2016 Honda BR-V Review: First Drive


It is not an exaggeration to say that Honda instilled a sense of exclusivity in the Indian mid-size car market. The Japanese automaker has always had a distinct focus on not following the herd and mass-injecting unneeded products into the market, but taking the time to research and understand the category before entering it.

This strategy was criticised as being “too traditional” for public consumption, but the brand reaped the benefits with the introduction of new generation items. In fact, the brand’s acceptability improved significantly between 2010 and 2014, resulting in an 185 percent increase in sales. India is also Honda’s fourth largest market, therefore the company’s efforts to ensure that its goods and production capacity satisfy the market’s expanding demands are entirely reasonable.

To keep the enthusiasm going, Honda will launch its most talked-about crossover, the BR-V, into a new market in 2016. Despite the fact that the business insists on calling it a crossover, it will compete with other compact SUVs in real-world conditions. Should you put this off until next year? In our preview drive, we discover out.

Exterior Appearance

The 2016 Honda BR-design V’s is built on the new Active-Solid Motion language, which adds a feeling of fluidity to make it look upscale while also providing the necessary tough elements with a dramatic exterior. When looking at the front profile, which is similar of the Honda CR-V, the same conclusion is reached. This feature will work in the BR-favor V’s when it comes to striking an instant connection with the target customer.

The upper part of the profile is made up of the sleek headlights and a masculine and solid chrome band that runs the length of the vehicle. A closer examination exposes other grille elements such as the smaller part beneath the grille and the wire mesh between the front grille and the bumper. Projectors are used instead of daytime running lamps in the headlights. We believe it should be included in the final manufacturing top end model as well.

The front bumper has a larger central air intake section and a taller middle region. The fog lamps have a chrome surround, and the bumper has distinctive arches. Under both the front and rear bumpers, there are brushed aluminium bash plates. The bonnet is also higher and has electrical lines running along its borders. Flared wheel arches and tough matte cladding run over the wheel arches and down the rocker mouldings flowing throughout the lower profile add to the silhouette.

There are wedge lines on the side to ensure that the length does not become monotonous and that the bigger sheet metal area is effectively covered. The window line rises from the front wheel arches, dips beneath the B-Pillar, and then rises again towards the rear profile, providing increased visibility for both the front and rear windows. The ORVMs have a two-tone finish with turn indicators incorporated in them, while the window outline is blacked. Roof rails with a brilliant metal finish are also available. The Honda BR-V has a ground clearance of 201mm and rides on 196/60 R16 tyres with machined alloys.

With a strong D-Pillar wrapped around the tail section, the rear quarter view looks just as good as the front. The tail lid even has the same modest flair as the rear wheels. It has to be the back that gets the most points, as it takes direct inspiration from the Honda Odyssey, making it look completely international. The tailgate, too, is nicely proportioned to the overall appearance, with distinctive joint taillamps. The car’s wider rear windshield makes reverse manoeuvring a breeze. The registration display space is located in the lowest portion and is adorned with chrome.

Interior appearance

The interiors of the Honda BR-V are comparable to those of the Mobilio and Jazz, having a similar layout and feel. Honda’s penchant for preserving its attractiveness by providing a higher build quality and well-trimmed interiors has always worked in all of its automobiles, and this new crossover will be no exception.

To begin with, even taller people will have no trouble getting inside because the bigger front and rear doors allow for easy access and exit. The seats were available in two styles: one with high-quality leather and the other with high-end materials. The BR-top-end V’s edition is expected to come with the former as standard. The front row seats are comfy and easily adjustable to fit any passenger size, however they aren’t wide enough, resulting in a tight fit. Similarly, everything is acceptable in the second row, and the wider window area also provides adequate view, but passengers may have to compete for space. A third option exists, however it has a flatter profile and is excellent for children and luggage.

Even though India is known for its love of beige interiors, I have always preferred all-black finishes since they make the cabin look a lot more classy. It’s extremely straight cut and basic on the BR-V, with the familiar layout of everything. The volume and entertainment mode controls are located on the steering wheel, and the instrumental cluster is a simple triple-ring binnacle with a chrome surround. Inside the tacho ring, there is also a gear shift indication. On the third screen, all vehicle information including as trip readings, distance, and instantaneous consumption is available.

A touchscreen unit with navigation and Bluetooth compatibility is located in the centre console. A phone can also be used to stream music, as well as connect by USB and Aux-In. The middle portion is likewise given a piano black finish. Just below it is the air-conditioning system with automatic climate control, although unlike the Honda City, this one does not have a touchscreen and instead uses traditional style buttons to handle a digital temperature display.

There are numerous storage choices, including a dual cup holder in the centre zone, pockets on the door trims, a glove box, one common pocket for the rear occupants, and a spacious boot space. We don’t know the exact amount of bootspace because this was a prototype rather than a production model. Even back then, the boot area appeared to be spacious enough to handle many bags. The third row of seats may also be folded down to expand the boot capacity.

Driven by Results

The Honda BR-V will be available in two engine trims: petrol and diesel. The 1.5-litre diesel engine will also be found in the Honda Jazz and Honda City. Similarly, it would have a power output of 98 bhp and a torque output of 200 Nm. The transmission will be a six-speed manual. For highway drivers, diesel will usually suffice, but for city commuters, petrol will be the preferred option.

We had the opportunity to test drive the Honda BR-V in a controlled atmosphere on a designated track at a set speed. We didn’t have enough time with the car to make definitive judgments regarding the riding dynamics and overall performance, but based on our limited time with it, we came to the following conclusions.

The petrol models will be powered by a 1.5-litre iVTEC engine with a six-speed manual transmission. The same engine will also be available with a seven-speed CVT transmission from Honda. This 1497cc motor produces 118 horsepower at 6000 rpm and an amazing 145Nm of torque at 4600 rpm. The power delivery has been purposefully tweaked to order greater thrust in the lower range.

Honda also claims that the engine is now smoother than before, and that it has been adjusted to fit the body type. The use of reduced friction rings, as well as the decrease of piston stroke noise, has boosted efficiency. In addition, in response to criticism of this transmission, Honda has created a new CVT unit for tiny engines. This has helped to eliminate lag by allowing for faster acceleration from a standstill, as well as lowering the total weight of the unit, which has increased mileage.

The 1.5-litre CVT model was used to drive on the flat shaped track. The motor felt slow at lower engine speeds, but it became more lively after it entered the lower range. For the initial push up mountainous parts, the transmission offers a low ratio high torque mode. The engine revs nicely across the power band, and the gears are smooth as well.

However, there was no body roll as we drove through corners at 70 km/h because the entire external profile was engineered to offer less resistance. In comparison to the MPV, the suspensions have been tweaked to provide a more stiff ride. Although the steering lacked direct responsiveness, it appeared to gain weight at greater speeds, making it useful on highways. The brakes, too, provided adequate bite to bring the vehicle to a complete stop at any pace.


The first thing that comes to mind is the Honda BR-price, V’s which is understandable because it will be a major deciding factor for Indian buyers. From our first impression, Honda appears to be well prepared to join the sector with a bang, causing other crossovers to question their own survival. The outside design will appeal to a wide range of people due to its energetic yet quality approach. The interiors will be even more luxurious, and Honda will pack the cabin with a variety of useful features.

The final production edition will have higher degrees of finishing because this is a prototype. We’ll have to wait until then and keep a watch on this new crossing breed. Yes, this implies you should hold off on making any purchases for the next few months.

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