Review | Introducing the updated Honda BR-V seven-seater

2020 Honda BR-V. Image: Quickpic
2020 Honda BR-V. Image: Quickpic

• Honda BR-V joins Wheels24's test fleet.

• The BR-V received a face-lift in February 2020.

• This is the flagship 1.5 Elegance (manual) model.

Recency bias, as explained by David Manuel is a "phenomenon of a person most easily remembering something that has happened recently, compared to remembering something that may have occurred a while back."

It happens to me when I have a car to review. My eyes 'open' to focus on the car I'm testing and usually I'll say: "there are a lot of x car on the roads, I just didn't notice them before."

And that's been the case with my latest long-term test car: the Honda BRV. And yes, they're extremely popular with e-hailing services, but also with families who use it as a sensible multi-purpose people mover. 

Yes, this isn't a pseudo SUV or crossover. The BRV does what it says on the tin, and earlier in 2020 it received an update. Our test unit is the top of the range Elegance model and retails from R333 300.

What's new?

"Several new technologies have been introduced, including LED daytime running lights, rear parking sensors on the Comfort and Elegance models, as well as an attractive and easy-to-use touchscreen Audio Display for the flagship derivatives. This enhances the value proposition of the BR-V and makes it an even more competitive offering in its segment", Dinesh Govender, GM of Honda South Africa says. 

honda brv

Image: Quickpic

Under the bonnet Honda retains the 1.5-litre i-VTEC four-cylinder engine with 88kW and 145Nm mated to a six-speed manual transmission that is refreshing to use. 

I've missed 'rowing' a manual 'box and even though the BRV doesn't have loads of power it revs high and is moderately enjoyable to drive. The steering offers enough feedback in terms of what the front wheels are doing and the handling is pretty good for an MPV. 

A couple of features I've come to enjoy after a handful of weeks is the reverse parking camera and PDC sensors, it shows up clearly on the infotainment display and has been a boon when navigating shopping parking lots when I head out for essentials. 

The Elegance model adds niceties like keyless entry and start up, while I've enjoyed the comfortable black leather seats. It adds a touch of class to the package. 

honda brv

I'll provide more updates in the coming weeks with more driving impressions and the practicality of the fresher-faced BRV. If you see one out on the road, the easiest way to spot the 2020 model is by its new LED daytime driving lights. 

But don't be like me and suffer from recency bias. 

The entire BRV range come standard with a five-year or 200 000km warranty. Our Elegance model also features a new four-year or 60 000km extended service plan for peace of mind. 

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