smoked effect and projectors doing duty inside and the Honda City’ish grille add a touch of smartness to the front making it one of the most appealing front designs of all the SUV’s/MUV’s available out there. But mind you, purists still may not like the overall design and still classify it as a people mover only, in fact I am also unable to digest this car being called an ‘SUV’ till now.


While Honda has done a commendable job in making a smart and muscular looking front, the side profile is where most of us had a mixed opinion. Some say “it’s just a Mobilio facelift” while the rest claim otherwise. Anyways, there are flared wheel arches and a black cladding running along the side and this adds a bit of muscle to the design. The 16” alloy wheels are finished in black and silver; they fill the wheel arches quite well and add their bit to the presence quite well. The bonnet angle here plays the trick and works as a sharp point of differentiation between what Mobilio is and what is the BR-V. There are anyways some similarities which we don’t believe will work in the favor of BR-V like those two creases; the one which is on the upper part of front door and fades into the kink on the rear window as well as the identical lower crease. Did I say Kink? Well, this is a good functional design touch which gives the BR-V a resemblance of Mobilio. How is it functional? Well, ask the rear seat passengers - in fact we will discuss it later. The ORVMs are same as those on Amaze and City as well as the door handles are also a straight lift from the Amaze; we would have preferred to have the chunkier ones from Jazz/City though; you listening Honda? These look out of place on a 15 lac car. Similar are the fin patterns on the ORVM mounting point which can be seen on Brio, Amaze and Mobilio.

The big doors have a large glass area till B-pillar and after C-pillar the glass tapers off but still manages to give a good sense of design. There is no more the floating roof effect which we had in Mobilio and we actually like it because things look neat and more stylish to some extent now. We personally liked the small crease at the point of spoiler integration; we wish Honda used such attention to detail throughout though (particularly in the interior). There is this roof rail to give a sense of presence else it’s a sure shot MPV design, even if we try to think of it as an SUV, then comes that large rear overhang (that’s made to fit 2 seats and a boot) into picture and takes the BR-V overall design a bit more biased towards MPV.


The rear again got the mixed opinion, while my photographer friend was confused if he likes the rear or hates it, I found the rear quite acceptable. Now once again the same question: Does it look like the rear of an SUV? Of course not, as per the old school purist rule: the rear of an SUV will have square profile and a lot of edges but BR-V here is exception; Honda has literally rounded off every single edge and profile is more tall boy (like a hatch-MPV hybrid) than a square. The windscreen is right sized, the number plate is pushed lower on the large tail gate (more go than show here) under a thick chrome garnish, well, this chrome garnish has its design and edges running perfectly parallel to the crease under the tail lights and the red strip connecting them. Well, we have this red strip which Honda could have used as a brake light or maybe LED tail light itself, it would have been a like it or hate it addition but would have made the rear look a bit more appealing any ways, especially when it’s all lit during the night. The black clad bumper is small and has skid plate type design pattern. Here we have our own set of doubts if this bumper can offer any decent protection in case of a rear impact. Why so? Oh c’mon Honda; this isn’t a sub 4m car and you could have given a properly extruding bumper instead of that small piece of plastic that is hardly going to protect the tail gate from an impact. Look at the image below to see how small the rear bumper is and how low actually the protection for rear is being offered by it:

 
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TSIVipul

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Honda BR-V: Interiors, Features and Comfort


Key in the pocket and I press the request button on the driver’s door handle. A small ‘tak’ and car unlocks; I opened the door which is actually built on a lighter side but was impressed with the ease of ingress and egress it offers. The door opens wide in a three stage action and seats are placed near perfect. But grass isn’t all green; God is my witness that I am not exaggerating on how much disappointed I was when all my hopes got shattered and how. Honda, where are your values? Where is that premium and sporty feel that Honda always stood for in Indian market? I mean why move towards the ‘famous’ Vitara Brezza quality when you have Creta for benchmarking? The ugly weld joints on the doors are an eyesore for sure, in fact on inspecting a bit closer I found that there are panel gaps, exposed bolts and uncovered holes too. Oh why Honda? This isn’t the place where you needed to do cost cutting.


