Bookings for Honda's upcoming compact SUV, the BR-V, have commenced at dealerships across the country, for a token amount of INR 21,000. Showcased at the 2016 Auto Expo, the BR-V will go on sale post its official launch on May 5, 2016.
Based on the same platform as the Brio, Amaze, and the Mobilio, the compact SUV ditches the family look for a new design. It does look like an MPV on steroids at first glance. But, Honda insists it is an SUV. While the design isn't as simplistic as that of the updated Renault Duster, we think it isn't as clean as the Hyundai Creta either. The top-spec variant will get elements such as projector headlamps, a healthy garnish of chrome on the grille, fog lamps, and 16-inch alloy wheels.
Inside, the BR-V sports a design we've seen on the City, the Jazz and most recently — on the updated Amaze. A typical Honda cabin, it sports an all black interior with dull silver accents thrown in to accentuate the finer details. Just like its rivals, we expect the BR-V to be loaded with goodies such as a touchscreen audio system, automatic climate control, steering mounted controls, keyless entry and go and more. The USP here, of course, are the extra row of seats. Unlike the Duster and the Creta that are strict five-seaters, the BR-V can seat seven. Since the BR-V is longer than the Mobilio (and has a longer wheelbase), we expect it to be slightly roomier compared to its MPV sibling.
The Honda BR-V will sport the same 1.5-litre i-VTEC (petrol) and i-DTEC (diesel) motors found under the hood of the Honda City. We expect a CVT automatic mated to the petrol motor. However, unlike the Duster or the Creta that have a diesel automatic in the line-up, the diesel BR-V will sport a 6-speed manual transmission only. Let's take a quick look at the specs:
|Engine||1.5-litre i-VTEC||1.5-litre i-DTE|
|Power||[email protected]||[email protected]|
|Torque||[email protected]||[email protected]|
|Transmission||5-Speed Manual / CVT (expected)||6-Speed Manual|
On the safety front, the BR-V will get dual airbags, Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD). The compact SUV also scored a full 5-star rating in the ASEAN NCAP. We expect prices to start around INR 8 lakhs for the base petrol version and go up to INR 13 lakh for the top-spec diesel. Does the BR-V have what it takes to go up against established rivals like the Renault Duster and the Hyundai Creta? Take a look at this quick spec comparo, and let us know in the comments section below.