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In Brief: 2019 Honda BR-V, if only the Rush/Aruz ride and drive this well

Robert · Sep 4, 2019 05:57 PM

In Brief: 2019 Honda BR-V, if only the Rush/Aruz ride and drive this well 01

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The Honda BR-V is a budget seven-seater multi-purpose vehicle (MPV). If you have a young family and is looking for a seven-seater, the BR-V is a decent choice.

It offers a lot more space than a similarly priced Honda City. The 201 mm ground clearance (19 mm lower than Toyota Rush/Perodua Aruz) is also just right - not too tall that it becomes difficult for young children or even the elderly to climb into, and not too low that it makes it difficult for older family members to get in or out, but enough to allow you to climb over a kerb, or wade through a mild flash flood, if you have to.

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In Brief: 2019 Honda BR-V, if only the Rush/Aruz ride and drive this well 01

Unlike other sub-RM 100k seven seaters, the BR-V rides quite comfortably, even when sitting in the third row. The driving dynamics are not too different from a regular sedan, which means that it performs highway driving duties just as well as it does city runs.

In Brief: 2019 Honda BR-V, if only the Rush/Aruz ride and drive this well 02

How Much Is It?

The BR-V is offered in two variants – 1.5E and 1.5V- all powered by the same 1.5-litre engine shared with the Honda City/Jazz. Prices range from RM 80,989 to RM 87,701.

Key features and differences between the two variants are as below:

In Brief: 2019 Honda BR-V, if only the Rush/Aruz ride and drive this well 03

Honda Malaysia has also introduced a 1.5 SE variant, limited to just 300 units, priced at RM 90,700. The 1.5SE is essentially a 1.5V but with a larger 6.8-inch touch screen infotainment and additional exterior styling accessories.

In Brief: 2019 Honda BR-V, if only the Rush/Aruz ride and drive this well 04

Our pick of the range is the 1.5V. The price gap between the two variants isn’t that big and the 1.5V’s added reverse camera is essential for a family car of this size and height.

Pros And Cons

Compared to rivals like the Toyota Avanza, Toyota Rush, Perodua Alza, and Perodua Aruz, the Honda BR-V drives far better. It’s a lot more responsive than the lethargic Avanza/Rush/Aruz and handles a lot better too. For what it is, the BR-V has a surprisngly good level of high speed stability. 

In Brief: 2019 Honda BR-V, if only the Rush/Aruz ride and drive this well 05

Only the Proton Exora matches the BR-V’s on-road composure but it can’t match the BR-V’s fuel consumption, which is the best of the lot. Real-world fuel consumption is around 7- to 8-litre/100 km depending on driving style and traffic conditions.

In Brief: 2019 Honda BR-V, if only the Rush/Aruz ride and drive this well 06

MPVs in this segment aren’t known for their ride comfort but the BR-V is an exception. Rear passengers will find it more comfortable than a Honda City, a benefit of the BR-V’s wider track and longer wheelbase.

In Brief: 2019 Honda BR-V, if only the Rush/Aruz ride and drive this well 07

Having said that, the third row seats, while is among the best in the segment, bettered only by the Proton Exora, still lacks support on the lower thigh but persons around 1.6m tall will be able to sit comfortably.

In Brief: 2019 Honda BR-V, if only the Rush/Aruz ride and drive this well 08

Downsides on the BR-V include the lack of centre armrest, which can be tiring on long distance drives, and the lack of side or curtain airbags.

What Are The Alternatives

The Perodua Alza (RM 54,290 to RM 62,690) is the cheapest alternative but it’s nearly a decade old now and it doesn’t come with electronic stability control, which is considered a basic safety feature today.

In Brief: 2019 Honda BR-V, if only the Rush/Aruz ride and drive this well 09

The Perodua Aruz (RM 72,900 to RM 77,900) looks like a good alternative on paper. It comes with six airbags and many more features but its driving dynamics, ride comfort, and fuel consumption is very poor.

In Brief: 2019 Honda BR-V, if only the Rush/Aruz ride and drive this well 10

The same criticism also applies to the Toyota Rush and to a certain extent, the Toyota Avanza too – all of which share the same basic underpinning.

However, all three cars are rear-wheel driven, which gives the trio an advantage in tight U-turns. It’s also especially well-suited for carrying heavy load over rough terrain.  

In Brief: 2019 Honda BR-V, if only the Rush/Aruz ride and drive this well 11

This leaves the Proton Exora (RM 59,800 to RM 66,800) as the next best alternative. The recent facelift has introduced several improvements but it still can’t hide the fact that underneath the metal is a platform and powertrain that’s over a decade old. The engine is quite thirsty on petrol too.   

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