Enough of brickbats, it isn’t all bad after all. The first impression for us was of the driver’s seat and it was a good one (we would have preferred to have seats from City though). Legroom and headroom is good and cabin width is also acceptable going by the segment, the cabin could have been broad however. Driver’s seat, like all other seats looks thin but is perfectly shaped, sized and cushioned. In fact the seat is so well shaped that any medium sized adult like me is never going to complain of any kind of support on this seat, everything seems to be just perfect. The seat height adjustment along with the rake adjustable steering wheel makes it very easy to find the perfect driving position and ergonomics, like any Honda are just perfect. The position of everything is simply perfect and everything is in easy reach for the driver. But where is the armrest? Err, no armrest in BR-V CVT while we get one in City. Omission of front middle armrest or even a dedicated driver armrest (even an idiotic one like of Duster and Ecosport) is something unacceptable in a car of this price and segment.

There was that old and odd Brio based dashboard in the Mobilio which has finally given way to this new, appealing and a bit more functional unit. Honda has decided not to use the beige and black design theme like it’s in Amaze and instead went for a full black treatment with a touch of silver inserts at places. Silver inserts are very tastefully placed and work quite well in breaking the monotony of cabin along with a grey panel finished in minute hexagonal texture just above the glovebox. This panel looks like a perforated surface but it isn’t. There are disappointments, Honda has decided to use the similar dash design and we accepted but why use the similar plastic quality? These shiny plastics are acceptable on compact sedans but on a car that costs north of 10 lakh, they are simply out of place. There is one saving grace though, there are no rough edges and everything is screwed together quite well too.


The already familiar steering wheel is a direct lift from the third generation Honda City and this isn’t something we appreciate. The wheel is well-shaped, nice to hold and is thoughtfully designed too considering the fact that buttons for ICE controls never foul with your fingers and horn is easy to reach with slight stretch of thumb. The rim thickness is also fine but still this wheel looks old. When Honda already has a way better looking multi function and leather wrapped steering wheel doing duty on the new gen City as well as Jazz. Honda, you won’t be forgiven for this I tell you, at least you could have provided the leather wrapping on the steering wheel like you have done on the VX variant. On the name of steering mounted controls; we have the same old school source, channel and volume controls. Many will miss the button with a ‘phone symbol’ as well as one with ‘cruise’ written over it. Oh c’mon Honda, this is an auto and it needs cruise control – don’t be so greedy. Now adding more salt on the wound; this steering wheel isn’t reach adjustable too and there is a saving grace that seat height adjustment and overall adjustment will not make you want the reach adjustment very badly. Anyhow the steering responsiveness is on a better side which we will discuss later.

What we particularly appreciate is the instrument panel, taken from City, Jazz and Amaze; it has three dials distinct for tacho, speedo and MID. First of all I thank Honda for doing away from those blue lights and giving us the white + black combo. The fonts on the speedo and the tacho are just the perfect size and the all time backlit nature makes them look simplistically pleasing. On the right is the MID which gives you all the information like time in 12/24 hour format, odometer reading, twin trips with separate fuel economy readings for them, a distance to empty counter and outside temperature display. Additionally there are two graphical bars; the one on the top displays the instantaneous fuel economy while the one at the lower end displays the fuel level. There is an ‘Eco’ indicator on the tacho section which lights up when the car is being driven in an economical manner. There is this ugly stalk for toggling through the MID data (why can’t others adopt the VW style toggling buttons either on left stalk or on the wheel itself?) the lower variants gets the steering wheel from Amaze as well as a really low rent looking instrument panel. Honda; I tell you, this isn’t the right place to run the cost cutting knife at. Compare the following pics for reference; the upper one is the console of BR-V V, V CVT or VX variants while the lower one is from lower trims:



