Pitting the 2023 Honda BR-V against one of its closest rivals, the Toyota Veloz
Last week, Honda Cars Philippines Inc (HCPI) officially launched its newest (and probably most popular) vehicle in its lineup today, the 2023 BR-V.
With the vehicle set to take on the likes of the Hyundai Stargazer, Mitsubishi Xpander, and Nissan Livina, Honda’s 7-seater has come out swinging. But while it already has a glowing reputation in the country, there is now also the Toyota Veloz which the Honda BR-V has to square up against.
That’s right, it’s time for another edition of a spec check - the 2023 Honda BR-V versus the 2022 Toyota Veloz. Which of these 7 seaters offers value for money, a roomier cabin, and peace of mind when you’re out on the road? Let the games begin!
Bring Out The Measuring Tape
Right, let's get down to brass tacks. While they may be seen by many as compact vehicles, that doesn't mean they lack cabin space for both passengers and cargo. But which of the two actually offers more room while still keeping their dimensions relatively small?
First up is the Toyota Veloz which measures 4475mm long, 1775mm wide, and 1700mm tall. Since it shares the platform with the Avanza, the Veloz has a similar wheelbase that comes in at 2750mm. For peace of mind, while going over rough terrain, Toyota says it has a ground clearance of 190mm. Impressive, but the Honda BR-V is slightly longer and wider than the Veloz.
The 2023 BR-V has a length of 4490mm, a width of 1780mm, and stands 1685mm tall (1.5 S M/T is slightly shorter at 1651mm). Despite being longer than the Veloz, it only has a 2700mm wheelbase which is 50mm shorter than the Veloz. And while the Veloz is marginally taller than the BR-V, the Honda does have better ground clearance which is at 207mm.
Looking at the dimensions of the two vehicles, the Veloz offers more cabin space and headroom thanks to its longer wheelbase and tall height. However, the BR-V is longer and wider in overall size and offers more peace of mind when going over terrain thanks to its higher ground clearance.
Having a spacious interior is one thing. But in order to truly maximize a vehicle’s cabin, it also has to have plenty of amenities and features. Both the Veloz and BR-V are fully-loaded to the brim but which of the two actually comes with the most?
All models of the BR-V are equipped with a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system complete with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth, and USB connectivity. All variants even benefit from a push-button engine start, rear A/C vents, speed-sensing door locks, a driver’s seat height adjuster, 60:40 split-folding second-row seats, 50:50 split-folding third-row seats, and redesigned climate control/manual air-conditioning panel. Other available features present in the 2023 BR-V include smart keyless entry, a 6- or 4-speaker sound system, leather or fabric seats, charging ports for all rows of seats, front and rear center armrests, remote engine start, and a leather-wrapped (or urethane) steering wheel.
The Veloz also comes with a touchscreen infotainment system like the BR-V. But whereas all variants of the Honda are equipped with a 7-inch display, the Veloz is available with either a 9-inch or 8-inch monitor, depending on the model chosen. Despite the difference in size, both come with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, and USB connectivity. As a neat extra, the touchscreen even gets intelligent voice control. All variants of the Veloz also come with; speed-sensing door locks, smart keyless entry, push-button start, automatic climate control, a 6-speaker sound system, a wireless phone charger, charging ports for the front and rear occupants, 60:40 split-folding second-row seats, 50:50 split-folding third-row seats, leather-fabric interior, an electronic parking brake (BR-V only has a manual lever), and a tilt/telescopic steering column (BR-V only gets a tilt-adjust steering column).
After seeing and comparing the long list of equipment available for each, it seems both vehicles are evenly-matched when it comes to interior amenities. Perhaps the only advantage the BR-V has over the Veloz is that it’s available in 4 variants while the Toyota only comes in two models.
The Veloz and BR-V may come from different brands and have a varying list of features and amenities. But if there's one similarity both vehicles share, it's the fact that they have a 1.5-liter naturally-aspirated four-cylinder under the hood.
The Veloz is powered by a Dual VVT-i inline-four dubbed the 2NR-VE. It makes 106 PS at 6000 rpm and 138 Nm of torque at 4200 rpm. No manual gearboxes here as the Veloz only comes with CVT driving the front wheels.
