With Mobilio already on sale, which too is a seven seater, why is Honda launching another seven seater in India? The answer to that is a rise in demand for crossovers and SUVs. Mobilio is an MPV which is aimed at the likes of Maruti Ertiga, whereas the BR-V is a sporty crossover which is targetted towards the likes of Hyundai Creta, Renault Duster, Mahindra XUV500.
Honda claims that the BR-V is more of a lifestyle vehicle which not only focuses on offering driving pleasure, but also equal fun to friends and families who are always there with you.
In a nutshell, that is basically what every manufacturer out there who has a seven seater to sell, is shouting. What makes the Honda BR-V stand apart from the crowd? Let’s find out.
Easily the sportiest looking car till date based on the Brio platform, Honda BR-V exterior highlights on the front include a thick chrome grille with a large Honda logo in the center. This chrome grille blends with the attractive headlamp cluster seamlessly. Headlight unit includes a projector headlamp with LED DRL. Above that is a tough looking hood, adding to the car’s macho stance.
Lower bumper features creases and contours adding to the well defined sporty character of the front, which Honda calls as ‘Solid Wing Face design’.
The side is where the BR-V looks the most like a Mobilio. Honda has tried to give the side profile a makeover by making the wheel arches look much more muscular thanks to plastic cladding, turn indicators shifted to the ORVM, chrome slat at the lower part of the doors, chrome door handles, larger 16-inch alloys and roof rails.
Rear of Honda BR-V gets a unique ‘Connected’ taillight design, Honda logo and the BR-V moniker along with a thick chrome slat above the license plate. Overall, the car does look sporty from all quarters which easily delivers road presence of a large car when on road.
Interiors, Comfort & Space
Once you are inside the cabin, it will be a tad bit difficult to believe the fact that you are inside a car which has a ground clearance of over 200 mm. Though a crossover, the seating position for the driver is such that it feels more like driving a sedan, than an MPV or SUV. Yes, you can raise driver seat height, but that still does not help if you want that high-seating position of an SUV while driving.
The cabin features the same dashboard layout which was first seen on the new Amaze, launched earlier this year in India. Unlike the Mobilio’s dashboard, this new dash offers a premium and high quality, tactile feel. The top of the line VX variant gets all black dash with silver accents, piano black inserts on the centre console and a faux carbon fibre piece above the glove box.
The steering wheel with tilt functionality and leather cover could have been a bit chunkier. It gets audio and phone controls mounted ergonomically. The white lit instrument console with MID (Multi Information Display) gets the job done perfectly.
Speaking of seats, these too are a huge improvement from what Honda offered on board the Mobilio. BR-V gets sculpted front driver and passenger seats covered with leather covers.
Second-row seats come with a slider and push-back. This goes a long way in ensuring rear seat passenger comfort during long drives. There is also a centre armrest, which could be lifted to make space for a third passenger in the second row.
Second-row seats are split 60-40. They come with one-touch tumble function, making it possible to access the third row.
Though there is space for two to seat in the third row, tall passengers will find it difficult to adjust over long journeys. Third-row passengers also get side armrest and cup holders.
To keep the huge cabin cool, there are roof mounted AC vents, which are easily accessible by the second-row passengers.
Based on Honda’s ‘Man Maximum, Machine Minimum’ philosophy, the interiors of Honda BR-V are spacious and comfortable.
Engine, Transmission & Fuel Efficiency
Honda BR-V will be offered with two engine options, same as that on the existing Honda City. These are in the form of 1,497 cc iVTEC petrol and 1,498 cc iDTEC diesel. Petrol unit delivers 119 PS at 6,600 rpm and 145 Nm torque at 4,600 rpm while the diesel unit delivers 100 PS at 3,600 rpm and 200 Nm at 1,750 rpm.
Honda BR-V petrol is offered in two transmission options – CVT and a 6-speed manual gearbox while the diesel variant is offered only with a 6-speed gearbox. Fuel efficiency claimed by petrol CVT is 16 kmpl, that of petrol MT is 15.4 kmpl and diesel MT is 21.9 kmpl. During our test drive, petrol CVT and MT gave us a figure of 10 kmpl while the diesel BR-V delivered 15 kmpl.
How is it to drive?
Though a crossover, Honda BR-V will find it difficult to please those customers who want a raised seating position, that one gets while driving an SUV. It’s seating position is more of a sedan than of a crossover.
The petrol CVT does the job perfectly and offers a very relaxed drive inside the city. Power delivery is linear, and pickup is decent, even when 7 passengers are seated. Though it comes with paddle shifters, they are hardly of any use.
The diesel variant feels a bit underpowered. It is also a bit noisy. The diesel clutter at idle is easily audible to the driver in spite of the windows being shut. Surprisingly, the diesel clutter is not audible in the second row. Also, once you start cruising, the diesel clutter is no longer audible to the driver and front passenger as well. Gearbox too was a bit notchy.
