2016 Honda BR-V- Another Failure from Honda Cars India?

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The demand for SUVs in India has been on the rise over the past few years thanks mainly to the introduction of small/compact SUVs. The Hyundai Creta‘s success is proof enough that there is an insatiable demand for budget-friendly crossovers. Honda launched its Creta-rival, the BR-V, in April this year. The BR-V is built on Brio’s versatile platform. The latest Honda SUV made its India debut at the Auto Expo in February. Currently, the BR-V has been positioned above the Mobilio with a starting price of Rs. 8.75 Lakhs. However, the BR-V seems more of an MPV than an SUV. Before we come up with a comprehensive 2016 Honda BR-V test drive review, here’s our review of its key highlights vis-a-vis its competition. Check it out to find out why we feel that the Honda BR-V is almost a failed attempt from Honda Cars India.2016 honda br-v test drive review honda-br-v-front-angle

Also SeeHonda BR-V Small SUV | Honda BR-V vs Hyundai Creta vs Renault Duster | New Honda Civic

Honda BR-V Price in India- Costs More than Rivals

Honda has launched the BR-V at a starting price of Rs 8.75 lakhs. Most Honda products are priced at a slight premium over their rivals and the BR-V is no different. The diesel variant starts at around 10 lakhs going all the way up to almost INR 13 lakhs. Its major rivals, the Creta and the Duster, start at 8.5-9 lacs topping out at around 13 lacs. As with all Honda cars, the BR-V does not have a significant price advantage over its rivals. On the contrary, it skips out on some important features. This might have been turning prospective buyers away from the vehicle. Here’s the ex-showroom price list of the BR-V.

Model Price in India (Expected)
Honda BRV iVTEC E Manual Transmission Petrol Rs 8.75 Lakhs
Honda BRV iVTEC S Manual Transmission Petrol Rs 9.90 Lakhs
Honda BRV iVTEC V Manual Transmission Petrol Rs 10.90 Lakhs
Honda BRV iVTEC VX Manual Transmission Petrol Rs 11.84 Lakhs
Honda BRV iVTEC V CVT Automatic Petrol Rs 11.99 Lakhs
Honda BRV iDTEC E Manual Transmission Diesel Rs 9.90 Lakhs
Honda BRV iDTEC S Manual Transmission Diesel Rs 10.99 Lakhs
Honda BRV iDTEC V Manual Transmission Diesel Rs 11.85 Lakhs
Honda BRV iDTEC VX Manual Transmission Diesel Rs 12.90 Lakhs

In comparison, the Hyundai Creta is priced in the INR 9- 14 lacs bracket, while the facelifted Renault Duster costs INR 8.47 – 13.57 lacs (ex-showroom, New Delhi). Keeping the prices in mind and that fact that it is not a very feature rich offering, Honda might find it tough to pull buyers away from the established Renault Duster and current segment leader Hyundai Creta.

Also See16 New SUVs coming to India

Launch- Too Little, Too Late?

Following its launch in the Thai and Indonesian markets, the Honda BR-V made its first appearance in India at the 2016 Auto Expo. Later it became Honda’s second major launch of the year following the introduction of the Amaze facelift in March 2016. The Japanese manufacturer will now launch the new Accord in India this year.

The BR-V is supposed to be an important product in a sense that it rivals the likes of Hyundai Creta. However, so far its sales haven’t been even half as good as that of the Creta. Here’s a sales-breakup in the first four months of BR-V’s launch.

  April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016
Honda BR-V  567  2344  3064  3333
Hyundai Creta  7900  7257  7700  7981

Although the BR-V, with seating for 7, has an advantage over its rivals, it might be perceived as more of an MPV than SUV and that could’ve been hampering sales of the upcoming SUV. Also, with the Hyundai Creta topping the sales chart ever since its launch, the BR-V might be a case of too little, too late.

Honda BR-V Walk-around Video Review

Also See – Honda BR-V vs Mobilio | Honda BR-V vs Hyundai Creta vs Renault Duster

Honda BR-V Photos

Design Review- Merely a ‘glorified’ Mobilio?

The design of the BR-V appears to be an amalgamation of multiple Honda products including the Brio, Mobilio, Jazz and City. Honda has given the small SUV a new front and rear end, but the side profile looks identical to the Mobilio MPV. There are also hints of the Honda Vision XS-1 concept and the CR-V in its design. Roof rails, plastic body cladding and an increased the ground clearance do lend the exteriors some SUV credentials, but its MPV/Van-like silhouette is very prominent, especially when viewed from the side. This could possibly turn buyers looking for an SUV away from the BR-V.

