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Old 31st October 2012, 09:46   #1
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Default Urban Titanium Honda Brio V-AT

I picked up my car last evening. The car arrived at the workshop in early afternoon, and I got a call at 4:00pm from the Sales Manager. So went and picked it up at about 6:30pm.

Given the interest in the Brio AT I am posting this. Pictures are also now posted.

These are my initial observations:

The OTR price was about Rs.650k incl a corporate discount, and 50% NCB with Rs.7500 voluntary excess.

1. To clear some confusion the D3 setting has reverse braking, as do the fixed ratios of 2 and 1. The manual very explicitly mentions, engine braking, more engine braking and even more engine braking.

2. The 3 month service is no longer there . So 1 month check up, and then 6 months and every six months. Oil change 10,000 or 6 months. Now oil must be API-SM (was SL for the Civic), and SAE20 is also kosher. Had to be 30 for the Civic. The oil looks like a synthetic (very low viscosity, and nearly clear colour).

3. The engine is Over Square (bore 73mm, stroke 71.6mm) and hence has the normal characteristic of such engines, high revving (Red line seems to be about 6700) and poor torque at low speeds.

4. After being used to hung parcel shelves (Zen and Santro) it will take some getting used to a shelf which has to be rotated out of the way, esp. since the boot opening is small a the top.

The manual covering only the Thai and Indian models is much easier to decipher than the near Universal one with the Civic. I found a couple of errors already:

1. The manual talks of no need to press the release button for movement from R to N, N to D and D to D3. The last is not true. To go to D3 you have to press the button.

2. Fog light bulb replacement seems to have been written for LHD vehicles. The rotation of steering required is opposite of what is specified, i.e. for passenger bulb, turn right and not left, etc.

Two gripes already:

1. Missing the temperature gauge. Some indication of when the engine has reached to operating temperature will be nice. (I am looking at it more like a Baby Civic!). How about reviving the system from the Alfsud of the 70's where the warning light came on when the engine was cold, and then went off for the working range.

2. Missing the dead pedal: Where do I park my hoof when driving!!

Added on 18/12/2012 : GTO has asked for the following to be covered. So here I go:

- The good and bad about its equipment levels:
Excellent, cannot ask for more in an entry level car. The very fact that I am comparing with a top Civic says it all. Two grouses, already communicated to Honda.
  1. No dead pedal as mentioned above. A bigger pain with an AT.
  2. While auto wind-down is there on the drivers side window, up is not. It is there in the Jazz though.

Overall build quality and fit & finish:
Excellent. Typical Honda.

Interior design & quality:
Excellent.

Interior space and comfort:
Good. My son reckons that the rear seat is more spacious than his Swift.

Air conditioner, seat support, ergonomics and other noteworthy interior points:
For the first time I am not pushing the seat right back for driving in a small car.

Engine performance & driveability in the city:
Good, except for lag in D. This is there to a lesser degree in the Civic as well.

Engine performance & driveability on the highway:
No idea. This is our city car, highly unlikely to go on the highway. I took my Santro on the highway only once in the seven years plus I had it. I use the Civic for that.

Additional comments on the engine (outright power, refinement, turbo-lag etc.):
Very refined, good power with poor low end torque, but not a pain the drive. With careful driving it seldom crosses 2000 rpm in town.

Gearshift / transmission quality, smoothness, response time etc.:
Excellent, except for the lag in D if try to go near kickdown. D3 has far less lag (almost imperceptible)

Fuel efficiency : City and Highway:
First Tank, 9.8kpl, then 11.0, 11.3, 11.3 all with full AC. Now appears to be 12+ without AC. Each tankful at about 30l.

The Eco light glows about 80% of the time when I am driving, and I am no competitor for the economy sweepstakes. Much better than the instant kpl display on the Jazz.

Handling, on-road behaviour and grip levels:
Excellent. I am sure if the MRFs were to be changed to Michelin's it will be even better behaved.

Comments on the steering, braking, high speed stability etc.:
Steering is good with ample feedback (after the pressure was reduced from 40+psi). In the beginning until I discovered the pressure snafu it looked very light and over-servoed. Up to about 80kph (the max touched so far) excellent stability.

Any particular likes (damped ashtrays, powerful headlights, music system etc.):
An excellent package. Just what the doctor ordered. Music system USB is a bit finicky, it refused to recognise the HP 8GB most of the time, and the same with a Sony 8GB though not that bad. It is quite happy with my old Transcend 8GB, so I have reverted to that.

