Here’s something interesting: Honda’s small crossover offerings go beyond just the CR-V and the HR-V. In foreign markets, Honda also offers something called the BR-V, which is a little van-looking compact crossover, with van-shaped styling but a raised ride height and no sliding doors. Honda markets it as a compact crossover, even though it’s only available as front-wheel drive.
Yes, the BR-V, which stands for “Bold Runabout Vehicle,” at least according to Wikipedia. I say “according to Wikipedia” because I can’t really check Honda marketing materials for this vehicle, as I can’t find a single English-speaking country in which it’s sold. In fact, I discovered the BR-V just the other day when I saw one with Mexican license plates, so they sell it close to the United States — but not in the United States.
I’m not surprised by this, as the market for weird, van-shaped “crossovers” is actually somewhat large in Central America and Southeast Asia, which is another big BR-V market. Indeed, Toyota has something similar called the Avanza, although it’s rear-wheel drive. Still, I was surprised to see a Mexican-market Honda I didn’t know about, so I went home and did some research.
As it turns out, the BR-V is, like I mentioned, a FWD “crossover” with 3-row seating. Its primary market is, indeed, Southeast Asia, and it’s offered with a 1.5-liter 4-cylinder or a 1.5-liter diesel 4-cylinder. Transmissions include a continuously variable transmission or a 5-speed manual, and the car is built in several different plants, all throughout Southeast Asia. It’s 175 inches long, and the gas engine makes 118 horsepower and 107 lb-ft of torque. In Mexico, the BR-V starts around 320,000 pesos, which translates into about $17,000 USD.
It’s an interesting vehicle, and I suspect it wouldn’t sell here, so I don’t fault Honda for skipping the U.S. market — but I was sure surprised to see a “different” Honda crossover out on the road the other day.