The Honda BRV is the latest SUV introduced in India from the Japanese automobile major. Honda Motor entered the Indian market in 1998, but till very recently, the company had no affordable SUV which came with a “mandatory” diesel engine. However, they have it now. After years of contemplating with prospective products, the company has finally come up with the Honda BRV, and it’s a brand new car.
For those of you who want to know more about the new small SUV from Honda, here’s our in-depth review of the car.
Honda BRV Overview
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The demand for SUVs in the Indian market has been growing steadily for the past few years, courtesy the introduction of small and compact SUVs. In fact, there’s almost an infinite demand for economically priced crossovers. The Honda BRV was almost ready to be released to rival some of its more established peers. The car was slated to be unveiled in the second quarter of 2016. Honda, in the beginning, had planned to import the BRV to India. But the company later scrapped the idea after a study revealed that they won’t be able to keep the costs under control and stay competitive. Honda decided to use the Brio’s platform instead and came up with the BRV. The car was first showcased at the New Delhi Auto Expo in February. Honda has positioned the BRV above the Mobilio.
Honda BRV Specifications
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The Honda BRV specs are as follows:
|1.5-litre petrol||6-speed MT||118bhp||145Nm|
|0-100 kmph||Top Speed||Body Style||Mileage|
Honda BRV Pricing
The entry level Honda BRV price is ₹8.75 lakhs. Most of the cars from the Japanese automaker are priced at a marginal premium over its competitors and the BRV is no different. The diesel variant of the SUV starts at around ₹10 lakhs and goes all the way up to ₹13 lakhs. But the Honda BRV price is largely introductory and may soon change in the coming months. There are nine variants of the car available.
|E i-VTEC Petrol||₹8.75 lakh|
|S i-VTEC Petrol||₹9.90 lakh|
|V i-VTEC Petrol||₹10.90 lakh|
|VX i-VTEC Petrol||₹11.84 lakh|
|V i-VTEC Petrol AT||₹11.99 lakh|
|E i-DTEC Diesel||₹9.90 lakh|
|S i-DTEC Diesel||₹10.99 lakh|
|V i-DTEC Diesel||₹11.85 lakh|
|VX i-DTEC Diesel||₹12.90 lakh|
Honda BRV Performance
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The Honda BRV is available in India in three powertrains with front wheel drive only. The diesel model, powered by a Honda 1.5-litre i-DTEC engine, is likely to be the mainstay of the BRV range. The engine of the car is much quieter than other Hondas.
The diesel engine’s performance is good. It pulls plenty of power from the low-rev band. The engine feels somewhat different because it’s ready to rev better. The car is equipped with a six-speed smooth-shifting gearbox. It’s allied to a very light clutch. Both of these make the BRV an easy vehicle to drive around in the town. Buyers of the diesel version can expect better than average fuel economy. The diesel car outputs ARAI tested 21.9kmpl which makes this version of BRV the most fuel efficient vehicle among all the small-sized SUVs. Honda has clarified that there won’t be automatic transmission in the diesel version. The engine is 4-cylinder turbocharged unit which outputs 200Nm torque and 100PS power at peak levels.
The 1.5-litre i-VTEC petrol engine could be the other choice. The engine is available both on automatic and manual gearbox options. The ARAI tested fuel efficiency is 15.4kmpl. The output of the automatic variant is marginally higher at 16kmpl. The latter version will be of interest to city buyer because the car uses CVT. There’s an option to operate the gearbox manually via the steering-mounted paddles. It’s a first-in-class feature and an important Honda BRV spec. The petrol option, like the diesel, is 4-cylinder and outputs 145Nm torque and 119PS power at peak levels.
In urban driving conditions the CVT-fitted BRV feels nice and eager. Negotiating the city traffic is a rather relaxed and smooth affair. Try driving with a moderate throttle and the CVT will be more responsive.
The Honda BRV, as already said, is a long car. You can feel the length once you sit at the wheel. Though the car is not a corner-carver, you’ll nonetheless get a sense of stability and security when it bends. The steering is nicely weighed and has minimal slackness. It adds to your confidence while driving the car. Straight-line stability is impressive. The car scores well in the ride comfort. Passengers get to feel the firmness of the setup. The suspension, at the same time, is absorbent even at low speeds and restrains any unwarranted body jerks at high speeds. It offers a genuinely impressive ride quality and doesn’t let in the thumps and thuds.
