If there’s one segment that doesn't need more entrants, it’s this, the compact SUV segment. Almost every manufacturer in India has a product offering to make sure it gets its share of pie. Ford, Maruti and Mahindra have gone in for the sub-4m bracket. Whereas Renault, Nissan and Hyundai have come up with the Duster, Terrano and the Creta respectively with all of them being more than the 4m mark. And soon, on May 5, 2016, Honda will too make an entry into this lucrative segment, with the BR-V.
Is it a smaller CR-V? What more does it offer? What does BR-V stand for? Hold on, hold on, we’ll answer all your queries. In a way, yes, it is a smaller CR-V, and BR-V stands for Bold Runabout Vehicle. Yeah, which genius must have thought of that, right? We aren’t sure of that, but one thing we’re sure about is that the BR-V offers everything that its rivals do, and some more... almost.
To begin with, the BR-V has established, capable and brilliant products to compete with. All of them have taken the market by storm, and have been adding great numbers to the sales sheets of their companies. Allow us to tell you more about the BR-V, will you?
This compact SUV is based on the same platform as the Brio, Amaze and the Mobilio. Yeah, it’s quite a versatile platform to accommodate vehicles across categories and varied dimensions. This one, the BR-V, is almost 4.5 metres in length and weighs in at about 1.2 tonnes. Honda hasn’t gone in for an AWD system, even as an option, and sticks to making this Bold Runabout Vehicle a pure-bred front-wheel drive. As we said earlier, the BR-V has trouble from the word go, in the form, on the Creta and the Duster. The Duster rides brilliantly and the handling is so good that it’ll shame some sedans. The Creta manages those two things damn well too. Does the BR-V? Well, the ride is good, very good. It can gobble up bumps well, and won't even make a fuss about it. You’d have no problems taking it on broken roads or even some soft roads. But having said that, it isn’t Duster good. And if you ask us, we’d rather take the Duster or the Creta on a long drive up the mountain roads over the BR-V. Why? Because it just isn’t as good a handler as the rest of them. Enter a corner slightly faster than you should, and you’ll be treated by understeer. Luckily, Honda hasn’t bothered with low-rolling resistance tyres, and these ones offers adequate bite in normal scenarios, but when you push the BR-V to its limits, you’d find them squealing away to glory and in search of crucial grip. And the steering won't tell you what’s happening down on the road, not a bit of it. There’s absolutely no feedback from the steering on the driver’s palms. As a package, the BR-V isn’t an SUV that we can call a driver’s delight.
So now the only thing left to look at are the prices. The Creta starts at 9.15 lakh and tops off at 12.86 lakh for the petrol. On the BRV that's 8.75 lakh - 11.99 lakh. On the diesel side the Creta goes from 9.99 lakh - 14.5 lakh, and the BRV has its variants start at 9.9 lakh and the priciest VX variant is for 12.9 lakh. Honda has actually played aggressive and surprised many by just about undercutting the Creta! That was a surprise I have to say.
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