pic.jpg

Image Source: Team-BHP

The center console is a direct lift from Amaze and we aren’t particularly impressed with anything in it. The piano black finish looks good but the ICE is having a really low rent monochrome display (and that is also tough to read while driving under sunlight). Oh c’mon Honda, even if you have omitted the touch screen, you still could have provided a bit premium looking head unit at least; this looks like a straight lift from Amaze and is definitely not going to impress anyone paying upwards of 13 lac for getting this car on the road. Wait wait wait!! There is a saving grace; this system has 4-speakers (2 in front doors and 2 near third row) and 2 tweeters (poorly fit on A-pillar) but sound quality is its talking point which is actually good and will keep non audioholics quite satisfied. Automatic climate control console looks acceptable and has better fonts too as compared with what is there in the screen of the ICE. The performance of the AC is appreciable, be it dash mounted ones or the roof mounted vents, they work really well in cooling the cabin and managed to keep us comfortable even when the outside temperature was soaring at 40 degree Celsius. In fact the better part is that blower speed didn’t go into full blast for bringing temperature down in auto mode and it selected to keep things calm but cool even after the car was parked under direct sunlight for around half hour. Although Honda has decided to stick to the old school sliding type fresh air/re-circulation mode selector but we appreciate it; these are old but reliable as compared to our button type mode selectors.


The gear selector lever is again in the list of things which look out of place. This lever is fine for a car costing 6-7 lac but looks completely out of place in this car. Well, there is another glaring omission, the gear position indicator is no backlit and you will have to rely completely on either the display in instrument cluster or on your instincts by making counts of P R N D S to know where you have slotted into while driving in dark. This can pose a problem for the drivers coming from budget end of market and opting for automatic. Well, Honda has made an another omission here; it’s with the entire power window and mirror control console on the driver side armrest; well, nothing is illuminated there and it is damn annoying when I had to figure out which button is for front or rear window by moving my fingers over them. Numerous times I ended up opening wrong window during the night time just because there is not even a single button that is illuminated/backlit on the console; this isn’t where cost cutting knife is supposed to be used.

In terms of storage space in the cabin, we have a shallow glovebox which is good enough for small to medium sized items only (my diary couldn’t be placed in it with papers and minor knick knacks). There is a deep storage area under the climate control unit which can be used to place your smart phone, but phone slides out easily under hard acceleration That means either the storage area isn’t smart or the phone isn’t smart or none of the two is smart; or maybe the designing team didn’t had smart phones. Under this deep storage space is another cubbyhole (hold on, there is a good 1.5-2 cm wide panel gap at the dash and this lower section joint, pic attached under ‘poor fit and finish’ section) which also houses the AUX and USB slots. Don’t think of keeping your 5.5” phone here too; it will slip while cornering even at moderate speeds. There are bottle holders which can actually easily hold 600 ml cold drink bottles but wait, you can’t put your 5.5” smart phone here too; we wish Honda had joined these bottle holders and this could have worked well for even placing tablets. There are 1-liter bottle holders on doorpads too and that’s the place I used for storing my smartphone (yay, I finally got a place for it). Although all these holders are meant for 1-liter bottles but actually none of them holds it conveniently. It’s the larger cubbyhole behind the handbrake or the bottle holders on rear doors where one can easily fit 1-liter water bottles. Additionally, there’s a small ‘Nokia’ cubby right behind the right hand side front AC vent which can be used to store the old, durable and reliable Nokia basic phone.
 
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TSIVipul

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Honda BR-V: Second and Third Row

Middle row is the most interesting part of the BR-V and gives a lot of reasons to the chauffeur driven people to have smiles on their faces. First of all the rear door itself is massive in terms of both width and height. Now take it this way: huge rear door + good legroom + seats at right height + not a very high floor; sounds like the recipe to perfect ingress and egress? Well, it is. We have seen elderly people complain that getting into the hulking SUVs like Scorpio, Safari and getting out of low slung sedans like City etc is a painful affair for them (most have knee issues after all) and that’s where the BR-V perfectly makes its case. Get on the seat; you won’t find anything to complain and same goes for egress too. Additionally, massive glass area with that huge window makes for a really airy looking cabin. The ‘kink’ in the door actually makes it feel even more airy. Although the window rolls down by up to maximum 85% only but there is still nothing to complain.


