2020 Honda BR-V Review | Philkotse Philippines

Updated Aug 11, 2020
Editor's rating 4.0
Standing strong.

2020 Honda BR-V Review: Standing Strong

When Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. (HCPI) first launched the BR-V in 2016, it was marketed as a seven-seater SUV. But in reality, it’s more of a seven-seater compact crossover on steroids. It comes with a more aggressive exterior styling as compared to its seven-seater MPV sibling, the Mobilio. The BR-V is a vehicle that caters to individuals who are looking for a seven-seater vehicle that looks bolder and more brutish than the MPV vehicles offered in the market. 

2020 Honda BR-V front profile

The Honda BR-V comes with aggressive styling

As such, the BR-V paved the way for opening a new vehicle segment in the local market as other car brands sort of followed HCPI’s strategy of offering a vehicle on steroids. To name a few, Mitsubishi has the Xpander Cross, Suzuki has the XL7, while Toyota has the Rush. The said vehicles are the more aggressive counterparts of the Xpander, Ertiga, and Avanza, respectively.

With that in mind, we look for reasons as to how the BR-V managed to have a great customer base in the Philippines as we took the S variant for a drive. In fact, it’s the second best-selling Honda last 2019 with more than 4,000 units sold. With that, here’s Philkotse’s Honda BR-V 2020 Philippines review.

2020 Honda BR-V: Long Live the Veteran – In the Metal

2020 Honda BR-V Review: Exterior

As said earlier, the Honda BR-V is a seven-seater compact crossover SUV. It comes with an aggressive, bold, and composed demeanor.

The BR-V’s aggressive look is primarily because of its angular bumper that features sharp character lines along with black claddings that serve as accents.

The large chrome accent on the grille further adds to its overall muscular appeal yet it also gets the right dose of sleekness thanks to the subtle application of the honeycomb shape grille pattern.

However, like what we said in the Brio review, we prefer to have the BR-V’s grille in matte black to make it more aggressive yet sleek – you can get this, by the way, with the BR-V Prestige variant.

2020 Honda BR-V exterior: front profile

Look at that fascia

Turning at the side, the first thing that caught our attention is the BR-V’s prominent fender flares, which gives the vehicle a muscular look. They give the Honda BR-V a confident stance. Honda’s seven-seater also comes with sharp character lines from the front to the rear.

2020 Honda BR-V side

Sharp character lines from the front to the rear

The black claddings, as well as the roof rails, add to the muscular appeal of the 2020 Honda BR-V exterior. The aggressive styling is sort of subdued when you look at the BR-V’s two-tone 16-inch alloy wheels but it looks and goes well into maintaining the vehicle’s overall appeal. Moreover, when viewed from the side, you can’t help but compare it to the Mobilio.

2020 Honda BR-V rear

The black claddings add to the BR-V's muscular look

The rear, on the other hand, also gets an aggressive and sharp styling. What we like at the rear is the BR-V’s bumper, which is also integrated with an angular design.

You also can’t help but notice the wraparound taillights, which has this illusion of being one single piece. Black claddings continue to be seen at the rear but the thing that we’re not sold is the chrome accent on the BR-V’s tailgate since we find it too thick.

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2020 Honda BR-V Review: Interior

Stepping inside the cabin, you’ll be greeted with a black interior theme along with gloss black and silver accents. The BR-V’s dashboard layout is similar to the Honda Brio.

2020 Honda BR-V dashboard

Honda BR-V's straightforward dashboard design

It has a straightforward design and would easily make the driver comfortable once inside. This BR-V also comes with a three-spoke urethane steering wheel with audio controls, which lets you adjust the speaker volume without taking your hands off the wheel.

Hard plastics fill the cabin, which is not a problem considering the price point and the BR-V’s main purpose, which is a vehicle meant to transport people. 

2020 Honda BR-V interior

Cool cabin temperature wouldn't be much of a problem

This Honda BR-V 2020 can seat up to seven people with a 2+3+2 seat layout. Cooling the second- and third-row seats of the BR-V is not much of a problem thanks to the rear aircon vents with independent controls.

