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Old 18th May 2012, 00:40   #661
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Default Re: Honda Brio : Test Drive & Review

Noticed posts concerning visibility in the City and the A-Star. Since I own and drive AT versions of both these cars (the City being my daily drive) I thought I should provide my 2 cents.

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Originally Posted by Guna View Post
Not true. Honda city has very good visibility (if you set the seat to higher position, it provides 'commanding view' by sedan standards. I was expecting the view to be better in Brio (being a tallish hatch back)but I found that the dashboard is set higher then in the City and the view is not all that good.
Completely agree. The A-pillar while being thick in the City(I think that it's quite thick in all cars nowadays anyway), is more angled and at a greater distance from my peripheral field of view as compared to my A-Star. Also, on account of being a sedan, the City has large side windows and if you take the seat a little further back, you can see a lot better.

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Originally Posted by Sankar View Post
I'm concerned about this since my AStar poses quite a bit of a pillar blindspot problem. The pillar has often hidden pedestrians and bikes especially at unmanaged/unruly junctions where you can't predict people movement.
I face the same issue in my A-Star. The A-pillar is bang in my peripheral field of view. The smallish rear cabin and thick C-pillars make it more difficult to anticipate traffic creeping up from the left and right. I just don't feel that I can see enough and have often to rely on the ORVMs instead of my judgement when quickly switching lanes.

Since the A-Star is based on the Swift platform, I wonder how Swift drivers happily accept and drive with this handicap or maybe they don't get a chance to notice it. (I have more sympathy for Swift drivers now and also steer a little clear of them.)

The only area in my opinion that the A-Star is better than the City (apart from it being easier to maneuver and park) is in noise insulation. The thick rubber beadings in the A-Star seem to provide a greater degree of silence within the car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by suhaas307 View Post
What I hate about the Brio is the dashboard itself. It's simply ordinary. I didn't like the way the controls were set either, and the AC vents could have been placed differently.

When you buy a car and drive it, you're going to be looking at the interiors of the car most of the time, and the interior of the Brio is simply put, uninspiring. Hondas are known for their wacky and futuristic interior. Why was the Brio deprived of one?

What also annoys me is that there is no CD player. Even as an option! I don't know about the others, but I prefer the music coming from a CD rather than a phone or iPod via the aux/USB. I mean, you're paying 6 lakhs for a car, you better get a CD player, no?
True. I was initially impressed with the Brio when the reviews came out but on seeing the car in person, I feel that they could've done a better job especially with the dash material. I mean, what is that texture?

I don't miss the CD player though and I really like the stock City audio and the neatly tucked away USB stick. I've not even used the CD player in my A-Star even once. A dual CD + USB option would be the best of both worlds but I would hate having the USB stick dangling from the front of the unit.
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Old 18th May 2012, 08:54   #662
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sydras View Post
Since the A-Star is based on the Swift platform, I wonder how Swift drivers happily accept and drive with this handicap or maybe they don't get a chance to notice it. (I have more sympathy for Swift drivers now and also steer a little clear of them.)
Swift (old) is one of the cars which offers the best visibility across the windscreen. The A-pillar in the swift is more vertical than in the AStar, the windscreen is curved and the pillars are at a position where it doesn't affect the peripheral vision much. This is one of the reason why i like the Swift. Swift drivers see better than Astar drivers and many other car drivers. Its only the backward visibility which is compromised a bit.

I haven't driven the new Swift extensively but it felt like it offered similar kind of visibility like the old one. Didn't encounter any dangerous blind spots during the short TD.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sydras View Post
True. I was initially impressed with the Brio when the reviews came out but on seeing the car in person, I feel that they could've done a better job especially with the dash material. I mean, what is that texture?
Texture i can live with, but they could've have atleast provided the internally adjustable ORVM in the E and S versions they did not. As far as i'm concerned this is a very serious omission. Say if i'm reversing the car and i want to adjust the left ORVM to see the ground on the left side to watch a kerb or watch a stone how do Honda suppose i adjust it from the drivers seat? Walk over and adjust the mirror? Or ask the passerby to help me set the mirror? In my current car if i lean to the left i can reach the joystick with the tip of my fingers and make adjustments. Brio is 9cm wider than AStar.

I look at three main convenience features when i shortlist a model and variant - 1) Atleast front power windows and all four is just great, 2) Central locking and 3) internally adjustable ORVM. I can get the first 2 fitted from the accessory shop or from the dealer, but i don't prefer that i like factory fitted convenience features. Brio ticked first 2 but 3 is just as important. And i don't see Honda's logic in not providing manual internally adjustable mirror in the name of cost cutting.

I see value in Brio E only, S has a OEM stereo which i don't need, rear power windows which i need, full wheel trims, some body coloured tidbits and some other minor features for some 40k more. They could've provided internally adjustable mirrors in this version atleast. If they did i would've been forced myself to upgrade to S just for that.

