‘BR-V’ enough for the conditions

By Charles E. Buban Philippine Daily Inquirer August 11,2019
‘BR-V’ enough for the conditions

The latest version of the BR-V sports a bold front fascia, angular headlamps with a large chrome grille and chrome inserts on the fog lamps that give this MPV an aggressive stance.

Too many times, we are in a hurry to get from point A to point B. Instead of an adventure, a sense of wonder and excitement, driving becomes a task as the only goal is just to “get there” if not “survive the trip.”

The recent media trip with Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. (HCPI) let us participants appreciate what some of us may be missing.

Driving a fleet of refreshed edition of BR-Vs, HCPI’s most affordable, 7-seater SUV, the group gathered at the Bonifacio Global City with the trip ending at Anvaya Cove Nature Club, a private seaside community located in Morong, Bataan.

At 180 kilometers, this trip would have taken us just over two hours but George Ramirez and his crew arranged something more exciting as we went around the province via the Bataan Provincial Highway, Roman Superhighway, and the pièce de résistance, the 50-kilometer Bacag-Mariveles Road or what I would call the Philippine version of Germany’s Nürburgring, that winding, narrow country road that were once the most terrifying motor racing track in history.

‘BR-V’ enough for the conditions

The Honda BR-V is a niche product offering the best of both the worlds: an SUV stance and MPV practicality

The extra hours that we spent traversing the coastal highways of Bataan was the highlight of this trip. We saw pristine rivers—these days, it’s hard to find a river that has not been polluted or dammed yet—as well as rolling hills and untapped coves.

Baptism of fire

This drive was sort of a baptism of fire for these refreshed edition of BRV’s—both the 1.5 V CVT and 1.5 S CVT variants—that barely ran 20 kilometers when we rolled off the parking lot of BGC.

This test drive event, explains HCPI president and GM Noriyuki Takakura, was designed to demonstrate the capabilities of Honda’s affordable 7-seater SUV through various road conditions. The first segment of the drive through Metro Manila’s road gridlock up to Dinalupihan in Bataan (via the North Luzon Expressway and the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway) allowed the participants to experience the New BR-V’s powerful yet efficient drivetrain (a 118-horsepower and 145 Nm, 1.5-liter engine mated to a continuously variable transmission), as well as its improved Noise Vibration and Harshness (NVH).

“The refreshed edition of the BR-V flaunted its prowess as a capable highway cruiser and as we traversed the winding and oftentimes muddy sections of the still-to-be-completed Bagac-Mariveles Road all the way to Anvaya Cove, we got to enjoy the handling and stability of this vehicle,” says Takakura who must be referring to the BR-V’s Five Star safety rating coming from the New Car Assessment Program for Southeast Asian Countries (ASEAN NCAP).

Standard safety features of the refreshed BR-Vs include the Vehicle Stability Assist, Hill Start Assist and Anti-Lock Braking System with Electronic Brake Distribution that help prevent over and under steering on high-speed corners.

Over 14,800 units

“No wonder over 14,800 units of the BR-V were sold since it was launched in 2016, making it HCPI’s most popular offering next only to the City,” says Takakura.

Indeed, Honda has raised the bar with the refreshed BR-V: throughout the nearly 5-hour journey, we were able to appreciate the spacious interior, its legroom and abundant headroom, not to mention the large window openings.

Best of all, this edition of the BR-V not only features a 7-inch touchscreen and Bluetooth connectivity, but also Apple CarPlay or Android Auto connectivity. There’s also a new reverse camera that is most helpful when backing up in tight spaces.

The BR-V is a good choice for road trips because they’re supremely versatile: Need to fit a couple weeks’ worth of luggage? No problem. Got family members or friends tagging along, too? With this seven-seater, that’s also not a problem. Now that the BR-V’s price range and fuel economy numbers have begun to catch up to conventional cars, the BR-V is an even more compelling choice.

‘BR-V’ enough for the conditions

Takakura is flanked by HCPI Sales Division Head Atty. Louie Soriano (left) and event organizer and veteran racer George Ramirez.

HCPI Sales Advisor Kokki Hattori informs that the refleshed edition of the BR-V is now available in all 38 Honda Car dealerships nationwide with the following variants, suggested retail prices (SRP) and colors: the 1.5 V CVT at P1.155 million; the 1.5 S CVT at P1.035 million.

The new colors Platinum White Pearl (additional P20,000) and Passion Red Pearl are only available to the 1.5 V CVT only, while Taffeta White to the 1.5 S CVT variant only. The colors Lunar Silver Metallic, Modern Steel Metallic, and Premium Amber Metallic are now also available to the 1.5 S CVT. Visit any Honda dealership nationwide or log on to: www.hondaphil.com to know more about the refreshed edition of the BR-V.

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