Honda BRV Overview
It won’t be an exaggeration to state that Honda brought a sense of premiumness in the mid-size sedan market in India. The Japanese car maker has always had a clear focus of not being the herd type and mass inject the market with unnecessary products instead take time and understand the segment before venturing into it.This approach was tagged as being ‘too conventional’ for mainstream but then the brand earned dividends with the launch of new generation products. In fact, the acceptability of the brand increased substantially helping them achieve a growth 185% from 2010 to 2014. Incidentally, India also happens to be Honda’s fourth largest market and thus the efforts to make sure the products as well as production capacities meet the growing demands of the market are totally justified. View offers on Honda Cars from Honda dealers in Hyderabad at Autozhop
Making sure the momentum is maintained, Honda will enter into a new segment with its most talked about crossover – the BR-V, in 2016. Though the company insists on calling it a crossover, in real world condition, it will stand against other compact SUVs as well. Should you wait till the next year for this? We find out in our preview drive.
Honda BRV Design & Style
Based on the Brio platform, the SUV looks quite similar to Mobilio MPV, although the front end and rear profile bear no resemblance to the MPV. The SUV is low and has a van like stance which takes away the SUVish appeal from it. Front gets bold dual chrome slats set on the backdrop of honeycomb grille. The headlamps long and swept back head lamps go well with the two-part chrome grille, giving edge to the square-like bonnet. Lower side of the bumper features rounded fog lamps accentuated by chrome surrounds and there is a silver skid plate placed under the bumper. When you view the SUV from side, it is then that you realise how strongly it resembles with the Mobilio. The sharp character lines on the flanks and similar looking window glass reminds of the MPV. Atop BR-V gets roof rails which lend it height, else the SUV appears a tad short amid rivals. To give it a SUV like flair, black plastic cladding is seen all around the body. As you get to the back, you cannot help noticing the single unit wrap-around tail lamps running across the boot lid. Besides, the rear gets an integrated spoiler, chrome garnish above the license plate and a skid plate under the bumper.
Honda BRV Cabin & Comfort
Though there is considerable legroom in all the three rows, with the third of course being a bit lesser, the shoulder room is lesser than the other compact SUVs due to the narrower design of Brio platform vehicles. But, surprisingly, the third row manages to seat two adults in a fairly comfortable position The second row seats also get reclinable backrests. Boot volume is a low 233 litres with all seats in use, but a huge 691 litres with the third row folded. The seats themselves are not too narrow or thin, but they don’t offer generous amounts of space or support either. The squabs are also a bit soft – maybe appreciated by drivers and occupants in the cities, but could be a bit tiring during long drives.Compared to the Mobilio, the new BR-V’s cabin is a step up in perceived quality. The dashboard layout is simple, but clean. The test mule we test drove was the top trim and so some of the inserts and elements may not be available in the lower trim variants.
Honda BRV Engine & Gearbox
Powering the BR-V are the same engines which sit under the hood of the Mobilio. The diesel oilburner delivers similar power output of 100 PS at 3600 RPM and torque of 200 Nm at 1750 RPM. This engine is mated to a 6-speed manual transmission (derived from the City). However, the gear ratios have been reworked to suit the BR-V. While the first five gears have the same ratio, the sixth gear is shorter by 7.7% for better SUV performance.
There is negligible turbo lag after which performance is quite linear. Even with four people in the car and some heavy camera equipment, the Honda BR-V never felt underpowered. Low-end performance is much better now and Honda has added some insulation to the engine compartment thereby making the NVH levels mildly better in the cabin but this engine is far from being the quietest in the segment, getting quite vocal in the higher end of the rev band. The ARAI certified fuel economy is 21.9 km/l, we reckon it should return around 14 km/l in the routine driving cycle.
The petrol too is the same 1.5-litre i-VTEC unit and this engine churns out 119 PS at 6600 RPM and a maximum torque of 145 Nm at 4600 RPM. This powerplant comes with an all new 6-speed manual gearbox and a segment first petrol CVT. This manual transmission has been optimised for the BR-V by lowering the first gear ratio by 12% while the top gear ratio has been increased by 7%. The manual variant has an ARAI certified fuel economy of 15.4 km/l, it should return around 11 km/l in the regular driving cycle.
We had a small run in the petrol CVT version at the drive. Honda has reduced the weight as well as the friction for the CVT in order to get better performance and fuel efficiency. The CVT feels quite good for city driving offering the comfort and convenience of an automatic. However, it is only when you give it the beans that it gets quite noisy with a pronounced rubber band effect. In theory, this CVT is more fuel efficient than the manual at 16 km/l.
Honda BRV Ride & Handling
The Honda BR-V will mainly be used as a family runabout and it is imperative that the crossover SUV have a good level of ride comfort. And it does for most parts. Slow speed ride quality is great and we were genuinely impressed by how the BR-V does not let in thuds and thumps from bumps at such speeds. Speed up a bit and the first row passengers will be taken care of as well but the second and third row occupants do get thrown around a little bit. This is even more accentuated when you encounter a set of continuous bumps. Although the BR-V will not make you feel uncomfortable and will prove to be a great grand tourer especially when weighed down with a bunch of passengers and their luggage.
When it comes to handling, the BR-V is like any other Honda – just enough neutrality to be ballistic levels of fun in the right hands. Steering feel is great and the steering feedback is good enough to make the driver know exactly what both front tyres are up to at any given time. The 195/60 R16 Michelin tyres that our test car came with did have an average level of grip, but we think that a better set of tyres would really improve the way the BR-V would handle and stop even more. And talking about stopping, the BR-V comes with disc brakes up front and drum brakes at the rear with ABS as a standard feature on all models. And unlike some of the other Honda cars in the past which were a little under-whelming in the braking section, the BR-V’s brakes have good bite and feel under normal and heavy braking. Talking a bit more about safety features, the BR-V does come standard with airbags across all variants.
Honda BRV Safety & Security
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.
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 Ex-Showroom Price in Bangalore ranges from 9,06,367/- (BRV E Petrol) to 13,23,382/- (BRV VX Diesel). Get best offers for Honda Brv from Honda Dealers in Bangalore. Check for BRV price in Bangalore 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.