Over to the BR-V, it gets the 1.5-liter L15ZF i-VTEC engine which is shared with the City, City Hatchback, and HR-V S. It puts out 121 PS at 6600 rpm and 145 Nm of torque at 4300 rpm. It too comes with a CVT but it's also available with a 6-speed manual transmission for the entry-level 1.5 S M/T.
With the BR-V making the most out of the 1.5-liter engine, customers looking for a fuel-efficient and powerful motor might be attracted to the L15ZF. And since Honda is the only one to offer a 6-speed manual version, customers who still prefer to row their own can get the BR-V with the good ol’ stickshift.
Intelligent Driver Aids
Aside from sharing 1.5-liter engines, the Veloz and BR-V are also available with intelligent safety features.
The top-of-the-line 1.5 Veloz V CVT is equipped with Toyota Safety Sense which gives it automatic high-beam, blind-spot monitor, lane-departure assist, front departure alert, a pre-collision system, and rear-cross traffic alert. Unfortunately, the Veloz doesn't come with adaptive cruise control, so drivers going on a long drive via expressways will have to do without one.
For the first time, the BR-V is now available with Honda Sensing. This gives the all-new 7-seater smart driver aids like auto high beam, collision mitigation braking system, lane-keeping assist, lane departure warning, and road departure mitigation. Last but not least, the BR-V is available with adaptive cruise control, something the Toyota Veloz can only wish to get.
So the BR-V is the only one to come with adaptive cruise control in this comparo. However, the Veloz is the only 7-seater in this spec check to come with a blind-spot monitor. With that, it looks like each vehicle has a unique advantage over the other.
Safety on All Points
Aside from having a suite of intelligent driver aids, the Veloz and BR-V are fitted with a long list of safety features.
Each and every model of the BR- get dual front and side airbags, a reverse camera with guidelines, anti-lock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution, brake assist, vehicle stability assist, hill-start assist, a security alarm, an immobilizer, and ISOFIX rear child seat anchors. Only available on high-grade variants, however, are side curtain airbags, LaneWatch, parking sensors, and seatbelt reminders for the rear passengers.
Over to the Veloz, all models are fitted with 6 airbags (dual front, dual front side, and dual curtain), anti-lock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution, brake assist, hill-start assist, vehicle stability control, an immobilizer, and a security alarm. It also gets a reverse camera and rear parking sensors. However, only the top-of-the-line version comes with a 360-degree panoramic view monitor for improved visibility all around.
If there’s one thing we can be certain about these two vehicles, it’s that both are packed to the brim when it comes to safety equipment. Sure, one may have a slight advantage over the other, but after comparing the full list of safety features, the Veloz and BR-V are closely matched in vehicle safety.
How much is it?
We’ve now come to what is perhaps one of the most important questions, the price.
The Honda BR-V is available in four distinct variants and starts at PHP 1.090 million with the 1.5 S M/T. It’s then followed by the 1.5 S CVT which retails for PHP 1.150 million. Up next is the 1.5 V CVT which has a sticker price of PHP 1.295 million. But if you really want the fully-loaded offering, there’s the 1.5 VX CVT with Honda Sensing that can be yours for PHP 1.390 million.
The Veloz, on the other hand, is only offered in two variants. First up is the entry-level 1.5G CVT which is currently selling for PHP 1.210 million. The fully decked-out variant, meanwhile, is the 1.5 V CVT which will see customers shell out PHP 1.265 million.
The Veloz may only have lesser variants in the market. But Toyota was ultimately able to equip both the 1.5G and 1.5V CVT variants of the Veloz with plenty of features. As for Honda, they can lay claim to having a 6-speed manual version that is significantly cheaper than the Veloz which only comes with a CVT. In addition, the most affordable CVT variant of the BR-V starts at PHP 1.150 million while the Veloz 1.5G CVT is slightly more expensive by several thousand Pesos.
As 7-seater vehicles continue to become more popular in the country, it’s no wonder automakers are continually busy launching and revealing three-row vehicles, whether be it big or small. With HCPI banking on the popularity of the BR-V, the launch of the all-new version could help attract more buyers who want the signature “H” badge.
But with the Toyota Veloz already receiving a headstart earlier this year, Honda may have to do some catching up to fill up reservation slots, as well as attract more customers to their latest 7-seater vehicle.