The car comes with a liberal 210mm ground clearance, which is very useful while negotiating rough patches.
Honda BRV Exterior
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With a 4,456m length, the Honda BRV is easily the longest car among small SUVs in the Indian market. It isn’t immediately identifiable as a Brio, Mobilio and Amaze platform mate if viewed from the front. That’s surely good. The BRV’s angular headlamps, square-out bonnet, and the two-part chrome-rich grille give the car a bespoke face. It looks better with all of them. But when seen in profile, the car looks deceptively similar to the Mobilio. The distinctive kinked window and shoulder lines are common with the Mobilio.
The BRV doesn’t have the typical stance of a SUV. Its roof is of average height and the body looks narrow compared to its length. It looks more of a MPV than SUV, courtesy the long overhang at the back. The cabin area is well past the rear wheels to accommodate a third row of seats, which makes the Honda BRV the only 7-seater car in its segment.
There are the usual roof rails, scuff plates on bumpers, and cladding on doors and wheel arches. The 16-inch wheels stand out, largely because of their attractive design, as well as how they look small on the BRV’s large body.
The styling of the tail is attractive with a touch of flamboyance. The number plate mount is solid chrome and a reflector runs the whole width of the tail, linking the smart tail lamps. The tail, in fact, is more on the practical side than for aesthetics. The oversized back windscreen gives good visibility. The Honda BRV’s tailgate extends far down, making loading and unloading luggage easy. Even with all the seven seats occupied, there’s enough room for luggage. The last row of seats can be flipped to free 691 litres boot space, which is among the major Honda BRV specs.
Honda BRV Interior
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Ingress and egress to the Honda BRV is a breeze. There’s a feeling of familiarity inside. The BRV has the same dashboard like the updated Amaze, which in turn, is derived from the Jazz. The BRV cabin looks small and the full black theme enhances the impression. The quality of plastics is impressive.
The infotainment system in the Honda BRV interior has Bluetooth for audio streaming and telephony. The steering mounted audio controls, automatic climate control, electrically foldable ORVMs are part of the high-end versions.
The feel of sitting behind the smartly finished steering is awesome. It offers good visibility of the road ahead. The front seats are comfortable and nicely cushioned. The middle row has adjustable backrests and is equally nice. The legroom is spacious and the seats can move backwards to extract more space if required. That’s a plus point of the Honda BRV interior. There’s plenty of headroom as well. The last row comes in handy if you want to take your full family out for a weekend trip. There’s decent accessibility to the back, and again, space here is adequate. The large windows make this part of the BRV’s cabin reasonably airy.
Honda BRV Features
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The Honda BRV is fitted with some basic equipment that includes keyless engine start and stop, three rows of seats, digital AC control and second row AC vents, ABS with EBD, and automatic climate control. The other common features across variants include projector headlamps, dual airbags, rear chrome garnish, and the chrome front grille. The body coloured door mirror ups the style quotient of the car. Besides, there are adjustable headrests, and the tilt steering. The second and third row of seats can be split with a 60:40 and 50:50 recline respectively.
Honda BRV Safety Features
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Anti-lock brakes are standard in the diesel version of the BRV. In the petrol version, they’ll be available only in the higher and middle versions. The car is equipped with front disc and rear drum brakes that are sharp and bite well.
While Honda is yet to clarify the exact specifications of each variant, it has confirmed that dual airbags will be a standard safety feature across all models.
Honda BRV Competitors
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The Honda BRV will have to match up against rivals like the Maruti Suzuki S-Cross, Hyundai Creta, Renault Duster, and the Mahindra Scorpio. The last named is of course a popular favourite with the Creta and Duster matching up well. The Maruti Vitara Brezza too has recently entered the segment.
Honda BRV Verdict
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The Honda BRV is the only car in the class that has seven seats. Buyers, particularly with large families, will enjoy this and are expected to be attracted towards the vehicle. The seat is more than comfortable in the third row which is usually cramped in most other cars. The space inside the cabin has been really well utilized. Besides the seating flexibility, the car offers a stable driving experience, and pleasant manoeuvrability. The Honda BRV specs make the car a clear winner. The petrol option of the BRV would appeal to customers for the exhaustive range of abilities, while the diesel variant will cater to those hunting for the best in-class fuel efficiency.