Honda BR-V, heard of it before? Well, this was a good try by Honda to beat the segment leader, Maruti Suzuki Ertiga. The two Japanese twins, Honda and Maruti Suzuki, both took a different approach in building the car. Ertiga being more on the sophistication side whereas the Mobilio or BR-V were funky and robust. Maruti Suzuki only had only one offering in this segment until now (More on that some other day). Mentioning the MPVs above, Honda had two offerings in the same segment, namely, Mobilio and the BR-V.
In 2014, Honda came up with the Mobilio and in 2016 launched the BR-V. But was launching a car of the same segment a good idea? before answering the question let us see what both of the cars had to offer.
Engine and Transmission
Both the Hondas shared the same powertrain and drivetrain. Talking about the engine, the MPVs came with the option of a Diesel and a petrol engine. The Diesel was the same old 1.5-litre i-DTEC 4 cylinder engine that produced 100ps of max power and 200 Nm of peak torque. The diesel engine was mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox and unlike the petrol, it didn’t have an automatic.
On the other hand, the petrol engine was a 1.5-litre 4 cylinder i-VTEC capable of producing 119ps of peak power and 145 Nm of max torque. Well, this came with either a 5-speed manual transmission or a CVT automatic.
|Engine||1.5-Litre i-DTEC Turbodiesel||1.5-litre -VTEC Petrol|
|Transmission||6-speed MT||5-Speed MT / CVT Automatic|
Even the driving dynamics of both the MPVs were identical and both handled with ease all thanks to the nimble engine and light steering.
The interior is the first thing that differentiated both the MPVs from each other. More or less, they share some elements but still one could differentiate between the two.
The MPV, Mobilio was based on the Brio’s platform hence it was no surprise that it shares the interior too. Well, of course apart from the 3rd and the second row of seats. The dash was straight borrowed from the Brio, even the instrument cluster and the steering were all carried over. At the initial stages in 2014, Mobilio was fairly equipped but with time, Honda just forgets about Mobilio.
Instead of facelifting the Mobilio, Honda came up with another MPV in the almost the same price range, the BR-V. The new MPV got a ton of changes on the inside, including a new dash, a new steering wheel, and added features. The features included automatic climate control, a sunroof, a digital readout on the instrument cluster. But it was obvious, BR-V was a premium over the Mobilio.
Like the inside, there were no major differences in terms of safety. Both Mobilio and BR-V came with ACE Body by honda, had dual front airbags, and more. The only difference was the safety features variant wise.
Mobilio and BR-V both shared the same Brio’s platform, but it was the BR-V that was less obvious of using it. With changes on the inside, the BR-V got major changes on the outside too.
As said earlier, Mobilio not only cheated the interior but also the exterior in the test. Honda Mobilio shared the same front the the the width of the vehicle was identical. So, like the Brio, Mobilio got conventional reflector tye halogen headlamps and slight changes on the inside, which included the rear AC vents.
Similar to the inside, the outside of BR-V was a bit more premium over the Mobilio. There were additional features on the exterior such as robust and bold looks, projector setup for the headlamps, and more.
Why did Honda BR-V fail?
First things first, Honda BR-V was a really good MPV and a perfect vehicle to rival the likes of Maruti Suzuki Ertiga. But introducing a similar MPV in the same price bracket in was nobody in India liked Never the less, saying Mobilio failed not a good idea as the car sold in large numbers, more so, that it gave make Maruti sweat. Sure the BR-V was up with features and built quality, it was the price that made the car a not so good choice. The BR-V was significantly priced above the Mobilio making it less of an affordable vehicle.