2020 Honda BR-V V 1.5 CVT
The current BR-V might be in its final months as a second-generation model. It was revealed late last year in Indonesia, but still looks really good. Honda Philippines has not said anything about a 2022 launch, but I expect to see a new one at dealerships soon.
It may be six years old already, but the model we have now is still pretty popular based on sales last year. In 2021, the BR-V sold close to 2,000 units and is still one of Honda PH’s top three models.
What is so good about it? As one of the first true family multi-purpose vehicles (MPVs) in the market, it paved the way for more creature comforts and safety features compared to the bare offerings of its predecessors. If not for the BR-V, we would probably still be looking at 2-DIN systems and bench-type seats in current MPVs.
Despite being long in the tooth, here are seven features of the first-generation BR-V you will not find in other (newer) MPVs. As a side note, I can’t wait to see what the all-new version will offer.
Most powerful engine in its class
Yes, you read it right. Despite being the ‘tito’ of the current crop of MPVs, the BR-V is still the most powerful in the segment. It uses a 1.5-liter gasoline engine (the same displacement as most of its competitors), but it is the only one with 120-PS and 226-Nm of torque.
High ground clearance
This isn’t the highest number among all MPVs. That would probably be the Xpander at 225 mm, but it is definitely up there. It is an important figure to remember for a seven-seater. As a vehicle designed to take in a lot of passengers or heavy cargo, having a considerable gap between the car floor and the road protects against scrapes or flash floods.
Top crash test scores
Okay, it’s not the only MPV with a five-star ASEAN NCAP (New Car Assessment Program), but it is the only one with G-Con (G-Force Control Technology) body construction. It controls impact forces in case of a collision to reduce injuries to its passengers. The BR-V has passed tests on full-frontal, frontal-offset, side, and rear crashes.
Functional roof rails
The BR-V isn’t just one of the few MPVs with roof rails, what it has is not just for show. You can load up to 30 kilos of cargo on it. Get yourself one of those roof racks online or in various aftermarket stores, and you have more carrying capacity on top.
Easy fold second row
Don’t you hate stiff levers and complicated moves to fold a seat? That will not be a problem in the BR-V. Honda developed a one-touch fold-to-tumble system for easy access to the third row. Flick the handle, and not only does it fold, but the entire seat rolls forward to open up a lane to the rear seats. There will be no need to squeeze, push, and/or pull your way in and out.
Large storage space
With all seats occupied, cargo space is only 223 liters. Fold the third-row backrest, and that number goes up to 470 liters. Tumble the third-row seats, and you get 521 liters. For reference, that will fit up to four large suitcases, five carry-on-sized pieces of luggage, a couple of overnight bags, and still leave some room at the top for small items.
Unlike a conventional CVT, Honda uses a torque converter to improve durability and responsiveness. Drivers get better performance at low speeds and during acceleration. Honda says it is also 10% more fuel-efficient and is more attuned to driver input to deliver a linear, sportier performance.