E is cheaper than Swift VXI (ticks all my convenience requirements) by around 90k only (OTR 4.48 for E), its the only Brio I saw value in. Only if it had internally adjustable ORVM. If i compare E with LXI the difference would be even less, but LXI doesn't have convenience features i need but it has joystick ORVM.

Brio is not much larger than my AStar (Brio wheelbase is slightly shorter, width is 9cm more and length only 16cm more) so no point for me in paying above 5 lacs (for the variant with all the basic convenience features) to replace a 2 year old AStar with a not much larger car just for that Honda name and engine. K series i equally good and handles a lot better with a more sorted suspension.

I was initially impressed with the Brio, now not much.

Last edited by Sankar : 18th May 2012 at 09:03.
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Old 18th May 2012, 09:18   #663
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Default Re: Honda Brio : Test Drive & Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by sydras View Post

Since the A-Star is based on the Swift platform, I wonder how Swift drivers happily accept and drive with this handicap or maybe they don't get a chance to notice it. (I have more sympathy for Swift drivers now and also steer a little clear of them.)
What makes you say that A-Star is based on the Swift platform? I don't see any similarities except the limited or poor rear windscreen visibility in both cars. To be honest, the ergonomics in the A-star are terrible with the dashboard/AC vents set up so high and no seat or steering adjustment possible.

I have never faced the A-pillar obstruction issue in my Swift. I've been driving Swift (both new and old) since 2006; so maybe I have gotten used to it. The front visibility and A-pillar position seem to be spot on for me. The old Honda City (ZX series) did have a thick A-pillar which would create issues while taking turns. I have experienced this too and it was very annoying.

Last edited by fuel_addict : 18th May 2012 at 09:20.
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Old 18th May 2012, 09:43   #664
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Default Re: Honda Brio : Test Drive & Review

Folks, can we return to the topic - the Honda Brio, just to remind you.
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Old 18th May 2012, 18:30   #665
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Smile Re: Honda Brio : Test Drive & Review

Did a short test drive today. I am in love with the car. I mean come on, I was not expecting that much space when I stepped inside the cabin. I felt I was sitting in a sedan. Rear seating is pretty comfortable too, only thing concerning me is for a 6 footer the ceiling is not too far off at the rear.

The steering is an absolute beauty, it is so effortless to drive in the city 10/10 here, and making a U turn on Bangalore roads is a piece of cake, people just kept watching how quickly it did the turn. Head turner it sure is.

The engine is a delight as well, very refined mill. This alone is a steal. Boot space is just ok but well engineered. If you are good at tetris, you can manage pretty well with what you have been given in terms of boot space in the Brio. Base model is an absolute value for money. Honda - take a bow!
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Old 18th May 2012, 18:49   #666
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Default Re: Honda Brio : Test Drive & Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sankar View Post
Texture i can live with, but they could've have atleast provided the internally adjustable ORVM in the E and S versions they did not.
No internally adjustable ORVM and that too from Honda is a serious oversight in today's scenario even on lower variants. It can even be a dealbreaker for potential buyers who are interested in those variants.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fuel_addict View Post
What makes you say that A-Star is based on the Swift platform? I don't see any similarities except the limited or poor rear windscreen visibility in both cars. To be honest, the ergonomics in the A-star are terrible with the dashboard/AC vents set up so high and no seat or steering adjustment possible.

I have never faced the A-pillar obstruction issue in my Swift. I've been driving Swift (both new and old) since 2006; so maybe I have gotten used to it. The front visibility and A-pillar position seem to be spot on for me. The old Honda City (ZX series) did have a thick A-pillar which would create issues while taking turns. I have experienced this too and it was very annoying.
I was not sure about visibility in the Swift. Was just guessing actually. It's quite re-assuring to know that the Swift does not face such an issue. I thought that the A-Star and the Swift share some design elements (not platform as I earlier mentioned) but I am not sure about it.
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Old 18th May 2012, 20:22   #667
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sydras
No internally adjustable ORVM and that too from Honda is a serious oversight in today's scenario even on lower variants. It can even be a dealbreaker for potential buyers who are interested in those variants.

I was not sure about visibility in the Swift. Was just guessing actually. It's quite re-assuring to know that the Swift does not face such an issue. I thought that the A-Star and the Swift share some design elements (not platform as I earlier mentioned) but I am not sure about it.
The top two variants in Brio have internally adjustable OVRMs which is on par with cars in this segment. It is too much to expect this feature in all variants of a budget hatch.

The only similarity between the A-star and Swift (thankfully) is probably the gear shift knob. I don't think there is any component sharing or similarity in the design otherwise.
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Old 18th May 2012, 21:28   #668
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fuel_addict View Post
The top two variants in Brio have internally adjustable OVRMs which is on par with cars in this segment. It is too much to expect this feature in all variants of a budget hatch.
Too much to ask for an internally adjustable rear view mirror from a 4.48 EMT and 4.94 SMT OTR (Trivandrum) hatchback, really? Im not talking about electric mirrors, but just for a "toothpick" ORVM. My AStar VXI have this feature.




