Ramalkan Harga Kenderaan Anda

Would You Pay RM100k For A Hybrid Honda BR-V e:HEV?


Would You Pay RM100k For A Hybrid Honda BR-V e:HEV?

With both body styles of the Honda City and the upcoming next-generation HR-V prominently featuring the company's i-MMD hybrid drivetrain, what about the 'all-new' BR-V and will it be worth it?

Belive it or not, Honda has quietly become one of the most prominent manufacturer of electrified cars in Malaysia following the double introduction of the City RS and City RS Hatchback e:HEV in 2021.

They both pack the Japanese automaker’s innovative i-MMD (Intelligent Multi-Mode Drive) powertrain that, despite using a 1.5-litre naturally aspirated i-VTEC, motivates the front wheels via an electric traction motor that’s both more responsive and more torque-ey than any combustion engine offered in its class.

2022 Honda City Hatchback RS - i-MMD

It crams so much complexity in such a compact package yet presents an experience to the driver that’s seamless enough to require almost no learning curve. Besides the man-hours spent developing and perfecting it, to even arrive at a point where Honda could offer cars with their i-MMD system to Malaysian buyers required huge investment to support new manufacturing processes, personnel training, not to mention the supply chain acrobatics to keep locally assembled output running at an efficient pace.

However, against all this, all Malaysians have to say about these cars are again reduced to the topic of its price. More accurately, a big chunk of the public’s reaction to the launch of these models were focused around the fact that it’s being sold for over RM100,000.

2022 Honda City Hatchback RS - i-MMD

Specifically, the City RS e:HEV (sedan) goes for RM105,590 while the City RS Hatchback e:HEV is RM107,783. Apparently that violates some unwritten rule that forbids a B-segment non-SUV from costing more than RM100k. Why?

I say that because Honda’s own HR-V, also technically classified in the B-segment, has a starting price of RM104k, meaning you can own the range-topping, most well-equipped and technologically advanced City sedan for only around RM2,000 more than an entry-level HR-V 1.8E. Are we seriously complaining about that?

2022 Honda City RS - i-MMD

If it’s about the gulf in practicality, I can vouch for the City’s versatility and roominess first hand. Honda are pretty much the best in the business with regard to interior packaging and that’s incredibly evident with these newest versions. Inside, they feel as spacious as C-segment rivals from other automakers, leaving the actually larger Civic feeling like it might rival a D-segment vehicle on interior space.

Boot volume, even with hybrid components hidden beneath the floor, stands at 410-litres for the City RS sedan which isn’t far behind the HR-V’s 437-litre advertised capacity. In fact, that’s very comparable unless all you’re carrying are water balloons.

2022 Honda BR-V - Indonesia

Alright, but if it is about sheer volume, there’s no larger B-segment offering from Honda than the BR-V - hence its name. Currently, there are only two variants offered: a 1.5E for RM86,726 and a 1.5V for RM93,420. And of course nobody freaks out because its about RM6,500 south of RM100k.

We already know that a heavily revised version of the BR-V has been launched in Indonesia, meaning a Malaysian debut could be just around the corner. It gains a much-improved equipment list that now includes the Honda Sensing active safety suite but retains the carry-over L15ZF 1.5-litre i-VTEC petrol mill with 121PS and 145Nm of torque.

2022 Honda BR-V - Indonesia

Given that both the City and BR-V share identical underpinnings, it wouldn’t be surprising to learn that the e:HEV powertrain is making its way to the 7-seater crossover. Such a transplant would be an easy procedure. No doubt this move will nudge its price window beyond that feared and foreboding RM100k mark, but so what? Will the i-MMD finally be justified in commanding a steeper price, as apparently it wasn't convincing enough in the City RS and City Hatch RS?

One could argue that the BR-V is an ideal candidate for the petrol-electric hybrid powertrain. Even as a thought experiment, lugging a BR-V fully loaded with passengers and luggage sounds like much too great a challenge for a little 1.5-litre engine to meet with any amount of dignity. Expect plenty of high revving, slow moving, and a prematurely empty fuel tank.

2022 Honda BR-V - Indonesia

That instantaneous 253Nm of torque from the e:HEV’s traction motor seems like the perfect antidote to the BR-V’s struggles. Plus, with the added efficiency of the combustion engine working mostly as a generator to keep the hybrid’s batteries topped-up, a hybrid BR-V could theoretically extract as much as 1,000km on a single tank of petrol from its 42-litre tank since Honda claims the City RS can achieve 3.6-litres/100km in mixed driving conditions.

Given the BR-V’s duties as a daily family commuter and road trip hypermiler, this could be game-changing.

2022 Honda City Hatchback RS - Malaysia

The efficiency, flexibility, and performance benefits between the i-MMD drivetrain and Honda’s conventional atmospheric four-cylinder engines are tangible and become more significant over time. However, access to that technology will cost more money due to the added complexity and raw materials necessary to produce it.

A hybrid BR-V (RS?) e:HEV might well be on the horizon and could be the most impressive application we’ve seen of the i-MMD yet, but will customers pass on a potentially class-leading B-segment 7-seater contender if it’s priced beyond a certain arbitrary number?

Maybe, but that would make no sense.

Jim Kem

Jim Kem

Content Producer

There's just something about cars. It's a conveyance, it's a liability, it's a tool; but it can also be a source of joy, pride, inspiration and passion. It's much like clothes versus fashion. And like the latter, the pursuit of perfection never ends.

Berita Berkaitan


Lihat Kereta Idaman anda dalam App
Muat turun App Sekarang