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One of the benefits of the Coronavirus is the pause it brought for us all. We had time to question, analyse and ponder. We have been given the opportunity. I have personally noticed how I do not need much. Perhaps that is a good thing?
Maybe you didn’t appreciate value and practicality before Coronavirus over aesthetics and status?
So here is something less pretentious – Honda’s BR-V 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 others being the CR-V’s 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 is not going to win the crown for “Miss Sexy Body” in the swimwear category, but it is instantly recognisable as a member of the 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 is a nice-looking car.
Honda’s PR team say that it is a seven-seater, but remember what I said? The BR-V is slim! That means you would 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 has not been skimped as 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 as you only have four to pick from – Orchid White, Modern Steel, Lunar Silver and Radiant Red.
I enjoyed its easy-going nature, willing engine, vast practicality and good pricing. I would have preferred a bit more oomph in the performance department though. The benefit of having three rows of seats does compromise boot space unfortunately. Luckily, you can modify the seating arrangements.
Honda BR-V 1.5 Trend Manual R274 400
Honda BR-V 1.5 Comfort Manual R309 000
Honda BR-V 1.5 Comfort CVT R329 000
Honda BR-V 1.5 Elegance Manual R333 300
Honda BR-V 1.5 Elegance CVT R353 000
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 R309 000
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