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Old 14th June 2014, 19:59   #1
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Question Automatic: Used Maruti A-Star or new Honda Brio? EDIT: It's a Brio!

Hey guys, I'll try to keep this as simple as possible.

Contenders: Almost new A-star AT (4.3 lacs) vs. New Brio AT (7.5 lacs)

I'd love to buy a used City AT, but don't have enough parking space. I have intentionally left out other ATs such as i10, i20, Polo, Micra, Celerio for very specific reasons.

Usage: 60% highway & 40% city

Test drove A-star AT inside the city at speeds<60kmph; felt okayish overall and not too exciting.

Yet to test drive Brio AT, which will hopefully materialize next week. Have driven Amaze D MT extensively tho and I find it okayish from a handling perspective but dull overall. I am hoping the petrol motor in the Brio will make things more exciting, while the convenience of AT will put a smile on my face.

Lets leave fuel efficiency, service, etc. out of the mix. Reliability wise, both are almost equally matched I believe. Both have ABS and I'm not entirely sure if Honda's airbags are actually going to deploy (after reading the Takata Airbags thread)

So, just as a driver's car, is spending 3 lacs extra on a Brio AT worth it?


I know its very a personal thing, but I am really confused about this. So, I thought why not start a thread on T-BHP to get more confused

P.S. Please don't tell me that a MT will be better, since 60% will be highway drives, etc. No offense!

Last edited by ashwin489 : 14th June 2014 at 20:18.
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Old 14th June 2014, 20:27   #2
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Default re: Automatic: Used Maruti A-Star or new Honda Brio? EDIT: It's a Brio!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashwin489 View Post
Contenders: Almost new A-star AT (4.3 lacs) vs. New Brio AT (7.5 lacs)
My simple and sweet answer: The Honda Brio it is!

I feel it is better to stick to a product that is running in the market for peace of mind and better help out there.

Small size, sharp handling, reliable, fuel efficient and Honda after all so in no way will you go wrong.

Anurag.
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Old 14th June 2014, 20:37   #3
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Default re: Automatic: Used Maruti A-Star or new Honda Brio? EDIT: It's a Brio!

I would go with the AStar out on the highway for the benefit of having a better and higher driving position, in a comparatively larger body shell, have slightly better luggage and maybe leg space and secure in the knowledge that if ever required an authorized service centre will always be around the corner. Sure a mofussil service centre will not be able to do much if the AT box itself was in need of attention but atleast it provides one with a definite location and a secure parking.

We have a Brio manual in the extended family which I have driven occasionally and there is nothing exciting about the car. It is just a city runabout, nothing more, nothing less suits the purpose for ladies and old retirees like my uncle who owns the above mentioned vehicle.



Quote:
Originally Posted by ashwin489 View Post
......

Usage: 60% highway & 40% city

P.S. Please don't tell me that a MT will be better, since 60% will be highway drives, etc. No offense!
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Old 14th June 2014, 21:03   #4
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Default re: Automatic: Used Maruti A-Star or new Honda Brio? EDIT: It's a Brio!

Thanks guys for the replies! Keep em' comin'

Wrt highway runs, it'll be short spurts on NH7. So, luggage space is a non-issue.

BTW, I also wanted to know if Honda, Toyota, Maruti or Ford is on the verge of launching a AT Hot Hatch in the near future. If that is the case, I'll buy an A-star for now and wait for that.

FYI, I heard from a VW sales manager that Polo with a 1.5 engine & auto tranny will be launched next month. However, I am gonna stay away from VW for obvious reasons.

Last edited by ashwin489 : 14th June 2014 at 21:07.
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Old 15th June 2014, 07:55   #5
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Default re: Automatic: Used Maruti A-Star or new Honda Brio? EDIT: It's a Brio!

I would go for A-Star AT if it is cheaper and more of highway riding is involved. it offers better ride and Maruti a.s.s is a plus for sure.

Brio is a better bet for a more refined engine and for peace of mind that product is not discontinued like A-Star.

Regards

Himanshu
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Old 15th June 2014, 10:40   #6
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Default re: Automatic: Used Maruti A-Star or new Honda Brio? EDIT: It's a Brio!

Since the A-Star is a car that's no longer in the market, the used can be bargained for a lower price. Plus, a used car is almost always a better purchase. Also, the A-Star looks like a proper car than the fragile-looking Brio.

I'm sure Maruti will be making spare parts for a long time to come. Atleast 5 years of spares will ensure you'd have moved on to another car from the A-Star.
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Old 15th June 2014, 12:55   #7
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Default re: Automatic: Used Maruti A-Star or new Honda Brio? EDIT: It's a Brio!