2016 honda br-v test drive review honda-br-v-auto-expo-2016

Thankfully, Honda has done away with the oddball interiors of the Brio and given the dashboard a more Jazz-like treatment. Sadly, however, it is still identical to the new layout of the Amaze facelift’s dashboard. There is a centrally mounted touchscreen infotainment system and with the automatic aircon control placed right below. Like the top-spec trims of the Honda Jazz, the cabin is all black with piano black and silver inserts. The unique bit about the BR-V’s cabin is the three-row seating arrangement. This means the cabin can seat upto 7, which is 2 more than its competitors, but it gets quite a squeeze to seat 3 in the middle row. Even the last row is cramped.

Honda BR-V Interior Photos

Also See – Tata Hexa vs Honda BR-V

Honda BR-V India Specifications- Same Unrefined 1.5-Diesel!

As we mentioned earlier, the BR-V is underpinned by the Brio’s platform which is also utilized by the Amaze and Mobilio. The BR-V is 4,456 mm long  which helps in accommodating three rows of seats. It measures 1,666 mm in height and has a ground clearance of 201 mm. Under the hood is the same set of engines as the Honda City – a 1.5 litre i-VTEC petrol which produces 120 PS of peak power and 145 Nm of peak torque and a 1.5 litre i-DTEC diesel producing 100 PS of peak power and 200 Nm of peak torque. Transmission duties will be handled by a 6-speed manual on both Diesel and Petrol models. The CVT is only available mated to the petrol motor.

Length x Width x Height 4456x1735x1650 mm
Kerb Weight -NA-
Wheel Type and Size 16 inch alloys
Boot Space -NA-
Engine Type/ Displacement 1.5 L i-VTEC Petrol 1.5 L i-DTEC Diesel
Power 120 PS 100 PS
Torque 145 Nm 200 Nm
Top Speed -NA-
Acceleration (0-100 km/h) -NA-
Transmission (Gearbox) 6-speed manual/CVT 6-speed Manual
Mileage 16 kpl/15.4 kpl 21.9 kpl
Air Conditioner Type Automatic Climate Control
Power Windows Yes (4)
Central Locking Yes
Steering Audio Controls Yes
Audio System Yes (2-DIN)
Airbags Yes (2)
ABS Yes

The 1.5 L diesel unit from Honda is known for its lack of refinement and mediocre on road performance. We have experienced high NVH levels in the Jazz, Amaze, Mobilio and City diesel variants and since the engine is the exact same unit, the BR-V doesn’t score high in terms of refinement. Although the BR-V is bigger than its rivals in terms of size and weighs more, the diesel engine powering the crossover is the least powerful of the lot. Even smaller compact SUVs such as the Ford EcoSport and Mahindra TUV300 boast of a higher torque output. Another disadvantage the Honda BR-V has is the lack of an automatic diesel variant, which the Hyundai Creta and the Renault Duster have. We will give you complete details in our 2016 Honda BR-V test drive review soon.

2016 honda br-v test drive review honda-brv-diesel-engine

Also See – Next-Gen Honda Brio

Features

Talking about the features on offer, the BR-V comes with a basic list of equipment which include:

  • Keyless engine start/stop
  • Second row AC vents
  • Three rows of seats
  • Dual front airbags
  • ABS with EBD
  • Automatic climate control

2016 honda br-v test drive review honda-br-v

There are major omissions in the Honda BR-V features list like a touchscreen AVN, reversing camera, parking sensors and more. Honda’s decision to skip the aforementioned features seems a bit puzzling as all its competitors have them on their list and could dent sales.

Honda currently sells the CR-V crossover in India, but demand has been poor owing to its petrol-only nature. The introduction of the BR-V has helped bolster their SUV portfolio but it the BR-V is far from being a best-seller. A high price tag, MPV-like appearance, lack of features and mediocre diesel engine seem to be hampering its sales.

2016 honda brv india official images (20)

What do you think of our analysis of the Honda BRV? Do you agree to what we say? Do you also feel that the BR-V is almost a futile attempt? Share your views by penning them down in the comments section below. Stay tuned to CarBlogIndia for a comprehensive 2016 Honda BR-V test drive review and more.

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46 COMMENTS

  1. Do not buy a Honda Car product , the service of their dealers is pathetic and costs are atrocious

  2. Honda brv is going to be an utter failure which I forecast earlier cos of the comon grill with other Honda cars and also nobody want a 7 seater in an SUV .they should call it Honda wagon not suv.Honda will never learn

  3. I hope people understand the difference between iphone and a normal phone. The same is with HONDA PRODUCTS. Why do customers pay more for an iphone??

  4. When Honda learn lessons in India. Why the same diesel engine is used all cars. All cars loving Indian peoples in mind that engine is so noisy than other diesel engines.

    When rectify the noise in honda engines. And pick up also very low this engine even compare to even swift & desire. Very irritate in city drives honda cars.

    First rectify engine noise & pick up. Honda will become wonders in india.

  5. As per specs BRV is broader than Honda City but in reality, 3 full grown people cannot sit comfortably in the second row.

