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Old 8th September 2011, 00:22   #1
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Default Honda Brio : Test Drive & Review

The Honda Brio has been launched in India at a price of 3.95 - 5.10 Lakhs (ex-Delhi).

What you’ll like:

• A thoroughly contemporary Honda at a sub-5 lakh rupee tag
• Entertaining performance, sweet i-VTEC engine & healthy power-to-weight ratio
• High quality interiors for the segment
• Light controls, slick gearshift and easy maneuverability for in-city commuting
• Honda reliability & fuss-free ownership experience

What you won’t:

• Equipment list lacks rear defogger, CD player & driver seat height adjustment
• Basic, unsettled ride quality on imperfect roads. Gets choppy on uneven highways
• Small 175 liter boot
• Ordinary space for back seat passengers. Rear seat-back too short
• Quirky rear-end styling is a hit or miss

The Brio Automatic:

• Team-BHP's review of the Brio Automatic is available at this link (Honda Brio (Automatic) : Official Review)

NOTE: Click any picture to open a larger higher-resolution version in a new window.

Last edited by GTO : 11th October 2012 at 20:23. Reason: Adding link to Brio Automatic
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Old 8th September 2011, 00:22   #2
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Default Re: Honda Brio : Test Drive & Review

It's all about market-share, honey! As recent as 2007, Honda was the No. 5 manufacturer in India, and noticeably ahead of arch rival Toyota. Poor business decisions, grossly overpricing a potential volume car (the Jazz) and the inability to quickly react to changing market conditions saw Honda eventually get overtaken by Toyota. While the Indian car market grew by 30% odd in the most recent financial year (April 2010 - March 2011), Honda actually lost market share points. And from its once No. 5 position, Honda ranked No. 11 in April 2011 (more information here). Corrections were recently rolled in with a price cut on both, the City & the Jazz. While the City regained its no.1 segment position, the effect of the repositioned Jazz is yet to be seen. There is no doubt though that the Jazz is one of the best hatchbacks in the market for the money.

The Brio couldn't have arrived a moment too soon. Marking Honda's entry into the sub-5 lakh rupee volumes segment for the first time, it's an important car for the Japanese manufacturer...perhaps the most crucial launch till date. Spend a little time with the car and you'll realise that Honda is no longer willing to make mistakes. More on that in the ensuing posts.

Us Indians and the Japanese have a similar approach to small cars; we prefer space-efficient, value for money and fuel-efficient hatchbacks. European priorities, on the other hand, are vastly different. The Honda Brio is designed primarily for India & Thailand, and appears to meet most of the target market's needs. India-specific changes include a retuned suspension, an additional 15 mm of ground clearance and a different interior shade. The Indian Brio also gets a full HVAC unit, unlike the Thai car that gets air-conditioning only. On the flip side, the lack of a diesel engine will remain it's Achilles' heel in a market that is increasingly preferring oil-burners (rumours insist that over 3/4th of new Swift bookings were for the 1.3L diesel). That said, petrol-only cars like the Hyundai i10 still manage to bring respectable numbers home.

The Brio starts off with an 80% level of localisation, the ECU being one of the major parts that is imported. I had very low expectations of the car's design. Pictures of the bright green colored Thai Brio, which have been doing rounds on the Internet, looked disappointing. While the rear is undoubtedly awkward in person, the car looks pretty good from the front & side angles. The Brio wears modern clothes, and has Honda DNA weaved into it; the lights, the grille and the overall profile are unmistakably Honda, with the Brio looking its part as the Jazz' younger sibling. Unlike Toyota and its conservative Liva, Honda's effort is far more "with the times". But the car has a small footprint with its compact dimensions (length of only 3,610 mm). Plus, the unconventional rear end design is, well, awkward and opinions will inevitably end up polarized on the same. The all-glass hatch is a clear sign of cost-cutting, reminding one of the '84 Maruti 800 in feel.

