Honda Brio Facelift Review & First Drive

Honda Brio Overview

The Honda Brio is the only hatchback in the Honda scheme of things for India. The petite hatch gained popularity after its launch in 2011 for its peppy engine and decent driving dynamics and of course the Honda badge. Moving on, with Honda focussing on newer cars like the Amaze and the City, the Brio moved to the backburner. With the latest update in 2016, Honda has moved its focus back to the small cars.The Honda Brio competes against the likes of the Maruti Suzuki Swift and Ritz, the Hyundai Grand i10, the Ford Figo and the Tata Bolt amongst the hatchbacks. It still misses out on a diesel engine option, but with the market focus back on petrol cars, the Brio is expected to do well. For information on contact details of Honda car dealers in Pune

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Honda Brio Look

The Honda Brio was showcased as a futuristic concept in the previous, 10th edition of the Auto Expo held in Delhi last year. Of course, the final production version of the Brio doesn’t quite have all the sci-fi features that the concept featured, but it has carried forward much of the design concept. The Brio’s design is classically Honda. Starting from the shape of the headlamps to the aerodynamic profile, to the broad bonnet grille with the H logo in the middle and the character lines, the Brio’s design features can all be traced back to other Honda hatches. Yet, the Brio is distinctive and very unique in the brand’s line up.

A number of simple, relatively straight lines that are meant to enhance the perception of length and width of the Brio have been integrated. There is also a lot of clarity and purpose with merging lines that give the Brio’s design a lot of sophistication – like the front bumper lip that seems to merge into the shoulder line and the aerodynamic profiling for the door mirrors that merge with the base of the windscreen.

The rear design of the Brio is the most simplistic. Triangular tail-lamps that have been peeled back and into the side panels try to offer some relief with a circular, cutaway, integrated stop lamp. The hatch door is frameless and all glass and it ends just a couple of inches above the base of the tail-lamps. The glass hatch door sports the Honda logo and Brio badging. The oversized rear bumper gives the Brio a squat, wide stance, as does the more prominent rear wheel arch. A rear wiper option is not offered with the Brio

Honda Brio Comfort

The plastic quality of interiors might not be what you expect of a Honda. Clearly, the company has done some cost cutting and it shows. There are some flimsy plastics, which scratch and come off quite easily. However, the overall quality is at par, if not less, than the competition.

Although there is enough room to seat five adults in the car, where the car lacks in is the boot space and is a big disappointment. Honda’s engineers have utilized the interior space in a way that maximum space is provided to the occupants while the boot has been relatively ignored, which isn’t big enough to store anything more than your groceries and vegetables. That said, the car feels airy and fresh, thanks to the large glass areas and the light beige plastics inside. The Honda Brio gets features such as power windows, steering-mounted audio controls, bluetooth and aux-in connectivity, defogger, electric mirrors, cup holders, etc. The car also gets projector halogen headlamps and push button keyless start. The Brio does miss out on the climate control, which could’ve given the car a more luxurious appeal. A dead pedal is sorely missed too, which is a clear oversight on Honda’s part.

Honda Brio Gearbox

On the mechanical bit, the Brio Automatic has a 4 cylinder 16 valve 1198cc engine which borrows the automatic transmission from its elder sibling sedan, the City. This unit produces a power of 88 PS at 6000 rpm and a torque of 109 Nm at 4500 rpm.

The manual version is my favorite. Its compact dimensions, awesome steering feedback and precise handling gives amazing confidence. In addition to that is the error less gear shifts. Since the torque is well distributed, the manual Brio does seem out of breath across the rpms. The i-Vtec is a wonderful engine and it does its job pretty well.

Of the 700 odd kms that I did in the Brio from Ahmedabad to Pune, there was no fatigue at all going to the extent of proving this is indeed a superb offering in its segment. On this trip itself, I had told the Honda team about my wish of a possibility of an automatic variant of the Brio which they politely declined to accept then only to send the invites of the automatic Brio drive later.

Inside the city with bumper to bumper traffic, the automatic gearbox is a blessing in disguise. Shift it to the drive mode and just forget about it. The automatic variant just vanishes the hassles of the often manual shifts in tight traffic. Since Brio weighs just 970 kgs, it offers superb handling.

The automatic earns its due appreciation inside the city however on the highways; there is a slight lag in the output. This lag is evident only while we overtake as the engine revs hard but then the vehicle doesn’t move in sync with it. Except for this, there are no big setbacks felt. Throw any surface and the Brio happily takes it on with a always smiling front face. The Honda Brio AT is on the lazier side of performance compared to its manual counterpart but then it will appeal to the commuter type. In city traffic one hardly gets time and space to test the acceleration of the car.

Honda Brio Rideing

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 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 Hyderabad

Honda Brio Ex-Showroom Price in Hyderabad ranges from 4,72,905/- (Brio E MT Petrol) to 6,80,410/- (Brio VX AT Petrol). Get best offers for Honda Brio from Honda Dealers in Hyderabad. Check for Brio [price in Hyderabad at Carzprice

Honda Brio Bottomline

The Brio is said to be capable of delivering fuel efficiency of 18.4 kmpl, compared to the Jazz’s 16.7 kmpl. So, one key buyer need in the segment has been taken care of well. The cabin is roomy and fairly well insulated for a car in this segment. Suspension set up includes McPherson struts at the front and H-shape torsion beam at the rear. The ride is not the most pliant, but is fairly dynamic again for a car in this segment. The Brio is likely to be offered with four variants, with the top two variants featuring all the safety features like ABS, EBD and dual front airbags.

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