First previewed in Malaysia back in November 2016, the Honda BR-V has officially made its launch debut today. The seven-seat SUV (or crossover according to Honda reps), which is specially designed for the ASEAN market by Honda R&D Asia Pacific (HRAP), arrives as a locally-assembled (CKD) model with two variants on offer – E and V.
The entry-level E variant is priced at RM85,800 (RM83,206 without insurance), while the range-topping V is yours for RM92,800 (RM90,013 without insurance). The prices mentioned here are on-the-road with insurance and inclusive of a five-year/unlimited mileage warranty, plus a free service interval package. Five exterior body colours are offered here – Taffeta White, Golden Brown Metallic (new addition), Lunar Silver Metallic, Modern Steel Metallic and Dark Ruby Red Pearl.
Under the hood, a 1.5 litre SOHC i-VTEC engine providing 120 PS at 6,600 rpm and 145 Nm of torque at 4,600 rpm powers both variants, with drive being directed to the front wheels via an Earth Dreams CVT that features an expanded ratio range for better usability. Following Thailand figures, the BR-V is capable of returning a claimed fuel economy of up to 15.5 km/l.
Built on a stretched version of the Brio platform, the “Bold Runabout Vehicle” utilises MacPherson struts at the front and a torsion beam at the rear. According to the BR-V’s large project leader, Atsushi Arisaka, the reason for this is due to the parts commonality across the ASEAN countries, which helps to keep the cost down.
However, the Malaysian-spec BR-V differs from those sold in Indonesia, Thailand, Philipines and India, as we do get our own unique damper settings, as well as additional NVH fitments in the bulkhead, dashboard, doors, bonnet, floor, roof lining and steering for a more comfortable driving experience.
Honda’s seven-seat SUV measures 4,453 mm long (with the V being 3 mm longer), 1,735 mm wide and 1,666 mm tall, with a 2,662 mm-long wheelbase. It also boasts a ground clearance of 201 mm, claimed to be the highest in its segment. The SUV in E guise weighs 1,231 kg, while the V tags on another nine kg, making it lighter than the six-seat Freed 1.5L (1,330 kg) sold here in the past, so “power anxiety” should be put to rest, says Arisaka.
Standard exterior features on both variants include halogen projector headlamps, LED DRLs (unique to Malaysia), 16-inch alloy wheels (with Bridgestone Ecopia EP150 195/60 section tyres) and roof rails (30 kg load limit). The top-spec V gets additional items such as front fog lamps, chrome door handles (E is body colour), chrome side protector and lower bumper garnish.
Inside, the seats are arranged to provide a “theatre-like” view, in that the third row seats are raised slightly higher than the second row for better visibility. Among the interior highlights found in the E variant include shiny dark metallic dashboard trim, fabric seat upholstery, along with a urethane steering wheel and gear knob. A manual air-conditioning system (with second-row vents), 12 V power outlet, standard audio system (with USB, AUX and Bluetooth inputs) and four speakers are standard kit here.
As for the V, the dashboard trim is replaced with a water print matte finish, and leather is used for various contact points like the seats, steering, gear knob and door lining armrest. Elsewhere, there’s an automatic air-conditioning system (front only) and a 6.1-inch touchscreen display audio system (with additional HDMI input).
Practicality-wise, the BR-V provides 223 litres of base cargo-carrying capacity, which can be further expanded to 539 litres with the third-row seats folded down. On that mention, the second-row seats can either be slid forwards and back, folded in a 60:40 split, or one-touch tumbled to provide access to the rearmost seating. The third row meanwhile, will fold in a 50:50 split, and can be tumbled before being hooked in place.
For safety, the BR-V comes with dual front airbags, three-point seatbelts for all seven seats, Isofix child seat mounts in the second row, Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA), ABS, EBD, Hill Start Assist (HSA), reverse sensors. These features are standard for both the E and V, although the latter gets an additional rearview camera. As such, the BR-V has been awarded a five-star ASEAN NCAP safety rating.
Customers looking to spruce up their BR-V purchase further will be glad to know that Honda Malaysia is also offering several accessory packages beginning with a Modulo package for RM3,750, which tags on front and rear lower bumper garnishing, side skirts and a tailgate spoiler.
There’s also the Urban package that introduces a tailgate spoiler, side step board and door sill garnish for just RM2,945. Finally, the Utility package (RM1,280) sees the addition of door visors, cargo tray lining, trunk organiser, door sun shades and door protector film. Alternatively, these items can be purchased individually, although it is cheaper to purchase them as a package (prices mentioned are inclusive of 6% GST).
We’ve already driven the new BR-V in Thailand, as well as in Japan previously, where you can check out our thoughts on the seven-seat SUV. For a detailed look at the various variants of the BR-V, check out Carbase.my, where you’ll also be able to see the individual accessory options.
Honda BR-V 1.5L V
Honda BR-V 1.5L E with Modulo package
Honda BR-V 1.5L E