Honda Brio : Test Drive & Review-honda-brio-comparison.jpg

Honda has done a super job with the deep & glossy paint job. Body panels are fitted with tight, consistent tolerances as well. The quality of plastic and rubber used, especially the door beadings, is light years ahead of what I have seen on the Figo, Polo and Punto. The doors close with a precise albeit tinny clunk you would only associate with light-weight Japanese & Korean cars. The glass hatch feels sturdy and is fitted well; it does not feel fragile even when you shut with a heavy hand. The Brio's kerb weight is 920 kilos (base variant), that's about 40 kg lesser than the new Swift. Honda insists that the rear frame is sufficiently stiffened from the safety point of view, and adds that the Brio has cleared Japanese crash tests (which are supposed to be more stringent than European standards). Shockingly, the glass hatch gets no defogger, leave alone a wash & wipe. This is a glaring oversight on a must-have feature for our kind of weather & driving conditions.

ABS and Airbags are standard on the middle & top variants (base variant gets neither). The equipment list isn't lavish, yet the Brio "V" variant includes most essentials like steering mounted controls, electric mirrors, USB and AUX inputs for the stereo, keyless entry & engine immobiliser, 4 power windows, fog lamps and alloy wheels (set of 4). The Jazz doesn't have climate control and thus, I didn't expect it on the Brio either. Items that are conspicuous by their absence are the rear defogger, driver's seat height adjustment, CD player (if you aren't from the MP3 generation) and a modern antenna (current is a pull-out type!!!). The "S" (middle) variant loses fog lamps & alloy wheels, and gets different seat upholstery.

Rear 3-quarter is a love-it-or-hate-it design:

No dog bar, with the air-con condensor far out in the front. Fairly loud horn:

Single washer unit throws out 3 jets of water. Works well:

A closer look at the headlight & fog lamp:

Tuner-style rear lights. Look similar to the ones on the Cedia, wot?

Pull-out antenna similar to Alto and 800! GTO says it reminds him of his outdated OHC:

175/65 R14 tyres mounted on 10 spoke alloy wheels:

You can't test-drive a Honda and not check if it kisses speed breakers! This is on a large speed bump outside the Indian Navy, Vizag. Short wheelbase + a rear end that doesn't sag should see it clear speed breakers without issue:

Flared out wheel arches:

A look at the S variant Brio in different colours. Notice absence of fog lamps & alloy wheels:

Last edited by GTO : 11th October 2012 at 20:35. Reason: Removing old comment on AT
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Old 8th September 2011, 00:23   #3
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Default Re: Honda Brio : Test Drive & Review

When you sit inside the Brio for the first time, you will be pleasantly surprised with the interior quality. For a <5 lakh rupee hatchback, the interiors feel really good & are well-screwed together. There is no hint of cost cutting, be it the plastics, fit, finish or the seat fabric. Obviously, there is no soft touch dashboard in here, yet the interiors feel better than most other cars from the segment. Whatever cost cutting is there, it is not that obvious. Inside the seat back pocket, you'll find soft textured material. The rear bottle-holder (between the front seats) has a small carpet on its base. GTO had driven the Toyota Liva a month back, and he commented that the interiors don't feel anywhere as built to a cost as the Liva's. I really liked the seat fabric; the cushioning was rather decent and you could easily pass it off in a C segment sedan.

The Indian Brio gets a black & beige color combination, unlike the Thai version and its full beige effect. The color palette is similar to other Hondas sold in India. It's not perfect though; the chocolate brown color accents (a la Hyundai i10) on the center console & door armrests look completely out of place. Also, the Brio's body colour is prominently exposed on the front door pockets & the rear door panel! Honda say they did this intentionally as a design touch, but it doesn't work for me at all. For an entry level Honda, it has stylish door open levers (silver aluminium finish for the V variant, beige for the lower variants). The V variant gets beige carpeting, while the lower variants get black.

The dashboard looks basic for the most part. It isn't very deep like in other cab forward designs. Strangely, the stereo is positioned and angled towards the front passenger, and away from the driver. If there is any variant without steering mounted audio controls, then it's an area of complaint. As is typical with Honda cars, most buttons are from the XL size parts bin, including those for the stereo and air-conditioner. Even the outdated fresh air <-> recirculate lever is big. If you have driven a Honda City before, you will find familiarity with the meter fonts & their orange illumination. The meter cluster stays illuminated during the day and is very easy to read on the go. The basic MID only displays trip meter info and average fuel consumption.

