Update: Prices for the 2023 Honda BR-V start at P1,095,000 and not anymore P1,100,000. This has been corrected below.
The 2023 Honda BR-V has finally reached Philippine shores. Now on its second generation, the new BR-V builds on where the previous generation left off by emphasizing more on its crossover SUV positioning. As a result, you now have a vehicle that’s more cohesively designed inside and out, as well as having class-leading driving dynamics.
Familiar But Cohesive Exterior
First and foremost, let’s talk about its styling. Gone are some of the awkward creases of the previous model. In its place is a much more mature and straightforward design that, while it isn’t as groundbreaking as the Hyundai Stargazer, it’s still a handsome-looking MPV crossover thing nonetheless.
Four variants are available: S MT, S CVT, V CVT, and VX CVT. The S variants already come with LED headlights, foglights, and taillights as standard, but the S MT only makes do with 16-inch steel wheels. The rest of the range comes with 17-inch two-tone alloy wheels while moving up to the mid-spec V CVT adds chrome door handles, smart entry, and silver faux skid plates. The range-topping VX CVT now comes with a gloss black grille and a blind spot camera that Honda calls LaneWatch.
Function Over Form Interior
As for the interior, the design is very straightforward, though it lacks any sort of character unlike the Hyundai Stargazer. Material quality has significantly improved, with even the top-spec VX CVT benefitting from a padded leatherette dash. As for some of its features, all variants come with push button start, an 8-inch touch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a 12-volt socket on the first two rows. Stepping up to the V CVT adds leather upholstery, leather steering wheel, remote engine start, and automatic climate control. Lastly, the range-topping VX CVT gets stuff like a color multi-information display, as well as rear seatbelt reminder.
The driving experience behind the wheel of the 2023 Honda BR-V is quite interesting. Powered by a new 1.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine, it now has dual overhead cams (DOHC) as opposed to the SOHC of the previous engine. While power is roughly the same at 121 hp and 145 Nm of torque, these are still class-leading numbers.
A Drive That’s Sportier Than Most
As mentioned, a 6-speed manual is available for the S variant, but Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. (HCPI) only provided us with the three CVT variants on offer. Regardless of which variant you choose, all have a similar driving experience that leans on a no-frills experience. On the upside, while this segment isn’t known for sporty handling–the BR-V included, its steering and suspension lean toward the sportier side of things. Even then, ride comfort is still very good, with the suspension absorbing bumps really well, and the significantly more rigid Honda City-based structure minimizing vibrations as it enters through the cabin.
Road noise, however, is present, though it’s still a significant improvement from the older model. Fitted with a CVT, power is delivered in a linear manner, though when digging deep through the pedal, the engine flares up in typical CVT fashion that holds the revs while you build up speed. And while the BR-V isn’t a sportscar, the acceleration provided by the class-leading engine is much better than everyone else’s.
Also interesting is the fact that the VX CVT variant comes with the full suite of Honda Sensing driver-assistance tech. While it gets automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, and automatic high beams, it’s the only one in its segment to get adaptive cruise control–which is very convenient for long drives. This comes on top of the reverse camera, electronic stability control, hill start assist, and the usual suite of airbags that are standard on all variants.
The 2023 Honda BR-V is now on sale in the Philippines. To make matters even more enticing, HCPI assures that in the midst of a shortage of new cars, the new BR-V will be readily available to customers for the coming months. Here are the (image) prices of the new BR-V, which means these are just introductory:
- VX CVT: P1,390,000
- V CVT: P1,295,000
- S CVT: P1,150,000
- S MT: P1,090,000