Honda BRV vs XUV500 Comparison Review

Honda BR-V vs Mahindra XUV500 Comparison Review

Why are we comparing these two cars?
Prospective customers looking for a 7-seater SUV, with forward facing third row, in the 15-20 Lakh Rs. range don’t have much to choose from. Till recently, the XUV500 used to be their default choice. But since the advent of the BR-V, the sensible quantum of those prospective buyers has started questioning whether they really need the big, burly, diesel-guzzling and cumbersome vehicle like the XUV500.

XUV500 vs Honda BR-V Video Comparison Review:

Pricing & Features:
The top-of-the-line BR-V ‘VX’ (diesel), costs 15.1 Lakh Rs. on road, Delhi, which is identical to the XUV500 ‘W6’ variant. Interestingly, XUV’s lower-mid W6 variant has a couple more features than BR-V’s top-end ‘VX’ variant. XUV W6 has Parking Sensors, Cornering Lamps, Cruise Control and Rain Sensing Wipers & Light Sensing Headlamps over the BR-V VX, while the BR-V VX has Push Button Start & Smart Key, Alloy Wheels and Leather Upholstery over the XUV W6.

Pricing of other variants:
BR-V V CVT’ petrol-automatic costs 13.75 Lakh
XUV500 ‘W6 AT’ diesel-automatic costs 16.80 Lakh
on road, Delhi

Common Features: ABS, Airbags - 2, AC, Climate Control, Power Steering, Power Windows, Central Locking, Keyless Entry, Stereo: FM, USB, Aux, Bluetooth & 4 Speakers + 2 Tweeters, Steering Wheel Audio Controls, Fog Lamps, Driver's Seat Height Adjustment, Rear Wash-Wipe-Defog, Electrically Adjustable & Folding Mirrors, Projector Headlamps, LED DRLs, Tilt Steering, Boot Lamp, Fuel Computer

Extra Features in XUV500 (W8): Parking Sensors, Cornering Lamps, Cruise Control, Rain Sensing Wipers & Light Sensing Headlamps
Extra Features in BR-V (VX): Push Button Smart & Smart Key, Alloy Wheels, Leather Upholstery

Performance & Drivability:
The BR-V has a 700cc smaller engine than the XUV, but then it weighs 500 kg lighter than the XUV as well. BR-V also has slightly lesser turbo-lag than the XUV, which coupled to its smaller footprint makes it an easier vehicle to pilot in city traffic. XUV’s dramatic sound effects makes it feel much faster than the BR-V in terms of outright acceleration, but BR-V beats the XUV by a small margin on the stopwatch. XUV though has a noticeably stronger mid-range allowing it to pull effortless overtaking maneuvers on the highway. It is also better sound deadened than the BR-V.

Power (PS@rpm): BR-V (Diesel) - 100@3600, XUV500 (Diesel) – 140@3750, BR-V (Petrol) - 119@6600
Torque (Nm@rpm): BR-V (Diesel) – 200@1750, XUV500 (Diesel) – 330@1600-2800, BR-V (Petrol) – 145@4600
Kerb Weight (kg): BR-V (Diesel) - 1275, XUV500 (Diesel) – 1875, BR-V (Petrol) - 1190

Power to Weight Ratio (PS/ton): BR-V (Diesel) - 78, XUV500 (Diesel) – 75, BR-V (Petrol) - 100
Torque to Weight Ratio (Nm/ton): BR-V (Diesel) - 157, XUV500 (Diesel) – 176, BR-V (Petrol) - 122

Fuel Efficiency:
In our real-world tests, the diesel powered BR-V manual was almost 5 kmpl more efficient than the corresponding XUV500, which translates to a savings of 1 Lakh rupees in fuel costs over a usage of 75,000 kilometers. Comparing the automatics, the petrol powered BR-V CVT was consistently 1.5 kmpl more efficient than the diesel-guzzling XUV, but since the BR-V is powered by the costlier fuel, it ends up costing the same as the XUV.