My fiancee loves this car, i almost wanted it in spite of other minor drawbacks, but this ORVM feature i need.

Last edited by Sankar : 18th May 2012 at 21:39.
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Old 18th May 2012, 22:32   #669
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sankar

Too much to ask for an internally adjustable rear view mirror from a 4.48 EMT and 4.94 SMT OTR (Trivandrum) hatchback, really? Im not talking about electric mirrors, but just for a "toothpick" ORVM. My AStar VXI have this feature.

My fiancee loves this car, i almost wanted it in spite of other minor drawbacks, but this ORVM feature i need.
My mistake - I had electrically adjustable outside mirrors in mind when I wrote that. The adjustment stalks (toothpick) should be standard even in the lower variants. Even Maruti & Tata provide that.

The lack of rear defogger and rear wiper even in the Brio top V variant is another surprising omission.

Last edited by fuel_addict : 18th May 2012 at 22:34.
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Old 20th May 2012, 09:58   #670
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Took a TD of the Brio yesterday. The Peninsular Honda showroom staff was very helpful, courteous and patient.

The car was good to drive, the engine was super smooth and the exhaust note was sweet. I can see why people fall for this car, it gives a feeling of being good with its pleasant interiors and feeling of space. The rear space was better than our i10 and i feel the leg space is a wee bit even better than the new Swift. The front seats are good and provide good support and it was easy to find a comfortable driving position.

Few negatives i found in this car:

1) The back seat provides very little neck/head support, on long drives people at the back will sorely miss the headrest. The little headrest lumps are only good if you're real short or slump on the rear seat. Those lumps won't protect against whiplash injuries either.

2) The back of one's head is only about 15cm from the rear glass. Didn't feel very comfortable.

3) The non toothpick mirrors on the lower variant which i crib about.
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Old 20th May 2012, 17:51   #671
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guna View Post
Good point.
@anshuman, did you get a chance to test this? In one of the videos, the reviewer seemed to turn something (did not look like 'turning a inserted key by half turn', it was more then that)
I believe parcel tray (no go in EMT) and remote boot opening options exist.
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Old 20th May 2012, 17:59   #672
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Originally Posted by algos&autos View Post
I never owned Honda or GM cars before. The cars i owned were Toyota Camry and now i use a Santro and will be moving to Jazz. Please consider my 2 cents in this context.

I lived in the US for a while,the near-unanimous opinion there was the Japanese(Toyota, Honda, Nissan) cars are better than American(GM, Ford,Chrysler) cars. infact most sales of American automobile companies were in the segment of trucks. The Japanese cars were known for low maintenance costs and better FE.

I have been advised strongly to not buy Chevrolet cars and i know of engineers who work for GM, who state that their cars are below market standards.

Based on what i hear and read. I strongly recommend staying away from Chevrolet, unless you get a very good price, be prepared to pay more for maintenance compared to Hyundais, Suzukis or Hondas.

I would strongly recommend buying a i10 or Brio if you are ok with petrol or consider a vista, punto or swift if you want to pay more and buy a diesel.
Concur. "Desis" abroad either buy a Honda or a Toyota...with Nissan as last option. Government had to bail Chevy out of the financial mess. Ford was the only company that Uncle Sam did not have to bail out; loved the Ford Fusion. Cruze has done wonders for Chevy though.

Nothing against Chevy or Ford owners though, my personal preference would be to opt for a German or Japanese company. If I really had to pick an american vehicle, it would be the blue oval (Ford).
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Old 21st May 2012, 13:30   #673
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sankar View Post
Took a TD of the Brio yesterday. The car was good to drive, the engine was super smooth and the exhaust note was sweet.
Few negatives i found in this car:

1) The back seat provides very little neck/head support, on long drives people at the back will sorely miss the headrest.
Sankar, agree with you on the most of the points. Was just wondering is it possible to replace the OVRM's of E variant with that of S (O) or (V)?
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Old 21st May 2012, 14:26   #674
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Originally Posted by arup.misra View Post
Sankar, agree with you on the most of the points. Was just wondering is it possible to replace the OVRM's of E variant with that of S (O) or (V)?
The sales executive replied in affirmative when i asked him the same. But it won't be a straightforward job even if its possible and will involve changing of Mirrors, RH door switch panel since that's where the direction switch is, and a part of wiring harness.

If Honda provided manual toothpick mirrors as aftermarket accessories it would've been great.
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Old 22nd May 2012, 13:14   #675
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sankar View Post
But it won't be a straightforward job even if its possible and will involve changing of Mirrors, RH door switch panel since that's where the direction switch is, and a part of wiring harness.
Asked a sales guy yesterday about switching ORVMs on the lower variant as a friend of mine wants to buy it and he mentioned that it would be possible but would involve a high cost and modifications to the driver's door pad. His response - best avoided and opt for the higher variant, but can be done.
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