Where we have enough complaints regarding dash design etc, the rear seat occupants will have nothing to complain and will be happy with all they get. First thing that we liked was legroom, there is a whole lot of legroom and since the 60:40 split rear seats are set on the rails, so you can enjoy fore & aft adjustment too along with seatback angle recline option. Now if anyone is chauffeur driven (like I am) then all they need to do is push the seats all the way back, open the armrest, adjust the seatback angle, buckle up and sleep in comfort :biggrin: With the driver seat adjusted at my driving position and middle row in a position that I can fit myself into third row too; still I had around 2 inches of legroom and that is more than enough for me. In other words, there is enough space inside to fit three 5’10” guys one behind another with very less compromises made. These pictures can give a thorough idea of how much space to expect in middle row with minimum and maximum legroom:


It’s not just the legroom which is impressive in the middle row, the headroom is also good and even the six footers will also not have anything to complain regarding this. It’s just that the seat width is on the narrower side (But car itself isn’t wide) and seating three abreast will result in minor compromises to be made. The seat itself is very comfortable though, the seat base is thoughtfully sculpted and the seatback is also well contoured making it a good place to be in. Seat height felt a bit lower as the thigh support was being lost if we kept our feet closer to seat but that is also well acceptable because any adult up to 5’8” won’t feel this issue and additionally having even an inch higher seat would have screwed this USP of ‘perfect ingress and egress’. The door armrests (Honda, they could have been something better than mere plastic you have given in CVT) as well as the middle armrest all are placed and shaped just perfect. Their height and shape is exactly what one wants (I guess Honda has always been a rear seat specialist along with their specialization in overall ergonomics and driving experience). Headrests are also nice and soft but they can be adjusted either into full up or full down position but that didn’t bother us as I personally travelled on the middle row with headrest pulled up by around 1.5 inches and it remained there itself even when it couldn’t be fixed at that position.

In terms of storage space, there is a proper 1-liter bottle holder on both the doors, there are seat back pockets on both the front seats and they felt durable too and there is one bottle/glass holder in the center. Where to put the 5.5 inch phone then? (I am talking 5.5 inch because all of us had this size only and none can find place to put their phone except into door pockets) well, the phone again goes into door pockets or seatback pockets or in your jeans pockets, no other way.


As already pointed out, this old age looking roof mounted AC unit (now we like independent blowers) is actually very effective; in fact it isn’t just a blower but has proper cooling coils also inside it. You are provided with only three blower speeds and that also via pakka old school slider type adjuster; this could have been a rotary knob at least. At position 1 the things are calm and cool, at position 2 it is a bit loud but cooling is good and at position 3 it can work well to hide all the outside noises. Rest we noticed that even with 6 people on board, we needed to run it at position 2 for 15 minutes and after that they themselves switched to position 1 as the cooling was overall impressive from both front and middle row vents.



To enter the third row, one has to pull the middle row recline lever; this will cause seats to flip and tumble forward in one action. Since the middle row door is big and seats get tumbled forward entering the third row is an easy affair for any healthy, light to medium built adult. But this is a third row and getting in and out isn’t easy for everyone. A heavily built adult or elders are better to be seated in front two rows. Once inside the third row, we notice that headroom and seatback is good, legroom is also acceptable (I wrote that BR-V can seat three 5’10” guys one behind another) but under thigh support is just poor with your knees always pointing upwards.


The third row seats get a good set of headrests (The headrests in all three rows are different type BTW) and the seatback can also be reclined as per your comfort. The seat is 50:50 split in case you have to make a compromise for carrying 6 adults and their luggage, it will all be easily accommodated. The ICE speakers are just next to the third row and while playing a bass heavy track I could feel the bass on my hand and ribs as the speakers are placed just there, now this will be a like it or hate it position of speakers depending on the person sitting there and their enthusiasm regarding the music. Amazingly the armrests here are also placed well but here you can’t store your phone at any place (size you know, it’s 5.5) as you have 2 bottle holders one on each side armrest and 2 cubbyholes of which the left one is simply useless and right one also can’t store a full size smart phone.



With all three rows up, there is a boot space of 223 liters which is enough for carrying knicks-knacks for a small weekend trip; we have kept a medium sized laptop bag in the boot as a reference. Else one can fold the third row and get 691 liters of space if more boot space is needed.



In case you need to carry something big then there is no ways you can get a completely flat storage space like in many SUVs, instead this is what you get:

 
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Honda BR-V: Engine and Performance


The BR-V CVT comes equipped with a 1.5l i-VTEC petrol engine which we are already familiar with; this is a potent tall stroke motor producing a peak power of 119 BHP @ 6600 RPM and a peak torque of 145 Nm @ 4600 RPM. The recent developments have seen a shift to CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) auto trannys by a couple of manufacturers with Honda being the flag bearer. They have already given the option of CVT in Jazz, Amaze and City; the BR-V is the latest offering sporting the same type of transmission. Basically CVT gearboxes have lesser moving parts, are light in weight and have proven to be very reliable too if maintained well (take care of their proper maintenance and they can last really long), additionally CVTs have an option of having infinite number of gear ratios and hence tuning them up is easy making them work even more efficiently than some of the most tech laden gear boxes available out there.

