Honda BRIO
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Customer Rating
: 4/5
Expert Rating
: 9/10
: 2 Yrs / 40,000 kms (Whichever is earlier)
Ex-showroom price in 
 help (Rs.Lakhs)
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4.73 Lakhs-6.82 Lakhs

Strong Areas

  • Practical Demeanour
  • High Safety Features
  • Rugged Build Quality
  • Excellent Handling  

Weak Areas

  • Average Space
  • Spartan Interiors
  • Firm Ride Quality 
  •  Mediocre Boot Capacity
Honda BRIO

Leader Hyundai i10 gets compared to challenger Honda Brio

It had to happen one day, the leader of the hatchback was bound to have  decent challenge. In Honda Brio, Hyundai i10 gets a competent challenger. No wonder car experts were excited to compare the two cars and help you decide with teh winner.



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The Hyundai i10 is a strong favourite in the small hatchback class and it’s easy to see why. It’s stylish, easy to drive, has a strong, fuel-efficient engine and a practical, well-appointed cabin. Hyundai hasn’t rested on its laurels either – the i10’s regular revisions with facelifts and updated engines have helped it distance itself from the rest. But there’s a threat from above. The bigger Honda Brio is dangerously close to the i10 and keen on upstaging the Hyundai with its premium positioning. Both have 1.2-litre engines and what the Honda wins with size, the Hyundai claws back with content. Less than Rs 20,000 seperates the two top-end versions you see here. So which one should you splurge on? Let’s get straight into round one.


Park the two cars side-by-side and the Brio appears quite clearly the bigger car. That’s not surprising because the Brio is 25mm longer and a substantial 85mm longer and a substantial 85mm wider. These dimensions give it a wide and squat stance, while the cute nose with high-mounted headlights and a low grille give it a distinctive look. The profile of the car is dominated by oversized wheel arches, which dwarf the 14-inch wheels. The sharply rising window line results in an almost triangular rear window and this gives the Brio a very pitched-forward stance. The taut and dynamic look is accentuated by the two creases running along the side. From the rear, the Brio’s full-glass tailgate looks quite funky, but it also gives the impression of being built to a budget. However, there’s nothing budget about the superb finish of the bodywork or the pull-type door handles, which feel great to hold.

The i10 too has some interesting styling bits. We like the hexagonal grille and sharp headlamp that came with the facelift. Though the i10’s looks are not as sporty as the Brio’s, its conventional proportions and crisp detailing mean this design still looks quite fresh. The i10’s tall profile also points towards a well-packaged cabin and decent luggage space.

The Brio’s boot is quite small and that’s partly because honda engineers have to tried to make the most of passenger space. Still, once you get past the high load lip (for better chassis stiffness) you will be surprised how many bags you can load into the Honda. The i10’s boot has a deeper floor, though, which allows larger bags to be squeezed in.

Under the skin, both cars adopt the ubiquitous layout of front – wheel drive, transverse motors and independent front suspensions with torsion beams at the rear. Both use electrically assisted power steering systems, which are also the norm these days.


The Jazz has proved that Honda is the master of interior packaging. If you still have doubts, step into the Brio and prepare to be blown away by the amount of passenger room on offer. Given its compact dimensions and small wheelbase, you don’t expect such space, but the Brio can accommodate passengers in greater comfort than many bigger hatchbacks. The i10 is tighter on the inside in comparison, but viewed in isolation, it is reasonably spacious too, with decent headroom. But the i10’s rear seats are a bit too upright and seat cushioning is a tad too hard.

From the driver’s seat, the Brio wins again, easily. You get a fantastic view and the driving position is spot on, but shorter drivers will want for a seat height-adjust, which isn’t available on any variant. The Brio’s dashboard is well built, but the absence of a full centre console gives it a Spartan feel. The air-con control cluster (which has nice chunky knobs) and the stereo unit sit above each and are slightly offset, which looks a bit disjointed. The multiple shades of plastic, especially the curious tinge of brown, don’t do the Brio any favours either.

The i10, in comparison, has a fuller dashboard which merges nicely into the doorpads. The aircon and music system are neatly integrated into the central console and the dash-mounted gearlever leaves some storage between the from seats. The i10’s high-set driver’s seat, though good for visibility, lacks thigh support and, like in the rear, the cushions feel a touch too hard.