    Did not expect blunder from Honda

  6. I Have tested BRV at Pune Viman Nagar, IDTEC engine is very noisy you have to put your radio at high volume to hear it, Music system they have added is pathetic, its Black & White like 90’s ( honda ask 45000 extra for 2 din touch screen system). 3rd row is not for a adult with height of 5.8″ and above. 2nd row can have just 2 and one child, Infact my Honda City is better on back seat.
    Even with the face lift i still felt its look alike of Mobilio no efforts done in creating BRV.
    Interriors are better then Mobilio, Power & pick up is ok-ok (Desiel Version), No Hand rest for driver like i have in City ( Sales person said you can fit that if you like externally)

    Advantage – 21 cms ground clearance as Pune roads are filled with hill sized speed breakers, Key less engine start ( Now common ).
    21.9 KMPL they claim is best in class with this heavy car. No Comparition to XUV500 & crysta.
    Price with the Honda premium is high for a 7 seater car and price compared to Ertiga, TUV300

  7. Not providing rear park assist, a more elegant entertainment & AC panel / controls and lack of driver side armrest will severely impact The success of BR-V. The 7-seat USP is passe.

  8. Spot on. Interiors dont give a premium feel. Side profile is pathetic, designers should have asked questions to themselves while looking at computer image itself- would I take it as an SUV? Mobilio looks better than BRV. BRV is just a confused product which doesn’t fit either of crossover/MPV/SUV.
    If you really want a 7 seater honda, get the leftover Mobilios at huge discount from the dealer.

    I’ll take refund of my 21000 booking amount.

  9. The lack of features which everyone complains in Honda Br-V is simply the touch screen infotainment system and rear parking sensors. If you insist on that, Honda itself offers the same features for additional pricing ( which is why Creta is pricier).
    Here are a few reasons why:
    – Except for the rear side doors the exterior has nothing similar to mobilio.
    – Despite being a 7 seater it’s got ample leg space for passengers even if the front two seats are fully stretched back to accomodate a tall person.
    – The adaptability and suspension of the BR-V is amazing, which both duster and Creta fail to live up to. Especially in the Creta (like all hyundai cars) you can literally feel every bump and pothole which is a big turn off for an SUV.
    – there were few who voiced complaints about Honda retaining the same engine and not refining the diesel variant. Except for the slightly higher engine noise, honestly there is nothing much to complain. In the city, the pick up of BRV is quite smooth compared to Duster or Creta.
    – Honda is able to boast of a 21.9kmpl mileage only and bringing an automatic variant might not give it that edge which it currently has. After all the biggest drawback of Honda’s most successful SUV the CrV was the Low mileage wasn’t it! Only makes sense Honda is treading the path carefully now.
    – the Exteriors have been splashed with chrome fittings and the rear tail lights of the BRV is a class apart.
    -the interiors are pretty decent, pragmatic and comfortable and comes in an all-black colour that helps in easy maintenance.
    -as always Honda’s seats are the most comfortable amongst the three, with Duster coming second and Creta having a well known hyundai seating discomfort.
    Between Brv and Creta its obvious that two top the choice list. If ur all up for some flashy fun then Creta might be your preferred choice. But if ur looking for a sturdy and reliable car which is ergonomically designed for user comfort and perhaps the most pragmatic in the segment, then BR-V is your choice.

  10. It seems that most of the criticisms are either sponsored or totally biased. I am driving this vehicle and tested all the vehicles of this segment. I can claim that this is the best vehicle in its segment. The only thing it lacks is a touch screen infotainment system with rear camera and sensors but it’s not a big deal. Easily you can get it fitted with a little extra payment. You drive this vehicle yourself and then decide. It’s superb.

  11. It offers a good milage.. For a big family who cant effort an Inova thn this is d bst choice. Creta n duster are just for show off..

  12. Took the family along for a test drive, to see if they find it confortable. Driveability and suspension are great, rest is downhill. Diesel motor sounds like it belongs in a rural vehicle . Family found seats uncomfortable,narrow 2nd row and too little padding. 3rd row seats are for condemned people. Interiors too dark and gloomy. Can’t shake the picture of the ugly audio panel off my mind. No climate control. Make sure you take your family along for test drive. This car is good only from the front seat.
    Am going for the ertiga, at least the seats are comfortable.

  13. I have purchased Honda B RV S MT Diesel in the month (May) of its launch. Very well engineered and technically superior in terms of the very good performance of its suspension , low vibrations and low noise , powerful A/C System etc. Looking externally elegant from all four sides. Above all I am practically achieving average fuel efficiency of 20 Kmpl during city driving and during highway drive of 240 km run , achieved average fuel efficiency of 25.2 Kmpl. It is a value for the money product. Features are moderate , however few minor additions like side indicators in side mirror , driver’s hand rest , touch screen infotainment system etc. would have definitely provided edge to Honda over his competitors in this segment.

