Honda Motor Southern Africa is solidifying its presence in the growing 7-seater SUV market in South Africa with the introduction of the All-New second-generation of the BR-V. Compared to its predecessor, the new model represents a significant improvement in exterior design, standard features, technology and increased interior space.
Offering attractive new styling, a practical and versatile cabin, good performance and handling, and an extensive list of standard features. The All-New Honda BR-V combines the characteristics of an SUV with the space and utility offered by an MPV. The range offers three specification levels, one engine option and a choice between manual or CVT (model dependent).
Looking the part
Introduced locally in 2016, the first-generation BR-V represented true value by offering customers utility, space and comfort at a competitive price. However, where its styling displayed decidedly MPV-like characteristics, the All-New BR-V looks the part of a true SUV. While remaining graceful and elegant, it imparts a sense of toughness, with a body that is 35mm longer and 45mm wider offering generous amounts of space for occupants in all three rows.
It boasts a dynamic body shape, with strong contour lines that run from the front to the rear and accentuate its overall length. The All-New BR-V also has a completely redesigned front end that accentuates its rugged new appearance, with the most prominent features being an aggressive and sporty new grille and newly designed LED daytime running lights and headlamps. The rear end also sports a LED rear taillight cluster which neatly blends in with the body lines.
Roof rails and alloy wheels (16-inch on Trend and Comfort models and 17-inch on the Elegance) round off the All-New BR-V’s rugged new look. The colour line-up for the range includes Opal White (Pearl), Modern Steel (Metallic), Lunar Silver (Metallic), and Crystal Black (Pearl).
Comfortable by design
The interior of the All-New BR-V is uncluttered and the use of quality materials and finishes throughout the cabin underline its minimalistic yet stylish appeal. The fascia showcases Honda’s latest design philosophy which is being rolled out across all its latest models. Fabric seats are standard on all but the Elegance model, which – in keeping with its range-topping status – features synthetic leather upholstery and additional trim finishes to differentiate it from the other models in the range.
The redesign of the interior also sees leather-like materials being added to more areas of the cabin – including the armrests, door panels, and dashboard – to create a more upmarket, high-quality feel.
The overall increase in exterior dimensions of the All-New BR-V has greatly enhanced leg and shoulder room for second- and third-row passengers. The rearmost seats have a 50/50 split and the second row a 60/40 split, allowing for a variety of practical seating and cargo configurations. With all seats in position, seven occupants can be seated comfortably, while still providing a very usable amount of luggage space. The third-row seats can be folded down if more luggage-carrying capacity is required, while flexibility to transport large and bulky items is provided through the ability to also fold down the second row of seats.
Occupant comfort is bolstered by the addition of power outlets in all three rows (Elegance derivative) to facilitate the charging of smart devices. There is also air-conditioning for rear-seat passengers. The driver has a seat that is adjustable for height, and also benefits from a 4.2” TFT display on the dashboard which provides information on features such as active Honda SENSING functions. The latter (offered on the Elegance model only) is adjustable via controls on the tilt-adjustable steering wheel.
The infotainment has also been upgraded for the second-generation BR-V. Fitted as standard on all models is a brand new 7-inch touch screen system with integrated Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. Comfort and Elegance models gain an integrated reverse parking camera for added convenience.
Pleasing performance all round
The chassis system and body of the All-New BR-V have also been re-engineered, with significant enhancements to the suspension, braking, steering and body construction resulting in improved handling and stability.
The ratio of higher tensile strength steel used on the new model has increased by 24 per cent, resulting in reduced weight, improved safety performance and greater body rigidity. Significant improvements have also been made to the NVH performance to minimise the intrusion of both engine and road noise. This has been achieved through changes to the engine mountings and engine head cover, as well as optimisation of the overall sound proofing through increased application of insulation material to the body structure.
In terms of the powertrain, the All-New BR-V features Honda’s latest 1.5L DOHC i-VTEC engine with a maximum power output of 89kW at 6 600 r/min and peak torque of 145Nm at 4 300 r/min.
The Trend model is only available with a six-speed manual gearbox, while the Comfort has the option of either a six-speed manual or a CVT, which has been specifically tuned for the BR-V. The Elegance is available exclusively with the CVT.
With a fuel tank capacity of 42 litres, models with manual transmission (Trend and Comfort) use 6.8 litres/100km in a combined cycle, while CVT models (Comfort and Elegance) return consumption figures of 6.3 litres/100 km.
Impeccable safety credentials
The All-New BR-V features Honda’s premium suite of active safety features, collectively known as Honda SENSING. As with all Honda models, the BR-V has also been designed using Honda’s proprietary Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure technology.
The enhanced Honda SENSING suite of technologies, which is only available on the Elegance, includes:
- Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS)
- Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)
- Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS)
- Road Departure Mitigation (RDM)
- Auto High-Beam (AHB)
- Lane Watch Camera (LWC)
- Forward Collision Warning (FCW)
The entire BR-V range now also features Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA), Hill Start Assist (HSA), Emergency Stop Signal (ESS), Anti‑lock Braking System (ABS) and ISOFIX child seat anchors. Dual front and side airbags are standard across the range, with the Comfort and Elegance models gaining curtain airbags as well.
Warranty and pricing
The All-New BR-V is available in three specification levels and offers an extensive list of comfort, convenience and safety features across all derivatives. It offers a 1 498cc DOHC i-VTEC engine, mated to either a six-speed manual transmission or CVT gearbox.
1.5 Trend MT: R379, 900
1.5L Comfort MT: R409, 900
1.5L Comfort CVT: R434, 900
1.5L Elegance CVT: R459, 900
All models come standard with a 5 year 200 000km warranty, with the Comfort and Elegance including a 4 year 60 000km service plan as standard. Also included is 3 year AA roadside assistance.