The new Honda BR-V is available starting today at all Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. dealerships. | Photos by Kap Maceda Aguila

Heft and tech in refreshed Honda BR-V

More heft and advanced features highlight the mid-cycle refresh of Honda’s compact crossover, the BR-V. Unveiled last night at the City of Dreams Manila in Parañaque City by Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. (HCPI), the updated vehicle was conceptualized by its designers with an “enhanced SUV image,” showing a “masculine and premium look with its sleeker design and advanced features.”

The launch event comes at the heels of a promising year thus far for the Japanese carmaker. In a speech, HCPI president and general manager Noriyuki Takakura revealed that the company was able to post sales growth despite “challenges since 2018” due to “factors such as excise tax, unfavorable foreign currency and inflation.” From January to May this year, HCPI moved 8,660 units – 5,030 vehicles in the passenger car segment and 3,630 units classified as commercial vehicles.

The all-new Honda Brio, launched just last April 23, performed exceedingly well with 610 units already sold. “This translated to a 1,257-percent increase versus its predecessor year on year. Thank you very much for your contribution to this success,” underscored Takakura.

Flanking the new Honda BR-V during its launch event are (from left): Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. (HCPI) dealer business division head Noel Barachina; HCPI sales division head and company spokesperson Atty. Louie Soriano; HCPI president and general manager Noriyuki Takakura; YCG Group House of Investments, Inc. president Medel Nera; and Honda Cars Makati, Inc. president Jenara Ong.

Exterior changes

Honda designers went for increased presence in the BR-V’s exterior through a new chrome front grille paired with a redesigned front bumper, with rear bumper also being reworked. LED daytime running lights are available for the 1.5 V CVT variant, complementing the standard halogen and fog lights on it and the 1.5 S CVT.

The BR-V also receives newly designed 16-inch alloy wheels, and power folding door mirrors with integrated side turn signals. Both variants still get a roof rail, while the 1.5 V CVT is fitted with a shark fin antenna. 

Interior upgrades

At the heart of the infotainment system of the 1.5 S CVT is a seven-inch capacitive touchscreen display, with the 1.5 V CVT getting Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on top of that. A reverse camera is now standard on the two variants. 

A new leather interior distinguishes the higher-spec 1.5 V CVT, accentuated with red portions on the door panel armrest, and red stickers on the steering wheel and shift knob. A Dark Steel theme rounds out the changes within.

Same engine

A 1.5-liter i-VTEC engine delivering 120ps at 6,600rpm and 145Nm 4,600rpm still powers both variants. Mated to Honda’s Earth Dreams Technology continuously variable transmission (CVT), the engine “delivers a smooth, refined, and fuel-efficient driving performance,” according to an HCPI release.

The 1.5 V CVT variant comes with smart entry and push start system, and additionally boasts paddle shifters for easier shifts. Honda’s Eco Assist System, which consists of the Econ mode and Eco-Coaching Ambient Light, is also available to encourage conscientious, efficient driving.

Safety suite

The BR-V boasts Honda’s G-force Control (G-Con) collision safety body that “dissipates G-forces in the event of a crash, and disperses it away from the vehicle’s occupants on impact.” Common to both variants are driver and front passenger SRS airbags; anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution (EBD), hill start assist, vehicle stability assist (VSA) that restricts sideway skidding during cornering, and speed-sensing auto door lock that activates when the vehicle accelerates. Child seats can be latched on to Isofix anchors. Honda reports that the BR-V received a 5-Star ASEAN NCAP rating in the Adult Occupancy Protection (AOP) category.

From left are Pan Malayan Management Investment Corp. vice chairman Lorenzo Tan; HCPI’s Takakura; YGG Group House of Investments, Inc. president Medel Nera; and Honda Cars Makati, Inc. president Jenara Ong
HCPI assistant vice president Koki Hattori with Takakura

Colors and pricing

The new Honda BR-V is available starting today at all Honda dealerships nationwide. It comes in six colors:

•          Platinum White Pearl (1.5 V CVT only), new color available for an additional P20,000;

•          Passion Red Pearl (1.5 V CVT only), new color;

•          Taffeta White (1.5 S CVT only);

•          Lunar Silver Metallic;

•          Modern Steel Metallic;

•          Premium Amber Metallic (now also available for 1.5 S CVT).

Prices are as follows:

•          1.5 V CVT- P1.155 million

•          1.5 S CVT- P1.035 million

For more information, visit any authorized Honda Car dealership today or the official website www.hondaphil.com.

Heavy downpour submerges vehicles in QC

DOTr to couples: Don’t kiss and drive