Proof of the All New Honda BR-V in the Expedition to Tana Toraja

 The All New BR-V is Honda's latest model in the low SUV market that offers seven-seater capability. The updates given to this latest generation BR-V are significant. Honda changed the appearance of the exterior, interior and equipped the new BR-V with advanced features and technology. One of them is Honda Sensing, which was previously present in Honda's premium products, now it can be obtained on the low SUV BR-V model.

Proof of the All New Honda BR-V in the Expedition to Tana Toraja

have tried the All New BR-V several times on various occasions. At first the media drive in Central Java, then the opportunity to try it on the urban route of the capital city of Jakarta. Now another opportunity comes with a fairly special route. The All New BR-V Prestige variant with Honda Sensing was brought across various road conditions in South Sulawesi, to be precise on the way from Makassar to Tana Toraja in the north with a slightly twisted route. The Oto.com team drove the All New BR-V through Maros Regency, to the city of Watampone in the east and then continued the journey to Tana Toraja through various cities and back to Makassar.

What is the impression and performance of the latest All New Honda BR-V through almost 1,000 kilometers of this expedition? Let's see together.

Modern SUV Design

The first discussion cannot be separated from the changes in the exterior of the All New BR-V. Honda did not really change the appearance of the concept version that was presented first, the N7X. The latest BR-V uses solid lines along the body of the vehicle to give the impression of a sturdy SUV. The changes on the front are more modern and sporty thanks to the use of a thick grille with LED headlamps that have distinctive LED daytime running light accents and LED fog lamps in front. The rear view is also fresher thanks to the use of the iconic LED rear combi light, with a small stop lamp in the middle. Some say the rear of the latest BR-V is quite simple and not too different from its predecessor, but this is back to a matter of taste. 

Xpedisi Tana Toraja All New Honda BR-V

Regarding lighting, the BR-V's main lamp is able to provide lighting that helps pass the night journey. The Oto.com team travels every day until night with the condition of roads between districts without lighting. For example, on the Maros axis from Makassar to Watampone or from the Pangkadjene area to Enrekang which is winding and from Parepare to Makassar where there are no street lights. Occasionally the Auto high beam feature operates due to winding road conditions and requires extra lighting assistance. However, manual operation of the headlights is still more dominant because it is rare to find other vehicles from the opposite lane.

The main concern is clearly the change in dimensions in the All New BR-V. Although still a low SUV status, the latest BR-V has a length of 4,490 mm, an increase of 34 mm from the previous generation, a width of 1,780 mm - an increase of 45 mm, a height of 1,685 mm - an increase of 19 mm, a wheelbase of 2,700 mm - an increase of 38 mm, and good ground clearance. now it's 220 mm - up 19 mm. The dimensions of this BR-V are still agile to maneuver and are able to pass several small roads encountered by the Oto.com team during the expedition.

The real advantage lies in the ground clearance which gives confidence to pass through various contours of the road. Not infrequently the roads between districts that are passed are in a damaged condition or are being repaired, which makes the BR-V pass through different road heights. The advantages of this ground clearance are also added with 17-inch rims and thicker tires measuring 215/55 R17 which in addition to making the appearance of the BR-V SUV more visible, it also has cruising power on various terrains. Unfortunately, these rims and tires were later sacrificed for the high ground clearance of the BR-V by receiving damage during passing through damaged roads during the expedition. Luckily, the team was still able to complete the journey until the last day without having to replace the spare rim with a smaller, space safer type after accidentally falling into a hole and being hit by stones many times.

MPV-Enabled Interior

This is indeed the value that the Honda design team pursued in the development of the BR-V. The ability of seven passengers in the low SUV segment is not arbitrary to highlight. Unfortunately, in this expedition the third row was not used at all and was used for luggage space. Thanks to the dimensional changes described above, there is no difficulty in putting three 30 liter suitcases in the rear trunk as well as a few additional carry-on bags.

Practically during the expedition, the first row became the main stage with the occasional addition to the second row. The second row is transformed into additional storage for quick access to documentation equipment during the trip as well as additional food and beverages in addition to the storage compartments on the left and right of the first row.

The discussion of the first line is on the driver's side. Honda made a taller center console to help the driver focus. This is indeed felt throughout the journey where driving this SUV rarely takes your eyes off the road. If you look at the passenger side of the first row, the dashboard gives an empty impression, only the air conditioning blowhole and storage are present. All entertainment access and also vehicle information can be done from the buttons on the left and right of the steering wheel, although for some MID access it takes a little study of the buttons. For example, if you have to press a button, the cooling and head unit settings can be easily reached using the driver's left hand.

In the meter cluster, there is a 4.2-inch TFT screen without color. Various information is provided on this screen such as fuel consumption, trip measurement, outside temperature and clock in a wide display. This screen is also a place for setting various vehicle features such as keyless access, lighting, door and window operations as well as setting Honda Sensing features. During the trip the fuel and distance calculation features become the most viewed.

