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Old 7th April 2021, 14:42   #1
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Default 6 years with Honda Brio | Long-term ownership review

Hello BHPians
This is my first ownership review of our car Honda Brio, so please pardon me for any mistakes.
And I would like to keep it short and sweet.

6 years with Honda Brio | Long-term ownership review-5dfaf13b5451463793615692e7b012ea.jpeg

Not a popular car isn’t it ?
But why?
With booming number of new Compact SUVs, Pseudo SUVs, Our little car really gets faded away from everyone’s eyes.
Not just now, back in 2011-12 it wasn’t really a popular car either.
It is powered by 1.2 L engine producing 88 BHP. That was and still is a strong number.


We used to own a Honda City (3rd gen) and so We wanted a car for city commute ,
Here are the cars considered and why we rejected before choosing Brio

1. Hyundai Eon
Cramped interiors
Not keen on the looks (subjective)

2. Datsun Go
The only thing we liked was the driving experience and engine.
But you go back to 1980s when you sit inside.
Front bench seats and no infotainment system or a stereo. You get a mobile phone holder instead. Seriously?
Also what is that handbrake in 21st century?
And not sure about ASS

3. WagonR
Lazy engine
Not keen on looks either (subjective)
And we are not keen on Maruti cars. (No offence)

4. Alto K10
Same reason as WagonR

So how did we choose Brio ?
As we used to own the Honda city (3rd gen) we knew how good Honda Brio would be. We had not even test driven before buying. That’s how much we trust the Honda brand
Car was booked over telephone and was delivered within 10 days.

As this is not an official review I won’t be going through each and every detail of the car.
The following points and observations are solely personal.


Likes
  • Butter-smooth i-VTEC engine. I’m sure it needs no more explanation
  • Light steering wheel and slick gear shifts.
  • Spacious cabin
  • Easy maneuverability
  • Power to weight ratio
  • Reliability
  • Finally it looks cute and aerodynamic

Dislikes
  • Boot space - 175 litres
  • No rear headrest
  • Build quality - Not sure if it’s a good or bad thing because it isn’t as flimsy as modern day Marutis and neither as good as Germans.
  • Approach angle - scrapes the bumper on ramps or underground car parking if you’re not careful.
  • Ride quality on potholes
  • Interior does feel cheap when compared to present gen cars.


At the time of picture and review - the car has only completed 38xxx km.
Usage pattern:
~ 10-15 km a day. Home to college and to run other errands
Long trip of 220 km (two-way) once or twice a month to our native place.

Looks?
I love it from every angle.
The wide front fender and wide rear quarter panel.
Makes the car look wide. It does not look like it costs 5 lakhs.
The window line which gradually rises from front to the rear gives an aerodynamic stance.
In short- it looks fast even at standing still.
The smaller 14’ wheels on lower trim looks out of proportion. Can live with it. But it is not as worse as some other present cars on sale today(whichever came to your mind, you’re right)

There are people who hate all the angles, the rear glass hatch, interiors and what not.
Maybe it takes time to get used to? So what? That is their problem.

Front View
6 years with Honda Brio | Long-term ownership review-b75ca8eba5a94a69bf3eebc65cdde1c4.jpeg
  • Looks feminine doesn’t she ?
  • No fog lamps (comes only in the V variant)
  • Added an aftermarket plastic carbon fibre-ish splitter
  • Bumper was repainted about 2 years back.
  • The headlight bulb has been upgraded. More on that later.


Rear view

6 years with Honda Brio | Long-term ownership review-d70ff83a95a54285abc16c6a62851b44.jpeg
  • Looks? Some hate it. Some love it. I love it.
  • Just a plastic bumper and a glass hatch. Should not slam the glass. Those who know, they know it.
  • Tinted the windows dark.
  • Has demist function
  • No parking sensors or camera
  • Visibility is exceptional.
  • You can literally reverse the car leaving hardly 1 inch gap, looking directly through the window, so I wouldn’t bother about parking sensors.

