It goes without saying that manual transmission is becoming more of a niche offering nowadays. While it's still available in some sports cars, fleet models, and pickup trucks, you're more likely to find an automatic or CVT in several entry-level or mid-grade variants in most brand-new automobiles today.
Just take a look at the Hyundai Stargazer and Toyota Veloz. These two 7-seaters only come with a self-shifting transmission which makes it more convenient for drivers to use them while ferrying the family on a long drive. So why did Honda Cars Philippines Inc (HCPI) launch the 2023 BR-V with a 6-speed manual gearbox option?
While CVTs, automatics, and dual-clutch transmissions are now more popular, HCPI said that there is still market demand for the humble manual transmission. According to Maiko Viar, Section Manager for Product Planning, cars such as the BR-V when equipped with a 6-speed manual gearbox is still popular with buyers, particularly those living outside Metro Manila, specifically in the provinces.
HCPI also expects that despite the CVT models taking the bigger share of the sales, around 5 to 10 percent will make up the manual versions. That figure may be small, but with buyers in the province still preferring stick-shift, Honda believes there is still enough demand for manual gearboxes.
Despite serving as the entry-level version, the BR-V 1.5 S M/T still comes with plenty of amenities shared with its CVT siblings. It gets a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay & Android Auto, LED headlights, power-adjustable side mirrors, a driver's seat height adjuster, and a host of airbags. It even gets a long list of safety features like anti-lock brakes, vehicle stability assist, hill-start assist, security alarm, and an immobilizer.
For customers who are looking for a 7-seater but still prefer to row their own, the 2023 Honda BR-V is one of those vehicles that come with plenty of niceties.