Along the way, the seven-inch head unit is a major concern. This touch screen displays a variety of entertainment features. Most helpful is the direct connection of Android Auto or Apple CarPlay made with a USB cable to the mobile device via the USB port on the center console. The most used features in mobile phones are navigation and entertainment such as Youtube and Spotify. Navigation directly appears on the main screen, making it easy for drivers to get directions, including voice commands that are present, which are transmitted to the six speakers in the cabin. This makes the driver not lose focus on the main job, namely driving and seeing the condition of the road ahead.

Another significant change is the tightness of the cabin which adds to the comfort while driving. Honda did mention that the noise and vibration dampening side is also improved. Along the way there were no significant disturbances in terms of engine noise, roads between districts and when it was raining. Some of the areas that have been improved to create this tightness include the engine head cover, urethane cover, side mounted dynamic module, trans mounting and torsion rod mounts to reduce engine vibration and noise. Several other areas such as the sound insulation system, rear fender, bottom cover and hood were improved as well as the additional use of spray foaming in the body panel area. As a result, along the way both passengers and drivers enjoy entertainment to the fullest.

Proof of Machinery and Control

We arrive at the main menu of this discussion. we does have a question about the capability of the 1.5L All New BR-V engine which has not changed from the previous model, especially on roads between cities outside Java. Moreover, the performance of this engine is coupled with various major changes in the control side which is the main attraction on the way to Tana Toraja.

Initial discussion of sitting driving position. The All New BR-V gives the impression of a high viewing angle with the ease of manual seat adjustment and tilt steering wheel. Touching the steering wheel of the latest BR-V is reminiscent of the size of the steering wheel of the City Hatchback and several other Honda models. The width is right and comfortable in the hand thanks to the leather material that does not cause sweat. This leather material is also found in the upholstery. The first impression is on the seats of the latest BR-V, for drivers with an above average width, this SUV seat design feels small. This is because of the presence of lumbar support on the left and right of the driver's seat which is thick. However, after several adjustments, including the height of the head rest, this seat design affects the comfort when maneuvering to keep the body position in check.

The high viewing angle also results in a wider field of view for the driver. The All New BR-V provides a wide viewing angle thanks to the angle of the windshield that is not too sloping and the A-pillar which is not too big. There are indeed a few obstacles when facing a road with a nearly 180 degree turn where the A pillar covers the view but this can be overcome by slightly changing the sitting position before entering the corner.

In terms of control, the All New BR-V feels good. The steering is relatively light when rotated and provides accurate feedback to the driver. During crossing inter-regency or urban roads that are decorated with straight roads, the steering feels stable. When in mountainous areas with winding tracks, the steering wheel easily translates the driver's wishes to maneuver left and right.

The control of the latest BR-V is also the result of changes that are embedded in the chassis and suspension side of the vehicle. The All New BR-V's suspension is quite hard when used at low speeds, but this has an effect on stability at high speeds and when maneuvering. Honda increased the rigidity of the MacPherson Strut front suspension and changed the rear suspension geometry to take advantage of the lightweight Torsion Beam for damping and comfort. The use of a sturdier platform, increased by 24 percent, and lighter makes the symptoms of body roll commonly found in SUV products minimally felt in this latest BR-V.

A little mention about braking performance, the latest generation of BR-V uses ventilated disc braking at the front and drum at the rear. This braking ability is quite convincing while driving inside and outside urban areas. Several times the braking of the All New BR-V saved the expedition team from hitting a hole in the road to avoid serious damage. This braking ability is also felt when descending where vehicle deceleration is needed quickly.

Now talk about performance. Crossing the city of Makassar, which is not much different from the city of Jakarta, the i-VTEC DOHC in-line four-cylinder engine with 120 ps @ 6,600 rpm and 145 Nm @ 4,300 rpm of torque feels perfect. Some small traffic jams with typical stop and go conditions and toll roads for higher speeds can be passed easily also thanks to the use of CVT transmission.

New challenges are felt after the city of Makassar. The team headed to Maros district through the Maros, Camba, Watampone axis with winding road conditions, uphill and not too wide. The condition of this road is then more common along the way to Tana Toraja, which is located in the north of South Sulawesi Province and in mountainous areas. The character of a powerful engine is immediately felt when facing an uphill road. It's quite easy to feel the power supply on the lower rotation since stepping on the gas pedal deeper.

If you are not sure, Honda still provides S and L modes on the transmission lever which can provide faster power in various conditions such as steep inclines or trying to overtake other vehicles. Although it needs a little adjustment for its operation which is only a straight line on the transmission column. Several times the switch from S to D missed into N mode and caused the engine to roar loudly. Another slight drawback that makes the enjoyment of feeling the performance of this machine diminish is the absence of paddle shifts behind the steering wheel which is usually found in other Honda products.