Rear three quarters
6 years with Honda Brio | Long-term ownership review-61f53ec73af846be96003fcbc8d55618.jpeg

added after market door protector from amazon
upgraded wheels and tyres.
Tyres - Good year Assurance 175/65 R15
Alloys - from 4th gen Honda City

Boot
6 years with Honda Brio | Long-term ownership review-41ecd9e8b7274ff398fe3d5652e2b285.jpeg

Yes. The 175 litres boot space is occupied by a subwoofer. And it occupies almost half the boot. But I have no complaints because it is used as a city car.

Subwoofer- Pioneer TS - WX300A (12 inches)
Has built-in amplifier

Side windows and mirrors
6 years with Honda Brio | Long-term ownership review-d59d964e84514c74928457ecffaaaf1f.jpeg

ORVM visibility is very good.
I wish it had turn indicators and a button to fold it.
The face lifted version was equipped with both.
Notice the Light green tint (Not OEM). Enhances Air conditioning effect slightly.

Front door
6 years with Honda Brio | Long-term ownership review-291d4951ec4e4c308267ed2d34e7ad52.jpeg
  • Have power window controls for all 4 windows (Not backlit)
  • Rear and front passenger windows lock button
  • Has one touch down function for drivers window
  • Mirror adjustment.
  • The mirrors cannot be folded in as this is the mid facelift model.
  • Door pockets with has bottle holder.
  • Exposed door metal looks really ugly.

Rear doors
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No bottle holder or a door pocket here.
The armrest is really small
Rear doors have child-lock

The team bhp sticker is stuck on both front doors.

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Panel gaps
Being a Japanese car, front panel gap
6 years with Honda Brio | Long-term ownership review-8df9f3240ced4abaa3ae3887547cfa6f.jpeg

...is wider than rear panel gap
6 years with Honda Brio | Long-term ownership review-7d61fe3a21fb4c6da926d18ff21d4551.jpeg

Front seats
6 years with Honda Brio | Long-term ownership review-dd8680b044f342a0b95e0295895c87d4.jpeg
  • It is beige fabric seats.
  • Very comfortable for long drives
  • Has integrated head rests and prominent side bolsters. It gives the car a hot-hatch feeling.
  • Good underthigh support
  • Only the drivers seat is height adjustable and warning beeps for seat belts.
  • Have seat belt pretensioners for all 4 seatbelts.

Rear seats
6 years with Honda Brio | Long-term ownership review-46275264abef4d1883cae9b862ac201d.jpeg

Adequate leg room and shoulder room
Integrated headrests : Not great.
There are no ISOFIX anchors
Seat can be folded
Can carry a bicycle with a wheel off.
The rear passangers get only one storage compartment. Located between the from seats. Can hold a 1 litre bottle.

Interiors
Cockpit and dash
6 years with Honda Brio | Long-term ownership review-2a4819211c0f403791a57f2309d5c57c.jpeg

No soft touch materials anywhere.
Seats are the only soft touch material in the whole car.
The infotainment/stereo is placed nearer to passenger seat. It is so that driver doesn’t get distracted.
Interior design - love it or hate it
I am not a big fan of this asymmetrical design.
Absolutely zero rattles even after 6 years of usage.

Stereo and AC controls
6 years with Honda Brio | Long-term ownership review-21dbbe10a73e4bfe83431328656ee903.jpeg

I know what is the first thing that came to your mind - OUTDATED

Stereo supports USB, Auxiliary input, FM, AM
The auxiliary port had a rubberised cover, which got worn off.

Honestly speaking - I have no complaints whatsoever
Simply plug in your phone to USB, use the ‘Hey Siri’ function whichever song you want to listen.

And the volume and tracks can be changed through steering wheel buttons.
Weirdly calls cannot be heard through car speakers when connected to USB. But it works with AUX.

-The only silly thing is; the stereo doesn’t have pause option.

Bass, treble , fader can be adjusted.
No Equilizer though.

AC
Used most of the time in speed 1
Speed 2 or 3 only when the car has been parked under the sun for a long time.
Cools up the cabin quite well. But could have been better.