Any particular dislikes (small mirrors, weak wipers, weak foglamps etc.):
None. Asking for retracting mirrors in this category is really not on.

Review on overall practicality (luggage room, ease of ingress/egress, cubby holes etc.):
Boot access is small, but the boot is pretty big, with its trapezoidal section. No tank underneath (it is under the front seat) helps. Nearly flat floor adds to the comfort of the rear seat. Nice glove compartment, and door shelves. Ingress / egress is excellent.

Photograph Order:

1. Three quarter view
2. Front Interior
3. Dash Panel
4. Engine cover with Brio AT on it ( still do not know how the MT and AT engines differ unless the gearbox mounts are different which is very unlikely)
5. Tyre placard. The car is shod with MRF ZVTVs. Someone has woodenly converted 2.0 bar to 29 psi against the more common 30. Note rear pressure is lower than the front.
Attached Images
     

Last edited by GTO : 19th December 2012 at 20:30. Reason: Formatting
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Old 13th December 2012, 16:24   #2
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Default Re: Honda Brio (Automatic) : Official Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by sgiitk View Post
I bought one, so to me it is!

Got about 29.5k worth of accessories fitted on Wednesday. Reversing Sensors, Illuminated Sills, Bumper Protectors (front & rear), Rubber Side Strip and 5th Alloy at the time of the 1 month inspection.
Good for you. Congrats. How much did you sell your Santro AT for and where?
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Old 13th December 2012, 20:04   #3
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Default Re: Honda Brio (Automatic) : Official Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by ananth_iy View Post
How much did you sell your Santro AT for and where?
1.3l to a technician of mine. Later got offers of 1.4 and maybe higher. It had done 59,000km.
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Old 19th December 2012, 20:34   #4
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Default Re: Urban Titanium Honda Brio V-AT

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 19th December 2012, 20:43   #5
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Default Re: Urban Titanium Honda Brio V-AT

congratulations on the car. the urban titanium color really complements the looks of the car.

so are there any changes planned for the car like tyre upgrades, seat covers etc.

I think this is the best entry level car which comes with all the bells and whistles barring climate control.

drive safe. cheers!
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Old 19th December 2012, 20:48   #6
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Default Re: Urban Titanium Honda Brio V-AT

Great choice and you acted fast, booking the car even before a proper Test Drive! But then again, there isn't anything better in the market right now.
Now you are a complete Honda Man!!

My family might also be looking to buy a Brio AT shortly.

I would appreciate the pics of the accessories you added to your car.you chose the accessories quite selectively

Last edited by agambhandari : 19th December 2012 at 20:49.
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Old 20th December 2012, 09:05   #7
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Default Re: Urban Titanium Honda Brio V-AT

@honda_dude; Sorry to disappoint you. Additions / mods none except for some accessories (29k+ worth) from Honda. I hope to post pics, etc. of these along with a report of the of the first service.

This post was sitting in the assembly line from 31st October, so I have some catching up to do.

agambhandari: Yes, I did move fast. My old Santro AT was ageing, the 'boss' only drives ATs. I first wrote to Honda asking for an AT Jazz / Brio in March, and got an intriguing reply. Then I got confirmation in July from other sources within the Honda network that an AT Brio was coming between Dussehra & Deepawali. There was really no option since I was not too keen on the Hyundai i10/20 due to ancient Santro AT, and the Dzire compact again due to the AT unit. I had enough trust in the Honda AT (I was expecting a CVT at that point). Also, in terms od maintenance I was surprised to find that the Civic was cheaper to maintain than my earlier Accent, thanks to Honda not padding the bills. Also, the attitude was far better.
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Old 20th December 2012, 09:26   #8
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Default First Service & Accessories

Got the first service and the accessories fitted on 28/11. The service was pretty uneventful. No issues whatsoever.

Had the following fitted:

1. Illuminated side step
2. Front fender protector
3. Side protector
4. Rear fender protector and reversing sensor.

The instructions for the reversing sensor were in Thai, and the sketch showed the wire loom entering the passenger compartment from the left. The wire was not long enough. After an hour or so I realised and pointed out that Thailand is LHD territory. SO it was then inserted from the rhs and everything fell into place. The sensors were painted by Pushp Honda and I declined the offer to paint the rubber protectors.

There was s small hiccup, the rear seat was loose. After I detected and pointed this out to the GM it was fixed. Some grommet was broken, which they cannibalised from a demo car.

