Honda have just revealed the next-generation 2022 BR-V, the company’s B-segment 7-seater cross-MPV, to some fanfare in Indonesia. In 2021, it finds itself in a landscape that’s a little more hostile, more dense with competition.
Closer to home, the Mitsubishi Xpander has finally spread its influence into Malaysia while the Toyota Rush has been leading a double life as the Perodua Aruz. The Honda enters the fray among more cost-conscious rivals, and it may have to prove itself all over again to emerge the victor.
Originally slated to debut at this year’s Gaikindo Indonesia International Auto Show (GIIAS) in August, the event has since been postponed to November, forcing the Japanese automaker’s hand to host their own reveal event specifically for the BR-V.
Despite being ostensibly launched, pricing has yet to be confirmed but will reportedly start from around 260 million Rupiah (around RM76,550).
For now, the new 2022 BR-V seems to be following an identical variant breakdown to its predecessor, but with a new Prestige trim line to top off the range. Like the current City, it straddles the line between being truly 'all-new' and substantially upgraded.
Though it shares plenty of bones with the outgoing version, much of this new BR-V’s new look was first previewed in great detail through the N7X (New 7-seater eXcitement) concept by Honda R&D Asia Pacific back in May.
Patent images retrieved from the website of Indonesia’s Directorate-General of Intellectual Property (DKJI) reveal that Honda was happy enough with the concept to finalise it into full production with only minor changes.
It grants the BR-V a front fascia treatment that’s much more consistent with the current corporate design language with even some cues (such as the horizontal chrome grille elements) lifted from the automaker’s other MPV, the Odyssey.
The pronounced nose is capped with Honda’s 'Solid Wing Face' element with flanking L-shape daytime running lights on either side. Within the same enclosure, they’ve also made LED headlights a standard feature with LED positioning lights further down the bumper.
More welcome are the much cleaner side profile that bins the older model’s zig-zaggy shoulder lines and kinked rear door window. Instead, the glass house now more closely resembles the CR-V, which most might agree is a step in the right direction.
The rear end is also considerably neatened out and simplified with the tail lamp clusters that bear relation to the current-generation City sedan with its U-shape illuminator strip.
With the popular original model having made land in showrooms over 5 years ago, there was much to anticipate with the arrival of a replacement. Honda’s roster of standard tech features and equipment has risen considerably in that time, as has its suite of active safety features. With that in mind, how much further does the new BR-V take the game?
The first indication that this new version doesn’t stray far from its roots is its continued use of a sole engine, namely Honda’s naturally aspirated L15ZF 1.5-litre i-VTEC petrol with 121PS and 145Nm of torque driving the front wheels via an Earth Dreams CVT - basically the same updated dual-overhead camshaft 1,497cc unit in the newest City.
This all-new Honda BR-V comes with a choice of 5 exterior colours: Premium Opal White Pearl (new colour variant), Taffeta White, Lunar Silver Metallic, Modern Steel Metallic, and Crystal Black Pearl.
Inside, the BR-V takes a considered but evolutionary step ahead of the older model, retaining a similar dashboard layout and a mixture of dark faux leather and cloth upholstery. An upgraded 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system sits front and centre and is better integrated into the centre stack, offering smartphone connectivity and features through Apple CarPlay.
Besides Honda Lane Watch, by far the biggest and most sweeping update on display here is the offering of Honda Sensing in the range-topping BR-V Prestige , the automaker’s active safety and driver assist suite. The new BR-V has the full roster of Sensing goodies such as Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keep Assist, Automatic High Beam, Road Departure Mitigation, and Lead Car Departure Notification.
Most important here is the addition of camera-based Collision Mitigation Braking System (basically Autonomous Emergency Braking, or AEB), which will apply the brakes if it senses an imminent collision with reaction times much quicker than that of a human being.
We’ve no indication yet when the new 2022 BR-V will making its way across the strait onto Malaysian shores, unfortunately. Given Honda Malaysia’s current backlog of vehicle launches delayed due to health-related restrictions, we reckon that we’re likely to see the 7-seater somewhere in early 2022.
Of course, we’ll keep you all posted if we hear anything about its local arrival.