Honda BR-V 2021 Review
Some call it a crossover, some call it an SUV, and some call it an MPV – all we know is that the Honda BR-V is a seven-seater that really delivers while maintaining a relatively small overall footprint. While it isn’t the cheapest Honda available, it happens to be based on the smallest Honda that isn’t available here – better known as the Honda Brio.
First launched here back in 2017, the Honda BR-V has gone through one global facelift which was locally released here in 2020. With the facelift came better equipment, though that also came at a higher price relatively speaking – it was probably assessed that the market could stomach a higher cost in exchange for more functionality.
Both before and after the facelift, Honda Malaysia has maintained two variants of the BR-V: the Type E and the Type V. While there are other seven seaters in the range, this is the first of their models that comes in under the RM 100,000 mark. Natural rivals of the Honda BR-V would be cars like the Toyota Avanza, Toyota Rush, and Perodua Aruz.
Honda BR-V 2021 Specifications
Powering the Honda BR-V is an engine that is familiar and common among the Honda model line – a 1.5-litre, petrol powered SOHC i-VTEC unit that makes 120 PS and 145 Nm of torque. Power goes to the front wheels through a CVT-type automatic transmission – again, something we’re used to when it comes to Honda products.
That transmission is what really helps cars like the Honda BR-V maintain a respectable amount of acceleration, without compromising outright cruising ability. The 0-100 km/h time is just 12.2 seconds – not far off what you would expect with sub-compact vehicles. This is especially important when you have a full complement of seven passengers and cargo.
As for the dimensions, the wheelbase stands at 2,662 mm long, with a width that’s fixed at 1,735 mm and a length that varies between 4,451 mm and 4,457 mm depending on the variant. Luggage capacity in the boot is 223 litres with the third row up, or 539 litres with the third row down. You could easily double the BR-V as a cargo or equipment hauler if you drop all the seats as well.
Honda BR-V 2021 Exterior
Thanks to the styling and proportions, the Honda BR-V looks exceptionally long from the outside – though that comes in part with the relatively narrow width. You can get it in a range of colours too – Passion Red Pearl and Marine Purple Pearl at the more vibrant options, while Platinum White Pearl, Lunar Silver Metallic, and Modern Steel Metallic represent the more monochrome options that Malaysians love.
Both variants of the BR-V get 16-inch alloy wheels, wrapped in 195/60 R16 tyres. Headlights are halogen projector units across the range, complemented by LED daytime running lights. The V variant gets halogen front fog lights as well, in addition to chrome outer door handles as opposed to the body coloured units of the E variant. Both variants get roof rails as standard.
Honda BR-V 2021 Interior
As far as interiors go, the Honda BR-V makes do with something limited to the bare essentials of operation. That’s not to say that it isn’t comfortable – steering wheels come wrapped in urethane or leather, and the upholstery is black fabric in the E variant or black and red leather in the V variant. The second row is a 60:40 split fold, while the third row is 50:50, offering you the flexibility of seating and cargo space, between two and seven occupants, with a variable cargo split across the range.
People looking to come into BR-V ownership have to come to terms with the fact that occupants in the second and third row may be rubbing shoulders, but this comes with the territory for every other offering in this particular market segment. Space is a luxury that only comes above the RM 100,000 mark, where cars can be built larger with more refinement and more potent powertrains to match.
Honda BR-V 2021 Safety Features
Being a very basic model, the Honda BR-V doesn’t get much in the way of active safety – but as Honda has defined the standards for safety in the segment through the years, they have maintained the most essential basic passive safety systems. Items like ABS with EBD, Brake Assist, Hill Start Assist, Vehicle Stability Assist, and Traction Control are standard. ISOFIX is also made available to make sure that even your youngest family members are kept safe throughout your journey with a properly mounted baby seat.
Honda BR-V 2021 Strengths and Weaknesses
It has to be said that the Honda BR-V plays its role very well within the Honda model range – and it isn’t the only seven-seater that Honda offers, which means it has some high standards to live up to. Honda provided a people mover that has a modest amount of ground clearance, and fulfils its purpose dutifully – perhaps not being the flashiest or the most feature laden – but reliable and respectable in its operation.
What the Honda BR-V does lack, however, is a bit of performance and a bit of width. The 1.5-litre engine, while somewhat adequate in its performance, can be a little lacklustre if you really load the vehicle up with weight. That CVT-type automatic transmission just barely manages to cover this – and this is also the reason why the Honda HR-V comes with a 1.8-litre engine over the 1.5-litre unit despite being based on a Honda Jazz or Honda City platform.
It does also show why the Honda Brio isn’t made available here, though people question why Honda wouldn’t want to introduce a cheaper, more compact alternative to the Jazz. The Brio is powered by a 1.2-litre engine, which would be even harder for Malaysian consumers to accept – especially at a price point where it would be fighting our local offerings.
Honda BR-V 2021 Price
Pricing for the Honda BR-V is highly competitive, with the E variant going for RM 86,726, and the V variant topping the range at RM 93,420.27. These prices are inclusive of the current tax exemptions that the Malaysian government has put forward.
Honda BR-V 2021 Features
Between the two variants of the Honda BR-V, there are reasonable differences in terms of the relatively short list of features included. The audio system would be one such area: the E variant gets Standard Audio, while the V variant gets a 7-inch display audio that’s effectively a touch screen unit. This head unit also includes a HDMI port, and pairs with steering wheel audio control switches.
That being said, the E does still include items like automatic headlights, rear air-conditioning ventilation, power-adjustable door mirrors, a USB port for connecting to the audio system, hands-free phone connectivity, a six-speaker setup, Bluetooth connectivity, and keyless entry and start. One other item the V maintains over the E is a pair of steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters for manually overriding the transmission.
Honda BR-V 2021 Fuel Consumption
The quoted fuel consumption for the Honda BR-V is standard across the variants, and it stands at 6.4 litres per 100 kilometres – working out to 15.6 kilometres per litre. Results may vary depending on the amount of load you carry and your driving style.
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- Body Type: MPV
- Transmission: Automatic
- Engine Capacity: 1497 cc
- Fuel Type: petrol
- Seat Capacity: 7
- Price: RM 86,726 - RM 93,420
20 Oct 2017
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User Review of Honda BR-V
Overall BRV good
Overall Best 7 seater Vehicle (MPV/Crossover)
Nice interiod design
Suitable for family
Excellent 7-Seater for a Young Family