PETALING JAYA: Honda says a shift in local SUV/crossover ownership behaviour is encouraging it to introduce the seven-seat BR-V.
While the BR-V was built ostensibly to cater to big families, Honda is also trying to make a persuasive case for smaller families to acquire it, saying that smaller families are now also buying big passenger-carrying SUVs.
Citing an example, a Honda spokesman said: “It could be that a family of four would still buy it and use it to visit ageing parents staying in another part of the country.” And the extra space in the BR-V, he said, would come in handy to pick up extra passengers without the inconvenience of enlisting a second vehicle.
Fair enough. With Malaysians enjoying a number of “balik kampung” holidays such as Chinese New Year, Hari Raya and Deepavali every year, a people carrier that looks good would be an ideal vehicle to use for the style-conscious buyer.
Talking up the comfort levels in the third row, the Honda executive also said it would be a comfortable space even for senior citizens if they realise they could have more space by sliding second row seats forward. Like the second row, the backrest are also reclinable.
These were some of the nuggets of information glimpsed at a media briefing by Honda Malaysia during a drive in Bangkok last month.
The BR-V is an Asean project originating in Thailand and the model made its world debut in Indonesia last year before going on sale there and in Thailand, the Philippines and India.
It will soon make its Malaysian debut in the first quarter of 2017.
At the media briefing, Honda described the BR-V as “an exciting product” as it is the first time it is building a 7-seat crossover in this segment, and which will be priced affordably. In Thailand, the BR-V is also sold as a 5-seater. The 7-seater is priced at 820,000 baht (RM102,000) while the 5-seater is 750,000 baht (RM94,000).
It also described the exterior and interior design concepts as well as touch on the 1.5l-i-VTEC engine and the newly developed CVT. The engine is able to run on E85 biofuel.
With output at 118hp, ground clearance at 201mm and standard boot space at 223l, these are the highest figures in the segment, said Honda.
Safety equipment in the BR-V is commendable as it comes with hill-start assist, rear-parking camera, dual airbags and traction and stability control systems.