The steering is a standard 3 spoke design, unlike the Jazz & the City whose wheels are Civic-inspired. The Brio's steering is small in size and wonderful to hold. It doesn't get leather cladding, yet the soft touch rubber feels high quality too. There is no driver seat height adjustment, not even on the top end V variant. This is a feature that women in particular are drawn to. The seats are placed on the lower side (this is no tallboy hatchback) and you will have to sit down on the seat. The A pillar is thick, but doesn't obstruct visibility that much, partly due to the low positioning of the ORVMs (wing mirrors). All round visibility is top notch, further aided by the huge greenhouse. Shorter drivers, though, will miss seat height adjustment on the low-set seat, and will have to crane their necks from time to time. The rear hatch is a full glass unit, thus you can literally look down on the road behind you. Reversing is a breeze; stones or a footpath right behind won't pose any issue. The ORVMs are decently sized and have a wide field of vision. The interior mirror, on the other hand, is narrower than I usually prefer. The front seats have phenomenal knee room, thanks to the large travel range of the seats and scooped in dashboard. Plus, with the huge front windows, the cabin feels very airy. The front seats have integrated neck restraints (cost-cutting). They reasonably protrude out so, you can comfortably rest your head on them from time to time. The thin front seats also get nice lateral support by hatchback standards. There is no seatbelt height adjustment, a feature even the Maruti Ritz offers.

The Brio's interiors are compact and about the same size as the outgoing Swift. No, it's no Toyota Liva or even a Ford Figo inside. While the front passengers have adequate space (as is the case with most cars), the back seat is only suited to medium-sized adults. Two on the back is okay, while a third certainly isn't. Space at the rear is strictly average, and can at best be termed "adequate" by city hatchback standards. It's compact, yet more than you'd expect of a car with such a short wheelbase thanks to the packaging. Honda has tried it's best to squeeze out room the best it could; this is evident everywhere, right from the scooped dashboard (front passenger knee room is A+) to the thin & contoured front seat-back design (to maximise whatever space is available to rear benchers). The rear seat also appears to be pushed far back, clearly prioritising room over boot space. The end result is a cabin that can hold 4, but not a comfortable five like some larger hatchbacks. Also, the rear seat back is too short and tall passengers will inevitably find the (soft) rear headrests to be placed too low. If you are sitting straight on the rear seat, a 5'10" guy has about 2 inches clearance between the head and roof. But if you rest your head on the neck restraint, you will have a mere 2 cms of clearance from the roof. The rear windows are noticeably smaller than the ones at the front. On the positive side, the rear floor hump is marginal (probably an inch in height) and not massive like in the Polo. The rear door armrest is small and should serve the purpose for short commutes. The back bench overall is like that of any other compact city hatchback; don't expect Vista-like comfort or space. As the seat is pushed back, access is made easier since the distance between the B Pillar & the seat is more than in most other hatchbacks.

It was mentioned in the pre-launch Brio thread that the Thai version does not get a heater and front windshield defogger. Well, the Indian Brio has both. Because we tested the car on a cloudy day, we cannot really comment on the effectiveness of the A/C. All the four rotary A/C vents can be adjusted in any way you like. They also have a full close function which, unfortunately, doesn't really shut them airtight. Some amount of cool air still finds its way through.

There is a reasonable amount of storage space in here. The glove box size is par for the course (although the XL size lid would have you believe otherwise), and the front door pockets are wide. They can hold 1 litre bottles too. Two large cup-holders are placed right ahead of the gear lever, with another storage cubicle thrown in. Rear benchers get a large bottle holder / storage cubicle (between the front seats) and two seat back pockets, but no door pockets.

The small sized boot won't really accommodate your out-of-town luggage, especially if the wife doesn't pack light. The load bay is rather high, and the boot runs deep inside. Thus, you'll have to "pick up" luggage items and then place them down. The rear seat can be folded to create more space when the flexibility is required. No, there is no split folding option or the Jazz' magic seats. The all-glass hatch results in your luggage being clearly visible from the outside. A parcel tray is a must.

High quality steering is fabulous to hold:

Easy-to-read dial arrangement. Brown accents look tacky in an otherwise classy colour palette:

Jazz' golf ball gearshift knob. Lots of part sharing with other Hondas:

Thin front seats offer decent support, especially lateral. Integrated neck restraints are a cost cutting measure:

Just like the City, the Brio's stereo has no CD player. Choose from USB, AUX or FM. USB cable is placed near the front cup holders, while the Aux-in is located on the HU itself. Fitting an after-market head unit will not require a dash kit. Sound quality is pretty good for a small car. Steering mounted audio controls are standard on the S and V variants:

No climate control on the City or Jazz, thus we didn't expect it on the Brio either. Slider for recirculate <-> fresh air mode feels too outdated:

Between the recirculate <-> fresh air slider is a light that illuminates the front cup holder area:

Wheel well has adequate width. No dead pedal though:

Stylish door panel, save for the (hideous) exposed body colour inside the pockets:

Wing mirrors offer a good field of view...

