Shooting for the stars: Can the 2023 Honda BR-V take on the Hyundai Stargazer?

VJ · Nov 21, 2022 01:00 PM

Shooting for the stars: Can the 2023 Honda BR-V take on the Hyundai Stargazer? 01

The 2023 Honda BR-V is now available in Honda cars showrooms. PHOTO BY MARK JESALVA

The all-new Honda BR-V has been officially launched. And here are the prices of each variant:

  • 1.5 S MT      -  ₱ 1,090,000
  • 1.5 S CVT    -  ₱1,150,000
  • 1.5 V CVT    -  ₱1,295,000
  • 1.5 VX CVT  -  ₱1,390,000

It is a particularly important model for Honda Cars Philippines Inc. because it is the Japanese carmaker’s entry in the hotly-contested subcompact, seven-seater multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) segment.

The BR-V also enters the fray weeks after the official launch of Hyundai’s four-wheel spaceship, the Stargazer MPV.

The Honda may not be as dramatic to look at as its Korean rival, but are there other things that make it stand out in its class? Let’s check out the numbers.

Good width and ground clearance

The BR-V may not be as enormous as the Mitsubishi Xpander or the Nissan Livina, but it holds its own for being one of the widest subcompact MPVs in its class.

Like the Stargazer, the Honda’s class-leading horizontal dimensions will make things more comfortable for passengers. This is a vital selling point in a segment with notoriously narrow cabins.

For those particular with ground clearance, the all-new BRV, the Xpander, and the Livina are the only ones that go past the 200 mm mark.

 

Vehicle

Length

Width

Height

Wheelbase

Minimum Ground Clearance

Wheels (top-spec)

Honda BR-V

4,490 mm

1,780 mm

1,651-1,685 mm

2,700 mm

207 mm

17-inch alloy

Hyundai Stargazer

4,480 mm

1,780 mm

1,695 mm

2,780 mm

195 mm

16-inch alloy

Toyota Avanza

4,385-4,395 mm

1,730 mm

1,650-1,700 mm

2,750 mm

180-190 mm

16-inch alloy

Toyota Veloz

4,475 mm

1,775 mm

1,700 mm

2,750 mm

190 mm

17-inch alloy

Suzuki Ertiga

4,395 mm

1,735 mm

1,690 mm

2,740 mm

180 mm

15-inch alloy

Mitsubishi Xpander

4,595 mm

1,750 mm

1,750 mm

2,775 mm

225 mm

17-inch alloy

Nissan Livina

4,510 mm

1,750 mm

1,695-1,700 mm

2,775 mm

205 mm

16-inch alloy

Shooting for the stars: Can the 2023 Honda BR-V take on the Hyundai Stargazer? 01

The 2023 Honda BR-V's SUV-like silhouette distinguishes it from the typical 7-seater subcompact MPV. PHOTO BY MARK JESALVA

Plush interior

AutoFun Philippines has gotten the chance to sit in the all-new BR-V, and we were impressed by the quality of the materials and construction.

The Honda is available with supple leather in higher variants, making it feel very comfortable. 

 

Shooting for the stars: Can the 2023 Honda BR-V take on the Hyundai Stargazer? 02

As seen at the Philippine International Motor Show last September, the 2023 Honda BR-V's interiors are more upscale and plush compared to other MPVs. PHOTO BY MARK JESALVA

Shooting for the stars: Can the 2023 Honda BR-V take on the Hyundai Stargazer? 03

60:40 split second-row seats tumble forward to allow access to the third row. PHOTO BY MARK JESALVA

Shooting for the stars: Can the 2023 Honda BR-V take on the Hyundai Stargazer? 04

The third row's space is ample, with cup holders and 12-volt sockets available for rear passengers. PHOTO BY MARK JESALVA

Shooting for the stars: Can the 2023 Honda BR-V take on the Hyundai Stargazer? 05

Cargo capacity is compromised a bit in the 2023 Honda BR-V. Other MPVs offer more space. PHOTO BY MARK JESALVA

The 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system isn’t quite as big as the others, but it does make up for this by having competitive cargo capacity.

Shooting for the stars: Can the 2023 Honda BR-V take on the Hyundai Stargazer? 06

The 2023 Honda BR-V's infotainment seems to have the basics covered. PHOTO BY MARK JESALVA

However, the Xpander-Livina duo takes the cake in the hauling stakes with 495 liters with third-row seats up and 781 liters with the third row folded.

Vehicle

Seat Material

Infotainment System (top-spec)

Cargo Space (3rd-row up)

Cargo Space (3rd-row down)

Honda BR-V

Cloth or leather

7-inch touchscreen

244 liters

530 liters

Hyundai Stargazer

Cloth or leatherette

8-inch touchscreen

200 liters

585 liters

Toyota Avanza

Cloth

8-inch touchscreen

N/A

N/A

Toyota Veloz

Cloth and synthetic leather

7-inch touchscreen

N/A

N/A

Suzuki Ertiga

Cloth

8-inch touchscreen

153 liters

550 liters

Mitsubishi Xpander

Cloth

7-inch touchscreen

495 liters

781 liters

Nissan Livina

Cloth or leather

7-inch touchscreen

495 liters

781 liters

Most powerful MPV

There’s no getting around it – the Honda BR-V is the most powerful subcompact MPV around.

