The BR-V is a Mobilio-derived crossover from Honda that not just offers the practicality of an SUV but also is a spacious seven-seater, writes Indian automobile website MotorBeam.com
Honda sent us a white-coloured fully loaded diesel trim of the BR-V and we have to say the vehicle in this white shade looks quite stunning. The car looks handsome from the front angle all thanks to the massive chrome grille, chiseled bonnet, aggressively-styled bumper and of course the projector headlights with LED DRLs. While the shiny alloy wheels will grab your attention immediately, the MPVish styling cues are evident courtesy the large window glasses and the rather long wheelbase. The rear profile looks particularly butch due to the high-set tail-lights and the massive bumper with a silver scuff plate.
The interior layout is contemporary. Honda has fit in an all-black dashboard with subtle silver accents. You get a multi-function three-spoke steering wheel and behind it is a three-pod instrument console. Though our test car was not equipped with a rear parking camera, Honda is now offering it in the BR-V which is really a good thing as parking this 7-seater long car becomes a headache in tight parking spots. Also, our car had a basic infotainment system whereas the automaker is now offering a 7-inch DIGIPAD touchscreen infotainment system. Other noteworthy features in the BR-V are keyless entry, leatherette seats, push button start/stop and electrically foldable ORVMs.
Rear AC vents do the job of keeping the cabin cooler, especially during hot days. The driver's seat height adjustment with a good range of flexibility lets you find a suitable driving position. The seats are comfortable and the ingress and egress is just a cakewalk. Even for elderly people! Flick the second-row seats and you have a decently spacious third-row seat. Even with all three rows up, you have a decent 223-litres of boot space which is adequate for a suitcase and few more backpacks.
Our test car comes with a 1.5-litre i-DTEC diesel motor that does its duty in several other Honda cars like the City, Amaze, Jazz and the WR-V. Mated to a 6-speed smooth and slick manual gearbox, the oil-burner unit produces 100 PS of power and 200 Nm of torque. Though the motor is rev-happy and has a good mid-range, the NVH levels, we feel could have been better. The usual diesel clatter is evident and at high speeds, the engine is very much audible inside the cabin. There is some turbo-lag but it isn't bothersome or a deal-breaker. The clutch, on the other hand, is light.
The car feels stiff at lower speeds but feels planted and compliant once you start doing high-speed runs. Higher ground clearance means there is some amount of body roll but again not very bothersome. On the flipside, the higher ground clearance is a boon for Indian driving conditions as there is no need to worry about the bad and broken patch of roads. Handling, though predictable, is good and the ride quality is mature enough. The steering is communicative to some extent. Honda claims a mileage of 21.9 km/l however, our test car has been returning an average fuel-efficiency of 17-17.5 km/l, making the seven-seater crossover light on the pocket as well.