ARAI Mileage (kmpl):
BR-V (diesel, manual) – 21.9, XUV500 (diesel, manual) – 16.0 (difference 5.9)
BR-V (petrol, automatic) – 16.0, XUV500 (diesel, automatic) – 13.85 (difference 2.2)

Fuel Cost for 75,000 km (in Lakh):
BR-V (diesel, manual) – 2.50, XUV500 (diesel, manual) – 3.50
BR-V (petrol, automatic) – 4.00, XUV500 (diesel, automatic) – 4.00

Space & Comfort:
In spite of being bigger in every dimension than the BR-V, the XUV500 hardly has any more space than the BR-V inside the cabin. There is surprisingly similar head-room, knee-room and leg-room in all three rows of both the cars. Only parameter in which the XUV convincingly scores over the BR-V is the width of the middle row seat, which can comfortably accommodate three passengers, unlike the BR-V's middle row that has very little space left over for the third passenger. However, the BR-V fights back with 223 litres of boot-space, more than twice of that of the XUV500, when all the seats are in place. With the last row folded, BR-V's boot capacity expands to 591 litres, which is more or less similar to the XUV's. XUV's interiors are ostentatious but cheap and will appeal more to the village simpleton, while BR-V's interiors are airy and cheerful and will appeal more to the frugal urbanite.

Length (mm): BR-V – 4455, XUV500 – 4585
Width (mm): BR-V – 1735, XUV500 – 1890
Height (mm): BR-V – 1666, XUV500 – 1785

Ride Quality & Handling:
There is a world of difference in the handling of both these cars. The BR-V has surprisingly car like road manners with enthusiastic demeanour around the bends, aided by an accurate, well weighted and feel-some steering rack. The XUV on the other hand has enormous body roll, lazy responses and a vague, disconnected steering rack sapping all the fun from cornering. Both cars handle the Indian road conditions exceedingly well, thanks to their excellent ground clearance. XUV smothers the rough terrain with authority but transmits some impact to the passengers, while the BR-V gracefully tiptoes over most of the potholes getting caught out only by the worst of the lot.

Ground Clearance (mm): BR-V – 210, XUV500 - declared 160 (actual ~200)

Tyre Size:
BR-V – 195/60R16
XUV500 – 235/65R17

Reliability and After Sales Service:
Mahindra still has a long way to go to catch up with the world-class quality and reliability standards of Honda. Firstly Mahindra's products have never proven to be as reliable as Honda's have over the past 20 odd years in India. Secondly, Honda's service though not great, has to deal with far lesser issues compared to Mahindra in the first place, making the overall ownership experience far more hassle free to the end user.

Resale after 5 to 7 years est. (Lakh):
XUV is bound to depreciate more than the BR-V, due to its massive shortfall in fuel efficiency as well as quality, reliability and longevity compared to the BR-V.
BR-V VX (Diesel manual) – 9.05, XUV500 W8 (Diesel manual) – 8.15
BR-V V CVT (Petrol automatic) – 7.85, XUV500 W6 AT (Diesel automatic) – 9.05

Total Cost of Ownership (in Lakh): (Vehicle Price + Fuel Cost – Resale Value)
Overall the BR-V diesel works out to be almost 2 Lakh rupees lesser in terms of Overall Cost of Ownership compared to the equivalent XUV500. Even the petrol powered BR-V CVT automatic works out to be almost 2 lakh Rs. cheaper than the cheapest XUV automatic.
BR-V VX (Diesel manual) – 8.55, XUV500 W8 (Diesel manual) – 10.40
BR-V V CVT (Petrol automatic) – 9.95, XUV500 W6 AT (Diesel manual) – 11.75

At first glance, the XUV feels like a no brainer over the BR-V, it is bigger, more flashy and yet costs the same as an equivalently feature laden BR-V. But on closer inspection BR-V's advantages over the XUV come to light, one by one. The BR-V has better drivability as well as better maneuverability around town than the XUV. It is immensely more efficient than the XUV. It has an equally spacious cabin and twice as spacious boot than the XUV. It has comfortable and well put-together interiors than the XUV. It handles astoundingly better than the XUV and even rides a tad bit better. It is bound to be more reliable and also depreciate almost a lakh rupees lesser than the XUV. Overall the BR-V is a much more versatile vehicle than the XUV and thus is the winner of this shootout.

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