Published on October 28th, 2015 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Honda BR-V Compact MPV/Crossover First Drive Impression
The Honda BR-V is a brand new vehicle from Honda to wrestle for the top spot in a segment dominated by the Toyota Avanza and Nissan Grand Livina. The BR-V is a good value buy for younger families who want a multi-purpose vehicle that is easier to handle around town over a larger style people-mover. The BR-V is also well equipped for its intended price of between RM76,888 to RM86,888 as estimated by us only after taking into account its possible segment competitors and interior specifications. Let us see if we are near or far wrong off from the final launch price based on its engine type/size and quite a versatile interior layout.
From launch, the BR-V buyers should first make sure they are happy with the performance that the vehicle offers where its 1.5L i-VTEC engine good for 145Nm of torque mated to a CVT gearbox could very possible deliver a top spot in fuel efficiency for Malaysians looking for a good fuel sipper in the trying economic times we are going through. This is a tried and tested powertrain and used in many Honda compact models currently.
The amount of luggage and occupant space it provides is better than most average sized sedans. The BR-V comes with from and rear roof mounted air conditioning, a driver and front passenger airbag, a multi-function player, power assisted steering, power windows, electrically-adjustable exterior mirrors, tilt steering wheel, cinema style middle row seating (sits higher than front passengers) and central locking. Both the middle and third row seats can be folded to extend the load area to convert the BR-V into a spacious lifestyle vehicle.
There is decent amount of space and the degree of comfort enjoyed by BR-V occupants depends on where they are seated. Up front, the driver and passenger are accommodated in good size seats that are comfortably padded and provide good lateral support. The second row is a bench seat for three in a pinch but two in good comfort. Each seat can fold away forward easily to allow access to the rear. This seat is considerably higher than the front two, providing occupants with a good view and reasonable comfort. Leg room is ample for adults.
The third row is tight and accommodates kids and small teens only. Adults would be cramped and uncomfortable travelling in the rear. The amount of available luggage space also depends on how many occupants are being carried. With all seats in use, the load length is very short, and suitable for just a couple of soft bags. Folding the rear seat forward provides a more useful load capacity, but then you’ve only got a four/five-seater vehicle. Maximum load space is available when both rear seats are folded.
On a quick drive we found the handling neutral with decent power delivery with 2 adults on board. The 1.5L engine is lively and quite similar to what the Jazz/City uses. Steering feel is lighter than the City/Jazz and the BR-V sits a little higher giving it a crossover look and feel. We can see a lot of small families moving up to this BR-V as full crossovers cost beyond RM100k and the need for all wheel drive is mostly never missed by consumers in their price point. The chunky body guard fender claddings and rood rails lends the BR-V as very Subaru XV like image. Add larger wheel and wide wheels and the BR-V could be mistaken for a Subaru XV variant.
Now we just have to wait for Honda Malaysia to introduce the BR-V to all our showrooms. Estimated arrival date is 2nd quarter 2016, so best you save up or hold on to your next purchase for this if this vehicle fits your automotive needs for 2016 and beyond.