Honda Brio Hatchback First Drive & Performance
Honda Brio Overview
Undoubtedly, the Honda Brio is one of the cutest looking city cars in the Indian market at present. The Brio is the only Honda hatch under-5 lakh on offer in this part of the world and boasts charismatic looks, peppy motor and chic interiors. With its compact dimensions, it can zip through jam-packed city roads and is easy to park too. Recently, the Japanese automaker gave it a facelift, after a good six years of service and mind you, the car looks sportier and sharper now. Let’s delve in to know what all goodies it offers and where’s the scope for improvement.
The Honda Brio is an excellent car for a person looking for a fun to drive vehicle and is more concerned with the handling. The cabin appears fresh and is solidly built. Honda’s i-VTEC motor balances the power and fuel efficiency quite well giving best of both worlds.However, it’s the poor boot space and bumpy ride quality which messes the charm. Plus the features on board make the Brio feel bare-bones. Tagging it as a good family car would be difficult given the competition it encounters. Test drive for Honda Brio.
Honda Brio Exterior & Style
The headlamps design remains the same with them being clear but now has a slight shade of black in the insets. There is a fibre strip connecting both headlamps with a Honda logo in the centre that looks like the mustache of Bhagat Singh. There is a thin chrome strip at the base of the grill that is almost non existent. The bumper now scoops a bit forward and the housing for the fog lamps is now spearheaded facing inwards.
The front and rear wheel arches bulge a bit outside for a more sportier feel. There is a sharp strip the flow from the front wheel arch diagonally to the C-Pillar and adds a bit of sophistication. The black B-Pillar looks quite sporty. The five twin spoke alloys appear like a twinkling star while spinning and have a simple yet elegant look.
Well the rear windscreen and the boot door is the same. The mirrors finally get side indicators. This is nothing like I have seen before and is adds a nice unique touch to the car. The good part is the large glass make visibility a bliss. The bad part is the loading lip is high and hence the bags have to raised quite a bit to load in the boot space which is also not much. The Triangle wrap around headlamp looks good and so does the spoiler at the top of the windscreen.
Honda Brio Interior & Space
If there was one area where the Brio needed the most attention, it had to be the cabin and particularly so, the dashboard. The original Brio’s plain dash was unappealing and took much away from the surprisingly roomy space. So, we are happy to report Honda has drafted in the dashboard from the Amaze and the BR-V. The design of the dash is more coherent and contemporary while the silver highlights and faux carbonfibre garnishes add a bit of sportiness too. Optional all-black seats and the redesigned instrument cluster further do their bit to uplift the cabin ambience.
The facelift also brings with it a longer equipment list. New to the Brio are electric controls for the air-con system and also a new 2-DIN audio system with Bluetooth connectivity.
Elsewhere, the Brio remains unchanged. The front seats, while skinny, are quite comfortable, with the driver seat being height-adjustable. The rear seat affords passengers decent legroom, but is let down by a short seat cushion and consequent lack of under-thigh support. Still, the rear seat is better and far more usable than what you get in most cars of this size. Unfortunately, a smallish boot limits the Brio’s practicality.
Honda Brio Engine & Gearbox
The Honda Brio gets the same 1.2-litre i-vtec petrol mil as the Honda Jazz, albeit slightly detuned for better fuel efficiency. Like all i-vtecs, it’s a gem of a unit. Its fuel-sipping nature, coupled with its peaky power delivery post 6000 rpm, makes it not only fuel efficient but also a delight for enthusiasts. The engine develops 88 PS of power at 6000 rpm and torque of 109 Nm at 4600 rpm. This motor is mated to a five-speed manual or a five-speed automatic. Choose the auto box and supreme level of comfort awaits you. Be it in traffic or on the highway, the automatic gearbox seems well matched to the 1.2-litre motor. for more info on Honda Brio check tweetcast.in
The gearshifts are silky smooth, unlike the kind of reputation cheaper automatic transfer boxes have made for themselves. This one is relaxed yet alert. Though Honda Brio’s automatic gearbox does take time to shift down when you press the throttle fully, you don’t get irritated as you would in other cars. Also, to extract the most go juice, you can slot the gearbox in D3, 2 and 1. The transmission then holds the gear according to the respective number and the gear won’t go beyond third, second and first, respectively.
