Honda Malaysia launches compact seven-seater BR-V Crossover

The all-new BR-V, enhanced with Modulo package. — Pictures courtesy of HondaThe all-new BR-V, enhanced with Modulo package. — Pictures courtesy of HondaKUALA LUMPUR, Jan 6 — The long awaited all-new Honda BR-V Crossover has finally been officially launched by Honda Malaysia. The Honda BR-V (bold runabout vehicle) was designed by Honda R&D Asia Pacific Co, Ltd (HRAP) for the Asean market, and this is the first HRAP model to be introduced here in Malaysia.

Speaking at the launch, Noriaki Abe, chief operating officer, regional operations (Asia and Oceania) of Honda Motor Co Ltd and president and CEO, Asian Honda Motor Co Ltd said, “Asean is a fast growing and diverse market despite the slow growth recorded last year. We believe that the huge population and continuous spending power will contribute to further growth of automobile market in the region.

“Actually, Honda sales recorded huge surge in this region in the past five years, from approximately 240,000 units to over 400,000 units, which is almost 70 per cent increase.”

“The All-New BR-V we launched today was developed exclusively for the Asean region, and especially for customers who need bigger space. We foresee that the demand for SUV and utility vehicles would grow, reflecting the needs of customers in this region.

“We believe the All-New BR-V will satisfy customers’ needs for vehicles that can fit 7 people comfortably, and also offer brisk driving on various road conditions here in Malaysia.”

Noriaki Abe, COO, regional operations (Asia and Oceania) of Honda Motor Co Ltd and president and CEO, Asian Honda Motor Co Ltd with Katsuto Hayashi, MD & CEO of HMSB.Noriaki Abe, COO, regional operations (Asia and Oceania) of Honda Motor Co Ltd and president and CEO, Asian Honda Motor Co Ltd with Katsuto Hayashi, MD & CEO of HMSB.Managing director and chief executive officer of Honda Malaysia Katsuto Hayashi shared the success of Honda Malaysia in 2016, being the first non-national to achieve second position in overall total industry volume (TIV) and ending the year with a market share of 15.8 per cent and 91,830 units sales, above their target of 90,000 units. As a result of this achievement, Malaysia achieved the second highest market share among Honda’s operations in the world.

The new BR-V is powered by a 1.5L i-VTEC engine coupled with Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT) gearbox which was developed under Honda’s Earth Dreams Technology to improve fuel economy and deliver better driving performance.

Atsushi Arisaka, the large project leader of the BR-V and the chief engineer of Honda R&D Asia Pacific contributed some additional insights regarding the design concept of the BR-V.

He said that HRAP’s mission was to develop new models that contribute to the growth of Honda in the Asean region. Prior to the BR-V, Arisaka was the large project leader of the Mobilio and AMAZE, which share the same platform as the BR-V.

He said, “The all-new BR-V was developed based on the demands and environment in Asia. Here, there is a demand for bigger vehicles because families are bigger and often travel together. We already have the HR-V which caters to the compact SUV segment while the CR-V caters to the SUV segment.

“Our team then came together to develop a vehicle to fill the gap which is affordable for families. As a result, we have the all-new BR-V today, a seven-seater which combines the appearance and handling of a SUV with the utility and space of a MPV.”

Sharing his trials and tribulation, Arisaka added, “We faced three major challenges during the development of the BR-V. First was safety. We had to develop a model that is totally safe to be driven and complies with the five-star Asean NCAP.

“Our second challenge was on the dimensions of the vehicle, stretching it from a small platform to a seven-seater measurement. Eventually we achieved bigger dimension than HR-V for its versatile necessity. Our engineers then faced stability issues due to its higher ground clearance – it is even higher than our CR-V!

“After much problem solving and discussions, the problem was resolved by widening the track to achieve stability. With this, we are able to offer Malaysians a crossover that is the best fit for all the different road conditions.”

He went on to state that “although affordable price is expected in this competitive B-Segment, it was also our challenge not to compromise in features. Daytime Running Light, Roof Rail and 16-inch alloy wheels are standard in terms of exterior and rear air conditioner outlet for maximum comfort. We also prepared the high variant with leather interior, push start & smart entry, rear camera and even more. Airbags, vehicle stability assist, hill start assist are put in as standard safety features.

A set of 16-inch dual tone alloy wheels, a roof rail and daytime running lights (DRL) are part of the package to enhance the rugged SUV-demeanour of the BR-V. Reverse camera and sensors are also available in this full seven-Seater for customers’ convenience.

Inside the BR-V, Honda has taken great care to present stylish and high quality materials but the main draw would be its spaciousness, versatility options for space, cargo and human utilisation, while the rear air conditioner adds to its appeal for passenger use.

The V variant takes it a step higher by providing B-segment premium features such as 6.1-inch display audio and auto air conditioning, push start button and smart entry, leather trims, and leather steering wheels with switch audio control.

The BR-V features multi-configuration seats wherein the second row seats adjusts with an easy one touch tilt and tumble in a 60:40 configuration while third row seats come in a 50:50 tilt and tumnble.

A generous 11 cup holders offer the utility fit for a big family on the go without compromising on the space.

The BR-V is equipped with dual front SRS airbags. It has been awarded five-star Asean NCAP.

Noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) enhancements include bulkhead insulation to muffle sound transmission from engine compartment into the cabin; insulators for back roof lining, hood and doors and reduced steering vibration — the result, is a quiet and comfortable ride for the family.

Honda Malaysia is offering the BR-V in E and V variants. The E variant is priced at RM85,800 (on-the-road with insurance) while the V variant at RM92,800 (on-the-road with insurance).

Available in five colours — Dark Ruby Red Pearl, Modern Steel Metallic, Lunar Silver Metallic, Taffeta White and a brand new colour, Golden Brown Metallic — Honda targets a monthly sale of 800 units.

The BR-V also comes with three versatile accessories packages to further enhance the exclusivity and the practicality of the car.

The Utility Package priced at RM1,280 includes door visor, cargo tray, trunk organisers, sun shade and door protector film. The Urban Package includes tailgate spoiler, running board and side step garnish and is priced at RM2,945. The Modulo Package is priced at RM3,750 and the offerings are front and rear Lower Garnish as well as side under and tailgate spoilers.

On top of the excellent pricing of the BR-V, Honda Malaysia offers fiv years warranty with unlimited mileage at 10,000km service intervals at any of its 88 Honda dealers nationwide.