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It’s not very often these days that function is praised over form. It’s all about the way you look and all the pretty things around us. Who cares if your diet isn’t healthy? The focus lies in the question, “Do I look fabulous?” or “Those shoes are amazing, just look at them.” But after 15 minutes, your feet are bleeding from the chafing and you can’t walk – you looked cool, though, right?
It makes no sense, but we’ve all been there. And then we grow up - we make mature decisions that are in our best interests. Decisions that aren’t just about me, myself and I. Rather, we consider others and how the things in our life make our lives easier.
The passage to becoming an adult is fraught with being selfless and sensible. But it is better in the end?
So, if my Oprah rant is making sense, you’ve moved on from being fabulous and rather care about practicality, despite having more than the recommended earth-friendly two and a half kids: a boy, a girl and a small dog that you rescued from the SPCA - I have a car for you!
It’s Honda’s recreational vehicle. Honda has a series of them - RV’s (which happens to stand for Recreational Vehicle). This one is the B, which is part of Honda’s trio of RV cars – the CR-V and HR-V’s. Honda is selling it on the principle that it is an SUV but, if you ask me, it is more of an MPV (Multi-Purpose Vehicle). I apologise for all the acronyms, but the world has gone abbreviation-mad.
The BR-V is a slim, long wagon. A 5-door vehicle with three rows of seats. It’s not going to win the crown for Miss Sexy Body in the swimwear category but is instantly recognisable as a member of the pretty Honda family. The BR-V has been garnished with off-road looking accessories like chunky bumpers, roof rails and 16-inch wheels. The front grille is striking, with its bold chrome-embellished crossbar, prominent Honda logo and streamlined headlights. Overall, it’s a nice-looking car.
Honda’s PR team say that it’s a seven-seater, but remember what I said? The BR-V is slim! That means you’d more than likely only fit six people – four adults and two kids unless seven Smurfs decide to buy one. More on the BR-V’s practicality: I love the fold-and-tumble convenience of the middle and rear seating rows. This function provides exceptional versatility. It also allows owners to configure the vehicle in different ways, depending on the seating capacity and luggage space required.
The BR-V is fitted with all-you-really-need mod-cons, rather than a list of superfluous technology that more than half the drivers on the road don’t know how to switch on, let alone use. Even the entry-level Trend model offers air-conditioning, front and rear electric windows and remote keyless entry. A four-speaker audio system with USB connectivity is also standard, and mobile phones can be linked to the system via Bluetooth.
Active and passive safety hasn’t been skimped on: there are ABS anti-lock brakes, dual front airbags and inertia reel seat belts for all but the second-row, centre seating position (which gets a lap belt).
The BR-V range is driven by a 1.5-l that uses Honda’s i-VTEC technology. Power is modest but adequate at 88kW with 145Nm of torque – numbers that stand for “just enough power”.
Gear changes are done either via a light and easy-to-use 6-speed manual gearbox or an automatic gearbox, more correctly named a CVT or Continuously Variable Transmission. I test drove the manual which I liked and believe is a better partnership with the engine.
Colour choices are limited, you have four to pick from - White Orchid, Urban Titanium, Alabaster Silver and Carnelian Red.
Honda BR-V 1.5 Trend Manual R258 800
Honda BR-V 1.5 Comfort Manual R273 900
Honda BR-V 1.5 Comfort CVT R290 400
Honda BR-V 1.5 Elegance Manual R295 500
Honda BR-V 1.5 Elegance CVT R312 100
Service and Warranty
The price includes the standard Honda five-year/200 000km warranty and three years of AA Roadside Assistance. Comfort and Elegance models benefit from a two-year/30 000km service plan. Services are at 15 000km intervals.
Honda BR-V 1.5 Comfort Manual R273 900
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