The ARAI-claimed fuel economy of the Honda Brio is 18.4 kmpl for the manual variant. This is mostly due to its engine, the 1.2-litre i-vtec gem, and Brio’s lightweight construction (920 kg kerb weight). The engine is a de-tuned version of the motor used in the Jazz and is now more fuel efficient. For encouraging more fuel-efficient driving style, Honda has introduced an ECO function display on the speedometer, which glows green whenever it senses that you are driving economically. This, however, might be a bit distracting to the driver but it does a great job.
The software running the above said function probably derives its readings from variables such as the vehicle’s speed, the selected gear and rpm of the engine. However, we must convince you to not be too occupied with this 21st century tech while driving, since there are more things to worry about on Indian roads than just the fuel economy! The Honda Brio has a nice gearing setup, which allows for cruising on the highway while still getting a low fuel consumption figure. The 100+ kmph speeds with the motor rotating at 2,000 rpm still keep the green light aglow, indicating the fuel-sipping nature of the Honda Brio. We managed to extract 12.5 kmph while at it, which is a very good figure considering the nature of the drive.
Honda Brio Driving Dynamics
The 88 bhp engine is responsive and is quick off the mark. Zipping around in city traffic is effortless especially with the automatic. The suspension is soft and takes care of most of the bad roads, undulations and speed breakers unless the car is heavily loaded with people, by that I mean all 4 people. The soft suspension does lower the car quite a bit. The car has a low centre of gravity still due to the soft suspension can’t be thrown around corners. If the signal is your start line you may be the 1st to heave a start.
The automatic is responsive but the manual is quicker. If at all Honda had a glitch it would be the CVT automatic. That feels like a drag. The Brios overtakes efficiently too. Honda have ticked all the right boxed. 88 bhp, responsive throttle and 19 km/l. What else could you ask for in a small car. As I have mentioned before this would be an IDEAL car for Mr Bean in today’s world.
Honda Brio Braking & Safety
The braking performance of the Brio is decent and on par with its rivals. The top version comes with ABS, further helping in the braking performance. The 175 mm-wide tyres also provide for a decent braking performance.The front wheels have got ventilated disc brakes while the rear ones have drum brakes. The brakes do a good job in stopping this sprightly little hatch, thanks to the lightness of the car. The car has passive safety tech such as ABS (Anti-lock Braking System). The ABS system helps in case of sudden braking situations, and prevents the car from skidding and going out of control.
Honda Brio Cost in New Delhi
Honda Brio On-Road Price in New Delhi ranges from 5,03,309 to 7,45,420 for variants Brio E MT Petrol and Brio VX AT Petrol respectively. Honda Brio is available in 4 variants and 5 colours. Below are details of Honda Brio variants price in New Delhi. Check for Brio in New Delhi at Carzprice.
Honda Brio Summing Up
Small on the outside, big on the inside and powered by an efficient and peppy engine, the Honda Brio always made for a great city runabout. Thankfully, the revised dashboard has added a good cabin ambience to the Brio’s list of positives and we quite like the way the facelift has turned out too. In many ways, then, the Brio does offer all that you’d need from a city car.
The Brio range starts at Rs 4.69 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) and extends up all the way to Rs 5.95 lakh while the sole automatic version costs a steep Rs 6.81 lakh. The thing is, when you see the Brio in light of similar priced competition from the likes of the Maruti Ritz, the Swift, Ford Figo, Hyundai Grand i10 and even the Mahindra KUV100, the case for the little Honda doesn’t seem quite as compelling. Yes, it is better than before and improves on an already good package. But is it enough to bring the attention back to the Honda? Perhaps not. We fear it’s not a case of too little, but more a case of too late.Tags: Honda