My pick will be A star even though I like Brio for its looks, engine, fit n finish, paint quality etc as A star is available at 1/2 price. Once a product is launched, even if it gets discontinued company has to provide full support in ASS, spare parts etc so wouldn't be an issue with Maruti
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Old 15th June 2014, 21:39   #8
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Default re: Automatic: Used Maruti A-Star or new Honda Brio? EDIT: It's a Brio!

When you buy a petrol automatic, you need to ask yourself 2 questions (I know I did!):
  1. Can I live with the fact that I will get virtually no resale value?
  2. Will I be able to absorb the rising cost of running a low-FE petrol vehicle?
Even if the answer is Yes to both questions (doubtful), a differential of 3.2L is huge. If all you need is a comfortable way to tootle about the city, buy the A-star.

Buy the Brio only if you:
  • Intend to keep the car for 5 years or more
  • Value the comfort and convenience of an AT more than kitna deti hai?
  • Really like the car- if you find your Amaze boring, why should the Brio, essentially the same car, be any different?
Just a thought: why not go for a used 2-3 year old Vento/City AT instead if you can get your hands on one? Am sure you can get one easily in the budget you have mentioned for the Brio. I know for sure that my 2011 Vento AT won't fetch me even 6L if I sold it today!
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Old 15th June 2014, 22:50   #9
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Default re: Automatic: Used Maruti A-Star or new Honda Brio? EDIT: It's a Brio!

The A-star scores with that well weighted steering and excellent highway manners. The ride is also very mature for a B segment hatch. But the space at the rear and boot is very limited and the visibility is also poor.

The Brio scores with space, visibility, more power and lot more kit. Airbags, alloys, wider rubber, steering mounted controls etc. The Honda got a 5 speed AT which will come handy during those highway trips.

If budget is not a big constraint, I would chose the Brio. The Brio should fetch you more during resale (first owner and a current production model) which can more or less soften the burden of the premium paid over A-star.
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Old 16th June 2014, 00:06   #10
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Default re: Automatic: Used Maruti A-Star or new Honda Brio? EDIT: It's a Brio!

Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster View Post
  1. Can I live with the fact that I will get virtually no resale value?
  2. Will I be able to absorb the rising cost of running a low-FE petrol vehicle?
A resounding YES to both questions, as convenience and power are my top priorities; plus my monthly running won't exceed 800-1000 kms. My first car was a 2003 Sonata V6 AT; it handled like a boat but every time I pressed the accelerator pedal, it was pure bliss. Of course, hyundai A.S.S treated my car like a cruel stepmother and I had to eventually let go of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster View Post
Buy the Brio only if you:
  • Intend to keep the car for 5 years or more

Both the Brio & A-star are just a stop-gap arrangement untill our market finally hands me a true AT hot hatch. Something that is small, reliable & powerful (imagine Jeremy Clarkson saying POWERRRR). I only wish the Polo TSI was manufactured by a Japanese company, Ford or a less arrogant/ self-aggrandizing organization. Everyone that I have interacted with at VW sales have been arrogant, disinterested or both; or maybe I was just plain unlucky. They don't offer extended warranty on the TSI-DSG variant & I'm not that adventurous with my money.

Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster View Post
  • Value the comfort and convenience of an AT more than kitna deti hai?
Wrt transmission, I personally have never felt any sense of pleasure in pressing the clutch and engaging gears manually. Also, in chaotic road conditions like ours, I just don't want to use my limited brain processing power on changing gears. So, in my limited worldview, manual transmissions only belong in museums. Its like insisting on using a calculator at the supermarket billing counter, even though the barcode scanner+computer combo is capable of doing it more accurately, efficiently and faster. And, I fully understand both Brio/Astar's ATs are not bleeding edge. This comment is about manual transmissions in general and does not intend to criticize anyone that uses/likes them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster View Post
  • Really like the car- if you find your Amaze boring, why should the Brio, essentially the same car, be any different?
Just wishful thinking really. Anything to stop me from buying that dreary yet practical cute lil fart called astar. I want a car that will put a grin on my face every time I press the pedal, but I honestly doubt I could find a reliable AT hatch in my budget that could do that. So, I am just settling for whatever works.

Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster View Post
why not go for a used 2-3 year old Vento/City AT instead
I don't have parking space for a sedan. Also, I hardly ever use the boot and thus don't feel the need to lug around a boot everywhere I go.

Last edited by ashwin489 : 16th June 2014 at 00:23.
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Old 16th June 2014, 09:24   #11
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Default re: Automatic: Used Maruti A-Star or new Honda Brio? EDIT: It's a Brio!

I will also opt for the Brio AT. Only catch is that I will not be surprised to see the CVT there in the not too distant future.
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Old 16th June 2014, 11:33   #12
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Default re: Automatic: Used Maruti A-Star or new Honda Brio? EDIT: It's a Brio!

