By Otsile Kadiege
We recently jetted off to the Mother City for the launch of Honda’s second-generation people mover – the new BR-V. The newcomer, which was developed in Indonesia, boasts numerous enhancements like the automaker’s new Simplicity design philosophy, increased exterior dimensions, a host of new safety and driver assistance systems, improved crash safety performance and a carried-over naturally aspirated petrol engine to list a few.
Outside, the new BR-V has a strong visual presence thanks to a bold and dynamic design with SUV characteristics. We like the BR-V’s Honda Accord-inspired headlights and its dual-tone 17-inch wheels on the higher-spec Elegance derivative. The rear-end design of the new BR-V might take some getting used to due to its Honda Fit-inspired LED taillights.
Simple and practical interior
Honda’s ‘Simplicity” design philosophy is carried over inside the new BR-V. The new people mover has a cabin which is well-appointed and practical thanks to fair use of soft touch and quality plastics as well as impressive legroom and acres of headroom. Legroom at the rear of most seats of the Japanese compact MPV is inherently limited and better suited for children. Should you not require the use of the third-row seats you can easily fold them down for extra luggage space.
On the tech side of things the 7-inch touch display has decent graphics, however, its infotainment system looks dated and the 6-speaker sound system has decent sound quality.
Driving the naturally-aspired new BR-V
Powering the new Honda BR-V is still a naturally-aspirated 1.5-litre petrol engine. Depending on your chosen model derivative, the new BR-V is paired to either a 7-step CVT gearbox or a 6-speed manual transmission. The 4-cylinder powertrain now makes a healthy 89kW and 145Nm.
The naturally-aspirated powertrain is quite peppy at the coast, which might not be the case in a province like Gauteng. Despite Honda’s efforts to insulate the new BR-V, we experienced significant wind noise and an inherent droning sound from the CVT. When it’s not driven in a hurried manner hurridley the new BR-V glides along effortlessly. Its ride quality is also good and comfortable on perfectly paved roads of Somerset West and surrounding areas.
According to Honda South Africa, the new BR-V is pegged against Hyundai’s new Grand Creta. Pricing for the new BR-V starts at R379,900 for the base Trend BR-V. We’ve enjoyed our short stint in the new BR-V and we’re looking forward to having it on test.
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