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Old 24th April 2012, 08:57   #1
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Thumbs up Good things come in small packages, mine came in the Honda Brio VMT

In my entire car hunt and finalisation process, I’ve been wondering why there is such less buzz around the Brio. Sure it’s production got stalled and any initial hype advantage was lost, but still it’s a car that drives well, has good brand baggage and looks different from all others in its segment.

So this review is also an attempt to get some pep going for this peppy little car…and since I just got the car 2 days back (and have rolled out 50KM), it makes for the perfect time to get the first impressions out.

The Oldies:
I have been driving the Fiat Palio D for 8 years now, and previously drove the Fiat Padmini Premier (the ones that Mumbai taxis used to be iconic for before the call cabs arrived).

Have also driven my better half’s Honda City I-VTEC for some months now --- and totally love that car (more on that elsewhere). Have also done brief Drives on Toyota Corrolla and Skoda Superb (nice big cars to drive).

But with my ageing Palio giving out way too many niggles, it was time for change.

The contenders:
The first decision was to go petrol.

Reasons: shorter commute distance for me, higher waiting period for diesel vehicles in general and higher one-time cost for diesel vehicles that was not working out as value for money.

The second decision was to go for a small car.

Reasons: ease of parking (narrow roads overcrowded with cars -- is where the car would be spending most of its resting time, so this was the sole guiding reason)

Options and my reasons for rejection:

Maruti & Tata – not a big fan of their fit and finish; but did TD the Swift. Found the interiors too cramped and suffocating. So gave up on that point.

VW Polo, Fiat Punto– Nice interiors and finish and good to drive around in, but was not too sure of After Sales Service.

Hyundai i10: Hyundai higher Service costs (as per what I read on Team BHP and what I heard around)…and way too many of them on the roads.

The Newbie Winner:

Honda Brio:
  • Small (fits the space & parking needs)
  • Swift (really drives well on higher revs, slick in traffic though lower revs are a tad disappointing, requires downshifts if in stop-start traffic).
  • Service (have had a general good experience with Hondas)
  • Spacious (don’t get misled by the exteriors. It really is very spacious on the inside for both front and rear passengers)
  • Smart (Really in love with the rear design. It looks different and gets heads turning on the roads).
MY HONDA BRIO VMT

Colour
Picked up the white as I find the rear stands out the best on this colour…though was very tempted on Urban Titanium – since the interiors gel better with this colour. Honda somehow thinks showing the exterior car colours on the insides is a style statement – disagree with that. Would have much preferred if this wasn’t the case. If it’s an irritant then the Urban Titanium is better, gels well., I still opted for the white one though (plan to coordinate with ‘white accessories’).

Version
The top end VMT comes with Alloy wheels, fog lamps, dual-shade interior dash, ABS, Air Bags, stearing adjustment (not of much use), and internally adjustable rear view mirrors. I went with this version to avoid out of workshop fitments, partly due to time constraints.

Delivery
Delivery process was smooth, with the usual big key handover from the dealers. Good Photo-op. Car Checklist was done well before delivery.

Drive mode
First drive through relatively high traffic was zippy. The car drives well when the revs are higher…but gets a bit sluggish if revs drop on higher gears, and needs a downshift to perk it up again. I saw this from my past experience of driving a 1.9D Palio --- which had greater pulling power.

Overall it has a nice smooth drive in easy flowing traffic. The stearing is light and has a nice almost sporty grip, and combined with a short turning radius makes the car easily maneuverable into tight spots. I managed to hit the ECO mode few times – the key being ‘Zen like’ sedate driving.

But pressing the throttle further turns the car into a fun zippy 4 wheeler, revealing almost an alter ego. It’s fun to vroom it and throw around….but am yet to try that more. Waiting for the weekend to zip on traffic-less roads…

What I Liked
Looks -- it's distinctive on the roads
Drive -- Smooth drive, no major body roll or bobbing, hovercraft like feel on moderate speeds
Gear Shift -- very smooth shifts
Eco Mode -- somehow just makes you feel good about driving sedately when all around cars honk
Back Seat Space -- there is a decent amount of leg and knee space...much more than the Swift, Ritz and i10 in my opinion
Stearing mounted audio controls -- very good feature, especially if you like flipping channels while driving
Initial accelartion-- is quite good, i could see myself getting off the blocks much faster than other vehicles
Small turnung radius -- really a boon while doing U turns

What I Did Not Like
Assymetrical dash -- it seems the designer did not care much for balance here, the controls are off centre and may be an irritant for those who want symmetry in visuals
Plastics: You can feel the cost cutting, but then they had to do it somewhere. Better on plastics than under the hood
Read door power windows button: Position is bad, and looks almost like an afterthought
Sluggish on higher gears and low RPM: requires downshifts, a major bug bear if you are moving from a more powerful engine as in my case. Hope to get used to it.


