The recently concluded 6th Philippine International Motor Show has given a number of new options to the Filipinos. However, one of the important launches of the show include Honda BR-V. Why? That's because Honda has focused on marketing this car as an 'Active Sport Crossover' that has high ground clearance along with unique front and rear design. It will retail for PhP 1 million. In such a space, it does not have any direct competitors in terms of a car built on the same premise. That said though, it does have a competitor when it comes to price and it is the Chevrolet Trax. How do they compare on other fronts and which one is better? Read on to find out:
The BR-V measures 4,456mm in length, 1,735mm in width and 1,665mm in height with a wheelbase of 2,662mm. The Trax is 4,245mm long, 1,775mm wide and 1,670mm tall with wheelbase measuring 2,555mm. However, while BR-V can seat seven, the Trax can only seat 5. Despite having a seating capacity of 7, Honda BR-V has been designed to give tough and rugged appearance on road. While, the Trax design is quite contemporary and demands for a refreshed styling. The BR-V has projector headlamps with LED DRLs up front. It has LED taillamps at the back and gets a Dodge Dart-esque strip that joins the two taillight clusters together. It also gets turn indicators incorporated in the rear-view mirrors. The Trax gets halogen headlamps up front and misses out on turn indicators in rear-view mirrors. The rear has LED taillamps but nothing special apart from that. Those who hate chrome would prefer to go for Trax as BR-V has loads of chrome on it. Neither looks purpose-built but the Trax can carry its stance well.
The interior of BR-V is dark. There are few areas that do not sport black or grey inside the BR-V. However, it does not lack in comfort. Ample amount of bottle holders and cup holders in the cabin are welcome and the silver accents around A/C vents, stereo and steering wheel break the monotony of dark colours. There is automatic A/C, steering-mounted audio controls and 6-inch infotainment unit inside the BR-V. The BR-V's instrument cluster gets three big dials, one for tachometer, one for speedometer and third one being a multi-information display unit. The Trax is no slouch in this area as it gets motorcycle-inspired instrument console, two gloveboxes, six-speaker audio system with Chevrolet MyLink interface. The Trax's interior is not as dark as the BR-V's, however, certain bits like the centre console could be finished in a better manner. The same holds true for the instrument cluster too. The Trax also gets steering-mounted controls audio controls and leather-wrapped steering wheel.
The BR-V comes with a 1.5-litre SOHC i-VTEC petrol engine that churns out 117PS power and 146 Nm of torque. The only transmission option with the BR-V is a CVT gearbox that drives the front wheels. The Trax gets a 1.4-litre ECOTEC turbocharged petrol engine with port injection that delivers 140 PS of peak power and 200 Nm of peak torque. The Trax also gets a 6-speed automatic gearbox as the only transmission option and it powers the front wheels only. However, its engine is environment-friendly as it complies with Euro 6 emissions norms.
For occupants' safety, the BR-V comes equipped with dual airbags, ABS, EBD, stability control, hill start assist and speed-sensitive door locks. In contrast, the Trax has six airbags, traction control, stability control, ABS, EBD and panic brake assist, among other features. However, the BR-V is built on Honda's G-Con structure that makes it quite safe.
Since the BR-V has been based on the Mobilio MUV, it shares its suspension technology with that car. As such, it is quite a comfortable car to go around town in. However, it is the corners that reveal this car's weakness. The same soft-riding suspension is no good when it comes to BR-V's handling, a fact that is amplified when you consider it has extra seats as well to compensate for. The Trax, being the smaller car, it can tackle corners much nicely. Since it has less bulk to carry around, it is not as nervous as the BR-V around corners. However, the suspension may be on the stiffer side for some folks.
None of these cars disappoint as they offer enough value for the money they charge. The BR-V is new to the market and hence, more folks would gravitate towards it. With that said, the Trax is quite competent a car and should not be considered as an afterthought. If you wish to buy a new car which looks contemporary, can seat seven people, is reliable and has a feel-good factor about it, the BR-V should be your pick. For those who like their cars to be simple but raw, prefer them to have a bit of quirkiness about them, want performance but not at the cost of fuel economy and a sporty drive should go for Trax.