In BR-V, Honda has mated CVT to the potent 1.5l engine and the results are actually good. They have taken care of a bit enthusiastic drivers too (though they won’t be pleased) by offering pedal shifters which can be used to select one of the pre-defined seven virtual gear ratios. A gear indicator is given on the instrument cluster in the tacho section which displays the gear in which the vehicle is being driven in (D1, S2, R etc; a video is attached in videos section for reference). However, there’s no ‘plant button’ or in other words, the E-Con button for maximizing fuel efficiency.

Press the brake pedal and hit starter button, the engine will come to life with a slight thrum. Move the gear selector to D, R or S mode and release the brake pedal, the car will creep forward or behind slowly in the direction of selected gear. This creep feature is good for jam-packed city drives but not meant for slowly moving jam situations because there are chances that until you keep on creeping to fill the gap someone else will get into your lane. What’s good is that the vehicle is capable to creep on speed breakers and minor ramps etc easily.

In the city, Honda BR-V CVT will give you very few reasons to complain while what you’ll absolutely love is the very smooth and completely jerk free power delivery. It just performs exactly as much as you ask it to perform, press the gas and it will move ahead with a pace that is directly proportional to the amount of gas fed. Hence, it makes for a seamless driving experience which no torque converter or even the cutting edge dual clutch boxes can match. While driving in city with a light foot and passing through flyovers, our car never crossed the 1500 rpm mark until 70 Kph. Yup. You read that right. While driving with a light foot you get to 70 Kmph at around 1500 rpm itself with ECO light ON. This is the condition of high overdrive to enhance the fuel economy because if you touch the ‘+’ pedal then it will reach the D7 ratio and revs will rise over 1750 mark at the same speed, then you keep on driving with your light foot and slowly the engine again settles down at 1500 rpm giving you a very silent cabin and an efficient drive.


Out on the highway we got a chance to thoroughly check the BR-V CVT in terms of outright performance. While doing 0-100 kph runs, the best we could attain was in sports mode without using the pedal shifters which came around 12.7 seconds to reach 100 kph; this is quite fast by CVT standards and I must accept that this is one of the better CVTs available in the market as it is quite responsive and you’ll never need to plan before an overtake like a general planning to win a fort. In fact, all numbers were with air-con on and 2 occupants. Therefore, there’s a scope of saving one more second under better conditions. While in D mode we were able to crack 100 kph under 13.7 seconds without using pedal shifters and around 14.2 seconds after using pedal shifters, in ‘S’ mode we were able to get to 100 kph in 12.7 seconds without using pedal shifters and over 13.5 seconds after we used pedal shifters. We attribute this to the reason because upshifts while using pedal shifters make the engine go out of its peak power zone time and again but while in regular D or S mode the engine help firmly over 6000 rpm mark with CVT ratios quickly changing and charging the vehicle ahead. Overall the performance is impressive and even up to 140 kph, the speed build up is anything but sluggish, it’s just quick and maintains a good pace while building speeds even at the wrong side of 100 kph (A Creta CRDi driver couldn’t overtake us despite trying hard and finally gave up before we indicated him to pass). Other than that this CVT is tuned more towards fuel efficiency and if you drive with a light foot then even 100 kph also comes a shade below 2000 rpm mark and the ECO light seems to be confused if it has to go off or keep illuminated.

All in all, we’ll still classify this gearbox as a boring one and far from even regular torque converters (DSGs better left aside). Using pedal shifters is a saving grace and only entertainment that you get from the car except ICE is the engine in itself. When your revs go past 3500 rpm then there is a snarl which will entertain the ears of any enthusiast but it also gets irritating because of the CVT as the snarl isn’t changing like in manual or torque converter or dual clutch boxes, instead it is always there if you are driving with heavy foot and it is there in same frequency as the engine noise remains nearly same for all the time after 60 kph.