Steering wheel

6 years with Honda Brio | Long-term ownership review-b096262c0a4e42bab469ce8faa99b496.jpeg

Just look at that tiny steering wheel.
I just can’t emphasise enough how joyful it is to hold.
It has Volume and track change buttons. And Mode button.
Cannot be adjusted for rake or reach.
It is light at slow traffic speed
Builds up weight above 60-70kmph.
The driving position is spot on.
I prefer laid back driving position. I am 5’8” and my back is behind B pillar.
Clutch is light.
Brakes are not confidence inspiring above 110kmph.
The silver plastic insert needs to be replaced. The part is available in boodmo.

Sun visors
6 years with Honda Brio | Long-term ownership review-af6cf51655bc4d3e881e87e1aa0e3d27.jpeg

do not entirely block the sun when folded towards side.
Only passenger visor has vanity mirror

6 years with Honda Brio | Long-term ownership review-38bf0326a2f146689d6eb45e9bc917e5.jpeg

Instrument cluster and mileage
6 years with Honda Brio | Long-term ownership review-23286fb5f2d842d99b9fb35a1d3a013e.jpeg

The mid facelift model is lit up in white.
The older variants are lit in orange.

Shows trip meter , odometer, avg kmpl.

The average mileage we attain when we travel to native.

Engine, driving experience and ride quality

Specs :
-1.2 litre 4 cylinder
-88 BHP
-109 NM
-ARAI mileage : 16.5
-Wheels : 175/65 R15 Goodyear Assurance and Alloy wheels from Honda City 4th gen.
-Upgraded in Feb 2020.

Positives :
•As we all know about i-vtec engines, it is super quiet. Be it out or in the cabin engine is silent. Shh. Can you hear anything ?
•At petrol pumps I have forgotten to turn off the car, thinking I already did.
•Clears the 2nd gear hump challenge
•For quick overtakes switch the gear to 3rd gear and it pulls and pulls and pulls all the way up to 90-100kmph!
•It is so fun to drive , thanks to it’s power-weight ratio

•Feels planted till 100-110 kmph.
•Mileage figures - I travel about 240 kms (two-way) at least once a month. I never managed to get under ARAI figures (16.5 kmpl). Highest I ever achieved was 22.6 kmpl. Otherwise 18-20kmpl. Which is indeed a good number.

Negatives :
•Road noise : 60-80kmph is the best speed to cruise at. The road noise is audible after 80kmph. But bearable. At 100 kmph it is not pleasant in the cabin.
•Ride comfort : Suspension is slightly towards the firm side. As a result, on bad roads, potholes, and man holes it thuds down. I have driven a Swift from same generation, it feels way smoother on potholes and manhole covers
•1st gear feels notchy when it comes to stop and go traffic.
•If not the ground clearance: the approach angle is really low. In my apartment underground parking, if I am fast and not careful the front bumper scrapes easily.
•AC needs to be turned off on steep inclines.

Ride and handling
It is light car weighing around 920-960kg. The suspension feels stiffer on bad roads. But it is not uncomfortable by any means.
The steering wheel feels lively and accurate. There is an expected body roll on sharp bends but it won’t make you throw up, because of the body hugging bucket seats.
80-100 kmph is the best speed to cruise at on highways with hardly any wind noise and bearable road noise.
The i-vtec engine really shines everywhere except when the car is fully loaded with 5 passangers.
It begs to be revved. Especially on 2nd and 3rd gear. Find an open stretch and zoom! And it goes, the objects in my rear view mirror appears smaller and smaller.

Aftermarket accessories

Installed footwell lighting from amazon.
Has 7 different colours : Red, blue, white, Green, purple, orange, and cyan
Plugged into the 12V socket.
Brightness can be adjusted.
Cost: about 300 rupees.

6 years with Honda Brio | Long-term ownership review-359e44d00df342bebfa97f9e01d7fe3a.jpeg
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Changed the headlight bulb to led Philips xenon light recently.
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Low beam
6 years with Honda Brio | Long-term ownership review-a3ab0079d1104481914d0ac199a8c425.jpeg

High beam
6 years with Honda Brio | Long-term ownership review-e500aadfb8da4003a05621abd0aa8c10.jpeg

One thing to remember for all the drivers out there :
Never misuse xenon lights. Always use low beam whenever required.