So how about the fuel consumption? In this test, Oto.com departed from the city of Makassar using Ron 90 fuel. The consideration was that there was a fear of difficulty getting Ron 92 fuel in several areas that were passed along the way to Tana Toraja. In addition, according to the instructions at the mouth of the tank, the BR-V receives fuel with a minimum RON of 90. Full filling is carried out before starting the journey and the next filling after passing through the city of Watampone. The total journey to Tana Toraja from Makassaar via the Maros, Watampone, Enrekang routes is about 530 kilometers. Based on MID, the average travel speed is around 26 kilometers per hour with an average fuel consumption of 12.4 kilometers per liter. The condition of the road that is passed mostly is an incline which is quite draining of fuel. However, with the achievement of these consumption figures, for the calculation of out-of-town trips, the All New BR-V can prove a three percent increase in efficiency as claimed.

Calculation of the journey from Tana Toraja back to Makassar, the team chose to use the coastal road which is more gentle and offers many straight paths. During this return trip, it turned out that the fuel available at Tana Toraja was Ron 92 BBM. The return trip distance was 385.3 kilometers with an average speed increasing to 27 kilometers per hour and average fuel consumption to 13.7 kilometers per hour. liter. In total, the entire Tana Toraja expedition covered a distance of 915.3 kilometers with an average speed of 26 kilometers per hour and an average fuel consumption of 12.9 kilometers per liter. Quite impressive.

Convenience of Various Features

Talking about the All New BR-V, don't forget the various features that are offered both comfort and security and safety. Oto.com arrived in Tana Toraja and went straight to several mainstay tourist destinations there such as the Lemo stone tomb, the Kete Kesu traditional house complex, the Lambuang Bori menhir stone tomb and the land above the clouds of Lolai To'tombi. Some of the perceived features include hill start assist to help prevent the vehicle from sliding down during an incline, a rear camera that provides a wide viewing angle for moving backwards and parking sensors for easy parking.

Most helpful is the walk away auto lock feature where the driver just walks away and the BR-V will lock itself. It's important when you want to immediately document pictures and your hands are full of various equipment, which sometimes makes the driver forget to press the vehicle lock button. There is also a remote engine start feature that helps start the vehicle engine to get a cool cabin temperature after being hot outside. Even during the trip, it takes a few tries to be able to feel this feature working quickly.

Not to forget, the variant used during this expedition was the Prestige Honda Sensing variant. This feature consists of several safety features, namely lead car departure notification system, collision mitigation braking system, road departure mitigation, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, auto high beam and additional Lane Watch. Based on the experience of this expedition, Honda Sensing was not felt too much along the way. This also answers the need for safety features such as Honda Sensing when traveling between cities where road conditions vary.

However, that does not mean that Honda Sensing is completely unheard of. Several times the driver feels the presence of a collision mitigation braking system, lane keeping assist and auto high beam on the way, which helps in providing safety while driving. Most noticeable is the presence of LaneWatch which minimizes blind spots on the left side of the vehicle and displays them on the head unit screen. This feature works every time the driver turns on the turn signal to the left so that he can see the condition of the left side of the vehicle clearly.

Conclusion


The All New BR-V is proven to be able to answer all doubts and questions before this Tana Toraja expedition trip. Where is this low SUV car can and is able to pass through various road conditions in South Sulawesi which are more diverse than the island of Java. The matter of performance and efficiency has been well proven. Control also gives a positive assessment including changes in the interior, entertainment and features.

As an assessment, the All New BR-V Prestige with the Honda Sensing feature is now offered at a price of IDR 346.6 million for the Greater Jakarta area. Seeing the minimal use of Honda Sensing along the way, it's a good idea for prospective consumers to also consider several non-Honda Sensing variants such as the Prestige variant which is priced at Rp. 327.6 million, or the E CVT at a price of Rp. 305.3 million. For fans of manual transmissions, Honda still offers the E MT variant at a price of IDR 295.4 million and the S MT at a price of IDR 281.1 million. It should also be borne in mind, for potential consumers who still want the top variant, they must be willing to wait about three months for the pivot time of the product. This is because Honda is still having problems with the shortage of semiconductor chips that plagued various world automotive manufacturers.

However, for potential customers with a capital of IDR 330 million to IDR 340 million and waiting a few months is not a problem, the BR-V with Honda Sensing is indeed a benchmark that is hard to miss. Including for the size of the low SUV product which is now present in Indonesia.

The five-day trip through the South Sulawesi region, from Makassar to Tana Toraja, ended with a satisfied smile. The BR-V has proven itself to be a reliable travel companion with its many advantages. Unfortunately, the offer of convenience for seven passengers on this trip has not been fully exposed. Maybe this will be a separate discussion in the next All New BR-V test.

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