We outgrow many things, like clothes, gadgets, people and cars. Yes, cars. Time will come when we’ll look for something bigger, perhaps due to a growing family, a promotion at work or maybe you just want a new car (especially if your first car was handed down). A logical move would be the next size up, depending on which category your current car already is; from a hatch to a sedan; or a compact to a subcompact. Lately, a popular category to move up to is the seven-seater MPV or entry level SUV like the recently updated Honda BR-V.
An SUV always has a higher ride height than a sedan or hatch. This gives you, the driver, a better view of the road ahead with its 201mm ground clearance. This height is just right to clear most obstacles found on Manila roads which would most often scratch the underside of your lower sedan or hatchback.
Interior and cargo space
When going to your province during fiestas, you’ll most often find yourself loaded with relatives, and the BR-V is unique as it squeezes itself between an MPV and mid sized seven-seater SUV. As such, it does seat seven, three comfortably on the second row and a bit more space for two people in the third row than some of the competition.
SUV’s will always have more space, this will be the first thing you’ll appreciate coming from a sedan or a hatchback. Even with the 50:50 third row seats up, the BRV has about 223 liters of cargo space. With those seats folded down, you get 470 liters of cargo space and 520 liters when tumbled forward. The carryover height for cargo is low, not as high as your typical SUV’s making it easy to load and unload your things.
Comfort, fit and finish
Its seats are comfortable, and don’t “hug” you too snugly or hold you too much like bucket seats. Instead, the full fabric seats allow you to move about and not isolate you in just one place like seats found in sportier cars. This lets you find that perfect, comfy position. The ride is firm, but still, it has enough give to absorb the bumps.
True to form, this Honda, just like its executive luxury model brethren, is well put together. It has a good mix of different textured synthetics and some faux brushed aluminum and piano black finish accents for an upscale feel. The overall look and physical feel, we call “fit and finish” is up to par with any other vehicle from Honda.
Power and economy
Under the hood is a 1.5-liter SOHC i-VTEC engine that puts out a decent 120-Hp and 145-Nm of torque mated to an Earth Dreams Technology CVT. This combo helps it get some good gas mileage. Paddle shifters will give you some semblance of control when you need it on the open road for overtaking.
The right size and safety
You might do a double take and think it may be the same as the Mobilio. It’s actually a completely different, bigger vehicle. But not too big. It’s big enough to fill up with friends or family on a quick trip out of the city, but small enough to take through Manila’s inner streets, making it convenient as a daily driver.
It comes with dual airbags, anti-lock braking system (ABS), electronic brakefore distribution (EBD), Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA), Hill Start Assist (HSA), ISOFIX Child Seat Anchors, with seven three-point seatbelts, a multi-view reverse camera and Honda’s G-Con body structure, giving it a five-star score in the ASEAN NCAP tests for safety.
These are some factors you may want to consider when thinking of your next vehicle. Add to that the fact that the Honda BR-V 1.5 S CVT is priced at Php1,035,000.00. This is around the price of subcompact sedans you could move up to. When you think about all the practicality the BR-V offers, the only other thing you’ll probably have to worry about is what color to get.
Text and Photos by Neil Pagulayan