Fuel Efficiency:

Nowadays, CVTs have become more fuel efficient than even manual ‘boxes. Honda also claims an ARAI certified mileage of 16 kpl which we have our own set of doubts on, in fact bigger set of doubts. Like any CVT, driving with heavy foot will result in a lot of slip and poor fuel economy but we tried hard to get good figures on our test car and drove it a lot with the ECO light ON but still the overall fuel economy this car managed was 9.6 kpl overall (display was over 12 in MID) for a 30:70 city – highway drive ratio. Considering that the car we drove can be a faulty we tested another car and that example managed to deliver over 12 kpl under similar driving conditions (but for a shorter driving distance). Honda may be claiming 16 kpl, but we expect to get that number only on full-time highway drives and that also with a light foot, else we don’t expect anything over 12-12.5 kpl in mixed city-highway traffic conditions.
 
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Honda BR-V: Ride and Handling


With McPherson struts doing duty up front and torsion beam at the rear, the ride and handling balance of the BR-V; like most of the Honda cars, is good and there seems to be absolutely nothing to complain on this front. The BR-V being a monocoque is more car-like to drive as compared to its BOF counterparts. Like all other monocoque counterparts, the floor is low, front wheel drive layout and of course no double wishbone suspension setup too. But it is easier to live within the city, on the highways too. It’s lighter, more agile, efficient and performance is decent as well.

The suspension is although a bit on the firmer side (compared to Creta AT which I drove a couple of days ago) yet it’s compliant and absorbent. You can easily pass through uneven surface or small-sized speed breakers without having to slow down from say 60 kph and all you get to hear inside the cabin is slight thud and a minor jerk, rest all it irons down quite well. This suspension isn’t amongst the most silent units but it isn’t annoying either. It’s more like a laborer who works and quietly lets you know that “Saarji, I’m working”. Overall we were impressed by the performance of the suspension under high speed highway drives as well as while passing over the bumps. The ride quality is on the better side but definitely not as close to that of, say Duster. Like all other monocoque SUVs with a lower ground clearance as compared to their body-on-frame (BOF) siblings, the BRV also has a rear which loves to be stable, while driving with six occupants on board, we could also sense the rock solid stability which BR-V showed on the highway despite of speeds ranging between 80-120 kph throughout the drive.

This SUV is equipped with 195 section Michelin Primacy 3ST tyres and we appreciate Honda for not cutting costs here. Primacy 3ST is already known to us for being a really nice tyre in terms of both grip and ride comfort, no exceptions here too. The BR-V is already blessed with a really nice steering in terms of responsiveness along with a suspension and chassis that complements steering and these tyres only add the next part of equation to make for a fantastic handling by SUV standards. The grip is excellent and so is the performance while swerving, braking, swerve + brake and cornering. The brakes offer a nice bite and provide us a confidence that BR-V can come to a safe stop from 100 Kph speed easily. We did the same and were left impressed with overall braking performance.

So, are we happy with this baby SUV from Honda? Well, overall the vehicle seems to have hit the sweet spot in terms of price, performance and features. The BR-V offers everything an average Joe will ask for. But there is a lot more to be desired. The interior quality, fit and finish could have been better and at the end of the day, it still looks more like a spruced-up MPV than an SUV. In fact we’ve overheard people comparing the BR-V to Ertiga, out of which latter was preferred considering price advantage. So why should one consider the BR-V? If a spacious seven-seat UV with a decent engine and automatic transmission coupled with an advantage of good ride and handling is a criterion, then this car makes a strong case for itself here.
 
Thread Starter #8

TSIVipul

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Honda BR-V: Likes, Dislikes and Star Ratings

