The Honda BR-V received a mid-life facelift in April, after slightly over three years in the market. Of course, the first country to receive the update was MPV-loving Indonesia, where the seven-seater goes up against the Toyota Rush, Daihatsu Terios, Mitsubishi Xpander and Nissan Livina tag teams. All are essentially three-row budget people carriers with a touch of SUV in their styling, more overtly so for the Rush-Terios.
It’s clear where the inspiration for this facelift comes from. The BR-V’s CR-V-inspired front end receives a black bar across the nose to replace the previous chrome one. There’s still one thin chrome strip linking the headlamps, but the visual effect is of a larger, bolder grille. The projector headlamps appear similar, but there are new (for Indonesia, we already have it) LED daytime running light strips.
It might look similar at a glance, but the bumper has been re-profiled. The side borders now have a vent-like look and they point up towards the headlamps, as opposed to inside towards the grille. The fog lamp surrounds and silver “skid plate” look a lot more elaborate than before.
Those changes are mimicked at the rear, which gets a fancier-looking silver “diffuser” section and bumper side borders that are now filled with vertical reflectors. The reflectors were previously at the lowest part of the bumper, flanking the “diffuser”. The bridge linking the tail lamps is now in chrome. Rounding up the exterior changes are new design 16-inch two-tone alloys.
Some of the changes above are applicable to the top Prestige variant only. We spotted an E-spec car (white car in the gallery, one rung below the Prestige) with an additional chrome bar on the grille, no “wings” for the front/rear skid plates (which is part of an aerokit), a more simple wheel design (both are 16-inch), and red trim bridging the tail lamps. The rear wing on the Prestige is more elaborate, too.
Inside, the dashboard design remains, but Indonesia now gets a Civic FD-style steering wheel that matches Malaysian-spec BR-Vs. Look closer and you’ll find new tweeter speakers, new dashboard trim (brushed grey piece on the passenger side) and an auto function for the air con, which Malaysian BR-Vs already have.
Honda aimed for a sportier feel, and the top spec car’s black-themed cabin gets black leather-trimmed seats with a red spine. That’s matched with red leather pads on the door armrests, and leather wrapping for the steering and gear knob, with red stitching. Honda Indonesia also highlights thicker second row seat cushions and a new centre headrest for the middle row. There’s also a driver seat height adjuster, which we already get in Malaysia.
New equipment for the Indonesia-spec BR-V includes an eight-inch “floating” capacitive touch screen head unit with WebLink (smartphone mirroring) and keyless entry with push start. However, the airbag count is still two, supplemented by ABS, VSA and hill start assist.
The Civic FD steering is reserved for the Prestige, along with things such as leather and red stitching (steering and gear knob), the red leather door armrest pads, leather seats, the new head unit (E gets a 6.1-inch item) and auto air con, among other things.
No change to the powertrain, which links up a 1.5 litre SOHC i-VTEC engine (120 PS, 145 Nm) with a CVT automatic or six-speed manual gearbox. Unlike the Rush and Terios, power goes to the front wheels here.
Four variants of the 2019 BR-V facelift is available in Indonesia – the S MT at Rp 238 juta (RM70,273), the E MT at Rp 252.5 juta (RM74,559), the E CVT at Rp 262.5 juta (RM77,512), and the Prestige CVT at Rp 279.5 juta (RM82,532).
Six colours are available, and they are Tafetta White, Lunar Silver Metallic, Modern Steel Metallic, Crystal Black Pearl, Coffee Cherry Red Metallic and the signature Premium Amber Metallic seen here. The latter two hues are reserved for E and Prestige trim levels. No major changes here, really, and nothing to steal the limelight from the newer people movers mentioned above.