Urban Titanium Honda Brio V-AT-scanned-29112012-1107.jpg
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Last edited by Samurai : 29th December 2012 at 15:36.
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Old 20th December 2012, 11:01   #9
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Default Re: Urban Titanium Honda Brio V-AT

Doc, congratulations on the Brio AT. The urban titanium color looks much better in real than in pictures. My wife too drives the Brio - the MT one and she complains of low end torque especially in 2nd gear. Does the AT fare better in this?

MRF ZVTVs are very notorious. Ours have been subjected to 3 punctures in barely 15 days of ownership. All three times side walls went kaput. Driving purely in city. We've been experimenting with 29-26; 30-28; even 30-30 but haven't found a perfect combination yet. Let me know your experience.

Wish you good luck and a hassle free ownership.
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Old 20th December 2012, 11:17   #10
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Default Re: Urban Titanium Honda Brio V-AT

As mentioned in Item 3 of my original post Over square will have a low torque at low rpm. An AT obviously cover up a lot. There are two aspects : Modern engines tend to have lower torque at low rpm, made worse by the over-square design. Also, higher compressions do not help much.

As for flats in the sidewalls, was it puncture or failure. I will suggest running at about 3-5psi above the recommended.
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Old 20th December 2012, 11:34   #11
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Default Re: Urban Titanium Honda Brio V-AT

Congratulations on your new purchase sir and welcome to the Brio family. I am sure it will serve you well

Regarding the missing temperature gauge, you could hook up a cheap OBD2 adapter and connect it to your smartphone and use "Torque" .

Sent you a PM too.
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Old 20th December 2012, 11:37   #12
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Default Re: Urban Titanium Honda Brio V-AT

Congrats. Sgiitk sir. I recently test drove both the manual Brio & the manual A star (auto cars were not available!). I found the A star having better low end torque. Now since you have been using a Santro AT earlier which is taller & narrower than your Brio would you recommend the Brio over the Santro as a more puntable, maneurable city car for cut & thrust driving.
I plan to get a small AT car for my wife and i would use it ONLY on weekends for the crowded market driving. Mind you, i used to find my old manual santro realy ideal (zippy) for crowded city drives and dodging the odd Rickwallahs. Your take please !!

Last edited by rxpaul : 20th December 2012 at 11:42.
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Old 20th December 2012, 11:52   #13
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Default Re: Urban Titanium Honda Brio V-AT

@rxpaul; Any day the Brio is better. I feel it is the best small car today, even more so as an AT. Honda have also been sensible to offer the AT only on versions with ABS.

It is at least 10% more economical than my Santro was and even more that the i10 AT by the reports. I expect the consumption to improve as it gets run in.
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Old 20th December 2012, 12:16   #14
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Post Re: First Service & Accessories

Congratulations professor. As always, love your well structured and matter-of-factly report in a style we've now come to associate with you. Thank you.

Splendid choice of color btw. Your quick, uncomplicated decision-making ability is a refreshing change in today's perpetually confused world.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sgiitk View Post
After an hour or so I realised and pointed out that Thailand is LHD territory. SO it was then inserted from the rhs and everything fell into place. The sensors were painted by Pushp Honda and I declined the offer to paint the rubber protectors.
Just out of curiosity, why did you decline this doctor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sgiitk View Post
There was s small hiccup, the rear seat was loose. After I detected and pointed this out to the GM it was fixed. Some grommet was broken, which they cannibalised from a demo car.
Next time during a TD, if an unsuspecting customer were to detect a rattle/squeak from the rear, we'd know why!

Last edited by Omtoatom : 20th December 2012 at 12:31.
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Old 20th December 2012, 13:40   #15
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Default Re: First Service & Accessories

Quote:
Originally Posted by Omtoatom View Post
1. Splendid choice of color btw. Your quick, uncomplicated decision-making ability is a refreshing change in today's perpetually confused world.

2. Just out of curiosity, why did you decline this doctor?

3. Next time during a TD, if an unsuspecting customer were to detect a rattle/squeak from the rear, we'd know why!
1. Not really, had a choice of one. afaik this is the only Brio AT in Kanpur till now. We did not want Black, White or Red (old Santro) so the choice was limited. This was scheduled for Kanpur so we opted for it.

2. Any car driven extensively in town is bound to pick up a few nicks with time. This is why I ordered the protectors in the first place. Then a painted protector with nicks looks bad. I for one will go for Black Bumpers as well.

3. Not exactly. I guess they have fixed it by now. They did not have a grommet in stock at that time.
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