Update: Post # 72
Asslam o Alikum PWers,
I am posting on Pakwheels after years. Things look pretty different here. Hope everything is going good.
Anyways, coming to the topic; I got hold of a BR-V like three weeks ago, and after driving it and spending good amount of time with it, I am going to put down my thoughts about the vehicle. Let's start...
What were my Options and Why BR-V
I had to replace my 2010 Automatic City with something and since I now have kids and a growing family, I wanted to get something bigger. Not to accommodate more people exactly, but wanted extra room in the vehicle where I could put the extra stuff that comes along when you have kids. So, in City, I had to install and uninstall the Baby's seat a lot of times because Baby's seat occupies 1 seating capacity and if you want other members to sit, you have to remove it. So I wanted a bigger vehicle to cater such issues.
My first option was a Honda Jade. Since a good Honda Jade and BR-V are of the same budget range and Jade looks much better and drives much better and have got many more bells and whistles, it was the right vehicle to go for; only if it had regular middle seats. Captain seats looks wonderful, and gives you awesome leg room but then it doesn't serves the purpose if you are looking for a bigger vehicle. Jade is actually a 6 Seater and you can not fit an extra person in the middle row even if you have to. Second issue was its parts availability. With very little Jade's being imported at the moment, its parts' availability and pricing was an issue. Then comes its trunk space; with rear seats deployed, you can not put even a small back at the back because there is no room left. Plus, the passengers sitting at the back have very little head room left.
So after a lot of research and going through video reviews, I came to the conclusion that Jade is a wonderful MPV but not suitable for my needs. It had its set backs.
Then I thought of getting a Second Generation Prado since one in good condition would cost you 2.5 Million PKR. Now again after discussions with the people who have had it, the comparison made no sense. I was told that you can have it and you would be very happy with it but then the monthly budget won't be the same. I also understood that when you move from a car to an SUV, all the dynamics change altogether. The level of maintenance required to the cost of maintenance etc. For example, for City, if I had to change the wheels, it would be a totally different budget as compared to a Prado. If we ignore all the maintenance expenses and the fact that the vehicle would be 20 years old, there are the running expenses. A Prado would give you around 7 Kms per Liter and you are filling it with the expensive fuel i.e. Diesel. So there are two factors that add up, 1. less mileage compared to a car, 2. expensive fuel. That sums up to PKR 20,000 per month extra with respect to my usage on a regular basis. 20,000 per month can get you a small vehicle on lease or can pay for your driver.
I know people are going to say, why didn't I go for Vezel, well that is a different price bracket and for that budget I had other options in mine. I had to strictly stick to a below 2.5 Million price range.
Therefore, I started exploring BR-V. I had my reservations with it which were also due to market speculations about its resale and its practicality etc. I even planned of forgetting a bigger vehicle and getting a car again, like a Grande or a Grace etc. but then BR-V made more sense as I already sedans parked in my house and BR-V would have been a change.
After going through Local and International reviews I found out that the car isn't as bad as we think it is. If you put the right expectations from it, it is a very good option. Doesn't look that bad, has got good room if you are more than five people and if you are five, you get extra space in the back for all the stuff that you want to keep and most of all, the price range is just appropriate.
I did not want an MPV except for a Jade. I had a City, have a Civic Turbo and a 1.6 Altis, therefore I wasn't much afraid to opt this option. We had to take a second car just for 1 person if everyone of us had to go somewhere. BR-V was the solution. When I needed driving pleasure, I could always take Civic out. So getting a BR-V was a win win situation.
Along with that, there was no Booking duration and no Premium. Just walk in to a dealership and get yourself a BR-V. Then you have the smell and satisfaction of a Brand New Vehicle and a warranty of 50,000 kms. Warranty is important people! I have a Turbo and I know how important Warranty is...
And everything aside, BR-V had recommendation of Hanif Bhai aka @Libra
How did I find BR-V
1. Seating Space
The first test I carried out was to check if it actually is a 7 Seater or not. So the first night, all of us wanted to got for an ice cream treat and everyone wanted to go in 1 car. What to do...
Two Adults in the front
I, my wife, my cousin and my 10 months old daughter in the middle row.
My brother and a cousin (Adults with regular build) along with my 5 year old daughter in the last row.
So the vehicle was packed and we went to have ice cream. Two passengers in the front were comfortable, we three in the middle row were also comfortable, though I am not a very smart and handsome man. The two sitting at the back were reasonably comfortable and they said they could easily sit like this and move around on small journeys if not on long tours.
After its all seats deployed, it still had space for a little luggage at the back. As I read somewhere that BR-V is the longest Crossover in its class, I think that plays a role in providing the extra space.
So for seating I gave it 8/10 as 9/10 is Land Cruiser and 10/10 is Toyota Sequoia in my grading system.