...interior mirror not so. I'd prefer a size wider:

Chunky control stalks exude quality:

Chrome-ringed air vents look classy. When fully shut, well, they aren't! Some amount of cool air still finds its way through:

Regular sized glove compartment:

2 cup-holders & a storage cubicle ahead of the gear lever:

The rear bottle holder has a carpet for a base! Neat:

Limited rear bench space is similar to that of most other compact cars. Notice how the front seat backs are angled in:

Floor hump is marginal in size:

Wide gap (between the seat & B-Pillar) makes for easier entry / exit:

Small 175L boot runs deep:

Rear seat can be folded away for those airport runs:

No, the spare isn't an alloy wheel:

Last edited by GTO : 27th September 2011 at 18:26. Reason: Minor typos
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Old 8th September 2011, 00:25   #4
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Default Re: Honda Brio : Test Drive & Review

The Brio is powered by the same 1.2 Liter i-VTEC petrol engine that does duty under the hood of the Jazz. It has a slightly lower power rating made at a slightly lower rpm. The Brio's engine is rated at 87 BHP (@ 6000 rpm) and 109 Nm of torque (@ 4,500 rpm). The Jazz makes 89 BHP @ 6,200 rpm and 110 Nm torque @ 4,800 rpm. There are no changes to the engine, except a slightly different ECU map & gear ratios to improve low end power delivery. The engine comes with variable valve timing, similar to all other Honda iVTEC engines.

Plumbing for the air intake is hooked up to the underside of the bonnet:

Thanks to a kerb weight that's 135 kilos lesser than the Jazz, the Brio's power to weight ratio is superior. This is obvious as soon as you start driving. Pulling away from a standstill, the motor appears to have more pep; even the gearing feels shorter than the Jazz. I expected the Jazz' weak bottom end response but was in for a pleasant surprise. The Brio is far easier to live with at low rpms, and within the city. Make no mistake, this is no Santro 1.1L engine, but neither will Brio owners complain of poor torque. Bring the car to a near crawl, and you can manage to get away in 2nd gear itself. No downshift to 1st or clutch slipping, required. The Brio will feel completely at home crawling in rush-hour traffic.

The real fun though is on the open road. Simply put, the Brio is more fun to drive than even the Jazz. The engine feels eager to revv & refined, even at high rpms, like any other Honda. With a kerb weight that rivals 100+ BHP Polo 1.6's, the Brio accelerates clean to a 100 kph. The mid range & top end is where this motor feels simply brilliant; performance is good enough to put a huge grin on your face. Out on national highways, the Brio can get thoroughly entertaining to drive. In good hands, it can easily keep up with (and embarrass) some cars from two segments higher. You make rapid progress on the open road, and all that's required to overtake fast moving vehicles is a downshift. One sore spot is that the engine revvs "only" to ~6,600 rpm, where the electronic revv limiter cuts in. The engine is easily capable of going higher up, but Honda's engineers decided otherwise. At 100 kph in 5th gear, the engine is spinning at 3000 rpm.

A bright green ECO light on the console illuminates when you are in an rpm range that maximises fuel efficiency. A variety of parameters (including current gear, speed, road incline etc.) are considered by the ECU for the ECO mode:

The gearshift quality is identical to the Jazz with short, light throws. As if to match it, the clutch is short & crisp to use too. NVH is good and nearly at par with the Jazz. Idle is super silent. However, the engine can get fairly vocal at the top end (enthusiasts will appreciate, regular joes may not). GTO commented there is no excessive road or suspension noise like he observed in the Liva. Note that road noise is higher at the back than the front, thanks to the lack of wheel well cladding at the rear (see picture). It must be mentioned that the exhaust note is sweet at high revvs.

