Japanese car major, Honda has been a revered name in India and its success in this country is synonymous with the iconic Honda City sedan. Unfortunately, despite the great styling, quality and global fame, other Honda cars in India have not been able to generate great sales apart from the City. However, Honda Cars India has been launching a number of new car models in order to boost sales, the latest of them being the new Honda BR-V compact SUV. Considering that the compact SUV segment is the hottest in the Indian auto market, Honda has certainly taken a wise decision by launching the new Honda BR-V.
Here’s a look at the new Japanese compact SUV model:
The Honda BR-V compact SUV is not like the regular SUV models in its own segment. Although it has a very sporty styling appeal, it can’t be termed as beefy or aggressive and does not have the typical SUV stance. In fact, the BR-V is essentially a crossover being based on the Brio hatchback’s platform. Moreover, this crossover comes with a stretched structure which also lends it an MPV-ish look. The BR-V gets bold front face with a massive chrome grille, stylish headlights and sculpted bumper along with a silver skid plate. Lighting involves LED daytime running lights, projector headlamps and halogen high beam lamps in a separate module. Then there are really stylish 16 inch wheels, plastic cladding running all along the sides, chrome lining along the bottom of the doors and metal polished roof rails. At the back the BR-V gets a sculpted boot, attractive tail lights and an interesting strip that looks like stretched tail lights, although it doesn’t light up. From a distance the BR-V looks very similar to the Mobilio MPV being siblings, but it comes with its own styling elements. On the whole the BR-V is a good looking vehicle, but hardly a SUV.
Interiors & Features
The primary plus point of the Honda BR-V is its great spacious interiors, and unlike its competitors it is a 7-seater compact SUV. Apart from a seating capacity for 7 adults, the BR-V is magnanimously spacious on the inside which makes you forget the kind of awkward stretched design on the outside. It offers all black interiors and the higher models gets endowed with luxurious full leather package that include leather seats, leather side rests and leather-wrapped steering wheel as well as gear knob.
All the seats are comfortable and well supported with good padding. The BR-V offers luxurious legroom at the rear which is best in class. The middle row comes with 60-40 split setup with one touch folding feature for easy access to the last row. There’s ample amount of headspace, while large windows lend a further spacious and airy feel to the cabin. The middle row feels as spacious and comfortable as a family sedan.
The third row comes with 50-50 folding setup. Even with the third row in place the BR-V offers a boot space for a couple of small bags, and with the third row folded you get a real big cargo space. So, clearly interior space is the biggest strength of the Honda BR-V.
The BR-V comes with a simple and neat interior layout. There’s a clean sophisticated looking dashboard, climate control on top models and infotainment system. However, the infotainment unit is the most criticized feature of the BR-V, as it does not offer a touchscreen display, navigation or connectivity options such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There’s also a lack of premium features like automatic headlights, rain sensing wipers and cruise control, which are offered in vehicles in its price range.
Powertrain & Performance
The new Honda BR-V has launched in the car market of India in both petrol and diesel versions. In terms of engine choices thus, the BR-V is at par with the other compact SUV models in its segment. The BR-V petrol gets equipped with a 4 cylinder 1.5 liter i-VTEC petrol engine that has the capability to churn out a max power output of 119 PS and 145 Nm of top torque. The petrol mill is coupled with a 6 speed manual transmission gearbox along with a choice of CVT gearbox with paddle shifters. The BR-V’s diesel avatar packs in a 1.5 liter 4-cylinder turbocharged oil burner which is capable of generating a peak power of 100PS and max torque of 200 Nm. The diesel mill only gets a 6 speed manual transmission.
Both the engines are refined and offer good performance. The BR-V feels pretty strong and offers an overall good drive experience if not a punchy one. It feels more of an MPV or a family car even from its drive experience rather than a powerful SUV. The manual gearbox is pretty efficient and smooth however, most of the urban drivers would prefer the CVT gearbox for its great easy drive experience in the heavy traffic situations.
The Honda BR-V comes with an impressive ARAI certified fuel efficiency of more than 21 km per liter which is really great considering its size and class.
The Honda BR-V has been a highly awaited launches from the house of Honda Cars India, as it is the company’s first compact MPV model in India that too with a diesel counterpart. Although, the BR-V is definitely an overall good quality crossover, it could have been a lot better. There are several hit and miss points about the BR-V, such as attractive bold styling, but awkward stretchy structure; smart looking interiors, but lack of premium features; good overall performance, but lack of MPV feel. These shortcomings are perhaps too apparent to the smart modern buyers of India, and that’s why despite being a brand new launch the Honda BR-V could not make an impressive mark with its sales even in its initial sales months in India. Nevertheless, the Honda BR-V can make a good family crossover with a good mix of style, sedan like comfortable interiors and superb cabin space.