  14. This reviewer appears to have formed a grudge with one look at the car and went on a monologue about how its set to be doomed. This is not an SUV by any means as Honda are calling it a compact runaround car; so the constant comparison to other SUVs is really unfortunate. I’ll tell you why – it does not have a rear differential or the 4 Wheel drive setup in the technical build and so any talk of a SUV is utter rubbish!

    As for the price conscious buyers of India there is a general expectation of every single model to come with a world of features which is simply not possible to deliver. In hindsight Honda should have included as an essential either one feature between surround airbags or parking sensors with camera which is definitely the one of the letdown to complain about. The other ones being the light build quality of the doors and the lack of wider profile tyres.

    My opinion after a test drive of both the manual diesel and the CVT: The former is a noisy motor with the stick changes however being smooth whilst the later gets a definite thumbs up for the virtual CVT gear changes which kick-in at very low revs. For me, if you are an urban dweller with a 50-50 (or 70-30) ratio between city and highway driving the CVT becomes a natural choice. Mind you that the cost of ownership for the petrol is roughly half that of the diesel. With the price between the two fuel types slowly evening out the depreciation is not a significant factor anymore.

    The boot space of about 220 liters with 3 rows of seats is quite generous by all means.

    Overall a fairly well built model with a better petrol motor which should have been launched instead of the Mobilio.

  15. Cheaper and better, thats what everyone is looking at. But the author went a bit too far.
    Rear parking sensors, infotainment would have been nice but in reality a prospective buyer do not take those seriously. Atleast i am not.

  16. My more than three month’s Driving Experience is very bad. Lot of Quality Issues:
    Model Name BRV –S Diesel
    VIN: MAKDG277EG4000100
    Engine No: N15A11701126
    Odometer till 19th Sept 2016: 5061 KM
    Purchased BRV on 21st May 2016 and lodge complain on 26th May 2016 about noise from co-driver side door and pillar side, Back side Tail gate door noise, back seat noise and Back side tail gate rear Mirror rubber strip sucks automatically. Visited Paras Honda more than 20 times from last three months but till date not satisfied and complains are not rectified from any one in Honda service centre.
    (1)Noise heard from co-driver side area while driving (2) Lock noise heard from left co- driver and centre row right door (3) Noise heard from Tool Kit area while driving (4) Rear Boot Door level difference from car body, not aligned, so unequal gap is visible on both left & right side and have noise (5) Steering Colom cover is not aligned (6) Noise heard as if rear number plate is loose (7) Steering Wheel Noisy above 120 KMP speed.(7) if you service your car from Paras Honda your cars mileage drop immediately why no answer.(8) Best part is that, they use double tape to reduce noise in car. After 04 – 05 days again noise increased. Company don’t have permanent solution for noise reduction.
    Paras Honda people only know how to sell accessories and create bills for extra things. They don’t know how to fix problems.
    Twice complain on Honda call centre but not satisfied.
    My suggestion is not to purchase HONDA BRV.
    Hope complain will reach to higher authorities.

  17. […] Honda‘s first diesel SUV finds itself in third place on our list of the most fuel efficient SUV cars in India. The BR-V is based on the Brio’s platform and shares it engines with the Mobilio/City. It is the only SUV in its segment that features three rows of seats. However, in terms of appearance, the Honda BR-V looks more like an MPV with a raised ride height and body cladding. Also, the 1.5 L diesel powering the BR-V doesn’t score high on refinement and is known for its high NVH levels. (Read more . . .) […]

  18. The title says it all!!! It’s a totally biased report by the author. As some have already mentioned, please test drive the car and decide for yourself!!!. No touch screen. Multimedia and no parking sensors are the only drawbacks I could identify with.
    The sales figures that has been shared actually show good progression on a month to month basis. Vis a vis the creta.

  19. When you say its a SUV it should look like SUV and have characteristics of a SUV.

    Honda lacks the following.
    1. Poor Design
    2. High price based on brand.
    3. Keeping India away from their International Market products.

  20. The sales chart of Honda BRV says it all, 1070 in October 2016….monthly sales have been falling. It is going to fall further unless Honda does something about it by launching a facelift with additional features at better price. Car that is costing 15 lakhs on road coming without rear cameras, sensors and touch screen is taking people for granted. Many people are commenting the ease with which you can get these fitted later but then you lose the company warranty if you tamper with the dash board settings. Sliding lever in the dashboard for AC fresh air and recirculation is a shocker for a car cost 15 lakhs on road. Quality of the door panels are not on par. No driver side arm rest. There is a speed limiter at 140 km for Honda BRV. Forget about competing with creta or brezza, even Mahindras TUV and KUV is selling more than BRV. As of now the future is bleak for this car.

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