The Brio gets conventional McPherson struts up front, while the rear suspension is based on the H-shape torsion beam. The rear end feels firmer than the softer front; Indian Hondas usually have it the other way around. Then, the wheelbase is also amongst the smallest from the segment. The result is a ride that is imperfect, and far from luxurious. Sure, on perfectly paved urban roads / highways, the Brio rides just like any other hatchback. You won't complain here. But when the roads get rough - a frequent occurrence in India, you'll find the Brio crashing through potholes. Even on typically Indian highways, the Brio's ride feels choppy at speed, especially at the back. Excessive vertical movement continues, long after you have crossed an unleveled spot on the highway. Most large bumps can truly send a jolt on the inside (especially at the rear). You will need to slow down for those bumps that you could easily get away with in a Figo or Vista. At highway speeds, all abnormalities like joints and other road imperfections filter in to the cabin. Few short wheelbase cars ride well, the Brio being no different. GTO says that, in terms of comfort, there is no comparison with the Liva...the Toyota is leagues ahead.

On the other hand, the short wheelbase makes the Brio a fun, chuckable car to drive. The chassis is balanced, and the Brio can be huge fun on twisties. It has a kind of agility that the bigger, heavier hatchbacks will find hard to match. You can literally pick up this car from one corner and throw it into the next, like a go-kart. Of course, there is the typical under steer on the limit, and body roll of mass market hatchbacks too, but the Brio is still a lot of fun. The OEM MRFs on our car gave up way before the car did; an upgrade to superior quality rubber is a must for BHPians. The EPS is very fast & direct too. Unlike the dull units of the i10 / i20, the Brio's power steering offers fair feedback and can keep you involved. But it's no Ford Figo steering. There is some vagueness around the center position at fast speeds too. The masses will love how the steering is light at parking speeds, and feels over assisted in the city. Enthusiasts will find the steering too light for spirited driving. It does not weigh up adequately at highways speeds. Small cars have come a long way in terms of highway stability. At 120 kph, the Brio's composure is perfect with no hint of nervousness. GTO says the stability feels way better than that of his OHC Vtec. The Brio feels sufficiently planted even when changing lanes on the highway.

The brakes are adequate for fast runs, while pedal feel and modulation are A+. The compact dimensions, short wheelbase, small turning radius (only 4.5 meters) and light controls (steering, gear, clutch) make the Brio a very easy car to pilot within dense urban traffic. The Indian version gets 165 mm of clearance, that's 15 mm more than the Thai car. This is a rare Honda that you won't be scraping on speed breakers, due to the short wheelbase and a rear end that doesn't sag. Of course, we leave final judgement to our Bangalore members who somehow end up with the largest speed humps in the country!

Last edited by GTO : 1st April 2013 at 22:02. Reason: Max torque made at 4,500 rpm
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Old 8th September 2011, 00:26   #5
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Default Re: Honda Brio : Test Drive & Review

Other Points:

• It's amazing how Toyota has always been credited with lean & effective manufacturing techniques, but this time, Toyota has to learn from Honda on how to make a 5 lakh rupee car that doesn't feel cheap.

• Name is pronounced as BR-EE-OH.

• Revisit the Brio concept that was displayed at the Auto Expo '10 here.

• Service interval is 6 month / 10,000 kms. The only exception is the first month / 1,000 kms free checkup.

• Comes with a 24 month / 40,000 kms standard warranty. A 2 year extended warranty package will be offered.

• Honda is targeting a presence in 90 cities via 143 dealers in the short-term future.

• Some market overlap between the Brio & the Jazz is inevitable, especially the top-end Brio and the entry-variant of the Jazz.

• Honda engineers claim that the i-SRS Airbags are better than the regular grade; these multi-stage airbags deploy faster and remain inflated longer.

• Removing the airbags & ABS from the base variant allows Honda an entry price point that's Rs. 45,000 - 50,000 lower.

• ARAI fuel economy is 18.4 kpl. Fuel tank capacity is 35 liters.

• The trouble with the fixed front headrests is that rear passengers have no view of the road ahead. Unless they tilt their heads.

• Between India & Thailand, the size of our market is larger. Thus, if priced well, India could well become the single largest market for the Brio.

• Sadly, no auto-locking doors on the Brio (once you get moving).

• The Brio has 2 reverse lights (unlike some cut-cost cars).

• While the test cars didn't have a parcel tray, they should be available on the showroom Brios.

• The glass hatch is supported by a single gas strut.

