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Honda Brio Review: Honda Brio: Drive to Discover 3

Honda Brio: Drive to Discover 3

By Aditya Chatterjee; 8th September, 2012
Introduction

We have reviewed the Honda Brio earlier which was great. Recently, when the Honda team invited us for the third installment of the famous “Drive to Discover” event, we were more than happy to be a part of it.

In Drive to Discover, the motive is to illustrate the potential of Honda’s super small car Brio over different driving conditions. We were chosen for the Ahmedabad to Pune leg. We find out more about it in our drive review.

Honda Brio

Exterior

Honda Brio

Like always, I love referring the Honda Brio as “smallie n cutie” coz of its overall cuteness. Small cars are made by so many now but then the Brio brings in a fresh aspect to the everyday small car with its innocent looks.

The car was splashed with “Drive to Discover” vinyls all over the body. Even though small, still the Brio looks very smart with its taut nose. With poppy headlights and a always smiling radiator grille, the Brio can be a favorite across all the ages.

Its low rider styling makes it look like a street hugger. Japanese designs are all about edgy lines and on the Brio too the wedge lines on the side panel leave an impressive expression. The cute lil integrated rear spoiler flows in line with the roof trail.

Honda wanted to enter the small car market with an affordable vehicle; however they also knew that there will be tremendous expectations from this one as they already have an image of premium car maker. They also wanted this small car to carry all the attributes the company is renowned for by making it an exciting looking car compared to the other offerings of the segment.

So the Brio comes out as a very exciting looking small car with exterior styling which impresses everyone.

Interior

Normally, the quality and fit and finish in small cars is justified by its pricing. This myth however doesn’t hold true for the Brio. The Brio sure belongs to the micro segment but then the premium interiors do justice to the Honda badge.

Plush interiors and fantastic fabrics for seats give a superb cabin feel. The low driving position along with the apt sized steering wheel makes it a very sporty ride. No tacky plastics used, no production burrs on the trims and very nicely finished body work makes the interiors of the Brio as much a delight as the exteriors.

“Sir, you feel uncomfortable because you are 6’1” is a line I always come across when asked for little more legroom and headroom. I was prepared for the same answer this time too but then the question never rose as the legroom and headroom offered in the Brio is decent.

In my initial review of the Honda Brio, I had mentioned “The one big negative point that Honda Brio scored was the lack of luggage space offered. I guess Honda thought of the Brio as the in-city commute car but forgot to add luggage space.” Surprisingly, the Brio took more than what I had planned for. It packed in a generous load of luggage for 2 though a bigger surprise was our Urban Titanium follow up Honda Brio, which was packed completely with the event equipment.

Honda Brio scores strongly for interiors compared to other small cars of the same segment.

Honda Brio

Performance

Honda Brio

In my last review of the Honda Brio, I had enjoyed every bit of it. So when asked if I would like to drive it from Ahmedabad to Pune, I readily accepted the invite as I was very curious to know how the small car would perform on long stretches.

Present at the flag off from Emerald Honda dealership in Ahmedabad were Saba Khan and Gourav Dua from Honda Corporate Communications as well as RJ Aditi Rawal from Red FM.

Ahmedabad is a city I had been way back when I was in 6th standard so the memories of the city were not too fresh. We started from the Honda dealership in the morning and drove all the way to Daman which was our mid stop towards Pune. I was mighty impressed with the roads in Ahmedabad. In our follow up car, Gourav and Bhanu accompanied us.   

The Brio handled the traffic with superb ease and left us praising about its potential. We (me and Shrawan Raja – Indian Autos Blog) also discussed on the possibility of us buying the Brio, though Shrawan insisted on opting for the Diesel Brio, I was happy being the petrol head.

Honda Brio

After making our way out of the city traffic, we entered the highway to Daman. These highways can prove to be a test track for all the manufacturers to test the top end performance of their vehicles. The Brio is powered with a delicious i-Vtec engine. It’s a technology all the Honda owners vouch for. We were able to cope up with not just other small cars but bigger cars too.

Interestingly, a Mahindra XUV500 came from nowhere only to trouble the two tiny tots of the highway but then the Brio, with its smooth transmission helped us stay strong against it.

Push the accelerator hard and the trademark i-Vtec growl is evident especially when it peaks on a particular gear. It does not feel underpowered across any rpm and reached a top whack of 150kmph without any drag. The handling of the Brio is razor sharp and since it’s very compact in design, it makes you cut across corners very easily.