2. Air Conditioning
I have heard people saying bad about its A/C. I have found it to be pretty efficient. The cooling is good and keeps overall cabin's temperature as per requirement. There is separate air conditioning for passengers at the back which makes it very practical. I don't know what people expect more out of it.
3. Road Clearance
Well, you don't have to talk much about it because anyone can see that you don't have issues with road clearance in this vehicle. I live in a sector which is not 100% developed and the kind of roads I see everyday, I can easily say that I am much comfortable and tension free in BR-V as compared to City, Civic or Corolla.
If I have to rate it, I would rate it better than Civic's Infotainment. Civic's infotainment is a pain in the "Tashreef". I have it, I know how bad it is. BR-V's is a little slow as well, for example, just when you start your vehicle and put it in Reverse, you won't get Camera feedback as the Infotainment system is slow.
5. Performance and Issues
Now comes the main thing. Performance!
Well, without a doubt, the car doesn't give you good average. As per my calculations, you can fetch anywhere around 9 to 10 in city and between 11 to 12 on highways.
Coming to performance, I believe if you expect from it what you should expect from a 1.5 Ltr. engine that has to pull a reasonably large vehicle, you won't be disappointed. As far as its engine noise is concerned, I have seen many cars having CVTs with similar noise. My first experience was with Mitsubishi Lancer and it looked pretty odd to me that the engine's sound is more than its acceleration, but then when you know how CVT works, it doesn't sounds like an issue. When your speed catches up with the RPM, sound becomes normal.
And yes the vehicle is reasonably fast. It is as fast as it should have been. Anyone who is going to record its 0 to 100 would be a fool because the vehicle is not made for that purpose. It is like seeing if you can fit 7 people in a Civic. Civic is not made for accommodating 7 people. I have driven it on highways, in streets, on GT Road. It drives good. It takes you to a reasonable speed in a reasonable time. Doesn't sets you back while overtaking. Doesn't have any vibration at speeds like 140 Kmph. What else do you want? I had pulled it to 140 Kmph with 7 Adults on board. You don't have to do it. It is a people mover and should be driven as one.
As far as its performance on Hills is concerned, I won't rate it as I have only taken it to Margalla Hills with not many people on board. I will be able to comment on it properly when I do the same with at least 5 to 6 adults. Will do soon and update.
Suspension is not as good as Civic but not as bad as a City as well. I found the seats pretty comfortable as well, I don't know why people have issues with it. City has "Phatta" seats people! I have handled those as well.
The main issue I have found in the vehicle is with its build quality. It is cheap. Very cheap! Too much plastic on the inside, cheap paint job on door handles, well Civic has got even cheaper but BR-V's build quality is not good. Then the fact that it doesn't have a center console. Even the international Models doesn't have it but come on Honda! If not a center console then at least an arm rest!
Honda BR-V is a good Crossover/Mini SUV and anyone who is clear of what he wants would be a satisfied customer. Anyone who has expectations of a Fortuner and Budget of a City would come online and say bad about BR-V because obviously he would be disappointed. BR-V is not very expensive than a 1.5 City Aspire but it offers much more utility and practicality. I hope to see a good market response for vehicles of this category in Pakistan so that other players can also bring in their products and we can see a healthy competition in this segment as well.
I think I have tried to cover every aspect of the vehicle. Will discuss further if there are any queries. Along with the review above, I would like to share another thing that I got to know after discussion with some Dealership owners.
I forgot to mention an issue that is very annoying. I kind of missed it before.
The gear markings are not lit. So are multimedia buttons on steering and power windows buttons. That makes it pretty odd while using at night.
Why does BR-V has low resale/market
Well, it doesn't. These are the rumors that the Dealers are responsible for. Honda launched BR-V portraying that it was an SUV. It is, but it is a Crossover/Mini SUV. People thought it is something similar to Fortuner or Vitara. Dealers got many units booked which they thought would be sold on premium like they did with Fortuner. What Honda did was that it increased the production of BR-V and gave it maximum percentage in the Quota that every Authorized Dealership was getting. For example, if a Dealership had of quota of 90 cars per month from Honda, he started getting 60 BR-Vs and every Honda model for the remaining 30 vehicles. What happened was that every Dealership had too many BR-Vs to sell. That resulted in no premium and no waiting period. No premium and no waiting period is bad news for Local Dealers. They saw that no one is coming to them to take their booked vehicles, they started selling off their booked vehicles. Investor doesn't wait for long for his investment therefore they started selling off the vehicles at below invoice price. Then after the prices were increased for the first time, dealers sold their vehicles at old invoice prices which gave an impression in the market that BR-V has flopped and people are selling it below invoice price whereas if you look around, you would see a BR-V on every road, every corner of the city.
Now since the quota has been regularized, showrooms will have lesser BR-Vs now. Even when I went to get mine, for odd colors, people are being given one month waiting period.
As we used to say here on PW that the post is useless without pictures, here are a few aewin hi...