• Driver's power window switch has one touch down.

• Somehow, nearly all Hondas sold in India - from the Jazz to the Civic - fail to provide ride comfort from their suspension setup.

• The glass hatch feels tough; Honda also added that they have used a thicker grade of glass.

• No temperature gauge in the Brio. Related Discussion (Good 'ol Temperature Gauge : Yes or No?).

• Thanks to GTO for accompanying me on this test-drive and for his comments.

Disclaimer : Honda invited Team-BHP for the Brio test-drive. They covered all the expenses for this driving event.

Last edited by GTO : 27th September 2011 at 18:31. Reason: Changing bullet style to •
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Old 8th September 2011, 00:26   #6
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Default Re: Honda Brio : Test Drive & Review

The smaller yet significant things:

Front wheel well cladding? Check:

Rear wheel well cladding? Negative. One of the reasons that road noise is more on the back seat:

A closer look at the lower variant's wheel cap:

GTO says that the key (and key chain) are identical to that of his Civic. Knowing Honda, don't expect an integrated remote on the spare key:

That's the max that the rear window will roll down to:

Rotary air-con vents can swivel in any way you like:

Exposed metal looks garish, wouldn't you agree?

Both sun visors get vanity mirrors:

Average fuel-efficiency displayed:

Zooming in on the steering mounted audio controls:

Love the way that the rear power window switch housing scoops out toward you:

Both seats get back pockets:

Funky door handles from the common parts bin:

Last edited by GTO : 8th September 2011 at 01:04. Reason: Spell check
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Old 8th September 2011, 00:38   #7
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Default Re: Honda Brio : Test Drive & Review

*Rates your thread an extremely well-deserved 5 stars!*

When I see the Brio, I see the effect of competition on Honda. Absolutely brilliant hatchback + solid mechanicals; I rate it right up there with the i10 & Swift on my list of petrol favourites. You don’t need to spend big money to have fun, and the Brio proves it. Immensely pleasurable to drive (more than the Jazz!!!) on the open road, & in the city as well. Simply love fast cars, and the Brio is amongst the quickest from its segment. The compact size & quick steering makes it feel like a small go-kart (Alto K-10 too). That engine just loves to be revved, and revved again....time to look up after-market options to remove that early limiter . The interior quality is amongst the best in the segment and, honestly going by Honda’s history, I didn’t expect things to be good on the inside. I think it’s a lovely urban hatchback, and will especially be a hit with the fairer sex too (light to drive, easy within the city, cute looks et al). Considering the recent price-cut on the City & Jazz, and Honda's immediate need for volumes, the Brio is expected to be priced well (we were already told that it's going to be a sub-5 lakh car).

Unfortunate, but like most Indian Hondas, the Brio too doesn’t ride well on bumpy Indian roads. I didn’t like the vertical movement from the back on irregular tarmac, or the fact that you feel every ripple on the highway (well, almost). Cars like the Figo, Liva, Vista and gang are in a different league altogether when it comes to ride comfort. And the weird rear end design isn't to my taste either; I prefer the cleaner look of the Liva. Shocked to see the lack of a very vital rear defogger! This is a necessity in our driving conditions. That apart, the Brio has the necessities...even steering mounted audio controls that my Civic lacks!

Overall, it's very (read = VERY) close between the Brio, i10 & Swift in terms of an overall package. To me, these three outclass every other petrol hatchback from the segment. Honda is still not receiving full supplies from Japan (Earthquake tragedy) and I'd expect high volumes to only kick in after a quarter.

I thoroughly enjoyed high-revving this car with you Anshuman, and I greatly respect your attention to detail. Thanks for contributing the best, most unbiased review there is on the Brio today.

BTW, here’s a picture that we took illustrating how the items in the boot remain visible:
Honda Brio : Test Drive & Review-img_5306-custom.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 8th September 2011 at 01:36.
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Old 8th September 2011, 01:02   #8
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Brilliant review, guys! Thanks

The Brio is a very impressive little car! And the fact that it's actually fun to drive sweetens the deal that much more for us petrol heads!

I recently test drove the i10 and although it does everything well - it somehow didn't strike a chord with me! Great car, but it lacked that element of fun which I wanted. Going by this review the Brio seems to deliver - and how!

Props to Honda for bringing a quality product to our shores - the Etios could learn a thing or two about quality.

