Cars get bigger every year. I doubt much could convince Kia now to downsize the Telluride, because people buy big cars. Big cars fit more cargo and more people. But some cars laugh in the face of that paradigm, and I was reminded of this by the Mexican market three-row Honda BR-V, which scoffs at the Telluride’s excess.
For reference, let’s look at the 2021 Kia Telluride. It’s not the biggest three-row SUV/crossover you can buy, but it’s not small. The Telluride seats up to eight passengers. The Honda BR-V seats seven. Not exactly the same, but then again, the Telluride is about 197 inches long and weighs over 4,100 pounds. The BR-V is around 175 inches long and weighs a little more than 2,700 pounds.
That’s a 1,400 pound difference. And for what? For one more passenger? No, thank you, Kia. I’d take the little Honda, all day. I mean, just look at this:
It’s like someone combined a Honda Odyssey with an HR-V, minus the ugly. Then, they threw in a Honda City drivetrain and out came this little guy. It’s pretty tiny, but even so, it manages to fit a third row! One of these drove past me today and I found myself mimicking Antonio Banderas as I stared at its little i-VTEC badge in my rearview mirror.
The BR-V’s engine is a 1.5-liter four-cylinder that makes about 116 horsepower and 107 lb-ft of torque. It’s suspiciously close to the Honda City output. As you would expect, it does cost more than the small Honda sedan. The BR-V starts at about $348,000 MXN or just over $17,000 USD.
We’v written about the BR-V before, but had only a concept sketch to go on. At that time in 2015, the BR-V had just been announced; it wouldn’t be released until 2016. That concept sketch made the BR-V look larger and more aggressive than it looked to me on the road today.
The BR-V reminded me of the Mazda5, except with modern Honda design. Its ride height from head-on seemed low, but its rear hatch was slightly taller, or upturned. I imagine cramming passengers and cargo into it would be easy.
The BR-V is sold in a number of other markets, like Indonesia, Thailand and South Africa. It shares a platform with the Honda Mobilio, another little big car, but one which I’ve never seen rolling around South Texas. It makes sense; it’s not for sale in Mexico.
For now, the BR-V will remain my anti-Telluride. A third-row mighty mouse that proves bigger isn’t always better.