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Honda BR-V vs Hyundai Creta: Comparison Review

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  • May 16, 2016
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Honda enters the compact SUV segment with the BR-V. Can it dethrone the best-selling Hyundai Creta?

 

Honda BR-V vs Hyundai Creta

 

 

Compact SUVs are waving a magic wand of sorts over the biggest challenge buyers encounter when looking for a family car. Aside from our penchant for butch design and the fact that SUVs double up as an object of social status, compact SUVs also bring space and practicality into the equation. It is this balance that attracted buyers to C-segment sedans like iron filings to a magnet formerly, and is now a signature trait of compact SUVs.

 

 

Hyundai Creta vs Honda BR-V

 

 

Hyundai seems to have made a habit of developing award winning packages in every segment it enters. The Hyundai Grand i10, Elite i20 and, more recently, the Creta, have all been honoured with the ZigWheels Car of the Year award in their respective years of launch. And it wasn’t a surprise that the Creta, with its looks, appealing interiors, elaborate feature list and engine options was well-received.  To better a product like this that has rightfully earned its crown can be quite a task.

 

This year though, Honda brings with it the winds of change by entering the compact SUV segment with the new BR-V. And Honda is a brand that buyers wear by. It also has the advantage of being the only genuine 7-seater in its segment. But is this wind strong enough to uproot the foundation of the Creta?

 

 

Honda BR-V vs Hyundai Creta static

 

 

Design:

Honda BR-V: 3.5/5

Hyundai Creta: 4/5

In terms of design, the BR-V isn’t quite the car that will turn a lot of heads. It does have some interesting elements like the bold chrome grille, connecting taillights and funky looking diamond cut alloys. But the fact that its silhouette looks like the Mobilio might be a turn off for many.

 

 

Honda BR-V vs Hyundai Creta rear

 

 

One of the biggest pluses of the Creta's design over the BR-V is its stance which Hyundai has got just right. The Korean car maker has once again used what it calls the Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 philosophy to offer a design that looks handsome and new age. The front with the chrome grille and vertically stacked fog lamps, the side profile with the tall stance and alloy wheels, and the rear with a fauxe skid plate give the Creta a wholesome appeal, something the BR-V misses out on.

 

 

Honda BR-V interior

 

 

Interior:

Honda BR-V: 4/5

Hyundai Creta: 4/5

A lot of buyers have been looking for a genuine 7-seater compact SUV. Except for the jump seat equipped Mahindra Scorpio and the Tata Safari Storme, there were none till now. Honda has very smartly positioned the BR-V for these kind of buyers.

 

 

Honda BR-V third row

 

 

And the good news is that the BR-V is fairly spacious at the back. There is enough room for young kids but it won't be as comfortable for adults on a long journey. Leg room in the second row isn’t compromised either, but shoulder room isn’t enough to seat three adults comfortably. Moreover, the armrest at the centre juts out a bit which could make the third passenger slightly uncomfortable. We would also have liked better under thigh support on all seats.

 

 

Honda BR-V second row

 

 

The BR-V’s dashboard is nicely designed, with neat cuts and a combination of brushed aluminium and piano black to add more character. Quality of plastics in the Honda is decent but doesn’t feel premium, especially when compared to the Creta. The centre console looks borrowed from a car that is a decade old due to the 2 DIN audio system that almost looks aftermarket. Controls are easy and most switches are well within reach though.

 

 

Hyundai Creta dashboard

 

 

The Creta is exactly what a five-seater compact SUV should be like. There is ample knee and leg room at the back, the seat is wide enough for three, and the floor is flat so leg room for the third passenger isn't compromised either. You have bottle holders on each door and a central arm rest to make things comfortable.

 

The Creta lose a few points being just a 5-seater but easily covers it up by offering more than 400 litres of boot space. That said, 223 litres of boot space with proper seating for seven people 7-seater isn’t bad either.

 

 

Hyundai Creta navigation

 

 

Features:

Honda BR-V: 3.0/5

Hyundai Creta: 4/5

For a car that costs over Rs 12 lakh, the BR-V is a bit of a letdown in terms of features. The car misses out on some much needed equipment like a reverse camera, touchscreen infotainment system, navigation, Brake Assist and Electronic Stability Program (ESP), all of which are available in the Creta. In fact, the Hyundai is also slightly better equipped in terms of safety features as its top variant gets 6 airbags as opposed to just front two in the BR-V. Common features between the two include projector headlamps, keyless entry, a start button, rear AC vents and ABS.

