What better way is there to take a vehicle through its paces than to drive it to the limit and attack the mountain passes of Cauayan, Isabela and Baler, Aurora. Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. (HCPI) shepherded select members of the motoring media and did just. Members of the motoring media drove 490kms to see if the newest SUV in town can take the punishment of lead-footed motoring scribes.journalists.
Our journey started with a plane ride to Isabela and then we drove the entire length of the popular surfing destination of Baler. The mediamen were divided into groups of three individuals, with strategic driver changes throughout the route. The organizers saw to it that we experience the BR-V in different modes that tested the SUV’s comfort levels, handling and acceleration. I rode in SUV number two, with colleagues Anjo Perez of Wheels Ph and Eggay Quesada of Autocar Ph. Joining the ride and drive was Atsushi Arisaka, Chief Engineer of the all-new BR-V, who flew in from Thailand just for the event. “The All-New BR-V has exclusive components designed for SUVs, such as revised suspension geometry, enhanced body rigidity, heightened air intake duct position, large tire size, and functional roof rails,” explains Arisaka, during a brief respite during the drive as he talked about Honda’s sub-compact SUV.
The scenic mountain roads of Baler provided the appropriate venue for us to test the overall performance of the SUV. Powered by a 1500cc iVTEC engine, the BR-V’s power plant aggressively roared as we accelerated up the hilly portions of the road. The tires screeched in anger as we took fast corners and clipped the apex of the twisty mountain pass. Despite the aggressive driving, the car felt stable and comfortable enough for my passengers to doze off in la-la land.
As parts of the new road to Baler were still under construction, the experience felt like a rallye stage for us, as it brought back memories of the Honda Media Challenge, where most of us veteran motoring scribes acquired our knowledge in dirt driving. The BR-V took it all in stride, as confidently drove pass the muddy construction works thanks to the 201mm ground clearance.
The drive provided us some engaging experience with the SUV and it allowed us to fully appreciate the BR-V’s innovative technologies, engineering and design inside and out. On top of this, its spacious interior, Honda ‘s latest SUV can accommodate seven people with relative ease, plus an additional 223 liters for cargo space on the third row. The seats can be reconfigured to fit the various cargo hauling needs.
“With this test drive experience, the All-New BR-V proved to be the perfect affordable 7-seater SUV that offers powerful driving performance, comfortable ride, drivability, and versatility with its class leading features,” adds Masanao Kataoka, SAVP and HCPI Adviser for Sales. Kataoka also revealed that 700 units have already been delivered to satisfied customers since December 2016. Prices of the BR-V starts at P989,000 for the entry level 1500cc CVT and up to the top tier 1500cc Navi CVT Modulo variant.