1498cc iDTEC Diesel /1497cc i-VTEC Petrol
6-Speed Manual / 6-Speed Manual or CVT
Front: McPherson Strut Coil Spring
Rear: Torsion Beam Coil Spring
Fuel Tank Capacity
223 Litres (Expandable-691L-3rd row folded)
21.9kmpl/ 15.4kmpl(MT)/ 16kmpl(CVT)
Rs. 7.6 lakh (ex showroom
One of the most overused terms in the automotive world is SUV. The
market for compact SUVs in India has been picking up momentum ever since the
country saw the launch and success of the Renault Duster. While some big names
like Volkswagen and Toyota have not yet entered the fray, Honda has finally
decided it was time to assert their presence in this segment. The Honda BR-V
has been spied and tested on foreign shores but we got our hands on it here in
India for the first time right before its launch on May 05, 2016. To look at,
the BR-V combines aspects of the CR-V and the Mobilio, with bold design lines
and aggressive looking exteriors. It definitely has the contemporary styling of
an urban compact SUV but is its performance up to the mark?.
The Honda BR-V is powered by Honda's proven i-VTEC and i-DTEC
technology. Both petrol and diesel engines have a cubic capacity of 1.5 litres.
The petrol motor, however, produces 117.4bhp at 6600rpm and the diesel produces
98.6bhp at 3600rpm. The petrol motor is fast and the power delivery is quite
linear. The diesel, however, takes a bit of time to get going but once it does
the surge of power is enough to satisfy your soul. The turbo on the i-DTEC
diesel kicks in anywhere north of 1800rpm and has been tuned with precision.
The punch provided by the turbo is quite subtle and it does not hit you in the
pit of your stomach like most of the other diesel mills. While many motoring
journos may complain that there is a definite power lag and the engine is not
punchy enough, I am rather satisfied with the engineering on the BR-V simply
because Indian roads are not meant for speeds above 150kmph and going further
than that would be quite risky. This vehicle can get you up to the 150kmph mark
with ease and the acceleration on the way is quite smooth.
The diesel i-DTEC engine generates more torque at a lower rpm and
hence is my weapon of choice. Being an SUV the vehicle needs to be capable of
that tag, not just because it can seat 7 people. The BRV also comes with a
ground clearance of 210mm which is quite good when compared to industry
standards. The ground clearance on the BR-V rivals that of the Duster and is
second to none in the segment. The diesel mill produces 200Nm of torque at
1750rpm while the petrol motor produces 145Nm at 4600rpm. We took the BR-V
off-road as well to test out its capability and were quite amazed at the
versatility of this vehicle. It is not an extreme off roader but definitely has
the power and punch to take on some rough terrain. We put the vehicle through
some steep inclines, angle tests and took it through loose gravel and sand. All
the way through the BR-V smiled and happily drudged along. Both the diesel and
petrol motors have a manual 6-speed transmission while the petrol version also
gets a CVT automatic version. The vehicle has reasonably long legs on highways
and the option of 6 gears with short throws gives one their fair share of fun.
My personal favorite was the CVT which comes with paddle shifts. The power
delivery is progressive and if you throw the lever into sports mode (S) the
1.5L petrol motor comes to life with all the flair it can muster. The paddle
shifts make it easier to shift gears instantly and the racer inside you begins
to emerge. But when you do have a lot of fun at this point, don’t complain of
the fuel average.
The suspension on the BR-V is facilitated by a McPherson Strut with
coil spring in the front and a Torsion Beam with coil spring in the rear. The
suspension has been tuned to be stiffer than what we see on traditional Honda
vehicles. Riding over bumps and potholes is a breeze and the BR-V takes care of
bad roads with ease. Even while off-roading one does not get tossed about too
much in this vehicle and can sit comfortably in the cabin. The steering on the
BR-V is well weighted and one does not need to put in too much effort behind
the wheel. The petrol version of the BR-V has a shorter turning radius set at
5.3m and is more maneuverable than the diesel version which has a turning
radius of 5.5m. The brakes on this compact SUV are facilitated by discs in the
front and drums in the rear. The braking is progressive and quite efficient. We
tested the BR-V on various terrains and performed a few panic braking tests as
well. At the end we were quite satisfied by the vehicles performance on dirt,
gravel and tarmac. The fuel efficiency mark on the diesel stands at 21.9kmpl
while the petrol manual version delivers 15.4kmpl and the CVT automatic returns
16kms to the litre.
Being a compact SUV one can expect the vehicle to seat 5 people.
However the BR-V is a 7 seater. It has been based on the Brio platform and has
a lot of characteristics of the Mobilio. The cabin is quite large and roomy and
7 people can actually fit in with ease. The rear has a trunk volume of 223
litres with a 50:50 split for the 3rd row and a 60:40 split for the 2nd row.
The 2nd row also comes with a sliding and folding option making the BR-V one of
the most practical and well thought out compact SUVs. The BR-V features
interiors which are quite contemporary and resemble the Honda Jazz. However we
were not too happy with the quality of plastics used on the dash and the piano
black finish which has been used around the audio unit looks good but does is
prone to dust and fingerprints. The BR-V features an infotainment system which
is USB, Bluetooth and AUX enabled with steering mounted controls, push button
start/ stop, keyless entry, automatic air-conditioning, power adjustable and
foldable ORVMs. The BR-V has a
multi-info display to show average and instant fuel economy, trip meter,
ambient temperature, time, fuel level, etc. The BR-V also comes with safety
features such as ABS and dual front airbags. What remains to be seen is the
pricing of the vehicle which will be launched on May 05 this year, we estimate
the starting price to be around the Rs. 7.6 lakh mark.
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