Last month, when we introduced our long term Honda BR-V on these pages, we wanted a few questions answered. Questions that arose from the fact that even though the BR-V has so much going for it on paper - petrol and diesel engines, seven seats, a Honda badge, and an SUV product definition - it hasn't managed to set the sales charts on fire. Now that we have driven this Honda for almost 2,000km in a month's time, we have those answers. And they go like this...
Does it have an inherent shortcoming?
Yes, one. The engine noise. You can hear it at idle, you can hear it every time you accelerate, and you can hear it both inside and outside of the BR-V. Thankfully, the music turned up to 15 can help drown some of it on the inside.
Is it not good enough as a daily driver ?
No, it is. In fact, apart from the slightly heavy clutch, the BR-V is fantastic as a daily driver. The visibility is great, especially over the bonnet and via the A-pillar; it has a tight turning circle with a reasonably light steering; and the lovely torque distribution dramatically cuts the need to constantly shift.
Is it not fuel efficient?
The BR-V here in diesel guise has been returning over 16kmpl consistently during our slow-moving Mumbai commutes. The figure went up to almost 20kmpl on one of our highway runs. And, we weren't exactly taking it easy doing three digit speeds almost all the time. But, the key here is to short shift. And, not to forget that the BR-V has a sixth cog as well, which can be engaged at 70kmph without losing drive drastically.
Can it off-road?
Well, that's a tough one. So, it sits on a longer wheelbase compared to the likes of the Brezza, the EcoSport and the Nexon. And though it has decent ground clearance, it doesn't have an off-road friendly amount of suspension travel. Having said that, the engine torque allows it to take on gradients in 1st- both up and down hill - better than some of the other front wheel drive SUVs. It won't do rock climbing or water wading with aplomb, but it will take you up forest trails, gravel paths and stony inclines.
Is it a genuine seven seater?
Given that the BR-V is a relatively narrow car compared to its competitors, it's more like a six seater. Sure, you can accomodate a seventh person in the second row middle seat, but it's a squeeze. Moreover, with six people on board, even while negotiating a climb, the BR-V doesn't bog down. No need for extra revs; no need to slip the clutch,; and no special skills needed.
We have the BR-V for another month. So stay tuned for our final report where we will give out our verdict on whether this Honda is worth your while.
Odo - 30,869
Km this month - 2,022
Fuel - 124lts
Fuel efficiency - 16.3kmpl
Pictures by Kaustubh Gandhi
Click here to read the first long term report of this Honda BR-V.