Ratings: 2020 Honda BR-V 1.5L V - Near-excellent score in Space and Practicality, 162 pts overall

Shaun · Nov 27, 2020 07:32 PM

Moving on from the Perodua Aruz from last week, we're scrutinizing the 2020 Honda BR-V 1.5L V facelift by evaluating all aspects from driving performance to purchase and cost.

Honda BR-V

Driving Performance – 32/50 pts, car-like driving experience

2020 Honda BR-V 1.5L V - Facts and Figures
Engine 1.5L 4-cylinder NA
Transmission CVT automatic
Power 120 PS @ 6,600 rpm
Torque 145 Nm @ 4,600 rpm
Weight 1,269 kg
0-100 km/h 11.6 seconds
100-0 km/h 40.8 metres

Being lighter and more powerful than the Perodua Aruz, the Honda BR-V is significantly quicker in a straight line. 0-100 km/h takes 11.6 seconds, which is over 4 seconds quicker than the Aruz.

Braking distance is not as impressive as the Aruz, but par for the course nonetheless at 40.8 metres from 100-0 km/h.

Steering is light with decent feel and is quicker to respond than the Aruz. Couple that with the lower ride height, the BR-V feels more car-like to drive. 

The CVT responds relatively quick to throttle inputs, making the BR-V feel light on its feet. Jab the throttle from standstill and the BR-V lurches forward accordingly. Smooth inputs will be translated to smooth progress.

2020 Honda BR-V 1.5L V - Driving Performance Breakdown
Engine Acceleration 3.5 / 5
In-gear Acceleration 3 / 5
Throttle Response 3.5 / 5
Transmission Shift Logic 2 / 3
             Smoothness 4 / 5
      Sport/Manual Mode 3 / 3
Steering   Accuracy 1.5 / 3
Response 2 / 3
 Weight & Feel 2 / 3
Braking Distance 1.5 / 3
 Feel 2 / 3
Handling  Chassis Balance 1 / 3
 Grip 1.5 / 3
 Load Reaction 1.5 / 3
Total   32 / 50 pts

Ride Comfort – 33/50 pts, poor cabin insulation

The suspension is calibrated with a full-load (7 passengers) in mind, so the BR-V doesn't ride quite as smoothly when it is unloaded. Sharp bumps are more intrusive than in the Aruz. But large undulations are well managed.

The front seats have good thigh support from its lengthy seat base, and side support is decent as well. Rear seats are mounted a little low, so thigh support isn't that great. But upside is the generous amount of headroom.

2020 Honda BR-V 1.5L V - Noise Level
60 km/h 63 dB
90 km/h 69 dB
110 km/h 71 dB

Sound insulation is rather poor in the Honda BR-V. We recorded higher noise level than the Perodua Aruz at all speeds from 60 km/h to 110 km/h.

2020 Honda BR-V 1.5L V - Ride Comfort Breakdown
Sound Proofing 5 / 10
Suspension 6 / 10
Passenger Comfort 7 / 10
Seat Support 4 / 5
Ergonomics 4 / 5
Engine Refinement 7 / 10
Total points 33 / 50 pts

Quality and Features – 23/50 pts, only 2 airbags

2020 Honda BR-V 1.5L V - Exterior Material Use
Bonnet Soundproofing Material Thin
Struts Manual
Front Fenders Soundproofing Material Yes
Doors Front Windows Single Glazed
Rear Windows Single Glazed
Construction Multiple
Tailgate/Boot Opening Manual

Panel gaps deviated by no more than 1.0 mm deviation at the rear quarter panels. Paint thickness consistency averaged in the 110s of µm.

2020 Honda BR-V 1.5L V - Panel Gaps (mm)
Location Driver Side Passenger Side Difference
Bonnet 5.5 5.5 0
Front Fender 3.5 4.0 0.5
Front to Rear Door 4.5 4.5 0
Rear Door to Quarter Panel 5.0 4.0 1.0
Tailgate 6.0 5.5 0.5
2020 Honda BR-V 1.5L V - Paint Thickness (µm)
Location Driver Side Passenger Side
Front Bonnet 122
Front Fender 106 104
Front Door 113 116
Rear Door 117 112
Quarter Panel 93 96
Tailgate 100
Roof 126
Average paint thickness: 110

Interior build and material quality is par for the course, with hard plastics used on most surfaces and a splash of leather here and there like the door armrest.

