The Honda BR-V offers users top value that no other affordable 7-seater MPV model can match. It deserves to be chosen as a versatile family car.
Sophisticated design with SUV elements
If we divide the 7-seater MPV segment into two categories: innovative & avant-garde, or sophisticated & traditional, then the Honda BR-V probably belongs to the second category. However, unlike most models in the segment, the BR-V leans more towards a SUV model.
The overall dimensions are 4,540 x 1,800 x 1,750 (mm), with a wheelbase of 2,780 (mm), which is not outstanding in the segment. However, these figures are enough to help the Honda BR-V easily navigate through the city while still ensuring enough space for 7 passengers on board.
In addition, the ground clearance of the Honda BR-V is considered “top class” in the segment. Thanks to that, the driver can have more confidence when navigating through bad road conditions or going over curbs. Moreover, the high ground clearance also gives the car a robust and versatile feel, similar to SUVs.
In terms of exterior equipment, the Honda BR-V must compete with its rivals in terms of having the most advanced options in the segment, such as full LED lighting system (including fog lights) with automatic turn on/off and automatic high/low beam adjustment.
The car’s wheels are also the largest in the segment, with tire size 215/55R17. The wide tire surface and large alloy wheels not only enhance the car’s agility and aesthetics, but also improve the grip on the road, resulting in better driving experience and safety.
Moreover, the Honda BR-V is equipped with a smart key that integrates remote engine start feature, which is very useful in hot weather to start the engine and turn on the air conditioning before getting into the car.
The exterior of the Honda BR-V may not be extremely modern but it is still youthful and sophisticated, suitable for users over 30 years old who value a durable and elegant car that can be used for work and leisure.
Premium interior space
In a mainstream brand like Honda, using the term “premium” is much more appropriate than “luxurious” or “expensive”. And that is what the Japanese brand does – no matter which model, from City, Civic, Accord to HR-V, CR-V, and now BR-V.
And “premium” is also the most accurate word to describe the interior of the Honda BR-V. Compared to other rivals in the same segment, the interior details in the cabin of the car are meticulously finished. From the leather material, buttons, decorative trims… all are very well presented in terms of aesthetics and provide a tactile feel when touched.
In the Honda BR-V, there are no uneven leather edges, sticky buttons, or plastic parts that feel cheap. Everything is of high quality and provides comfort for passengers to admire and use directly.
If we calculate carefully, the interior space in the Honda BR-V is not as spacious as some other names in the segment. However, for family use, the car still meets the needs of carrying 7 people on long trips (of course, the third row of seats is not suitable for people taller than 1m7) or 5 people with luggage for weekend getaways.
In terms of convenience features, Honda BR-V is equipped with automatic air conditioning with vents and charging ports for all rows of seats. At the front, the car is equipped with a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, which is integrated with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The car also comes with a 6-speaker audio system. Although these features may not be outstanding compared to other models, in practical experience, the Honda BR-V fully meets the basic entertainment needs of a family.
In addition, one feature that may be a bit redundant on the Honda BR-V is the paddle shifters behind the steering wheel. Considering that this is a family car with a 1.5L naturally aspirated engine paired with a CVT transmission shared with the Honda City, it is not too sporty.
If given the choice to remove this feature, many people might prefer to have the paddle shifter removed and have an electronic parking brake with Auto Hold feature instead, which would be more practical for daily city driving.
Top-notch driving experience
The Honda BR-V is equipped with a VTEC 1.5L naturally aspirated engine, paired with a CVT automatic transmission, front-wheel drive, with a total power output of up to 119 horsepower and a peak torque of 145 Nm. If we only look at the numbers, the BR-V is not considered powerful, but it is certainly strong enough to overtake and agile enough for the driver to handle various situations on the road.
However, you need to experience the car directly by sitting in the driver’s seat, shifting gears, pressing the gas pedal, and turning the steering wheel to fully appreciate the value that the BR-V can bring to the owner – the “specialty” of Honda that no competitor can match.
And that specialty is the driving experience: the power from the engine is optimally utilized through the transmission. Based on that, every press of the gas pedal by the driver, the force is transferred directly to the front wheels, turning into kinetic energy that propels the car forward enthusiastically.
Of course, with a power output of 119 horsepower, it cannot be said that the BR-V is powerful, but it is certainly strong enough to accelerate and swift enough for the driver to easily handle various situations on the road.
The steering wheel of the car, compared to other Honda crossovers like HR-V or CR-V, is similarly accurate in terms of precise steering and road surface feedback. This is also the traditional strength of Honda.
However, on the flip side, the BR-V’s sound insulation capability is only acceptable and is not better than other cars in the same price range. Perhaps this is not something that can be strictly demanded in a car priced below 1 billion VND.
Furthermore, another aspect worth noting about the BR-V is that it is equipped with Honda Sensing active safety technology package, which includes various modern features that contribute to driver protection, such as collision mitigation braking system, adaptive headlights, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and keeping assistance, as well as pre-collision warning.
Up until now, no other 7-seater MPV has been equipped with such a complete set of active safety features. In a broader sense, no mainstream brand in the Vietnamese market has dared to provide a comprehensive active safety package on all their products like Honda.
This could be seen as a confident statement from Honda: Vietnamese people deserve to own safe vehicles, regardless of who the vehicle is for or whether it is expensive or cheap!
One thing that users might consider is the camera system, which currently includes the LaneWatch camera (right side camera) and does not come with front/rear sensors. Honda could upgrade it to a 360-degree camera system, which would give the driver a much broader view.
Quick summary, the Honda BR-V is a car that brings a lot of practical value to customers, or in other words, it is worth the money. This is affirmed by numerous prestigious awards in the region, as well as the 5-star ASEAN NCAP safety standard.
With such strong “internal strength,” the Honda BR-V will certainly make a difference in the future, against tough competitors from Japan or South Korea that are dominating the 7-seater MPV segment in the Vietnamese market.
Phan Anh – Huy Bách (Tuoitrethudo)