I think Honda have their targets set on the i10 and Hyundai have every reason to be alert. Perhaps they'll finally launch the i10 diesel?

God bless competition!

Last edited by anekho : 8th September 2011 at 01:03.
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Old 8th September 2011, 01:24   #9
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Default Re: Honda Brio : Test Drive & Review

Great review GTO and Anshuman!

Looks like most of my doubts have been answered.


High points of the Brio, in context with competition:

- Good to see that Honda has tweaked the engine and gearbox for city-driving. We need that torque lower in the rev-range, unlike the Jazz, which needs to be kept on the boil. 87 hp in a small, light car, should be loads of fun, especially with that lovely creamy gearbox.

- Great to see that Honda hasn't resorted to cost-cutting in the Brio. The quality of the material in the interior is a great plus-point, especially over the Etios Liva.

- The rear doesn't look as bad as I thought it would. The photos clicked by you'll throw it in better light.

- Good to know that there is one Honda that doesn't scrape the speed-breakers. We've always had a problem with that in our Jazz and our Civic.

Looks like Honda has given it some thought and studied our market pretty well.

Some low points:

- Cannot believe that something as mundane as a rear-windshield wash-wipe has been omitted.

- Lack of some features is a turn off, like Auto-climate-control. I wasn't expecting it to come with it anyway. But the driver's seat height-adjust is something the should have included, at least as an option. And what's with Honda not including a CD player? I know that this is 2011, but c'mon?!

- Quality is good, although they could have done an even better job if the rear-wheel-wells were well insullated and the metal behind the door-panels covered up.

- ABS and Airbags should have been optional on the base variant, but then the base variant would be redundant then, now wouldn't it?

- Why Honda? Why the same ol' boring key? If we do buy the Brio, then we'd have three Hondas under one roof, and the keys are bound to get mixed up!

Last edited by suhaas307 : 8th September 2011 at 01:32.
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Old 8th September 2011, 01:43   #10
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Default Re: Honda Brio : Test Drive & Review

That was a great review Anshuman and GTO, thanks a ton.
It removes most of the doubts in mind of potential customers.

One question from my side, if a person of 6 feet sits in the rear seat, how much is the clearence to the top.
And for the same person sitting in rear, how far is his head from the rear glass, it looks pretty closer to the rear passenger's head.
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Old 8th September 2011, 01:43   #11
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Good Gaon mod with a too Good review! Rated it a deserved 5 star. Wonder when will an official review of the New Swift come about
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Old 8th September 2011, 01:53   #12
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Great review Anshuman. At first glace the rear lights reminded me instantly of the Civic. It looks like the Civic's rear light has been chopped off somewhere and fitted to the Brio. Im also disappointed that the rear is as bouncy as mentioned and that means Swift and i10 will be a notch better? Why this is not even available with a Diesel option which will swing in the Swift's way and no autobox, will swing in the i10's way.
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Old 8th September 2011, 02:10   #13
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Default Re: Honda Brio : Test Drive & Review

Very detailed review ! Thanks !

Originally Posted by .anshuman View Post
Also, the Brio's body colour is prominently exposed on the front door pockets & the rear door panel! Honda did this intentionally as a design touch
This may also have been done to save some extra mm of thickness that would have otherwise resulted in the bottle holder pocket to protrude into the cabin?

While the defogger will be missed - could it be that the steep angle of the rear glass will prevent dirt from settling on it, hence doing away with the need of a rear wiper? Just a wild thought
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Old 8th September 2011, 02:20   #14
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Very detailed review. Thanks!

A silly question: Which color looked the best in flesh?
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Old 8th September 2011, 02:23   #15
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Default Re: Honda Brio : Test Drive & Review

Nice short n punchy review.


engine and gearbox
price (looking forward to that)


No rear wash/wipe/defog (really? not even on the top variant?)
No AT (another hopeful gone down the drain...)
No rear parcel tray (thief magnet)

To each his own (I do not like these):

rear styling (The glass comes down too much, the bumper goes up too much)
exposed seat pockets (that metal shall start getting hideous scratches)

Also - the stereo and dash area looks kind of cheap. Somehow I feel the stereo is not very matching with the dash.

If one has to enjoy a Honda on budget - then this is it.

Last edited by blackasta : 8th September 2011 at 02:29.
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