It is always good to have a spacious vehicle as the primary car for your family and luckily there are many options available in our market ranging from hatchback to SUVs. But, if your family size is more than five people and you want a perfect family car unlike any regular MPV then certainly the options are very limited. And such is the positioning of the Honda BR-V. Yes, we have intentionally used the word crossover for this vehicle since it has been launched with that approach from the company. In terms of prices, the BR-V is the only 7 seater ———SUV——— available in our market which rivals all five seater compact SUVs.
During our long term report, the designing of the BR-V grew on us. The front part is really aggressive and has been done brilliantly while rest of the body keeps on reminding that it has its designing roots with MPV style. However, certain elements like raised ground clearance, all around black body cladding, roof rails and bigger alloy wheels bring it close to the SUV concept.
When you live with a family car, you soon realize what all it is capable of and what all advantages it has over its five seater rivals. For example, the biggest USP of this vehicle is its seven seating arrangement which makes it one of the rarest cars available in its segment. The car styled doors open wide enough to accommodate 7 adults. The front seats are very comfortable offering nice under thigh and back support while the middle row can easily occupy three adults but when you can use the third row so we will recommend fitting two adults in the middle row since the car is not wide enough.
The middle row tumbles down to make way for the last row passengers which offer decent amount of knee-room and shoulder room for two full size adults and can occupy three kids easily. Apart from the cushioning of last row, it is very comfortable for long journeys. The best things one can notice inside BR-V is that it offers brilliant head room for all row passengers and always feels airy thanks to its high roof line and the seating posture is very car like.
Even the driver seat makes you feel that you are sitting a bit high in a normal sedan offering exceptional overall visibility thanks to its plus size windows which makes its extremely convenient to take turns and diversions on busy roads. The second and last row passengers share the roof mounted MPV styled air-con system while the automatic climate control also cools the cabin effectively at front. There are enough cubby holes and bottle holders for all rows which are quite functional as well and are very handy when you are on a long journey with your family. What also comes handy is its boot capacity which offers enough space for four full size bags with all rows up. Moreover, the low boot-lip makes it very convenient to load/unload and surely makes BR-V one of the most spacious seven seater cars below INR 20 lakhs.
In terms of driving experience, the sound insulation of diesel engine is a progress from Honda in comparison to their other models but it still sounds loud when you push the engine hard. Although, this engine offers superb drive-ability as the power delivery is very linear and this keeps you on the move without struggling much with the gearbox shifting. The gearbox also has a nice feel to it and with additional 6th gear proves to be very fuel efficient while cruising on long journeys. With six-people and four luggage bags on board, we got a fuel efficiency of 14km/ltr while keeping the speedometer above 120km/hr during most of our journey.
It is very easy to maintain pace in BR-V and it handles very well thanks to minimal body roll and good tyre grip though it is not engaging to drive but it is not boring as well due to its direct steering feel. The suspension is on the harder side and feels stiff while going over broken roads at slow speed but the ride becomes better once you pick up the pace and the BR-V feels quite planted and confident while going fast on highways.
Undoubtedly, the BR-V is a perfect family vehicle which can occupy more than five adults without compromising on looks, fuel efficiency, performance and brand value. Yes, you may miss few basic features but apart from this, at its price, it is impossible to find any other better product than BR-V. The BR-V is not a regular people carrier which compromises on many things just to act as a people mover. It is more than that and it is suitable choice for those who believe in practicality and want to save some money from buying expensive full size SUVs which can never be as easy to live with as the BR-V because they are too big in size to handle like cars, too heavy to be fuel efficient and less on space because of their SUV design. So think practical and live practical because that is where the BR-V shines.
Words and photos- Sunil Kumar