Saturday, January 21, 2017

7 Reasons Why the Honda BR-V is Perfect for Road Trips


With over 2,100 reservations and 700 units already in the hands of owners, the BR-V is fast becoming one of Honda Cars Philippines’s best-selling models. Already making a name for itself by being the country’s most affordable 7-seater SUV (or crossover if you prefer), the BR-V has touted its young and sporty design, family-oriented features, and unparalleled utility.

Recently, we put it through its paces, going on a 495-kilometer road trip from Isabela to Baler to Manila. With a route that combined tight mountain roads, long winding coastal highways, and of course, the inescapable EDSA traffic, here are 7 reasons why we think the Honda BR-V should be your next road trip vehicle.



#1: It Rides Well

You’d think Honda engineers simply jacked up the Mobilio MPV and called it a day, right? Apparently, that’s not the case. The BR-V features extensive tweaking to its undercarriage. It starts with the suspension geometry but goes so far as having unique body mounting points. These changes not only give it additional ground clearance (totaling to 201 millimeters), but also gives it flatter and more stable cornering characteristics along with a smoother ride. Understeer is noticeable, but that’s expected because of the BR-V’s requirement to ferry 7 people. If there’s one thing Honda should improve is controlling the excessive tire noise.




#2: The Seats are Great

Often overlooked in the BR-V is the seats: they’re actually supportive and comfortable. You’d be mistaken to think Honda would simply plop in the Mobilio’s seats into the BR-V and be done with it. No sir. Not only does the BR-V offer adjustable headrests on all three rows (yes, including the front ones), but keeping in touch with the SUV’s more premium positioning, they’re better bolstered too. The leather on the V variant is also worth mentioning since they don’t look or feel out of place in a top-of-the-line Civic. The rest of the package remains the same with a sliding, reclining, and tumbling second row and a split-folding third row. Bummer though that there’s no height adjustable for the driver’s seat and that the third row is still latched and locked with a rudimentary hook.



#3: It’s Got All That Trunk Space

Unlike other “small” 7-seaters out there, even with the third row up, the BR-V can swallow a sizeable amount of cargo, probably good for 4-5 knapsacks. The 223-liter space then grows to a cavernous 691 liters with the third row folded—that’s bigger than Honda’s own CR-V (589 liters), Kia Sorento (660 liters), Mitsubishi Pajero (663 liters), and Toyota Land Cruiser Prado (621 liters). Not just a winner in terms of space, Honda engineers have also designed the BR-V with a low loading height making cargo loading and unloading far easier than any other 7-seater SUV in the market.



#4: Sized Right for Anywhere Driving

Compared to other 7-seater SUVs in the market which are, in a word, ginormous, the BR-V is perfectly proportioned for tackling two-lane provincial highways or mazes called Megaworld condo parking. The light steering and airy greenhouse makes it easy to slot in and out of crowded spaces, but the compact body size allows this 7-seater to turn in just 5.3 meters. This means going to downtown Binondo will never be a problem. Interestingly, parking sensors aren’t standard (bummer), but they are part of the Modulo package that adds snazzy LED daytime running lights and some aero kits.




#5: Built with Safety in Mind

With Honda marketing the BR-V to families, safety takes top priority. A recipient of a perfect 5-Star ASEAN NCAP score, the BR-V comes with dual SRS airbags, anti-lock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution, brake assist, and ISOFIX child seat anchors. A big plus is putting in Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) as standard equipment (more on VSA). Normally reserved for more expensive vehicles, VSA helps keep the car in control during emergency handling situations. All this safety tech gives you road trip confidence whenever you’re bringing your most precious cargo: your family. A word of advice for Honda: give us four-wheel disc brakes next time. It’ll vastly improve the BR-V’s stopping performance.