Overall Brio seems like a good rounded package. It has its limitations, but then so do all cars in the segment. I am really happy with mine, for now!
Attached Thumbnails
Good things come in small packages, mine came in the Honda Brio VMT-img_1313.jpg  

Good things come in small packages, mine came in the Honda Brio VMT-img_1314.jpg  

Good things come in small packages, mine came in the Honda Brio VMT-img_1328.jpg  

Good things come in small packages, mine came in the Honda Brio VMT-img_1332.jpg  

Good things come in small packages, mine came in the Honda Brio VMT-img_1344.jpg  

Good things come in small packages, mine came in the Honda Brio VMT-img_1346.jpg  

Good things come in small packages, mine came in the Honda Brio VMT-img_1342.jpg  

Good things come in small packages, mine came in the Honda Brio VMT-img_1376.jpg  

Good things come in small packages, mine came in the Honda Brio VMT-img_1388.jpg  

Good things come in small packages, mine came in the Honda Brio VMT-img_1390.jpg  

Good things come in small packages, mine came in the Honda Brio VMT-img_1418.jpg  

Good things come in small packages, mine came in the Honda Brio VMT-img_1420.jpg  

Good things come in small packages, mine came in the Honda Brio VMT-img_7572.jpg  

Good things come in small packages, mine came in the Honda Brio VMT-img_7584.jpg  

Good things come in small packages, mine came in the Honda Brio VMT-img_7585.jpg  

Good things come in small packages, mine came in the Honda Brio VMT-img_7593.jpg  


Last edited by Nomasila : 24th April 2012 at 13:30. Reason: Team BHP moderator request
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Old 24th April 2012, 11:15   #2
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Default Re: Good things come in small packages, mine came in the Brio VMT

Congratulations. Short and well-written review. And thanks for the splendid photographs.
And the statement below, sums up the car pretty well
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nomasila View Post
Overall Brio seems like a good rounded package. It has its limitations, but then so do all cars in the segment. I am really happy with mine, for now!
Drive safe, and do update the thread periodically with your ownership experiences.
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Old 24th April 2012, 11:36   #3
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Default Re: Good things come in small packages, mine came in the Brio VMT

Congrats on your Brio, I was always fascinated by the Brio when I was looking for a Petrol Hatchback, but the long waiting period was a bummer!
What was the waiting period for yours? and also would you mind mentioning the On-road price?
I haven't seen too many white Brio's but the Silver sure does reek quality.

Happy & Safe miles on your new car. Do keep this thread updated!
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Old 24th April 2012, 11:44   #4
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Default Re: Good things come in small packages, mine came in the Brio VMT

Hello Nomasila,

Congrats on the new Car.

Yes the back portion really looks good in White Color.

So how many KMS have to driven the car so far? Also how is your experience driving the car?

Can you please show us pictures of the Boot Space & the Rear Passenger Leg Room?

Wish you very happy miles & years in your new Car.

Thanks,
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Old 24th April 2012, 11:59   #5
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Default Re: Good things come in small packages, mine came in the Brio VMT

Nice pictures and crisp and short review, nomasila.. Congratulations on your new asset!

Quote:
Originally Posted by superutp View Post
What was the waiting period for yours? and also would you mind mentioning the On-road price?
Waiting period for Brio has come down a great deal thanks to Honda increasing production in their Noida facility! My friend who had booked a Blue VMT got delivery in around 30 days. here are some pictures from the delivery of that car http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/offici...ml#post2721554 (Honda Brio : Test Drive & Review)
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Old 24th April 2012, 12:33   #6
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Default Re: Good things come in small packages, mine came in the Brio VMT

Congrats on the car Nomasila. Nice review and brilliant pictures.

The Brio looks best in white. I saw one the other day with matt black 15" alloys. The car looked very good indeed.

Why do you say the steering adjust is not of much use?
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Old 24th April 2012, 12:39   #7
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Default Re: Good things come in small packages, mine came in the Brio VMT

Congrats on the new car and wishing you many many miles of fun! With each passing day i see more and more Brio's on the road - Honda is clearly churning them out very quickly and each time i see one it turns my head.
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Old 24th April 2012, 12:49   #8
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Default Re: Good things come in small packages, mine came in the Brio VMT

Congrats for the new Honda, the car actually looks quite good in flesh, i have seen a few red Brio's going around in Bangalore and it looks a good option to choose in the B Segment Hatch's.
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Old 24th April 2012, 13:03   #9
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Default Re: Good things come in small packages, mine came in the Brio VMT

Quote:
Originally Posted by superutp View Post
What was the waiting period for yours? and also would you mind mentioning the On-road price?
Thanks. Did not have any major waiting period. The car was readily availalbe at the dealers (Delhi).