OK my reply from purely money perspective.

A-Star AT, although you will have to try to bring the price down. Simply because the price differential of 300,000 does not justify buying Brio as a stop gap measure car. Keep the extra 3L in bank and get some interest on it! It will be a slight offset for your running cost.

Slightly OT:
I recently took a TD of Celerio AMT from TR Sawhney Motors in Delhi and the sales people there told me that A-Star is still under sales and production which is strange since they have even taken down the instruction manual from website.
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Old 16th June 2014, 12:31   #13
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Default re: Automatic: Used Maruti A-Star or new Honda Brio? EDIT: It's a Brio!

I'm a little confused now

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashwin489 View Post
A resounding YES to both questions, as convenience and power are my top priorities; plus my monthly running won't exceed 800-1000 kms.
Good. Then you have passed the qualifying test for AT ownership!

Quote:
Both the Brio & A-star are just a stop-gap arrangement untill our market finally hands me a true AT hot hatch. Something that is small, reliable & powerful (imagine Jeremy Clarkson saying POWERRRR).
Here's where my confusion arises. Neither of the choices shortlisted even come close to a hot hatch. So if you are not really looking at expanding your shortlist, I still recommend the A-Star over the Brio. Because if you sell a 7.5L petrol AT car in 2-3 years, you are still losing a helluva lot more than selling a second-owner 4.3L car in the same period.
Quote:
I only wish the Polo TSI was manufactured by a Japanese company, Ford or a less arrogant/ self-aggrandizing organization. Everyone that I have interacted with at VW sales have been arrogant, disinterested or both; or maybe I was just plain unlucky. They don't offer extended warranty on the TSI-DSG variant & I'm not that adventurous with my money.
Are you overthinking things a bit? The GT TSI fits in perfectly with your AT and hot hatch requirements. VW claims its DSG woes are behind them after switching to mineral oil from synthetic. Of course it's your call but waiting a while to see if problems start cropping up may be a wiser decision than dismissing it outright.
I had a similar problem with indifferent VW dealer in Pune in 2010-11 but after a second dealership was set up the internal competition has kept him on his toes. Plus VW's CRM team is very proactive and you can work with them for most issues with the dealer. You will have to be firm and calm but in the end you can usually prevail with these guys.
Good luck!
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Old 16th June 2014, 13:03   #14
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Default re: Automatic: Used Maruti A-Star or new Honda Brio? EDIT: It's a Brio!

I own a Brio Vx AT and its not much of a fun to drive/ hot hatch. The only convenience it has is steering mounted audio controls.

If convenience and power are your priorities the Brio Vx AT is not your car. I am also in the search for an automatic to replace my Swift and my finding is that the best value for money where power and convenience are concerned is the City AT which has the advantage of being a true sedan, followed by the GT Tsi.

Sales @ GT Tsi is another story as I had requested for a TD online, and except for a lady who called from the head office or something, its been more than three weeks and no one has even responded. My friend told me if i wanted a GT TSi, I should buy a gun first, and then head to the showroom with the cheque book in hand and force them to make the booking!!

How about considering the Hyundai Xcent Auto.? Saw one yesterday, its got conveniences and a good boot too and the owner said he was quite satisfied too.
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Old 16th June 2014, 13:18   #15
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Default re: Automatic: Used Maruti A-Star or new Honda Brio? EDIT: It's a Brio!

Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster View Post
Neither of the choices shortlisted even come close to a hot hatch. So if you are not really looking at expanding your shortlist, I still recommend the A-Star over the Brio. Because if you sell a 7.5L petrol AT car in 2-3 years, you are still losing a helluva lot more than selling a second-owner 4.3L car in the same period.
100% agreed! In my mind, I was just thinking if the higher resale loss incurred with Brio AT would be worth the driving experience. Btw, Dakshin Honda on Hosur road had promised a test drive today, but now changed their story saying that their TD Brio AT had some problems and they sold it off. They offered me 2 options: (1) Wait for the new Jazz, rumored to be launched in Oct 2014. (2) Test drive an Amaze AT and imagine that the boot is not there . So, I told him if he ever wanted to buy a sedan, just buy a hatchback and imagine that there is boot behind and save some money.

Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster View Post
I had a similar problem with indifferent VW dealer in Pune in 2010-11 but after a second dealership was set up the internal competition has kept him on his toes.
VW Bangalore on Hosur Road told me that test drive of Polo TSI will not be possible, since they are going to launch a Polo AT with a 1.5 engine next month. Also, wait period for the TSI is 4 months approximately and they won't tell me exactly how long.

Given these developments, looks like I have to settle for a A-star for now.

Last edited by ashwin489 : 16th June 2014 at 13:20.
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