Sprint Review: 2022 Honda BR-V 1.5 Elegance

“Your Uber is here!” would be the nastiest thing I can think of when it comes to this recently refreshed Honda BR-V.

You should know: The BR-V is only available with a small yet gutsy 1.5L 4-cylinder petrol engine and front wheel drive, with manual or automatic gearboxes depending on its three trim levels. The base model “Trend” is a six-shot manual, middle child “Comfort” is manual or CVT, while this range-topping “Elegance” version can only be had with a CVT.

Why you shouldn’t: Those three little letters often scare off potential buyers, yet Honda is following worldwide trends by trainings its toothless transmissions to mimic gear changes. So at least this gearbox won’t make the engine scream constantly… until you hit about 145km/h.

That’s when this one finally went into full CVT whining mode.

Why you should: We discovered this during our performance testing, in “S” (presumably “Sport”) mode, which also yielded a best 0-100km/h time of 11.8 seconds. If you pull the steering-wheel mounted shift paddles, the CVT will allow you to play with up to seven forward ratios… in varying degrees of efficiency, as drive train response still feels a bit rubbery.

Still, we approve of the manual override option, as it helps to exploit the Honda-typical lack of torque; and rev-happiness.

What else? All BR-V’s have at least four airbags, ABS/EBD and stability control, LED headlights, air-con, remote central locking, power windows and mirrors, Bluetooth infotainment system with Aux input, USB and 12V sockets, clever steering wheels, Isofix anchors, alloy wheels and seven seats.

More info: Trend costs about R380,000 but you’ll have to pass 400k for an Elegance version to get goodies like a rear parking camera, keyless access, 4-year/60,000km service plan, as well as two more airbags.

This top-spec Elegance requires about R460,000 and adds even more power sockets, pleather seats, bigger alloys, a few automatic goodies and active driver aids.

In summary, we were impressed by this Honda’s roomy and sophisticated nature, comfortably ride and relative fuel economy (claimed 6.3L/100km), fairly generous specification levels and hence, value for money.

And the icing on your Honda cake is that each BR-V is sold with a massive 5-year/200,000km warranty.


Engine:1498cc i-4 petrol
Transmission:7-speed CVT, FWD
Max. Power:89kW @ 6,600rpm
Max. Torque:145Nm @ 4,500rpm
Avg. cons.:(claimed 6.3L/100km)
0-100km/h:11.80 seconds (no claim)
Top Speed:No claim
List Price:R459,900   

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