 

 

Honda BR-V in action

 

 

Engine and Performance:

Honda BR-V: 3.5/5

Hyundai Creta: 4/5

The BR-V’s diesel motor is the familiar 1.5-litre, four cylinder unit we have already seen in the City, Amaze and Mobilio. The engine makes 100PS of power and 200Nm of torque which is a lot lesser than the Creta's 128PS and 260Nm. And as you take off, the difference is noticeable instantly.

 

The BR-V feels underpowered all the more when fully loaded, especially with its turbo lag. While it does feel energetic once the power kicks in, it simply doesn't feel as spirited as the Hyundai. The 6-speed manual transmission feels slick to use, but shifts could have been smoother.

 

 

Hyundai Creta in action

 

 

The Creta's 1.6-litre diesel motor is mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox, which is the same configuration as the Verna. We've always enjoyed the sprightly feel of the motor, and it's engine is certainly one of the Creta's highlights, given its nifty performance and silky smooth feel.

 

The motor is silent, and the cabin is well insulated which makes driving the Hyundai more relaxed than the Honda. The car is quick to gain speeds and sustaining speeds isn't a problem either. The higher torque output also makes overtaking easier. There is a bit of turbo lag though which forces you to work the gearbox more often, especially in city traffic, but shifts are smooth and precise.

 

 

Honda BR-V driving shot

 

 

Ride and Ease of Driving:

Honda BR-V: 3/5

Hyundai Creta: 4/5

The BR-V's suspension setup is on the stiffer side, despite which the Honda offers a likeable ride quality at low speeds. The Creta feels marginally better though. Go a little faster and the Honda lets in some thuds, especially at the back. Occupants seated in the third row get tossed around over undulations. Parking the BR-V isn’t as easy as the Creta either as it makes do with just parking sensors while the Hyundai offers the convenience of a reverse camera.

 

 

Hyundai Creta action shot

 

 

The Creta's soft suspension setup helps it absorb potholes and undulations extremely well and the car just glides over them without tossing the occupants around. It's lighter steering wheel also makes it easier to manoeuvre, especially in the city.

 

 

Honda BR-V handling

 

 

Handling and Braking:

Honda BR-V: 4/5

Hyundai Creta: 3/5

Handling is one department in which the BR-V clearly betters the Creta. The stiff suspension setup makes it fun to chuck around corners, and grip from the Michelin tyres is good too. But what really helps make the BR-V so much more fun is its precise and well weighted steering wheel. The BR-V sports disc brakes up front and drum brakes at the back. Bite from the brakes is good, so is the stopping power, especially for a car of its size. Most importantly, the BR-V gets ABS as standard across all variants.

 

 

Hyundai Creta handling

 

The downside of the Creta's softer suspension setup is evident once you start pushing it around corners. There is noticeable body roll which is why it doesn't feel very confident and, more importantly, doesn't do justice to the potential offered by the powertrain. The steering is light and lacks feedback which robs you of confidence when driving enthusiastically. And then to make it worse there isn't enough bite from the brakes either despite a similar disc-drum setup as the Honda.

 

 

BR-V vs Creta

 

 

Price and Fuel Efficiency:

Honda BR-V: 4/5

Hyundai Creta: 3.5/5

 

The top-of-the-line BR-V diesel has been priced at Rs 12.90 lakh while the fully loaded Hyundai Creta costs Rs 14.43 lakh (all prices ex-showroom Delhi). In terms of efficiency too, the Honda gains an edge by a whisker, with Honda  claiming 21kmpl. Hyundai on the other hand claims 19.67kmpl for its Creta.

 

 

Honda BR-V

 

 

Verdict:

Honda BR-V: 3.5/5

Hyundai Creta: 4/5

Like I said before, with the Honda BR-V you now have the option of a genuine 7-seater compact SUV, and that is its biggest USP. It has handling working in its favour too. However, these are the only points where the BR-V scores better. The engine isn't punchy enough for a car of its size, and the interiors don't exude the premium feel one would expect. And it doesn't exactly look like an SUV either. Moreover, for the price that it commands, the BR-V's feature list didn't exactly excite us.

 

 

Hyundai Creta

 

 

The Creta on the other hand, although an expensive proposition, has a lot working in its favour. It's features list is longer and it has better quality interiors too. Most importantly, its engine is more powerful and refined and boasts lower NVH levels. It may not handle as well as the BR-V, but it clearly comes out as the better SUV of the two.

Recommended Variant : BRV i-DTEC VX MT

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