Servicing and reliability
IMO, there is nothing good or bad about Service and experience
Once in 6 months or 10,000 kms. Whichever comes early.
Haven’t faced any issues with the dealer and ASS
The service was late last year due to pandemic.
Costs varies between 4k-6k
And haven’t faced any major or minor issues. Have not broken down. Touch wood.
Kudos to Honda reliability

Small Yet significant things :
1. Instrument cluster lights up when you open the door and lights up even brighter when you insert the key. It brightens up gradually and calmly. Neat touch!
2. Wash wipe nozzle neatly situated on the plastic part and not on the bonnet. Hence no ugly black dot on the bonnet.
3. Car auto locks if you do not open the door within 45 seconds. But it doesn’t auto lock once you start driving!
4. Only the drivers window has one touch down function. But no one-touch up. Isn’t that even more useful?

I need some suggestions from fellow BHPians on the following.
1. Aftermarket Infotainment system/Bluetooth receiver
This is primarily a city car, and an occasional long distance car (100kms one way)
Other than answering phone calls I am not facing any problems. So is it worth fitting a new touchscreen infotainment system?
Or should I go for a plug-in Bluetooth receiver?

I had purchased a Bluetooth receiver 2 years back. It was very cheap, worthless and gibberish.
So please recommend a good Bluetooth receiver if available.

2. Scratches on the door sill
Is there any way to remove these scratches ? I have tried polishes but did not really work.

3. Door damping
How good is door damping ?
How much does it cost?
Does the road noise really reduce significantly?

Conclusion :
It’s just hard to conclude
How long am I planning to keep it ? No idea
We have absolutely no reason to sell this car.
It has served lot of memories
I learnt driving on this car. It makes me smile every time I sit behind the wheel
Makes me smile when I see other owners of Honda brio driving past. And I bet he/she loves their car.
I just can’t wait to sit behind the wheel next day. I take longer route home only because I get to drive this beautiful machine for few more metres or so.
I turn back and look at my car a zillion times after I park it.
I simply sit in car just because I get to, and listen to music while waiting for my parents if they go shopping.

I always prefer to wash car on my own. I have my own ways of washing. And I won’t be satisfied when others do it.
It gives me that happiness, peace of mind, self satisfaction.

Let me end this by some pictures of my addiction.
6 years with Honda Brio | Long-term ownership review-ca44cba6080f43aebc7679103959d80d.jpeg
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Attached Thumbnails
6 years with Honda Brio | Long-term ownership review-670a52264d844a11a105461ba638845f.jpeg  


Last edited by Vasanth : 24th April 2021 at 13:37.
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Old 26th April 2021, 06:33   #2
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Default Re: 6 years with Honda Brio | Long-term ownership review

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 26th April 2021, 06:57   #3
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Default Re: 6 years with Honda Brio | Long-term ownership review

Hey Vasanth, that's one ravishing Jap you've got there. I own it's twin, the Amaze, after all both of them share the same interiors and engines.
I really liked the Brio and am disappointed that it was discontinued. I've seen this car give competition to cars in higher segments on the highway, thanks to it's superb power to weight ratio.

Hope you've changed the horn as well, it's quite meek and doesn't have an effect on the motorists.

All the best to you and wishing you a maximum of 3 lakh kilometres!
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Old 26th April 2021, 07:59   #4
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Default Re: 6 years with Honda Brio | Long-term ownership review

Great to see a detailed review of one of my all-time favourite small cars from India . The 'pocket rocket' nature of the Brio is unmatched - not even by the Swift - due to its small size & high revving engine. Anshuman & me had a blast reviewing the Brio. Honda should have added some local touches for our market - a more conventional hatch, a bigger boot and a better dashboard. Would've won over more customers then. But the Brio is from a time when Honda wrongly thought anything with its badge will sell in India. Still, in my books, the Brio is one of the most special hatchbacks sold here.

Going to our homepage today, thanks for sharing!

Last edited by GTO : 26th April 2021 at 08:02.
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Old 26th April 2021, 08:35   #5
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Default Re: 6 years with Honda Brio | Long-term ownership review

Congratulations, @Vasanth, on a competent city runabout. I love the car for the inside, but just can't digest the outside, especially the rear and the sides. The Honda City alloys lend a lot of character to the looks of your Brio. Another thing I don't like about Hondas is that the silver finish around steering controls and power window switches wears off fast despite the best of care.