Honda-BRV-Front-Grille.jpg

You’ll Love:[thumbsup]
  • Spacious and highly practical seven-seater SUV.
  • Fun-to-drive. Handling and ride quality are well-balanced.
  • Tried and tested Petrol and Diesel engines along with CVT auto ‘box.
  • Safety: Dual airbags, ABS + EBD standard. Except for base Petrol which doesn’t get ABS + EBD.
  • Good legroom and headroom in front and second rows. Movable second row with reclining seatback.
You’ll Loathe: [thumbsdown]
  • Interior quality is still a letdown.
  • Front cabin width could have been better.
  • MPV’ish design. Light-build quality and a poor fit-and-finish.
  • Poor rear-view. Ironically, reverse parking sensors and camera are missing too.
  • Dubious fuel economy figures. We didn’t manage to achieve over 12 Kmpl in any condition.
Honda BR-V Star Ratings:
  • Design and Quality.................:
    sevenstar.gif
  • Comfort and Features............:
    7.5.gif
  • Engine and Performance.........:
    eightstar.gif
  • Handling and Ride Quality.......:
    eightstar.gif
  • Safety and Security Levels.....:
    sevenstar.gif
  • Overall Fuel Consumption.......:
    sixstar.gif
  • Sales and Service Network.....:
    8.5.gif
  • Value For Money Factor.........:
    7.5.gif
  • The Automotive India's Verdict:
    7.5.gif
Here's how to interpret above ratings: The Automotive India Reviews Star Ratings Explained.
 
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Thread Starter #9

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Honda BR-V: Price, Specifications, Comparison and Brochure

Honda-BRV-Front-Low-View.jpg

Honda BR-V Price (Ex.showroom, Delhi):

Petrol
  • E: Rs.8.91 Lakh
  • S: Rs.10.09 Lakh
  • V: Rs.11.10 Lakh
  • VX: Rs.12.04 Lakh
  • V CVT: Rs.12.20 Lakh
Diesel
  • E: Rs.10.06 Lakh
  • S: Rs.11.18 Lakh
  • V: Rs.12.07 Lakh
  • VX: Rs.13.14 Lakh
Honda BR-V Specifications:

Petrol
  • Engine: 1497 CC
  • Power: 117 BHP
  • Torque: 145 Nm
  • Transmission: 6 MT / CVT
  • Fuel Efficiency: 15.4 Kmpl
Diesel
  • Engine: 1498 CC
  • Power: 99 BHP
  • Torque: 200 Nm
  • Transmission: 6 MT
  • Fuel Efficiency: 21.9 Kmpl
General Specifications
  • Front Brakes: Disc
  • Rear Brakes: Drum
  • Front Suspension: McPherson Strut with Coil Spring
  • Rear Suspension: Torsion Beam with Coil Spring
  • Fuel Tank: 42 Liters
  • Boot Space: 223 liters (All rows up), 691 liter (Third row folded)
  • Length: 4453 mm
  • Width: 1735 mm
  • Height: 1666 mm
  • Wheelbase: 2662 mm
  • Kerb Weight: 1238 kg
  • Tyre Size: 195/60 R16
  • Turning Radius: 5.3 m
  • Ground Clearance: 210 mm
Honda BR-V Exterior Colors:
  • Taffeta White*
  • Carnelian Red Pearl
  • Orchid White Pearl*
  • Golden Brown Metallic
  • Urban Titanium Metallic
  • Alabaster Silver Metallic*
Note: Asterisk (*) denotes our preferred choice of colors.
 

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Thread Starter #10

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Honda BR-V: Videos Review

0-100 kph came at 12.7 seconds in sports mode with 2 occupants on board and AC ON. We can expect a 0 - 100 timing of under 12 seconds too with only one occupant on board, AC off and perfectly flat surface.

Braking performance is impressive and so it the overall ride and handling. We managed to brake from 80-0 in a really impressive distance and time.

The car moves at around 5 kph in creep mode, note the difference between the speed breaker and the vehicle body. This is the difference a high GC makes as this speed breaker easily scrapes the likes of Vento, City, Polo etc

Folding the third row to get more boot space.

Look at the tachometer area to find the gear indicator. 'S' denotes the sports mode and the number denotes the virtual ratio the car is being driven in. Notice the sprightly performance as well as the NVH.
 
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Honda BR-V: Pictorial Review

The projector and blacked out section in the headlamp makes for a mean appearance



Round chrome surround foglamps in pod shaped styling



Door handles from Amaze feel flimsy and downmarket



1-liter water bottle as a comparo for GC, it's 210 mm after all



The biker friendly ORVMs give a decent view back too



Smart alloys wear Michelin Primacy 3ST shoes, a welcome move



Short antenna at the backside



Low and high beam of headlamps



This is how the parking lights will look when illuminated at night



This is how the rear will look when tail lamps are illuminated



Taillaps have LED lights as regular one, brake lights are one surrounded by LEDs, indicators further inside and reversing lamp mounted on tailgate



The rear is a like it or hate it design. We find it to be pleasing though.


