BRV - BRAVE, ROBUST VEHICLE
SOME manufacturers pride themselves on good handling and performance. Others focus on exclusivity and brand premium. At the end of the day though, the sign of a really good car manufacturer is the number they sell. As the saying goes, the proof is in the pudding.
One sure way to achieve this is to make your car appealing to the person that matters the most — the buyer.
Among the major brands in Malaysia, Honda has great insight into the wants and needs of the average Malaysian motorist.
Their Southeast Asian offerings, like the City, resonate with people in the region. Which is perhaps why they are now the second top seller in Malaysia behind Perodua.
In fact, Honda has always been good at combing the world, catering to every demographic with their products, which are fine-tuned to meet the demand of their target markets.
One of their latest offering — the BRV — is no exception.
First off, you get a lot of car for your money. The BRV is 4,456mm long, 1,735mm wide and has a 2,662mm wheelbase. It’s a seven seater, nonetheless.
Under the hood is the ubiquitous 1.5 litre i-VTEC powerplant found in the Jazz and the City, no doubt a familiar sight to any Southeast Asian mechanic worth his salt.
Churning out 118hp and 145Nm of torque at 4,600rpm, the BRV’s engine is attached to a CVT transmission that features Honda’s Earth Dreams technology.
There is much debate as to what the BRV actually is. Some say it’s a MPV, while the common opinion is that it is an SUV. However, the maker calls it a crossover.
In terms of size, the BRV sits between the HRV (the smallest of the lot at 4,294 mm long, 1,772 mm wide and 1,605 mm tall) and the CR-V (largest at 4,590 mm long, 1,820 mm wide and 1,685 mm tall).
We had a go in one recently, on a media test drive organised by HMSB to Penang.
The BRV appears smaller than it looks in pictures. While its proportions belie its size on celluloid, in the metal, the illusion is dispelled from the moment you stand next to it.
Interior fittings are of good quality, with an instrument panel that looks more upmarket than most offerings in this segment.
Curiously though, the door cards have handrests that protrude quite a distance, and eats up a little into the otherwise generous space of the interior.
While of good quality, the price point means the interior is still relatively basic.
There aren’t much soft-touch plastics to speak of. The door card for example, is a wide swathe of plastic that resonates hollowly if you knock on it.
The base Honda HBV E variant is priced at RM85,800 OTR with insurance,
while the V variant is RM92,800.
Under the hood is the ubiquitous 1.5 lit Jazz and the City.