Honda Brio

The next day, we started from Daman on our route to Pune via Mumbai. Before reaching Mumbai, the roads are fantastic and with the scenery around it is a strong recommend. However, our fast and enthusiastic driving along with the same mood fell down exponentially as we neared Mumbai.  When we were on Ghodbunder road, we came across bad roads and heavy traffic. A deadly combination for sure.

Weighing just 920kgs, the Brio was fun to drive in traffic. If one has played Tetris for hours, he would perfectly know how to tackle Mumbai traffic by using his senses and shoving his car in a line which moves faster over the other. We smartly made our way out of the slow traffic lines and somehow managed to reach the Mumbai Pune expressway, which introduced us to some high speed cornering on the Brio.

On entering Pune and after some great confusion of asking people different routes, using google maps and prayers, we discovered our way to the destination point. The journey was lovely and the Brio with all its characteristics did love us back and was adored by me for it.  

Honda Brio

Tech specs
Technical Specifications
 Make Honda
 Model Brio
Engine Capacity/Cylinders 1198/4
Power in PS @ RPM 88@6000
Torque in Nm @ RPM 109@4600
Gears 5/M
Dimensions
Length (mm) 3610
Width (mm) 1680
Height (mm) 1500
Wheel base (mm) 2345
Ground clearance (mm) 165
Fuel tank capacity (L) 35
Mileage in KMPL 18.4
Tyres rating 175/65 R14 82T
Tyres type Tubeless
Features
Features E MT S MT S(O)MT V MT
Ex-showroom Price (Mumbai) Rs. 407000 448000 504900 532000
Body colour bumpers Yes Yes Yes Yes
Halogen Headlights Yes Yes Yes Yes
Body coloured ORVM No Yes Yes Yes
Bodo coloured outside door handles No Yes Yes Yes
Silver steel wheel with center hubcap Yes No No No
Full trim wheels No Yes Yes No
Alloy wheels No No No Yes
Front fog lamps No No No Yes
Single tone beige interiors Yes Yes Yes No
Double tone beige interiors No No No Yes
Integrated music system No Yes Yes Yes
Steering mounted audio control No Yes Yes Yes
Immobiliser Yes Yes Yes Yes
Front driver and passenger airbag No No Yes Yes
ABS With EBD No No Yes Yes
Electric power steering No No Yes Yes
AC with heater No No >No Yes
Central locking Yes Yes Yes Yes
Keyless entry No Yes Yes Yes
Front power windows Yes Yes Yes Yes
Rear Power windows No Yes Yes Yes
Electrically adjustable ORVM No No Yes Yes
Fuel consumption display Yes Yes Yes Yes
Competition
Specifications
Honda
Brio
Ford
Figo
Maruti Suzuki
Swift
Nissan
Micra
Variant S(O)MT Titanium Vxi XL
Engine Capacity CC 1198 1196 1197 1198
Max Power PS/RPM 88/6000 71/6250 87/6000 76/6000
Torque Nm/RPM 109/4600 102/4000 114/4000 104/4000
Gears 5/M 5/M 5/M 5/M
Power Steering Yes Yes Yes Yes
Power windows Yes Yes Yes Yes
Central locking Yes Yes Yes Yes
A/C Yes Yes Yes Yes
Music system Yes Yes Yes Yes
Fog Lamps Yes No Yes Yes
Rear wind shield washer No Yes Yes Yes
Defogger No Yes Yes Yes
ABS Yes Yes No Yes
Airbag 2 2 2 1
Average fuel efficiency (Kmpl) 18 14 14.5 18
Ex showroom Price (Mumbai)  504900 496700 507079 484916
Conclusion

 Honda Brio

With the Drive to Discover 3, I finally concluded that the Honda Brio is an excellent compact car. On our way to Pune from Ahmedabad, we crossed many Honda dealers. Honda as a brand is very reputed and also the servicing quality offered across all dealerships is commendable.

Also, with plans of diesel Honda Brio, the company would penetrate deeper in the premium small car segment. An automatic variant of the Honda Brio be available just before Diwali benefiting from the festive mood.

With news of discontinuing Accord and Civic which have been doing rounds on the internet, it seems Honda would concentrate more on Brio and City. Specially on the Brio which will be offered as a sedan and also a MPV in the not so near future but would definitely make it to India.

Honda Brio