#6: Commendable Power and Fuel Economy

While it’s ingrained in our minds that diesel power makes for a good road trip vehicle, the BR-V’s gasoline engine is no slouch either. The 1.5-liter i-VTEC engine under the hood makes 120 horsepower and 145 Nm of torque, easily outgunning its segment rivals. And get this: the BR-V has better power-to-weight ratio than both the Toyota Fortuner and Chevrolet Trailblazer! Sure, the Earth Dreams CVT will wind the engine up to get that power (it drones constantly at 4,000-5,000 rpm), but there’s no questioning its capabilities here (the V does have paddle shifters, so you can control the level of droning). On the flipside, the CVT does help in making the BR-V achieve close to 10 km/L in the city and around 15 km/L on the highway. With a 42-liter tank, road trips in excess of 600 kilometers without refueling are possible.



#7: There’s a Magic Button

This final reason is a bit shallow, but given that warm summer months are coming up, you’ll thank Honda engineers for it: the BR-V’s chilly air conditioner. Both the S and V variant get Manila-approved dual blowers, but the V ups it with automatic climate control. Whether it’s the automatic or manual system though, there’s a magical button labeled “Max Cool”. Pressing that overrides all existing A/C settings and delivers maximum cooling effort from the BR-V’s air conditioning system. After 15 minutes, it goes back to your previous setting. It might as well be labeled as the “balikbayan mute button” to quiet down rear passengers who continuously complain about Manila heat and you can do so with minimal distraction from driving!

26 comments:

  1. Dual evaporators ba yun a/c?

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  2. Hi sir Ulysses. Two questions:
    1) Is the brv capable of wading through the floods of manila like tayuman, abad santos, downtown manila, etc. ?
    2) Which would you recommend more innova or brv?
    Many thanks sir for your kind reply. Hope to hear from you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Modifications have been done to improve water wading capability... For example the engine air intake has been raised. That said, Honda hasn't officially quoted the maximum water wading depth.

      As for choosing between the Innova and the BR-V? Let's see. I've yet to drive the BR-V on a full test drive... But as it is, it depends on your usage. If you're used to a sedan or smaller car like a hatchback, the BR-V is easier to handle and very car-like. The Innova is more truckish but larger as well.

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  3. how did the engine perform while going up them mountains? was it capable doing so with 7 passengers on board?

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    Replies
    1. In the drive, we had 3 people and it still pulled well. Tried it before in Tagaytay with 7 people... That time, it can still go up, but the engine revs are constantly high during the uphills. I mentioned that a paragraph somewhere in this story.

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  4. It looks old, donno, maybe because it looks like the old Crv? And the back lights particularly, are weird. The style belongs to eyewear not cars.
    The new 2018 Mobilio on the hand looks cool. Gone are the ugly fish-eye head lights. If both cars ground clearance are just a few mm difference, Mobilio is 189 mm, and it's cheaper than the BRV, the Mobilio would be the better choice.

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  5. Wondering if this can climb from stand still in the so called "bitukang manok" in Quezon going to Bicol with 7 passengers and luggages. Maybe somebody had already tried. Appreciate for the inputs. Thanks.

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    Replies
    1. In fairness, kahit pa bitukang kambing kaya akyatin nyan basta...take note basta cementado.

      Pero sa rough road na akyatin at basa ang lupa as in umuulan...a big NO!

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    2. na try ko na siya sa bitukang manok. with 7 passengers and luggage's with generator and for me.. IMPRESSIVE.

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  6. Wonder if it can go up to Mine's View with 7 passengers and cargo.

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    Replies
    1. Any car what ever size,engine,transmission can go like bitukang manok in quezon,baguio,tanay rizal its just about the confidence and skills of the driver, the momentum of the car, the right gear of the car(if automatic put it in 2 or S if cvt). In fact we drove our 2005 Nissan Escapade(a 2.7 non-turbo diesel with 85hp 163Nm RWD) and when it was brand new around north luzon from manila to baguio to Ifugao to Ilocos to Pagudpud to tugegarao back to baguio then back to manila....we didn't have any problem as a matter of fact we drove it to rocky roads,off road tracks and didn't have a problem, the only thing we were rewarded was a slightly bent tie rod or steering rod.

