The Honda BR-V has already proven itself to be a highly sought after vehicle, receiving overwhelming response since it launched in January this year, joining the CR-V and HR-V to complete the Japanese automaker’s utility vehicle lineup.
At first glance, it looks small, but the seven-seater crossover offers ample space for passengers in all three of its rows, although legroom in the last row may be slightly lacking, depending on the position of the second row seats.
The design of the exterior gives it a stylish appearance, with the lines running down the sides making it look more streamlined, aggressive and sporty, deviating from the “soccer mom” look which tends to be associated with such vehicles.
On the inside, the seats were comfortable in all three rows, and although the third row may have been a little lacking in legroom, it was still comfortable to sit in although at high speeds it could feel shaky at the back.
The infotainment screen is clear, with a clean interface which we liked, but we found the position of the USB port on the centre console to be slightly awkward and inconvenient for charging devices, as it was positioned quite high up, and we also felt it could use at least one more USB port in the front.
We liked the feel of the steering wheel in our hands, and when driving steering wasn’t too light or heavy, making driving comfortable, but we weren’t too impressed by the handling.
When driving highway speeds, we didn’t feel to confident at the corners, as although the vehicle felt stable throughout the drive, the body roll could be felt.
The engine started to sound quite rough from speeds of about 100km/h especially if accelerator is floored, and would gradually feel shakier as the speed picked up from there, which we were a little uncomfortable with.
Despite this, the BR-V felt stable throughout the drive, with not much body roll to speak of.
The pickup was also slightly sluggish, and we weren’t as confident when overtaking traffic as we would like to be due to the lag.
However, it didn’t feel underpowered on the road even though the SOHC i-VTEC engine is only 1.5 litres, although we tried it out with three people and only a few bags in the car, so that could be different with a full load.
Honda Malaysia had set up a demonstration so we could try out the crossover’s vehicle stability assist (VSA), in which we did swerving and hard braking at speeds of 50km/h, 60km/h and 70km/h.
This exercise showed off the stability of the vehicle as well as a short braking distance which would make all the difference if the driver is faced with an emergency situation.
The BR-V also offers a high ground clearance, demonstrated by Honda Malaysia by taking it over low kerbs, showing it could easily go up and down the kerbs without trouble.
In terms of drive experience, we felt it is reliable a vehicle that does what it is meant to do, which is take you from point A to point B, moving people or things.
Like all Honda vehicles, the storage space and boot space impresses, and combined with its practicality and stability, the BR-V is a good vehicle for small families, whether for daily commute or for long distance traveling.
2016 Honda BR-V 1.5L V
|Price (RM)||RM92,800 OTR with insurance|
|Engine Type||Four-cylinder, 16-valve, SOHC i-VTEC|
|Power||118hp @ 6,600rpm|
|Torque||145Nm @ 4,600rpm|
|Gearbox||Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT)|
|Front Suspension||MacPherson Strut|
|Rear Suspension||Torsion Beam|
|Front Brakes||Ventilated Disc|
|Safety||Vehicle stability assist (VSA), hill start assist (HSA), anti-lock braking system (ABS), electronic brake distribution (EBD), dual airbags, Isofix|