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Honda Brio Hatchback Review & First Drive

Honda Brio Test Drive in Chennai

Honda Brio Overview

The Honda Brio, launched in September 2011, marked Honda’s aim of capturing the market of small cars and brought in the much-needed sales figures. The launch of Brio, along with the Amaze (its sedan sibling), has turned around the fortunes for Honda with the car eating up into sales of small car leaders, like Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai. The Brio is a very modern-looking car and appeals to the 21st century buyer in more than one ways. The price, value, space and comfort are good, if not the best, for its segment. Also, carrying the Honda badge has helped its case a lot.

The Honda Brio is the second hatchback from Honda after Jazz, which was a world-class product only let down by its pricing. Being a compact car with a light steering and an added option of an automatic gearbox makes the Brio a very attractive proposition for a hassle-free city commuter.

The punchy yet fuel-efficient 1.2-litre i-vtec petrol motor pulls the Brio to three digits in a matter of seconds and can effortlessly cruise at such speeds all day. The engine is basically a slightly detuned version of the motor, which did duty in the Jazz hatchback. This has been done to increase fuel efficiency with the ARAI claiming a fuel consumption figure of 18.4 kmpl. Check for Honda Brio price in Bangalore at Autozhop.

Honda Brio Exteriors

In line with the global trend of a homogenous design language across multiple models, Honda has given a treatment similar to the recently facelifted Amaze. Changes at the front of the new Brio include a new bumper and grille, of which the latter is finished in black unlike the chrome finish on the Amaze. Changes on the side are limited to zero and this seems to be a missed opportunity as the company could’ve offered a new set of larger alloy wheels. That said, the Brio’s overall design still doesn’t look dated but the scope of this facelift could’ve been wider.

At the rear, there are minimal changes including a spoiler and a redesigned cluster for the tail lamps. The Brio has always stood out for sporting a cute and youthful design and the updates in the new one help it looks a bit sharper, especially from the front angle. However, we still feel that the changes should have included some more body panels.

Honda Brio Interiors

Unlike the exterior, the cabin of the new Brio sport a significant amount of change over the previous model. The highlight is an all-new dashboard, which is the same as seen on the updated Amaze. The all-black dashboard features a silver line running from the centre console and ends up wrapping the air-conditioning vent. The carbon-fibre finish on the lower part of the dashboard along with an impressive material quality lends a sporty and upmarket feel to the cabin. The instrument cluster too has been changed and now features a clean look with analogue dials for speedometer, tachometer and the fuel-gauge. Odometer, time, drive mode and other such information are offered through a digital readout.

The centre console now houses a new entertainment system, which is a 2-Din unit. This unit offers USB and Bluetooth connectivity, which can also be accessed through steering-mounted controls. The air-conditioner also gets a new control panel, which looks neat and uplifts the perceivable quality of the cabin. Cooling from this unit is impressive and given the compact dimensions of the cabin, the cooling is quick despite the absence of rear vents.

There are no changes at the rear and space here continues to be decent for the car’s size. With a non-sloping roof, headroom is good at the back and legroom too is acceptable. The seat bench is comfortable for two adults but three might feel squeezed. The front seats too are comfortable and have good padding with average side support. One of the good things about the Brio is the visibility for the driver at the front, partly due to slim A-pillars.

Honda Brio Performance

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.

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.For more details on Honda Brio visit Aryavarta

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

The Brio is a great city car, thanks to its compact dimensions, a fuel-efficient engine and a light steering. It does a nice job zipping about from point A to point B or just ambling about in the city with quiet restraint.But what happens when you show it a freshly-baked piece of tarmac with no sign of life around it? Well, we’re happy to inform you that this baby Honda keeps up with whatever you throw at it. Open the taps and the Brio reaches three-digit speeds in no time. Play with the revs and you’ll pass 150 kmph. While you are at those speeds, the Honda Brio doesn’t feel out of place. The steering has weighed up, the suspension is keeping the car in poise and there is not much jiggling about from this little performer. Despite its compact dimensions, the Brio always feels as composed as some large sedans.

The car feels tight and can stay like this for days, had it an everlasting fuel supply. NVH levels are well controlled too and little enters the cabin at higher speeds. The i-vtec motor is a smooth operator and goes about its business silently, until you press your right foot in disagreement. Being a light car with 88 PS power under the hood, the car zooms ahead with an effortless bellow, leaving behind most hatches in its wake. There is no hesitation from the motor, which, once past 3500 rpm, gives you the same doses of acceleration addiction as did the old Honda city with its 1.5 i-vtec heart. Like all Hondas, the Brio’s suspension is not suited for low speed use on rough roads. The springs crash and thrash about if you increase the violence and the Brio’s reassured ride stability is compromised. Thanks chiefly to a relatively harder suspension setup, the Brio handles corners with relative ease and composure, albeit with some amount of body roll.

Honda Brio 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 Bangalore

Honda Brio On Road Price is 5,75,582/- and Ex-showroom Price is 4,81,097/- in Bangalore. Honda Brio comes in 5 colours, namely Ralley Red,Taffeta White,White Orchid Pearl,Alabaster Silver,Urban Titanium. Honda Brio comes with FWD with 1198 CC Displacement and 4 Cylinders with Maximum Power 87 bhp@6000 rpm and Peak Torque 109 Nm@4500 rpm DRIVE TRAIN FWD and reaches 100 KMPH at N/A . Honda Brio comes with Manual Transmission with FWD .

Honda Brio Conclusion

The Brio with the updated design and features certainly makes a more value-for-money proposition than its predecessor. With a slightly sharper design and premium interiors along with new features, the Brio is now more competitive. However, I strongly feel that Honda has played it a bit too safe in terms of updating the car. While it isn’t the clear-cut winner in its segment, the new Brio does make a better case for itself now if you’re in the market for a compact, funky, fuel-efficient and reliable hatchback.

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