BR-V Compact SUV: 10 things you don’t know about Honda’s Creta-rival

The Honda BR-V will be launched in India, on the 5th of May 2016. With the BR-V, the Japanese automaker is finally entering the compact SUV space, an area from where it was missing for a long time. Meanwhile, here are 10 things you don’t know about Honda’s Hyundai Creta rival.

7 seats but a six seater for the real world

Honda BR-V 2

The BR-V is a seven seater, and the first SUV in its segment to offer this feature. While Honda has elongated the SUV to 4.4 meters in order to add the additional row of seats, the BR-V is significantly narrower (1,735 mm) than both the Renault Duster (1,822 mm) and the Hyundai Creta (1,780 mm). Initial reviews have also pointed out that the BR-V’s middle row struggles to accommodate 3 adults abreast, effectively making it a comfortable 6 seater than a 7 seater for the real world.

CVT with paddles

Honda BR-V 3

…is a feature that is unique to the BR-V’s segment. The Honda compact SUV borrows this transmission from the Honda City, and also uses the same 1.5 liter i-VTEC petrol motor. The compact SUV’s petrol version gets a 6 speed manual transmission, which is meant to make it peppier than the City, or for that matter the Mobilio, both of which are lighter cars.

210 mm ground clearance

Honda BR-V 4

…is another segment-leading feature of the BR-V. However, the compact SUV’s length (segment highest of 4,456 mm) and extended wheelbase (2,660 mm) mean that the additional ground clearance is a must, especially since both the Duster and Creta have shorter wheelbases.

Larger than Mobilio

Honda BR-V 5

Though based on the same platform (Brio) as that of the Mobilio, and with similar styling, the BR-V is a much larger vehicle than its MPV sibling. The BR-V is 4,456 mm long, 1,735 mm wide and 1,666 mm tall, while the Mobilio manages 4386 mm in length, 1683 in width and 1,603 in height.

Features aren’t the BR-V’s strong suit

Honda BR-V 6

…as Honda has stopped short of filling the compact SUV’s gills with features. A lot of what are now seen as essential features are missing on the BR-V. There’s no touch screen infotainment system which means that navigation is missing. The same is the case with the parking sensors, reverse parking camera and even the auto headlamps and wipers.

There’s only one 12V charging socket. The base petrol version doesn’t get ABS, which us standard on diesel variants. Honda will have to price the BR-V very competitively indeed, for it’ll otherwise be hard to justify the missing equipment.

Don’t even think of 4WD

Honda BR-V 7

The BR-V is front wheel driven, and don’t expect a 4 wheel drive or all wheel drive variant anytime soon. Not that the market wants it anyway, but for those who do, the Duster AWD is the only option available. The Brio platform has not been engineered to accept an all wheel drive layout, which means that the BR-V will be an SUV that’s front wheel driven.

4 Stars in ASEAN NCAP

Honda BR-V 8

The BR-V with twin airbags and ABS that’s sold in Indonesia has managed to score 4 stars in the ASEAN NCAP crash test ratings. The compact SUV tested didn’t have ESP, a safety feature that won’t be on offer in India as well. The SUV with ESP got a full 5 star score. Although the weights of the Indonesian and Indian versions of the BR-V could differ, the crash test rating is likely to be broad indicator as to how the India-spec SUV will perform in the event of a crash.

Top-mounted AC vents

Honda BR-V 9

The BR-V is the only SUV in its class to offer top-mounted AC vents, a feature that seems to be borrowed from the Mobilio MPV. This should add to the comfort of the rear seat passengers without reducing legroom, unlike how floor mounted AC blowers do.

Projector headlamps

Honda BR-V 10

Projector headlamps are standard on the top-end VR-V, and this is another feature that isn’t seen in most Honda cars sold in India, barring the Mobilio RS and the CR-V. Why, even the City doesn’t get projector headlamps on any of its variants sold in India.

8 trims

Honda BR-V 11

The BR-V will be sold in 8 trims, 4 in petrol and the rest in diesel. The base petrol trim won’t get ABS, while twin airbags and ABS will be standard across all other trims, both petrol and diesel. The petrol powered (1.5 liter i-VTEC 117 Bhp-145 Nm) models will 6 speed manual gearboxes on the E and S trims, while the CVT automatic gearbox will be offered on the V and VX trims. The diesel powered models will get the 1.5 liter i-DTEC engine (98.6 Bhp-200 Nm) and a 6 speed manual gearbox as standard fare across trims.