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A crossover that puts driving at the forefront

WHEN Honda first released the BR-V, I found it to be a greatly engineered vehicle but one with questionable design. Sure, the BR-V had the inherent Honda levels of overengineering, especially for its time, but its looks were based on the Mobilio, which in my opinion looked weird unless you splurged for the sporty RS. That's all been rectified here in this second-generation model. Improved in every way possible, the new BR-V has eventually become Honda's best-selling model in the Philippines. To see why, we got ourselves a range-topping 2023 Honda BR-V VX to understand how good this crossover has become.

The controls of the HR-V still has the simplistic theme. PHOTOS BY ISAAC ATIENZA The front fascia of the new BR-V. The use of piano black in the BR-V's interior is tastefully minimal, while the silver trim adds visual brightness to the otherwise mostly black interior. From a styling standpoint, the new Honda BR-V is a massive improvement.

From a styling standpoint, the new BR-V is a massive improvement. Okay, so the previous BR-V didn't really set the design bar high in the first place, so there was no way Honda could mess up the BR-V in its second iteration. There's a reason why it looks so good, and it all boils down to proportions. It has a long hood and an upright stance that gives it a proper crossover look, unlike most of its cab-forward rivals that try to hide their multipurpose vehicle (MPV) roots by adding slashes and creases that sometimes end up making a vehicle look like a caricature. Yes, I do like the Stargazer's looks, but there's something refreshing with the BR-V's dependence on proportions as opposed to too much visual flourishes.

Once again, that simplistic theme carries over to the interior. The dash design isn't visually interesting, but there's nothing offensive about it, either. Through the use of proportions once again, the interior looks visually large. The materials used are also pretty good. Yes, it's predominantly hard plastic with a soft, padded layer on the dash if you get this range-topping VX, but unlike its competitors, most especially the Toyota Veloz, the plastics used are thicker and have better graining. The use of piano black