Honda and premiumness are synonymous. You can’t separate one from another. And you can never blame a Honda of cutting corners, unlike what Toyota has done with Etios and Liva. They charge a premium for their brand, but then, they deliver the value for the same.
One look at the Brio and this philosophy is quite evident (except for a minor gap between the rear tail lamp and the bumper), the paint work is flawless and the car looks new in every sense of the word new.
Wider stance, broad air dams with integrated fogs, multi-focal headlamps merging with the character lines, trademarked large Honda marquee prominently placed on chrome finished central grille makes the new Honda Brio an exciting proposition even standing still. Well defined bold character lines from the front bumper to the tail and seamlessly merging skirt with the rear fender and extending up to the rear bumper, 10 spoke alloys, makes the side of the Brio quite elegant and a pleasant sight.
Honda cars are always known for their stylish rears. Brio doesn’t disappoint at all, as a matter of fact it sets a difficult benchmark style statement with its futuristic looking, extremely wide &big, slopping glass rear windscreen, sitting quite comfortable on a large, heavy and rounded rear bumper.
However, like all good things in life Honda Brio has its share of quirks, more like a shock, the car looks small, really small from the side. And in this light the pricing looks real steep and makes one wonder as to when will Honda learn to price their cars right, more so, when all recent new car launches have aggressive introductory new car pricing as one thing in common, be it the Toyota Etios and Liva, Nissan Sunny and most recent Mahindra XUV 500 being the note worthy examples. It seems, as if, prudence has lost to overconfidence once again.
But fortunately, yes fortunately, all such fears are laid to rest the moment one steps inside the car, whilst the exteriors look quite small, interiors boasts of huge space and feeling of openness, unlike other cars in Brio’s category. It seems, as if, the Honda Brio designers have made the car look deliberately small externally, to lower one’s expectations and deliver cabin space for an immediate WOW response.
Interiors looks real plush, be it: the soft feel premium beige upholstery, the black and beige 2 tone premium feel plastic, good grip 3 spoke futuristic tilt adjustable steering with metallic inserts, smooth moving seats on its railings, AC vents and ergonomically placed rotary AC knob enhances the rich feel of the car. No wonder interiors like all Honda cars feel real rich and premium. They never fail to impress the premium new car buyers in India. Stereo system is pure, refined and sounds magical. Roll-up the windows and experience hi-fidelity music in its full glory.
Space both in the front and rear is in abundance and one soon realises another Honda designer’s ingenuity of releasing cabin space from such a small looking car. The high ceiling and large glass rear windscreen adds to the openness inside the car and makes one feel quite comfortable. Get cocooned in a well bolstered front seat that offers good thigh and side support. Bench type rear seats offer good leg and headroom, but it’s designed for 2, third passenger would make it cramped.
Make yourself comfortable in the driver seat, buckle up and start the engine. You would have to really strain hard to hear the softly purring 1.2 L, 16V, iVtec, PFI, SOHC compact petrol power plant. The engine uses both variable lift and variable timing to give the Brio the extra zing. The beats are even and silent. Power delivery is smooth. 3 digit speed almost catches you up out-of-the blue making you wonder, as to when did you actually press the gas pedal so hard. From 80 in the 3rd bring it down all the way up to 20 and then take it back to 80, never once would you hear the groan of a strained engine. However, harsher or harder nudge on gas pedal does not elicit a very quick response; it does take some time to match your eagerness. Super smooth electric power assisted steering, smoother clutch and brake pedal would make every drive a delight.
Suspension of the Brio is on the stiffer side, harsher or uncontrolled jump/s over the speed breaker gets translated into the cabin to a great extent. Short wheel base further accentuates the bad road and the car tends to get choppy. The perceptible vertical up & down movement in every drive makes the ride a tad discomforting.
All in all Honda Brio is a well packaged car. Premium looks and tactile feel, great space inside and with an expected great mileage thanks to a lower power to weight ration to a great extent. Add to this the Honda marquee and get ready to flaunt your new found status even with a hatch. We however wish that the excessive glass use hopefully should not make summer drives a bit more sweaty and hot.