In the facelift exercise, there are red accents throughout the interior such as the stitching on the steering wheel and red leather on the door armrest.

2020 Honda BR-V 1.5L V - Cabin Material Use
Seat Seat Cover Leather
Armrest Armrest Cover N/A
Dashboard Upper Section Hard Plastic
  Lower Section Hard Plastic
Front Doors Upper Section Hard Plastic
  Middle Section Leather
  Lower Section Hard Plastic

The facelift also brought speaker count to six in total, with 2 additonal tweeters. Although the infotainment system is unchanged. Operation isn't the slickest and the user interface is rather bland.

The Honda BR-V still gets 2 airbags, which is a potential deal breaker. There's also no ADAS which is offered by rivals such as the Aruz/Rush.

2020 Honda BR-V 1.5L V - Quality & Features Breakdown
Exterior Paint Finish 3 / 4
Panel Gaps 3 / 4
Assembly Quality 1 / 2
Interior Build Quality 3 / 5
Materials Used 3 / 5
Features Safety 5 / 10
ADAS 0 / 5
Luxury 2 / 5
Convenience 2 / 5
Infotainment 1 / 5
Total   23 / 50 pts

Space and Practicality – 39/50 pts, more spacious than rivals

Space in the second row is generous. There's more than 2 knuckles (roughly about 3 tennis balls) kneeroom, with about 2 tennis balls of headroom for a 175 cm tall adult.

Space in the third row is rather decent by 7-seater standards. There's about one tennis ball of kneeroom and headroom.

Cubby spaces are aplenty with a pocket below the driver side air vent and compartment below the climate control switches. Boot space is rated at 223 litres with the 3rd-row seats up. It's also worthy to note that the boot floor height is rather low at 59 cm.

2020 Honda BR-V 1.5L V - Interior Space Breakdown
Front Row 8 / 10
Middle/Back Row 8 / 10
Third Row 4 / 5
Boot Space 3 / 5
Practicality 4 / 5
Storage Space 4 / 5
Visibility 4 / 5
Storage Flexibility 4 / 5
Total 39 / 50 pts

Fuel consumption – 15.5/20 pts, relatively efficient

After completing a 136.4 km journey broken down to 60% highway and 40% city driving, the amount of fuel required to brim the tank is 10.48 litres. This gives a calculated figure of 7.7-litre/100 km.

2020 Honda BR-V 1.5L V - Fuel Consumption Test Breakdown
Fuel Consumption 12 / 15
Eco Mode 2 / 2
Indicator Accuracy 1.5 / 3
Total points 15.5 / 20 pts

Purchase and Cost – 19.5/30 pts, good value proposition

The 2020 Honda BR-V 1.5L V is priced at RM 96,900 (with SST). Price without SST is RM 93,420, valid until 31 December 2020.

2020 Honda BR-V 1.5L V Service Costs
Month Mileage (km) Cost (RM)
1 1,000 0
6 10,000 235.79
12 20,000 293.74
18 30,000 361.91
24 40,000 446.83
30 50,000 235.79
36 60,000 433.67
42 70,000 235.79
48 80,000 446.83
54 90,000 361.91
60 100,000 539.39
Total 3,591.65

Considering its price hike over the pre-facelift model with no increase in safety features such as higher airbag count and ADAS, the Honda BR-V doesn't offer quite as much value as the Perodua Aruz.

2020 Honda BR-V 1.5L V - Purchase & Cost
Purchase Car Price 8 / 15
Warranty 4 / 5
Cost Maintenance 3.5 / 5
Fuel Cost 4 / 5
Total   19.5 / 30 pts

Conclusion – 162/250 pts overall

The 2020 Honda BR-V 1.5L V offers a car-like driving experience, supremely spacious interior, and relatively good fuel economy. But downsides are the safety aspect with only 2 airbags and the price hike without significant value-added features.

If you're looking for a 7-seater that drives almost akin to a hatchback and space is a priority, then the Honda BR-V fits your bill.

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