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Cartrade Editorial Team Cartrade Editorial Team Monday 15 Jun 2015, 11:02 AM

Honda, the Japanese carmaker, made its entry into the sub-compact hatchback with the Brio hatchback in India. First launched in India in 2011 along with other Asian markets including Thailand and Indonesia, the 5-seater small hatchback is well known for its unique styling and excellent driveability. This vehicle is available in petrol version only.

Renault launched the Pulse compact hatchback to rival against the likes of the Maruti Suzuki Swift, Honda Brio and others in the segment. Based on the Nissan Micra, the Renault Pulse was unveiled in India on October 29, 2011 in Noida by Mark Webber of Red Bull Racing along with Renault officials. In February 2015, the company launched the 2015 Pulse hatchback with additional features and slight changes. Here we bring you a brief comparison between the Brio and the updated Pulse.

Styling- Exterior and Interior

The Brio hatchback is one of the most attractive looking hatchbacks in the country, thanks to its stylish front fascia and a unique rear profile. Upfront is a single slat chrome grille, flanked by leaf-like headlamps, black colored air dam and stylish fog lamps. At the rear, the vehicle gets a full glass unit that offers clear visibility. On sides, the hatch has prominent crease that runs across the length.

Honda Brio Vs Renault Pulse
Honda Brio Vs Renault Pulse
 

Despite being compact in size, the Honda Brio offers a spacious cabin to both front and rear occupants. There is a black and beige theme on offer that offers an airy feel. However, the material quality and fit & finish could still be better. Based on Honda's "Man Maximum and Machine Minimum" philosophy, the small car offers excellent legroom and headroom space for rear occupants.

The Renault Pulse, on the other hand, is a sporty mid-sized hatchback that has been built on the Micra platform. The exterior styling of the car is appealing, thanks to its blackened grilled that accommodates large Renault logo. Other interesting elements are sweptback headlamp, thick and wide air dam flanked by round shaped fog lamps and 15-inch alloy wheels.

On the inside, the 2015 Pulse features multi-functional steering wheel and height adjustable driver seat. It sports dual-tone dashboard with a piano black finish on the centre console. It comes equipped with smart key access with engine start-stop button, 2-DIN music system with Bluetooth and USB. The vehicle is spacious enough to accommodate five adults comfortably.

Engine Specifications

Powering the Honda Brio hatchback is a 1.2-litre i-VTEC petrol engine that is capable of producing a top power output of 86.8bhp and a peak torque of 109Nm. This engine comes with two transmission options - a 5-speed manual and a 5-speed automatic gearbox both of which send power to the front wheels of the car. On the other hand, the Renault Pulse petrol is propelled by a 1.2-litre unit that produces 74bhp of power and 104Nm of torque. Power is transmitted to front wheels via a five-speed manual gearbox.

Honda Brio Vs Renault Pulse
Honda Brio Vs Renault Pulse
 

While the petrol Brio is claimed to return 19.1kmpl of mileage, the petrol variant of Pulse return a decent 18.1kmpl of fuel economy.

Verdict

The Honda Brio hatchback is one of the most stylish, fuel efficient, spacious and fun to drive compact hatchbacks in India. However, the hatchback is not available in diesel version. The material quality and fit & finish are major drawbacks, but overall the Brio is right product to drive home. On the other hand, the Pulse hatch is benefitted with diesel powertrain. The small car offers good interior and exterior styling along with a decent driveability.