Honda launches BR-V in India between INR 8.75 - 12.90 Lakhs

Honda's much-awaited entry into the compact SUV segment finally became a reality with the launch of the BR-V today. Priced between INR 8.75 and 12.90 Lakhs ex-showroom Delhi, the BR-V has a slew of competitors to tackle - the Maruti-Suzuki Vitara Brezza and Ford Ecosport at the lower end and the Hyundai Creta, Maruti-Suzuki S-Cross, Renault Duster and Nissan Terrano at the upper end of its price band.

Like most recent Hondas that have made it to India, the BR-V is based off the same platform as the Brio hatchback, the Amaze compact sedan and the Mobilio MPV. Crucially, the BR-V gets an unique front end that doesn't resemble the Brio family. The bold and upright fascia gets the trademark thick chrome grille flanked by sharp wraparound headlights with projectors and LED light guides. The bumper gets a rather large air dam and chrome-ringed fog lamps. At the rear, the split taillights connected by a reflector strip and the layered tailgate look interesting while the plastic cladding all around and skid plates at the front and rear gives the BR-V its 'SUV' armour. The long profile that's straight off the Mobilio doesn't gel well with the overall design and looks more like a MPV rather than a SUV, the BR-V's 210 mm of ground clearance notwithstanding. 

The all-black interiors, again, are similar to the recently launched Amaze facelift which is a definite improvement over the Brio-based interiors that the Mobilio has. The top-end variant gets features like a heat-absorbing windshield, leather upholstery, keyless entry with push button start, automatic climate control, power folding mirrors, 2-DIN audio system with Bluetooth functionality and driver's seat height adjustment. A touchscreen infotainment system is conspicuous by its absence, given that most of the BR-V's competitors have one. Driver and passenger airbags are standard across the range while Antilock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) is standard on all but the base petrol variant. The BR-V's USP is likely to be its generous interior space and the presence of proper third row bench, making it a genuine 7-seater.

Powering the BR-V are the familiar set of engines that power the City and the Mobilio. The 1.5-liter i-VTEC petrol engine produces 119 horsepower and 145 Nm of torque while the 1.5-liter i-DTEC diesel engine is good for 100 horsepower and 200 Nm of torque. Both the engines are mated to a 6-speed manual transmission making the BR-V more suited for long-distance cruising. The petrol engine also has the option of a Continously Variable Transmission (CVT). Interestingly, this variant gets steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, a first in the segment. The ARAI-certified fuel efficiency figures are 15.4 km/l for the manual petrol, 16 km/l for the automatic petrol and 21.9 km/l for the diesel variant.

The BR-V is available in four variants - E, S, V and VX in a palette of six colours - Carnelian Red Pearl, Orchid White Pearl, Urban Titanium Metallic, Taffeta White, Golden Brown Metallic and Alabaster Silver Metallic.

With Honda's strong brand image and the never-ending craze for SUVs and crossovers in India, the BR-V makes a strong case for itself. Despite losing out on some features compared to its key rival, the Creta, the BR-V makes up by undercutting its Korean rival in terms of pricing. This H vs H battle is going to be an interesting one!

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