Petrol MT with newly developed 6 speed MT is the most fun to drive of the three variants. It offers good pickup, smooth engine, and an even smoother gearbox.
All three variants can easily cruise at 100-120 kmph. The diesel, just like the Amaze, comes with a limited at 143 kmph while the petrol variant has no such limit.
Suspension is set to suit Indian road conditions. Bumpy roads and potholes, the car tackles with breeze. But the same setting is also responsible for very evident body roll when travelling at speeds of 80 kmph and higher. When loaded with a minimum five adults, the suspension behaves best.
Areas of Improvement
After driving all three variants for a decent amount of time, we found that the following could be improved on-board the BR-V to make it an even better offering for their customers:
Offer better speakers
Improve NVH (diesel)
Touchscreen Infotainment system
Rear parking assist
Honda BR-V E Features
Front Dual SRS Airbags
ABS With EBD (Only Diesel)
LED Tail Light Guide
Chrome Front Grill & Rear Chrome Garnish
Body Color Door Mirror & Door Handles
Adjustable Headrests (All 3 rows)
2nd Row 60:40 Split Seats with Recline
3rd Row 50:50 Split Seats with Recline
Digital AC Controls
Front and Rear Power Window
Honda BR-V S Features
Advanced 2DIN Integrated Audio (AM/FM, MP3, USB & Aux-in)
Bluetooth Connectivity & HFT
Steering Mounted Audio Controls
2nd Row Slide
ABS with EBD (PE & DE)
Rear AC Vents
Driver Seat Height Adjuster
Electrically Adjustable ORVM
Premium Seat Fabric
Rear Wiper with Washer
Door Centre Sash Black TapeTrim Wheel
Honda BR-V V Features
Push Start With Smart Entry
Alloy WheelsPaddle Shift (CVT Only)
Electrically Foldable ORVM Turn Indicators on ORVM
Sporty 3D Speedometer with Multi-Information Display
Front Fog Lamps
2nd Row Centre Armrest
Auto Door Lock By Speed
Impact Sensing Auto Door Unlock
Chrome Door Handles
Honda BR-V VX Features
LED Position Lamps
Leather Wrapped Steering Wheel
Leather Gear Shift Knob
Leather Pad on Door Armrest
Front and Rear Bumper Lower Garnish
Chrome Side Protector
Heat Absorbing Windshield
Front Power Window Auto Up (Driver)
Honda BR-V Specs
|Engine||1.5-litre iVTEC Petrol/1.5-litre iDTEC Diesel|
|Max. Power||117 BHP/100 BHP|
|Peak Torque||145 Nm/200 Nm|
|Transmission||6-Speed Manual, CVT Automatic/6-Speed Manual|
|Tyre Size||195/60 R16|
|Ground Clearance||210 mm|
|Dimensions (LWB)||4456 mm X 1735 mm X 1666 mm|
|Turning Radius||5.3 mm / 5.5 mm|
|Fuel Tank Capacity||42 Litres|
|Boot Space||223 L (All 3 rows up), 691 L (3rd row folded)|
|Kerb Weight||1199 ~ 1235 kgs / 1271 ~ 1306 kgs|
|Front Suspension||MacPherson Strut|
|Rear Suspension||H-Shape Torsion Beam|
|Brakes||Front – Disc, Rear – Drum|
|Fuel Efficiency||15.4 kmpl P MT, 16 kmpl CVT, 21.9 kmpl D MT|
- Honda BR-V E – INR 8.75 lakhs
- Honda BR-V S – INR 9.90 lakhs
- Honda BR-V V – INR 10.90 lakhs
- Honda BR-V VX – INR 11.84 lakhs
- Honda BR-V V CVT – INR 11.99 lakhs
- Honda BR-V E – INR 9.90 lakhs
- Honda BR-V S – INR 10.99 lakhs
- Honda BR-V V – INR 11.85 lakhs
- Honda BR-V VX – INR 12.90 lakhs
[Note: Add INR 650 to Delhi prices to arrive at ex-showroom Navi-Mumbai prices.]
Honda BR-V vs Renault Duster vs Hyundai Creta
Honda BR-V vs Honda Mobilio vs Maruti Ertiga
Aimed at the likes of Hyundai Creta and Renault Duster, Honda BR-V is also priced in a similar range. The USP of Honda BR-V is its sporty exteriors and seven-seat layout. At the same time, it also misses out on important features like reverse parking sensor and touchscreen infotainment system, which are offered in this segment by all manufacturers.
Though these features could be a deal-breaker for some, most buyers are expected to look at the BR-V as a 7 seater which looks like an SUV. This is where Honda Car India could manage to cash in. Only time would tell how the BR-V handles the buyer sentiment.