Honda positioned the BR-V as a compact SUV, and for the most part, it is, it seats seven, it has respectable ground clearance, and all the plastic sidewalls do look the part. The problem happens when you’re sitting in your ‘compact’ SUV and a Mobilio on yellow plates pulls up alongside, and you can’t help but see the resemblance. And it has that resemblance since it has in fact been built on the Mobilio’s platform. The Honda BR-V has been in our fleet for a little over two months, and even though it means driving a petrol automatic too and from work, a combined total of 56 kms, we’ve actually grown to like it! For one the Honda is an extremely functional car, it’s not got one iota of hyperbole in it. Step inside and the interiors are exactly the way you’d expect them to be, and Honda has been very to the point about the whole theme, minimalist. And that doesn’t in any way mean that it’s missing out on any features, it gets automatic climate control, rear a/c vents with independent controllers, and although it does have a single din audio system, the Bluetooth pairs with my phone flawlessly and after a long day’s work it’s welcome relief not to have to struggle to pair my phone. And that’s what the BR-V is all about, it’s a car that you don’t have to think about.
IT JUST WORKS!
Leave it for a month in the garage. It still works. Leave it running the entire day till the fuel runs out( In my defence the 1.5 litre City derived engine is so silent you could easily forge ) No problem, fuel ‘er up and you can be off in a jiffy. Which also led us to discover that you could be a considerable distance with the key and you could leave your car running and because it's so incredibly silent even it can go unnoticed even in an office parking lot. Although this is much less of a setback than my own clumsiness. The truth is once I had amended for my sins and a jerry can full of petrol was filled, she was back up to her old glory in no time. Working, effortlessly and perfectly!
Now in terms of design, I’ll concede that it’s not very exciting or groundbreaking in any way. The BR-V is essentially a slightly larger Mobilio with some cladding on it. The front grille gives of its lineage which lies more towards the Honda City’s Chrome strip than its sibling the CR-V with which it shares its name. The lineage with the Honda City has also given way to the 1.5-litre i-VTEC which is brilliant as ever although slightly dulled with the CVT on our long-term test vehicle. That said, however, in city traffic and at the best of times the CVT pair to a paddle shifter is perfectly adequate, it only feels slightly dull when poking it too hard without working through the elastic effect of the CVT. Eventually, the 118 hp and 145 Nm of torque do kick in to save the day and once you get the hang of it, The BR-V can be a little fun too!
Although if there was anything to complain about it’s fuel efficiency, although the BR-V CVT has been rated for 16 kmpl by ARAI, we have never been able to get it above eleven. Although it’s worth considering that the majority of our tests are done in rush hour traffic in start-stop conditions. And while eleven kmpl is not great, it’s not too shabby either considering that it is a 1.5-litre engine that
The problem most people have with the BR-V is that it’s not exciting enough, and I couldn’t agree more, although I think of it more of a strength, here’s why! For one, you know that because it’s a Honda the engine will work effortlessly and even more importantly noiselessly, the features aren’t that rich but everything on the inside is built to last the test of time. Sure there are no faux leather seats but the cloth seats have perfect lumbar and neck support and make for a great driving position. All seven seats can, in fact, accommodate full-size passengers.It even carries all of our equipment and sometimes even fits two cameramen in the back.
“Mottainai” is the Japanese word that expresses a regret towards wasting anything. And that word alone sums up the BR-V. It is a perfect usage of resources, although that still does bring in the question of the price. All this Mottainai does come at a price, which is strangely still more premium than the competition despite being low on features. Here’s how I would put it, 9 days out of ten I’d pick other cars to drive, but the day I need a car that will work without fail, is the day I’ll be reaching for the BR-Vs keys.
Kilometres Run: 1049 km
Time Tested: 1 month
Average Daily Run: 60 kms
Average City Fuel Efficiency: 11.2 Kmpl (Peak Traffic)
Average Highway Fuel Efficiency: 15.8 Kmpl