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    2. If you encounter even just 1 meter long soft & muddy road i doubt if your RWD Escapade can escape. What you're saying is pure lie!

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    3. Why are saying that I'm lying....why will I tell something that is not true if it was someing that really happened. Like what I said anove its all about the skills of the driver, the strategy of the driver, the right gear and the confidence of the driver.

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    4. Thanks. I just want to make sure because I always have a problem to tackle bitukang manok with my GLX Monty with 7 passengers and luggages at the back.

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  7. Judging from Power to Weight Ratio alone. Yes it will have a difficult time climbing with 7 passengers and cargo.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mas ugok ka pa pala sa dalawang nag comment sa taas. What power to weight ratio you are talking about? It depends on your drive train layout & engine power but most of all the kind of surface materials the tire is in contact with and the angle of elevation of the surface. Even if your power to weight ratio is 750hp/1000kg, you dont have 4-WheelDrive, low ground clearance and small angle of approach...you are doomed. Sa kangkungan pupulutin yan sasakyan mo! Torpe !

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  8. LMAO! It just shows na Engine power lang alam mo. Kita mo na nga sabi nung nasa taas yung Montero GLX nya kapag may 7 passengers at luggage eh hirap na. What more pa kaya ito gasoline engine pa. Stupido!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What? Yon Montero nahirapan umakyat?
      Imposible...kahit nga un jeep puno ng pasahero pati bubong may karga at tao nakakaakyat sa mga rough road dyan sa mga kaingin sa bundok sa mga prubinsya. They bring their goods to market. Exception...take note huwag lng pure clay, putik, umuulan at basa ang daan. Tunggak!

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    2. Bakit mo ba pinaglalaban yang issue na "putik" "soft-mud" "basang-lupa" etc.??? Hindi naman bibili ng sasakayan para lang isabak sa putikan ung sasakyan na bibilihin mo eh...kung gusto mong sumabak sa putikan at basang-lupa ehdi kumuha ka ng "Kalabaw"! Keyboard warrior ka rin eh noh?! You only rely on what you read but not on actual driving experience. Peace!

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    3. Hay nako!Hindi kayo nagkakaintindihan! Ang point lang ni AutoActiv, sigurado kaya ng mga bagong labas na sasakyan ang mga asphalted at concrete roads. masyado kasi mag tanong kung "kaya ba nyan ang baguio, bitukang manok, etc"

      HINDI NA KELANGAN ITANONG UN! Kaya yan ng mga bagong sasakyan, kasi kung JEEP nga na puno ang pasahero may topload pa eh kaya, ito pang bagong labas na sasakyan???

      Kaya wala na kaso dun sa hatak hatak na yan. Pagusapan na lang ang ibang features.

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  9. Hi Sir Uly, why do we cater and allow people like AutoActiv who lives to troll others like a DDS paid troll to pollute your blog? I don't see the point of letting that guy stay here. Clearly, puro click-bait at flame-bait lang ang posts.

    Walang pinagaralan ata. Hahahahahaha daming oras eh.

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  10. Ano ba problema ng mga saksakyan na pinag-uusapan nyo? Yung bulok kong sasakyan eh okay naman kahit saan ko dalhin... kahit pa sa maputik, umuulan at lubak-lubak na daan. Kapag may time, sa bundok ko naman dinadala. Luma na nga lang ang Suzuki Jimny ko. More than 10 yrs na. Peace!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Comfortable? Quiet inside? Efficient ang fuel? Useful pag maraming dadalhin? Oks ang handling? Walang body roll at electric steering gamit? Pwede 4 na adults at 2 bata with groceries to spare?

      Yan ang mga priorities ng iba, tsong. :)

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    2. ISA KA PANG HINDI NAKAKAINTINDI!

      Ibang topic yang reply mo, pinag-uusapan eh ung hatak hatak na yan.

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    3. ang tatapang ng mga tao dito....katakot...

      Delete