On your Qs, damping would do a world of good for your ICE. I'd advise you to go with a Jabra tour Bluetooth receiver (not sure if they are still around).

Last edited by vigsom : 26th April 2021 at 08:45.
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Old 26th April 2021, 10:15   #6
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Default Re: 6 years with Honda Brio | Long-term ownership review

Hi Vasanth thats a well written review on your 6 year old Brio and I being a Brio owner myself I can say you have pretty much captured all the positives and negatives I could have thought off.

We still own our 2014 Brio VX and at one time also had the Swift VXI side by side for a few years. So I think I can point out a few flaws/shortcomings which contributed to the low sales of the Brio over the years when compared to the Swift but despite owning both of them I still prefer the Brio over the Swift and hence I will start off with the positives first.

Positives over the Swift

1) Better built quality. The Swift developed a lot of rattles over the years and never felt better over the Brio.

2) Better interior space. Getting two adults to sit comfortably at the back seat was always a challenge and a third occupant was a strict No. The Brio was definitely a much more comfortable place to be in compared to the Swift in this aspect.

3) As GTO said the Brio was the better drivers car even though the gearbox on the Brio was a bit notchy especially getting in first gear in traffic and the Swifts gear shift overall felt better. But the ivtec engine had an edge and the steering also was not as light as the Swift which was a good thing and the brakes also inspired confidence in the Brio and not so much in the Swift which left you desiring for more. It was always a challenge when I used to drive the Swift immediately after the Brio and had to remind myself of the light steering and weal brakes of the Swift.

Negatives over the Swift

A) The biggest has to be not offering a diesel option. In between there were reports and images of Honda testing one on the Brio but they never introduced one due to reasons best know to them.

B) Looks and design especially in the interior. The first model actually had three different colour combination on the dashboard and it looked totally hideous. Plus they carried tsae dashboard design on the Amaze and then the more expensive Mobilio.

C) Lastly for some odd reason a lot of people including myself actually thought the Brio offered much less space on the inside when compared to the Swift. But in reality its only the booth space on which the Swift has a upper hand slightly over the Brio.

Well, I wish you many more happy miles and years with your Brio
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Old 26th April 2021, 11:11   #7
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Default Re: 6 years with Honda Brio | Long-term ownership review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasanth View Post
I love it from every angle.
The wide front fender and wide rear quarter panel.
Makes the car look wide. It does not look like it costs 5 lakhs.
I have a similar - closing in on 6 year Brio experience. I use it like one would a motorbike. It's as convenient. Most of my usage is for short local grocery runs.The seating position and design are fantastic. I love the way it parks in small spaces. The steering is precise and tight parking slots are easy to get into. After driving the Brio I find my Honda City clunky (it is not, but in comparison to the Brio everything is.)

But I do have a couple of quibbles- The build quality is really poor. Twice in the last two years the car has filled up with rain water. I'm talking about buckets of water- the spare tyre cavity being totally full. The service response of Linkway (now Viva) Honda was very poor. They simply walked away whistling in the wind like it wasn't their concern. After waiting 4-5 days for them to schedule an appointment, I had taken the car physically to the workshop, I had to go to an FNG to find the source of the leak and have it fixed. The sources (yes, multiple) of the leak are below the roof rails (can that strip of plastic be called a rail?). I now have two pieces of duct tape stuck permanently to the roof of my car. Honda service has not once suggested something be done about it.

Second: the car in second gear is sluggish. I'm a fairly sedate driver, but even I find that I have to shift down to 1st often just to get it moving. This is unlike anything I've ever driven, even the 1975 Padmini would kick like an old mule in second. Strangely this doesn't happen in any other gear.

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 26th April 2021 at 15:05. Reason: Fixed quotes
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Old 26th April 2021, 11:16   #8
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Default Re: 6 years with Honda Brio | Long-term ownership review

The Brio is a fantastic car!

Despite having much more powerful cars in the garage, my Brio still manages to put a smile on my face when I get to drive it occasionally.
The fact that my Brio is now the only manual car in the garage also increases the fun and the connection to the car.