On-road price worked out to be 5.85 with insurance, RSA and extended warranty for the VMT variant.

Last edited by Nomasila : 24th April 2012 at 13:13.
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Old 24th April 2012, 13:39   #10
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Default Re: Good things come in small packages, mine came in the Brio VMT

Quote:
Originally Posted by deetjohn View Post
Why do you say the steering adjust is not of much use?
The Brio does not have seat adjustment, do feel that stearing adjust works best if the seat height can also be changed.

Right now, changing the stearing position did not make a huge difference to driving comfort for me
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Old 24th April 2012, 13:55   #11
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Default Re: Good things come in small packages, mine came in the Brio VMT

Note from Mod : Thread moved to ownership thread section. Thanks for sharing
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Old 24th April 2012, 16:11   #12
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Default Re: Good things come in small packages, mine came in the Brio VMT

Many congrats on the Brio. The white colour suits the car overall. The chrome front grille looks good, though some might crib about the excessive chrome. Some interior pictures would have been nice.

I believe you are referring to the older Swift when you talk about limited rear seat leg room. The new one fares reasonably well in this respect but at the expense of a miniscule boot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nomasila View Post
The Brio does not have seat adjustment, do feel that stearing adjust works best if the seat height can also be changed.

Right now, changing the stearing position did not make a huge difference to driving comfort for me
The steering adjust feature makes more sense when you do not have the seat height adjustment. Don't you think so? There are many cars which have neither and its a pain when you have multiple people driving the car. The A Star is one that comes to mind which has neither steering/seat adjustment and the driver position ergonomics are appalling at best.
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Old 24th April 2012, 17:20   #13
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Default Re: Good things come in small packages, mine came in the Brio VMT

Congratulations Nomasila - on your new possession. The white indeed looks beauty.

Am one of those onlookers who push through the traffice - when i see a Brio in the vicinity & make sure - she is in my view as far the two car travel. And sometime i get those dirty looks from the other cars on 'what am i trying to do' !.

But believe me - the aerodynamic design & the glassy touch - invites everyone to look twice.

Btw, is the goodyear tyres doing well ?. How is the AC functioning. Don't recollect any thread talked about the cooling efficieny before.

Again Best Wishes & have a safe driving.

Last edited by gjiyap1 : 24th April 2012 at 17:20. Reason: typo
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Old 24th April 2012, 18:14   #14
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Default Re: Good things come in small packages, mine came in the Honda Brio VMT

Hearty congratulations Nomasila on your new acquisition. I certainly must appreciate your photography . It was so much a virtual treat to my eyes. I've never felt Brio in white was a good color choice unless I saw your pictures. Looks so good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nomasila View Post

Options and my reasons for rejection:

Maruti & Tata – not a big fan of their fit and finish; but did TD the Swift. Found the interiors too cramped and suffocating. So gave up on that point.

VW Polo, Fiat Punto– Nice interiors and finish and good to drive around in, but was not too sure of After Sales Service.

Hyundai i10: Hyundai higher Service costs (as per what I read on Team BHP and what I heard around)…and way too many of them on the roads.
You never considered Figo petrol among these?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nomasila View Post

Sluggish on higher gears and low RPM: requires downshifts, a major bug bear if you are moving from a more powerful engine as in my case. Hope to get used to it.
As like DevilsCry mentioned in on of his comparos of all petrol hatchbacks (http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-d...-vs-punto.html (Petrol Battle Royale: Figo vs Swift vs Jazz vs Brio vs i20 vs Liva vs Polo vs Punto)), Brio is one car with very average low-end torque which explains its sluggishness in lower RPMs.
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Old 24th April 2012, 18:28   #15
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Default Re: Good things come in small packages, mine came in the Brio VMT

Quote:
Originally Posted by fuel_addict View Post
I believe you are referring to the older Swift when you talk about limited rear seat leg room. The new one fares reasonably well in this respect but at the expense of a miniscule boot..
Had done a TD on the new Swift hatch, but found the rear seat cramped---could be because of the smaller windows and thicker seats. The slim seats on Brio work to its advantage, creating more breathing space.


Quote:
Originally Posted by fuel_addict View Post
The steering adjust feature makes more sense when you do not have the seat height adjustment. Don't you think so? There are many cars which have neither and its a pain when you have multiple people driving the car. The A Star is one that comes to mind which has neither steering/seat adjustment and the driver position ergonomics are appalling at best.
Sure having at least stearing adjustment helps, but would have been perfect if they had seat adjustment as well. Just the stearing adjustment alone provides limited flexibility
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