Unlike in the i10, you can tell where the fat has been trimmed in the Brio. The exposed metal surface inside the front door pockets, the poorly finished rear power window switches and the lack of a CD player tell you where Honda has saved precious paise. The rear serious oversight is that, even on this top-end ‘V’ variant, the Brio doesn’t come with a rear wiper or demister, and this can cause serious visibility issues in bad weather. The lack of a parcel shelf is another omission, so whatever little luggage you are carrying is always exposed to prying eyes. The big glass hatch adds to this problem. This top-end i10 Asta, although only slightly more expensive, offers much more bang for your buck. You get Bluetooth connectivity, a CD player, parking sensors and rear wash and wipe as standard.


The Brio employs the same 1.2-litre i-VTEC, single-cam motor that powers the bigger Jazz, albeit in a milder state of tune in the interest of economy. It still makes a healthy 88bhp, which is 8bhp up on the i10’s twin-cam Kappa2 motor, but it doesn’t rev to 7500rpm like the Jazz; the limiter cuts in at 6500rpm. Like other Honda motors we’ve experienced, this one is free-revving and constantly urges you to visit the redline. The peppy motor makes the Brio feel light and agile to drive and gives it a good turn of pace when you want some extra performance. However, it does lack some low-speed punch because the peak torque of 11.1kgm arrives at at a higher engine speed than the i10. The slightly taller first, second and third gears also mean you have to downshift more frequently.

That said, the Honda motor is easily the more refined of the two. The engine is extremely smooth and doesn’t feel strained even in the upper reaches of its rev band.

The i10’s Kappa2 motor, on the other hand, is much more responsive from low revs and, for the most part, feels like a larger-capacity motor. The i10 jumps off the blocks with just an inch of throttle travel and the Kappa2 revs, though not as freely as the Honda, till its 6700rpm redline. The problem is, past 4500rpm, the engine feels strained and doesn’t pull as cleanly to the top as the Brio’s 1.2-litre unit.

Flat out, the i10 has a slight upper hand on the Brio. While the i10 dispatches 100kph in a scant 12.04sec the Brio takes 12.47sec to do the same. It’s same story with the in-gear acceleration times; the i10 is a nose ahead in the third-and fourth-gear slogs


The short wheelbase, compact dimensions and well-judged steering makes the Brio easy to punt around. It strikes a happy ride and handling balance, which makes it fun to drive without giving away too much in the way of ride comfort. The ride is fairly pliant, bad roads are soaked up quite well and the suspension works silently too. It’s only on uneven surfaces that the Brio’s sharp vertical movement makes it feel a bit choppy and, at higher speeds, a fair amount of road noise creeps into the cabin.

The i10’s suspension, on the other hand, isn’t as well sorted as the Brio’s. It’s fairly comfortable at slow speeds but up the pace, especially on a bad road and the i10 doesn’t feel as settled as we would like, and this bobbing motion is enhanced when the car is loaded up.

As expected, both cars with their compact dimensions and light steering, are easy to drive in the city. The Brio has a slight advantage while reversing though – that huge glass hatch makes it easy to see out of the back.

It’s the Brio that’s more willing when you’re in the mood. The steering has a slight dead zone at the straight-ahead position, but once you push the car harder and load up the suspension the Brio displays a poise, balance and confidence rarely found in a car of this class. With its willing top-end performance, confidence-inspiring brake pedal and eagerness to tackle corners, the Brio feels a special little car.

The i10 makes you think a bit before pushing on – it’s got too much body roll, loses its poise quite easily and those ultra-thin, 155-section tyres run out of grip alarmingly early.


Despite having 9bhp more, the Brio is slightly more efficient than the i10. City figures of 12.6kpl and 17.0kpl and a highway number of 11.7kpl and 16.0kpl for the Brio and i10 respectively reveal a small, but crucial victory for the Honda. Both cars have 35-litre tanks which somewhat limits their range.


The i10 is a thoroughly engineered product with good performance and practicality. Its appeal has always been its versatility and this still holds true. The top-spec i10 is superbly kitted out and sets the standard for equipment and features in this class of car. It is decent value for money and promises a hassle-free if unexciting ownership experience. The i10 is nowhere near as fun to drive as the Brio and can’t match it in key areas like passenger comfort and ride and handling. The frugal interiors, though well built, point to a pared-down car. However, you can’t get away from the fact that the Brio is and feels like a car in a higher class, and this big-car feel for small-car money is what clinches it for the Honda.

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