It just about pips the Stargazer by using the same 1.5-liter, twin-cam, 16-valve inline-4 gasoline engine found in the City, City Hatchback, and the entry-level HR-V

Shooting for the stars: Can the 2023 Honda BR-V take on the Hyundai Stargazer? 07

When hauling seven people plus cargo, having a powerful engine is an advantage. PHOTO BY MARK JESALVA

As the figures show, most of the power and torque from the BR-V comes in the mid-to-high RPM band. In our initial tests, you had to wind up the engine to enjoy strong acceleration. 

Shooting for the stars: Can the 2023 Honda BR-V take on the Hyundai Stargazer? 08

Honda sticks with its fuel-efficiency-biased CVT in the 2023 Honda BR-V. PHOTO BY MARK JESALVA

The BR-V is available with either a 6-speed manual or a continuously variable transmission, with the older Suzuki Ertiga, Xpander, and Livina still offering outdated 4-speed automatic gearboxes.

Vehicle

Engine 

Gearbox

Power

Torque

Honda BR-V

1.5-liter, twin-cam, 16-valve inline-4 gasoline

6-speed manual or continuously variable transmission

121 PS at 6,600 rpm

145 Nm at 4,300 rpm

Hyundai Stargazer

1.5-liter, twin-cam, 16-valve inline-4 gasoline

6-speed manual or continuously variable transmission

115 PS at 6,300 rpm

144 Nm at 4,500 rpm

Toyota Avanza

1.3-liter or 1.5-liter, twin-cam, 16-valve inline-4 gasoline

5-speed manual or continuously variable transmission 

98 PS or 106 PS at 6,000 rpm 

122 or 138 Nm at 4,200 Nm

Toyota Veloz

1.5-liter, twin-cam, 16-valve inline-4 gasoline

Continuously variable transmission

106 PS at 6,000 rpm 

138 Nm at 4,200 Nm

Suzuki Ertiga

1.4-liter, twin-cam, 16-valve, inline-4 gasoline

5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic

104 PS at 6,000 rpm

138 Nm at 4,400 rpm

Mitsubishi Xpander

1.5-liter, twin-cam, 16-valve inline-4 gasoline

5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic

105 PS at 6,000 rpm

141 Nm at 4,000 rpm

Nissan Livina

1.5-liter, twin-cam, 16-valve inline-4 gasoline

5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic

105 PS at 6,000 rpm

141 Nm at 4,000 rpm

Class-leading safety tech

Safety-wise, Honda went to town by offering its excellent Honda SENSING active safety suite on the top-of-the-line VX.

This includes adaptive cruise control, collision-mitigation braking, lane-keep assist, and lane-departure warning. These are things that the Stargazer also offers.

All BR-Vs come with dual front airbags, with the top-spec VX getting front-side and curtain airbags. Again, these features are available in the Hyundai.

Shooting for the stars: Can the 2023 Honda BR-V take on the Hyundai Stargazer? 09

Honda SENSING along with a full complement of airbags make the 2023 Honda BR-V about even-steven with the Hyundai Stargazer. PHOTO BY MARK JESALVA

The Hyundai and the Honda also get standard traction control and ISOFIX child restraints. As the chart shows, the rest of the MPV class is trailing in the safety department.

Vehicle

Airbags (top-spec)

Traction control (top-spec)

ISOFIX child-restraint anchors

Active safety systems (top-spec)

Honda BR-V

6

Standard

Standard

Lane-departure warning, forward-collision avoidance, lane-keep assist, rear-cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring

Hyundai Stargazer

6

Standard

Standard

Lane-departure warning, forward-collision avoidance, lane-keep assist, rear-cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring

Toyota Avanza

6

Standard

Standard

Blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert

Toyota Veloz

6

Standard

Standard

Lane-departure warning, forward-collision avoidance, rear-cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring

Suzuki Ertiga

2

Not Available

Standard

Not Available

Mitsubishi Xpander

2

Standard

Standard

Not Available

Nissan Livina

2

Standard

Standard

Not Available

A matter of taste

The all-new Honda BR-V is a well-made, well-equipped subcompact MPV that will attract buyers who want the latest in refinement and safety tech.

Price-wise, the all-new Honda BR-V competes well with other subcompact MPVs. But its closest rival, the Hyundai Stargazer, just about undercuts its price.

Vehicle

Price Range

Honda BR-V

 ₱ 1,090,000 to 1,390,000 

Hyundai Stargazer

₱  998,000 to 1,218,000

Toyota Avanza

₱  833,000 to 1,059,000

Toyota Veloz

  ₱ 1,210,000 to 1,265,000  

Suzuki Ertiga

₱  853,000 to 1,003,000

Mitsubishi Xpander

 ₱ 1,050,000 to 1,180,000

Nissan Livina

 ₱ 1,029,000 to 1,209,000

Shooting for the stars: Can the 2023 Honda BR-V take on the Hyundai Stargazer? 10

Overall, the Honda BR-V represents a new generation of subcompact MPVs that take refinement and safety to new levels.

It also caters to people who want a more traditional-looking MPV than the Hyundai Stargazer. A complete comparison test between the two will tell us more.

Are you excited to try out the 2023 Honda BR-V in person?

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