Sure it's cramped but for someone who drives alone most of the time, it is also damn near perfect.

My Brio is now almost 8 years old and the only thing that needs to be worked on is its suspension. Mechanically, everything else is fine. Odd bits of plastics in the interior have fallen off but nothing too substantial or irksome considering the age of the car.
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Old 26th April 2021, 12:15   #9
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Default Re: 6 years with Honda Brio | Long-term ownership review

Excellent review and the last part of the write-up really shows. I have a 7 year old Brio in red and my friends have a hard time believing that when they see the car. The butter-smooth steering and the fabric seats are a huge plus. The rear seats are especially comfortable for old people.

I've never been a fan of leather seats and honestly don't think they belong in our hot temperatures. Although the build quality of the Brio exterior isn't top-notch, I believe the quality of plastics used for the interiors are better than most. I've travelled in Swifts and Dusters, old and new, and there's always a suffocating plasticky smell that I found bothersome (this is more pronounced in the Duster). The Brio, thankfully, has none of that even if it's parked under the sun. The AC is underpowered though.

Overall I still love driving it after all these years and have managed to push it to 140+ on highways with ease (although I don't drive that fast anymore, 80-100 is truly the best range for this car). This post reminds me why I still love it.
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Old 26th April 2021, 12:23   #10
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Default Re: 6 years with Honda Brio | Long-term ownership review

Great ownership experience. You have captured the essence of a Brio's ownership.

We also have a 2015 Brio AT which has traveled across entire Western India and South India multiple times, and we love it to bits. Our car survived last year's Maharashtra cyclone with just a cracked windshield despite a pretty heavy tree branch falling on it. In its early days, it also survived a relative driving it into a concrete divider heads on with minimal suspension and tyre damage. So I can attest to the Brio's build quality as well.

Enjoy your drives. We are planning to keep ours for the years to come. It's become the defacto fun drive within the city for our entire family.
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Old 26th April 2021, 12:28   #11
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Default Re: 6 years with Honda Brio | Long-term ownership review

I have had this car for around 6 years now. Frankly you can slam the glass rear door with all your might and it still wont crack. That was something the sales ex had shown me during the test drive and now its a party trick.
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Old 26th April 2021, 13:05   #12
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Default Re: 6 years with Honda Brio | Long-term ownership review

Very good review, enjoyed reading it. The Philips ultinon H4, is that pure plug & play or does it require any tweaking? How does it hold up in adverse weather like rain/fog? I'm considering this for my car as well but it will see highway action too.
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Old 26th April 2021, 13:32   #13
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Default Re: 6 years with Honda Brio | Long-term ownership review

Hey Vasanth.. Glad to see that you've maintained your Brio in such pristine condition. I'm sure she would have fallen in love with you if she were a human But off the topic, tell me something. Have you ever thought of this car to give a more feminine vibe than others? I have somehow always felt as if this car has a somewhat feminine shape and is meant to be driven by a female, may be like the Beetle to an extent. Let me know if the thought ever crossed your mind.
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Old 26th April 2021, 14:04   #14
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Default Re: 6 years with Honda Brio | Long-term ownership review

We have a 2015 Brio and it is the perfect beater car for a city like Bangalore. Only thing I missed was not having CarPlay/AA/Bluetooth so gave it a little ICE upgrade early this month and it is good to go for another 4-5 years

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Old 26th April 2021, 14:29   #15
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Default Re: 6 years with Honda Brio | Long-term ownership review

Thanks everyone for all the lovely responses.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ike View Post
Very good review, enjoyed reading it. The Philips ultinon H4, is that pure plug & play or does it require any tweaking? How does it hold up in adverse weather like rain/fog? I'm considering this for my car as well but it will see highway action too.
Yes. It is pure plug and play and it is DIY.
It is good upgrade if youíre coming from a dull halogen lights but donít want to spend a fortune on aftermarket Projector lights with DRLs.
It is very bright.
The low beam has good throw. The high beam is also very good. But the high beam range isnít as good as I expected. But compared to a halogen setup it is day and night difference. It is worth every penny.
Vasanth is offline   (2) Thanks
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