Honda will soon take aim at the Renault Duster, the Maruti Suzuki S-Cross and the Hyundai Creta. The Japanese automaker has just put out sketches of the BR-V compact SUV, which will feature a three seat layout, and will seat seven. The showgoing version of this SUV will be revealed in August 2015, at the inaugural Gaikindo Indonesian International Auto Show. The BR-V is likely to be underpinned by the Brio platform, which has already spawned a hatchback, a compact sedan and an MPV. The Brio platform is turning out to be a prolific choice for Honda.
Weeks ago, Honda imported a few units of the Brio platform based compact SUV into India for research and development. There’s a strong indication that the BR-V, which expands to Bold Recreational Vehicle, will make its India debut in 2016, at the Auto Expo. The BR-V is expected to be the big launch from Honda next year, in the compact SUV segment, where the brand is yet to have a presence. The information revealed today suggests that the BR-V will use 1.5 liter petrol engine, which is likely to be the i-VTEC unit employed on the City and Mobilio.
This alsp indicates that a 5 speed manual gearbox and a CVT aytomatic transmission could accompany. It’s unclear as to whether the new compact, monocoque crossover from Honda would feature an all wheel drive layout, even as a front wheel drive layout appears certain. As far as India is concerned, expect the 1.5 liter i-DTEC turbo diesel motor to be shoehorned into the engine bay of the BR-V. A 6 speed manual gearbox is likely to be offered on the diesel variant. A 5+2 layout is likely, with the last row of seats meant for slightly built passengers.
In terms of styling, the BR-V employs an aggressive design philosophy, with sharply raked headlamps that have projectors inset, a rising belt line with that kink that we first saw on the Mobilio, and plenty of design flourishes on the flanks. From the front, the BR-V is unmistakably a Honda, with a chromed front grille that seems similar to the one on the City sedan. In a nutshell, the BR-V looks more like a mini CR-V than a scaled up Mobilio, and this is a good thing.
Honda has already employed a 5+2 seating layout on the Mobilio. So, the BR-V could be a continuum of that layout. Extensive localization to make for competitive pricing is expected to be the cornerstone of Honda’s strategy for the India-spec BR-V, which is a compact crossover meant for the emerging markets of the world. Once the BR-V arrives here, Honda’s portfolio in the hottest segments of the Indian car market would be complete. Here’s one SUV that you can look forward to if your buying timeframe is 2016.