It's time to say goodbye to the Honda BR-V. Now, in the time it has been with us we have done an intercity jaunt in it; taken it offroad; commuted in it, of course; and I also managed to move a double bed and a wardrobe in it. So, yes, it has been handy. And well used. So, here's what we liked and didn't about the Honda BR-V i-Dtec in the course of three months and nearly 5,000km.
There are two things mainly that we weren't completely happy about with the BR-V.
Clutch. The clutch push on this Honda requires a little too much effort. It's not too bad if you are traveling long distance or really short distances either. But, when it comes to commuting, bumper-to-bumper traffic in particular, it can leave you with aching thighs.
Engine noise. The Honda's 1.5-litre diesel engine is known to be a noisy one. But, Honda has been improving the NVH on every new car featuring this engine. The BR-V though, is one of the older ones. And, so, it's clattery at idle, and even more so when you rev it. Loud music can drown out some of it, though.
Seven seats. It's handy to have seven seats. Sure, you might not need it everyday. But when you do, and you don't need to call a cab or plan your outing based on how many people can travel together, it's a blessing. And, the seats themselves - be it comfort or space - are well thought out.
Car-like. Based on the same platform as the Brio or the Amaze - but with a longer wheelbase and a higher ground clearance - the BR-V is more like a high-riding car than an old-school SUV. And that means, it feels safe, confident and comfortable around corners; it is easy to drive and control even in the city; it is easy to park; and even though it has over 200mm of ground clearance, it's still easy to get in and out of. Saree or not.
Boot space. Yes, I did move a double bed and a wardrobe, together, in the BR-V. Firstly, the boot has a low loading height which makes loading heavy stuff easier. And with both the second and third row folded flat - and no real intrusions inside the cabin - with some ingenuity and dismantling a few things like the head board, it's surprisingly easy to throw in a bed in there. What's more, even with all three rows in place, one can still manage to throw in a suitcase in there. Space management, be it for passengers or luggage, is a BR-V strongpoint.
The 1.5-iDTEC might be noisy, but it's also very efficient. In the time we have had the BR-V, it has consistently returned 16kmpl. The lowest this figure dropped to was 14.6kmpl on one of our out-of-city trips that involved many twisties and some hill climb.
Ease of driving
Now, we did mention that the BR-V has a heavy clutch. But, that apart - be it visibility, steering effort, turning circle or even the view in the ORVMs - is all well-judged, and it makes this seven-seat Honda an easy car to drive, park or even commute with.
To Buy or Not to Buy
Finally, the BR-V has what it takes to entice a wide spectrum of buyers. It can seat seven, it is easy to drive, it has decent equipment on board, it is dynamically well sorted, and it is fuel efficient. But, it still isn't setting the sales charts on fire.
And that's down to its pricing. Sure, the BR-V is more than 4 metres in length, and there's value in having an extra row of seating. But, if Honda had priced the BR-V at par with the EcoSport, for instance, I think the sales charts would have read quite differently.
Pictures by Kaustubh Gandhi
Click here for our previous long term reports/reviews of the Honda BR-V