Honda is by no means a stranger to SUVs, but ever since the brand entered the Indian market, it has offered only the CR-V. Over the past few years, several brands have launched compact and mid-sized SUVs like the Ford EcoSport, Mahindra TUV300, Renault Duster, Maruti Vitara Brezza and Hyundai Creta.
This year, Honda finally brought in its contender – the BR-V. With it, Honda is hoping to replicate the success of the City, something no other car from the Japanese automaker’s stable has managed to do. In fact, the allure of an SUV may see a lot of City-buyers opting for the BR-V. The sedan, despite being the older vehicle here, still gives you a lot of bang for your buck. So, unless you need the 7-seats, should you buy the BR-V? Here’s a quick overview:
Price and Features
Ex-showroom Delhi prices for the City start at Rs 8.02 lakh and go up to Rs 12.38 lakh. The BR-V isn’t too far off with prices ranging from Rs 8.75 to 12.90 lakh. The City offers dual airbags and ABS with EBD as standard across the range and while the BR-V does offer the same, ABS is skipped on the base petrol variant.
Other features offered with the base BR-V include keyless entry, tilt steering, four power windows and projector headlamps. While you can’t have projector headlamps with the City, tilt-steering and four power windows do come as standard, and you can have keyless entry with the City’s S-grade (one above the base), which is still cheaper than the entry-level BR-V.
However, since most buyers opt for the top-end variants, let’s see what the range-toppers have to offer. Opt for a fully-loaded BR-V and you get leather upholstery, the auto function for the driver’s power window, steering mounted audio controls, front fog lamps, push button start, a 2DIN audio system with multimedia connectivity, rear AC vents, alloy wheels along with power adjustable and foldable wing mirrors.
The range-topping City offers all of these features, but gets a more advanced touchscreen audio, video and navigation (AVN) system, an electric sunroof, two more 12V accessory sockets, cruise control, rear parking sensors and a rear parking camera, all for over Rs 50,000 LESS than the equivalent BR-V.
The BR-V offers LED light-guides and of course, the added practicality of 2nd and 3rd row seats that split 60:40 and 50:50, respectively. However, these are benefits that you need only if you have the requirement of more seats. The City also offers a healthy 510 litres of boot space, which is commendable for a 5-seater sedan.
Here, both the BR-V and City are on a level playing field since they have the same engine options i.e., a 1.5-litre petrol (119PS/145Nm) and a 1.5-litre diesel (100PS/200Nm), the primary difference being the petrol’s transmission which is a 5-speed manual in the City and 6-speed manual in the BR-V.
The sedan is understandably the lighter of the two and weighs around 150-180 kg less than the BR-V. Not only will the City have better handling and maneuverability, thanks to its lighter weight and smaller size, it will also be more fuel efficient. The petrol City delivers 17.8 kmpl (vs the BR-V’s 15.4 kmpl), while the diesel City delivers 26 kmpl (vs the BR-V’s 21.9 kmpl). Not only will the City be more fun to drive, it will also be lighter on your pocket to use on a daily basis.
So should you buy the BR-V over the City?
Yes, but only if:
You have the need for 7-seats.
You plan to haul a lot of luggage and need a 5-seater with more boot space than the City.
Your travel route includes a lot of bad roads and you need the 210mm ground clearance (City’s = 165mm).
You prefer the looks of an SUV over a sedan.