2022 Honda BR-V emerges with broader shoulders
The previous generation Honda BR-V wasn’t the most appealing MPV in the market from a design perspective. Not to say it was ugly, but its design was more functional than geared towards aesthetics. It didn't help that it was in touch with its feminine side. Fast forward six years and after a long wait, the Japanese have returned from the drawing board with something new and fresh.
We aren’t sure whether the original design team was replaced, or whether they felt more motivated for this project, but there is a visible difference between the old and the new BR-V, and it's a positive change. In its latest form, the Honda BR-V looks modern with new front and rear LED daylight running lights. It also has a more squared-off look, with cladding around the wheel arches and an aggressive front bumper design. All of these tweaks and upgrades give it a visibly more masculine appearance. The previous shape was a mommy van through and through, but the latest version can be enjoyed by both mom and dad. In the top-spec Elegance trim, the BR-V comes fitted with a set of 17-inch low-profile wheels, and they suit it.
With our test vehicle being the top-spec, it was fitted with all the nice goodies. All seven seats are covered in faux leather, and then there's the infotainment screen that allows you to connect your device via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. A multifunction steering wheel gives you control over audio playback. You also get adaptive cruise control with lane keep assist and a left-side blind spot camera. The camera displays your blind spot on the media screen when the left indicator is turned on. You can also check what's in your blind spot at any time by pushing a button on the indicator stalk. Keyless entry and keyless start are standard in both the Comfort and Elegance models, and what's cool is that you can start the vehicle remotely using the key fob. This feature is nice to have and is also functional. You can use it to get the AC or heater running before entering the vehicle.
With a length increase of 35mm and width of 45mm, we can assume that there has been an improvement in the interior room although this wouldn’t be perceptible by the naked eye. The second row of seats can be moved backwards, forwards and reclined, while the last row is fixed and only suitable for small children. Interior build quality wasn't high on the list here for Honda, although reliability always is.
Beneath the bonnet resides Honda’s proven 1.5-litre petrol engine, it isn’t turbocharged and produces 89 kW and 145 Nm via a CVT transmission in the Elegance. A manual gearbox is available should you opt for any of the other two variants. We still wonder why Honda insists on using a CVT gearbox in their models, it isn’t the best automatic transmission unless you don’t mind the loud droning of the engine when under load. Shift pedals behind the steering wheel allow you to shift manually which makes a difference. In urban stop/go environments, the Honda’s none-turbo engine is sufficient for most situations, although with a full vehicle it might have its hands full. On the highway, it has no trouble maintaining the speed limit, although it is a tad underpowered for swift overtaking.
If you’re not fussy about the premium finishes and such, you’ll enjoy the BR-V with all of its smart features. This latest generation is now a cool family van, which even the kids won’t mind being picked up in.
Honda BR-V price
We’re looking at a starting price of R379 900 for the Honda BR-V 1.5 Trend. If you’re going all-out you can expect to pay R459 900 for the top-spec Honda BR-V 1.5 Elegance.
Words: Gugu Masuku