Honda Brio youthful energy at your command
Honda took it's time launching its baby hatch, sensible to say the least, as Honda post Jazz's experience did not have any room or scope for failure in a segment which probably is growing the fastest in India today. Will its new Brio deliver, car experts takes it out for spin and give you his verdict.
Honda Brio youthful energy at your command
HONDA BRIO: YOUTHFUL & ENERGETIC
Brio marks the entry of the Japanese giant into India’s mass market segment. Already crowded with number of formidable competitors, road ahead for Brio is not an easy one. We get behind the wheels to check whether Brio has capacity to become winner in an intensely competitive segment:
STYLE & SUBSTANCE
Brio is a fresh & energetic design, complementing the youthful image of the car. Steeply raked hood is flanked by big wheel arches & leaf-like headlamps. V-Shape grill is embellished by Honda trademark & large air intake.
Side profile contains clean character lines without any fussy details. The skinning is tight & every effort is gone to retain the compactness of the car. The car looks dynamic & wide stance at the front gives it imposing looks.
Rear part of the hatch contains a large glass opening area. It is welcome change as compared to the conventional designs contains small slits of glass. It also aids in visibility & practicality of the car. Tail-lamps are clear lens & look sleek. Overall Brio design is futuristic & contains a lot of energy.
INTERIORS, SPSCE & ERGONOMICS
Interiors of the Brio carry forward the theme of youthfulness. Center console, wrapped in black, is neatly laid out with silver & chrome accents. Instrument cluster contains triple analog 3D meters with eco lamp function. 2-Din stereo system though boasts of USB & aux-in , doesn’t play the CDs. Air-conditioning as well as the steering mounted audio controls are simple to operate & very intuitive.
Don’t let the small outer dimensions fool you. Brio has enormous feeling of space inside. Stylish & ergonomically placed sets are large & hug you snugly. Rear bench is wide & has plenty of leg & knee room. Although sitting three abreast is not as comfortable as in Vista or Etios Liva, its definitely comfortable than the Swift. Dual-tone beige color scheme is complemented by the up-market fabric & trim quality.
Although built to cost, the signs of cost cutting are not as glaring as in case of Liva or Etios. Door has solid thud sound & even instruments don’t feel very cheap. That said, there are many conveniences customers are devoid of. There is no driver height adjust, no rear defogger, no parcel tray & no rear power windows.
POWER-PLANT & TRANSMISSION
Brio borrows its heart from the Jazz with displacing capacity of 1198 cc. The unit is good for 88 ps of power with 109 Nm of torque. Engine breathes through 16 valves mounted on single overhead cam with Honda’s unique i-VTEC technology.
Power unit retains the legacy of refinement & responsiveness associated with the Honda brand. Prod the throttle & Brio lunges forward with great sense of urgency. Unlike other engines having the sweet-spot below the 4000 rpm, this heart gets smoother as it beats faster. Gas-up the pedal & refinement goes on increasing with the increase in rev-range. No doubt Brio will please the owners with its alacrity.
Engine is mated with 5- speed gear box. Transmission is smooth & slick in operation. Clutch is light & throws are short & accurate. Steering though electrically assisted contains good amount of feedback. With its light kerb weight i.e. 840 kg, Brio has achieved ARAI certified figure of 18.3 km/l. This makes it one of the most fuel efficient cars in the hatchback category.
With Mcpherson strut at the front & torsion beam axle at the rear, Brio is real fun on the wheels. Ride quality gets the priority over the handling characteristic. The suspension is sprung softly & this has made the car extremely absorbent. One can glides over the undulations, rough patches & scorched tarmac.
Brio comes with safe & predictable handler. But far behind the benchmark set by the Swift. Brio rolls over corners due to soft suspension setting but not in alarming way. With a short turning radius of 4.5 m, Brio is comfortable to putter around in city. This makes it extremely practical car from urban point of view.
Style & Substance 4/5 Ride & Handling 3.5/5
Interiors & Ergonomics: 4/5 Safety & Equipments 3.5/ 5
Power Plant & Transmission 4/5 Fuel Efficiency 4/5
Value for Money 4/5
Honda has left no stone unturned in making the Brio as one of the most competitive offering for the Indian market. Fortunately this time they hadn’t made a blunder on the pricing front. Starting at 4.2 lakh, Brio has substantial features along with superb engine & interior space. In-fact it looks like a winner on the pages though time will tell whether consumers are as much impressed as we are.