Honda South Africa releases the all new BR-V.

When the first Honda BR-V was introduced, as a major evolution from the Honda Mobilio (here in southern Africa), it was already a huge step forward, just in terms of design. And… the fact that it adopted the R-V badge, making it part of the adventurous family alongside the HR-V and CR-V, I believe has put it in a different category of how the regular buyer on the street views it.

We were privileged to be invited to the SA launch of the all-new Honda BR-V, and just from the press photos, one could see that it communicates boldness. Arriving at the beautiful Cavalli Estate, we were welcomed by the warm South African Honda press family. After a compact and informative introduction on all fronts, the covers were taken off the new BR-V. As suggested by the press photos, the new version is bolder, bigger, with larger wheels, putting it firmly in the SUV bracket.

We embarked on a circular route towards Hermanus, and coming back along Clarence Drive, one of the most beautiful roads along the coast. My co-driver took the wheel first, and I soon realised the extent of the chassis design, as he drove quite enthusiastically through the pass on the N2, just before the Hermanus turn-off. This is an SUV with good road manners! The bigger wheels certainly make a difference in road comfort. Don’t think I’m just referring to larger alloys: the whole wheel, including tyre, is larger, so road bumps and gravel roads immediately get absorbed with more ease.

Driving back from Benguela Cove Wine Estate, I took the driver’s seat back to Cavalli, all along Clarence Drive. The improved 1.5L I-VTEC engine is now presented in DOHC form versus the SOHC from before. Not only has it got more power (89 kW), but it is also more efficient than the previous engine, at 6.3L/100 km. Honda SA, we would love to do a long-term test on this car, to try and better your claimed values!

The all-new and highly-efficient CVT gearbox (with G-design shift technology) I experienced for myself behind the wheel. I can confirm that the Honda design team did a very good job in creating the feel of artificial gear changes. Twice I had to put my foot down to pass some traffic, where the rev counter referenced gear changes.

My co-driver and I were pleasantly surprised.

Size-wise, the BR-V has grown in all directions, and that includes cargo space and leg room. It comes with a host of active and passive safety features and – included for the first time in the BR-V – Honda Sensing is available for the elegance models.

With prices starting at only R379 900, we believe the BR-V is surely going to nestle itself in the market as a worthy contender, and possibly a new benchmark. Mr Soichiro Honda, you would have been proud of this model!

Recommended Retail Prices:

  • BR-V 1.5 Elegance CVT          R459 900
  • BR-V 1.5 Comfort CVT          R434 900
  • BR-V 1.5 Comfort 6MT          R409 900
  • BR-V 1.5 Trend 6MT              R379 900

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