The legroom for the second-row passengers is also generous and it can even be maximized since it has a slide function.

2020 Honda BR-V second row seats

Honda BR-V's second-row seats

So, if there are no passengers on the third-row, second-row occupants can slide the seats further back to get that extra legroom. The second-row seats also come with a one-touch fold-to-tumble function for easy ingress and egress at the third-row seats. 

2020 Honda BR-V third row seats

Honda BR-V's third-row seats

What surprised us the most is the third-row space of the BR-V. It has decent leg- and head-room for two medium-built individuals who are standing 5’5” to 5’6”. Indeed, the seven-seater marketing of Honda Cars PH for the BR-V is true.

In case you don’t believe us, you can visit the nearest Honda dealership and see it for yourself. Moving on, cargo space is also good as you can fit up to four overnight bags at the back with the third-row seats up.

>>> Related: Best reasons to buy a Honda car in the Philippines

2020 Honda BR-V Review: Technology

The BR-V’s 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system comes with Bluetooth pairing, but Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility are reserved for the top-spec variant.

Connecting your phone to the infotainment system is easy, and the touchscreen is responsive at every touch. You’ll also find decent-looking display icons at the touchscreen infotainment system, which also serves as a rearview camera when you’re backing up into a parking space.

However, there are times that the rearview camera shows up a bit late on the screen.

2020 Honda BR-V steering wheel

Simple and straightforward

>>> Related: Honda SUV Philippines: List of all models, price & brief review

2020 Honda BR-V Review: Safety

As for safety, this BR-V S variant is equipped with essential features such as anti-lock braking system (ABS) with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD), stability control, and dual SRS airbags.

With the said safety features, you’ll be confident whenever you take the BR-V out for a drive within the city or for a road trip outside the metro. It also comes with child safety lock, ISOFIX, hill start assist, among others.

2020 Honda BR-V Review: Engine and Performance

Under the hood, this 2020 BR-V S is equipped with a 1.5-liter SOHC i-VTEC gasoline engine that delivers 118 hp and 145 Nm of torque. The engine is mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The BR-V’s 1.5-liter engine is capable when we drove it around the city.

Power delivery is adequate and enough to get you around the streets of Metro Manila comfortably but don’t expect the engine to be that sprightly. If you want to have a more spirited drive, just shift the gear to S, which is the equivalent of Sport mode.

With the S gear engaged, the BR-V comes to life and shifts at a higher rpm, which is handy when you want to overtake vehicles on the expressway.

2020 Honda BR-V engine

Honda BR-V's 1.5-liter engine delivers 118 hp and 145 Nm of torque

The BR-V also has a light steering feel that helps you maneuver tight streets or steer the vehicle when you’re parking. Forward visibility is also good but not until you find yourself driving under the sun. The dashboard casts a reflection on the windshield, which hinders the driver’s view to a significant extent. On the other hand, we also give a thumbs up to the BR-V’s ride comfort as it can absorb impacts from potholes and dilapidated roads within reason.

2020 Honda BR-V full front

What are you looking at?

In terms of fuel economy, this BR-V registered 11 km/l while driving it around the city with an average speed of 40 km/h (driver only no passengers on board). The said rating is not bad at all and we’re certain that the BR-V’s fuel efficiency rating will significantly increase once it’s driven on the open highway at a constant speed.

2020 Honda BR-V Review: Conclusion

So, what are the reasons that make the BR-V one of the best-selling vehicles of HCPI? Well, during our time with this vehicle, we realized three things.

The BR-V’s exterior is still one of the best-looking in the market today, and you just can’t help but admire its aggressive design.

The interior cabin space, with emphasis on the third-row seats, of the BR-V is roomy which further makes it a contender in the arena of seven-seater vehicles.

2020 Honda BR-V full rear

The Honda BR-V S variant is priced competitively

Third, this 2020 BR-V S variant is priced competitively at Php 1,035,000 as of this writing, which is 1K cheaper as compared to the entry-level Toyota Innova variant that comes with a manual transmission. If you compare its pricing to its segment rivals, the BR-V S variant is still priced competitively.