 
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Honda BR-V: Pictorial Review

Probably the best angle to look at the BR-V from rear end



Spoiler integrated rear windshield washer



Spare is also an alloy wheel, most of the manufacturers miss this



No under body protection



Single windscreen washer but jets are strong



Ground clearly visible from the gap in engine bay



Odd-shaped coolant reservoir



The ABS module. ABS kicks in a bit early, still the brakes are really strong and offer a very confident feedback



Small 34 AH battery, hence running blower and ICE etc in the car with engine OFF is not a good idea

 
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Thread Starter #13

TSIVipul

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Honda BR-V: Pictorial Review

Hook to hold third row in place after being folded. This hook is to be put into the headrest of second row



Pull this strap to tumble third row



Use this lever to fold or recline third row



Illumination by the dome lamp in night is acceptable. Note; the third row if tumbled and second row folded and tumbled, you're actually left with no usable space, hence if you want to utilize the space of second row folded then better to fold third and second row but tumble none.



Tool kit is neatly hidden in right corner of the boot



Loosen this bold in the boot to release your spare tyre



Under hood insulation in petrol version too, few cars offer this.



Thick scuff plate at second row



There are two dome mounted lamps, one at front and one just behind the second row backrest



Handbrake bent in a peculiar way, it makes me think naughty as well as think that maybe some journo worked too hard on it. Or maybe Honda did it this way only. Look at the cubbyhole behind the handbrake lever, it can hold a 1 liter water bottle easily



Third row armrest is well shaped and placed, the rectangular cubby is deeper on the right hand side.



The speaker placed at third row, can make passengers uncomfortable if they aren't audioholic.



No height adjustable seat belts



Headlight beam adjuster, look at the dummy place for switches



Same old school fuel lid opener



Cubby under the AC controls can hold a smartphone but that will be pushed out under hard acceleration in no time



Child lock button on rear door



Flimsy door opening latch is far from what we call quality stuff



Cubby under right hand side AC vent is good to store a small size basic phone



Simple looking but functional, speakers sound good



Front door pocket is small and even a 1 liter bottle is squeeze in these 1 liter bottle holders


 
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Thread Starter #14

TSIVipul

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Honda BR-V: Pictorial Review

The silver inserts add some character to the interior design

Honda-BRV-Side-AC-Vent.jpg


There is this plastic insert above the glovebox and...

Honda-BRV-Dashboard-Finish.jpg


...it has this type of texture

Honda-BRV-Dashboard-Texture.jpg


The glovebox is deep but not much accommodating

Honda-BRV-Glovebox-Open.jpg


Center console is tilted towards the driver

Honda-BRV-Center-Console.jpg


ICE from Amaze is far from what looks cool in this segment

Honda-BRV-ICE.jpg


Footwell is spacious and dead pedal is just a small plastic piece stuck on the mat.

Honda-BRV-Pedals.jpg


Using these shifters, you can have some fun behind the wheel inspite of a CVT 'box

Honda-BRV-Paddle-Shifters.jpg


Stalks from Amaze feel durable but look downmarket for a car costing over 10 lac

Honda-BRV-Stalks.jpg


View from IRVM

Honda-BRV-IRVM.jpg


Poor rear visibility

Honda-BRV-Rear-Windscreen-View.jpg


Sliding type blower speed control looks downmarket, a rotary knob would have been better

Honda-BRV-Rear-AC-Control.jpg


Rear doors are more accommodating than front ones

Honda-BRV-Rear-Door-Pocket.jpg


Driver door console, nothing is backlit and this is a BIG annoyance

Honda-BRV-Driver-Door-Armrest.jpg


Doors open wide, look at poor finish and those el-cheapo weld joints

Honda-BRV-Doors.jpg


Poor fit and finish at many places is clearly evident

Honda-BRV-Poor-Finish-1.jpg


Honda-BRV-Poor-Finish.jpg


It’ll be interesting to watch how successful this shot from Honda is after the initial hoopla is over.

Honda-BRV-iVtec-Badge.jpg


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