The refreshed BR-V, Honda’s macho little subcompact SUV, is finally out. It was launched in the Philippines this week and is set to take on the likes of the Toyota Rush, and even MPVs like the Mitsubishi Xpander and the Suzuki Ertiga.
As the past few years have shown, the local market is enamored by the utility a seven-seat vehicle provides. But what else does the 2019 Honda BR-V have going for it? Let’s break down the Japanese car manufacturer’s latest Philippine offering.
So, what’s new with the 2019 Honda BR-V’s design? From afar, not much. The vehicle retains its downsized SUV silhouette and proportions as well as the overall look of the initial release.
What is new, though, is the front grille, which features a pair of chrome strips that nicely complement a dominating upper portion with a large Honda badge. On the 1.5 V CVT variant, this component is flanked by a pair of headlights that now feature LED daytime running lights, though halogen headlights and foglights are retained across the lineup.
The front and rear bumpers have been updated, and the SUV now runs on new 16-inch alloy wheels to go along with its 201mm of ground clearance. All units get roof rails, while the 1.5 V CVT flaunts a new sharkfin antenna up top.
Available colors for the entire range are Lunar Silver Metallic, Modern Steel Metallic, and Premium Amber Metallic. Tafetta White is only available for the Honda BR-V 1.5 S CVT.
Again, this is a refresh, not an all-new release. As such, changes made to the cabin are relatively minor, with the 1.5 V CVT getting new leather, red accents on the seats, door panels and armrests, and red stickers on the steering wheel and the shift knob. The vehicle now flaunts new ‘Dark Steel’ interior bits, and the contrasting colors do convey a somewhat sportier vibe.
Underneath the hood of the 2019 Honda BR-V is a 1.5-liter i-VTEC engine capable of 118hp at 6,00rpm and 145Nm of torque at 4,600rpm—exactly the same engine and figures as the pre-refresh version. This mill is Euro 4-compliant and comes mated to a CVT.
The suspension is a MacPherson strut and torsion beam front/rear setup, and stopping power is handled by ventilated discs up front and drum brakes in the rear.
Inside the 2019 Honda BR-V 1.5 V CVT is a sevem-inch touchscreen infotainment system that’s now Android Auto- and Apple CarPlay-capable. The base variant gets the same screen size, but minus the aforementioned connectivity functions. Both variants of the BR-V now also come equipped with a reversing camera for extra convenience when parking.
Honda BR-V 1.5 V CVT units get push-start ignition as well as paddle shifters for added driving engagement. Standard safety features include dual airbags up front, hill-start assist, speed-sensing automatic door locks, Isofix anchors, and vehicle stability assist, among others.
The jump in the cost for the refreshed Honda BR-V is relatively minimal, with prices for both the 1.5 V CVT and 1.5 S CVT increasing by less than P7,000 compared with the pre-refresh model. Check out the prices and variants below:
For a better idea of what you’re getting with the new 2019 Honda BR-V, check out the images from the launch below. Will you be considering this Japanese ‘mini SUV’ this year? How do you think the refreshed version stacks up against the rest of the competitors in this segment?