The Mitsubishi Xpander Cross is priced at Php 1,255,000 (+220K) while the Suzuki XL7 has a price tag of Php 1,068,000 (+33K), and the seven-seater Toyota Rush is at Php 1,100,000 (+65K). Prices shown are updated as of this writing.

Those are the reasons why the Honda BR-V is still standing strong in the local market. Overall, the 2020 Honda BR-V is worth considering if you’re looking for a seven-seater vehicle that comes with aggressive exterior design and spacious interior cabin.

2020 Honda BR-V Review: Price and Variants

Honda BR-V price in the Philippines - 2020

Variants
Price
BR-V 1.5 S CVT
Php 1,035,000
BR-V 1.5 Prestige CVT
Php 1,075,000
BR-V 1.5 V CVT
Php 1,155,000

>>> Monthly-updated price list of all car brands

2020 Honda BR-V Review: Specs

Overall
Make
Honda
Name
BR-V 1.5 S CVT
Body Type
Compact Crossover
Dimensions & Weight
Length
4,453 mm
Width
1,735 mm
Height
1,666 mm
Wheelbase
2,662 mm
Ground Clearance
201 mm
Curb Weight
1,240 kg
Seating Capacity
7
Cargo Capacity (3rd Row Up)
223 liters
Cargo Capacity (3rd Row Folded)
470 L (Folded) / 521 L (Tumbled)
Turning Radius
5.6 m
Engine & Transmission
Type
SOHC i-VTEC
Fuel Supply System
Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI)
Engine Displacement
1,497 cc
Max Power
118 hp @ 6,000 rpm
Max Torque
145 Nm @ 4,600 rpm
Transmission
Earth Dreams Continuously Variable Transmission
Fuel Tank Capacity
42 liters
Emission Rating
EURO 4
Steering
Gear Type
Rack & Pinion
Power Steering
Electric Power Steering
Steering Wheel Material
Urethane
Steering Wheel Controls
With (Mode, Volume, & Channel)
Steering Wheel Adjustment
Tilt
Exterior
Headlights
Halogen Projector Type
Fog Lights
With
Side Turn Signal Lights
With (Door Mirror Mounted)
Tail Lamp
LED
High-Mount Stop Lamp
With (LED)
Door Handles
Body Color
Door Mirror Color
Body Color
Antenna
Mirco Type
Front Wipers
Intermittent w/ Washer
Rear Wiper
With
Bumper Skid Garnish
Black
High-Mount Stop Lamp
With (LED)
Interior
Audio System
7" Touchscreen Audio
Connectivity
Bluetooth, Audio Streaming, and USB
Speakers
4
Airconditioning System
Manual with Digital Display
Tachometer
With
Speedometer
With
Fuel Level
With
Accesory Socket (12V)
With
Map Light
With
Dome Light
With
Dome Light
With
Rear View Mirror
With (Day & Night)
Power Windows
With (Auto Up/Down for Driver)
Power Door Locks
With
Bottle Holders
4
Cup Holders
5
Shift Knob Material
Urethane
Sunvisor
With (Vanity Mirrors)
Door Pockets
Front and Rear Doors
Safety & Security
Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
With
Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD)
With
Vehicle Stability Assist
With
Reverse Camera
With
Seatbelt Reminder
Driver & Front Passenger
Child Safety Lock
With
Child Seat Anchor (ISOFIX)
With
Secutiry Alarm
With
Hill Start Assist (HSA)
With
Immobilizer
With
Dual SRS Airbags
With (Driver & Front Passenger)
Keyless Entry System
With
Suspension
Front
MacPherson Strut w/ Stabilizer
Rear
Torsion Beam
Brake
Front
Ventilated Disc
Rear
Drum
Tires & Wheels
Tire Size
195 / 60 R16
Wheel Size and Type
16 x 6 Alloy
Spare Tire
Steel

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Author

Martin Aguilar

Martin is the Content Editor of Philkotse. Aside from his interest in cars, he loves to read crime-thriller novels, play basketball (note: video game only), eat tapsilog, and go for random road trip adventures.

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