Honda BR-V review, test drive


The BR-V is Honda’s new India-bound small SUV and a model that will take on the Hyundai Creta,Renault Duster, Nissan Terrano and Maruti S-Cross when it goes on sale in early 2016. It’s built on the same platform as the Brio, Amaze and Mobilio but you won’t see the semblance at first glance. The BR-V has a more upright stance and a completely different front end that actually looks quite interesting for its squared-out bonnet, angular headlamps and chrome-rich two-part grille. The bumper is unique too and features a scuff plate low down to lend the BR-V that SUV look. Roof rails, and plastic cladding on the lower portion of the bumpers, wheel arches and doors are some other SUV-typical details you’ll find on the BR-V. Stylish 16-inch rims further add glamour to the Honda, although you’ll agree they do look a size small given the SUV’s large body. While final spec for India hasn’t been decided, it seem unlikely the BR-V headed our way will get larger wheels.

See the BR-V in profile and you’ll rightly think of it as the largest of the small SUVs. Its 4,456mm length makes it significantly longer than the 4,270mm long Creta for instance. The 2,660mm wheelbase is also best-in-class but a lot of the overall length also comes from the long rear overhang. The advantage is that this has allowed Honda to fit in a third row of seats, something which will make the BR-V the only seven-seater in its segment. On the flip side, the extended rear gives the BR-V a somewhat MPV-like look from the side. That the rear doors seem straight from a Mobilio only strengthen this impression. The kinked rear window and relatively large rear quarter glass are neatly executed though.

As for styling at the tail, it’s attractive if a touch on the flamboyant side. Things like the solid chrome shroud for the number plate mount or the reflector that runs the width of the tail to link the smart tail-lamps seem overdone to our eyes. In fact, the tail scores for practical reasons rather than for pure aesthetics; the large rear windscreen offers good visibility and the tail gate extends low down which makes loading and unloading luggage easy. What’s also nice is that even with all seats up, there’s a decent amount of luggage room in the BR-V. The rearmost seat can also be folded forward to make more space.