Story of Donut | 3.5 year ownership review of my Honda Brio

Grab your meal, because this is going to be a long story of a Donut.

BHPian vtecblast recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Grab your meal, because this is going to be a long story of a Donut.

Meet, Donut.

Oh! Sorry to make your sweet tooth disappointed:


  • Engine: 1.2l L12B
  • How hard you'll hit the wall: 88 BHP@6000rpm
  • How far will you take the wall: 109NM@4800
  • Drinking habits: An Addict. 12.3-14.1km/l in City and 19-24km/l on highways.
  • Current ODO: 34,940 km





A. Car is a revv-happy machine that will go all the way up to 6,800rpm.

B. Good power-to-weight ratio.

C. Suspension being a stiff setup, the car handles corners pretty well.

D. The plastic quality all around is top notch.

E. The facelift Brio had a totally upmarket dashboard derived from Amaze.

F. The front Seats are comfortable.

G. Air Conditioning is a pretty chiller that will lower down the temperature of the cabin in few minutes.

H. Rear defogger is the fastest one that I have ever witnessed.

I. Addictive maneuverability.

J. Electric steering adaption to speed is good. Easy during city limits and confident on highways.


A. Mid-end torque is lacking. There would be a lag while you try to overtake on highways if you're on 3000-4000rpms, wait till 4500rpm.

This might clarify:

B. Rear seat comfort is poor.

C. Not an ideal car after a leg-day. The car is rev-happy but there will be a significant drop in mileage once you start driving it aggressively. On some of my days, I have even got close to 8km/l mileage.

D. Jerky downshift from 2nd to 1st. Even if your speed is 0-3kmph. I understand this a mainstream thing with all the manual cars, the reason I have mentioned it especially because sometimes I prefer double-clutching, it's this jerky. The clutch has been checked and the transmission oil has also been changed. For cross-checking I even test drove a few more Brios and Amaze. The problem remains the same.

E. The output of headlamps is best in the city limits only. For any highway trip, you might feel the headlamps lack proper coverage of the road which doesn't give you proper confidence.

F. Lack of adjustable headrests even in the front.

G. Lack of a rear wiper. Things can pretty ugly to look out in the heavy rains as its rear is all glass and looking from IRVM is a difficult task.

H. No illumination in steering controls as well as window controls. This is something I miss a lot while driving at night especially on the highways. Honda had put an illuminating headlamp level adjuster but not on steering controls. The dots only help you judge button positioning.

I. Poor brakes at high speed (after 100km/h). More like breaks than brakes.

J. Rear seat space. Being an average height person who drives at a comfortable position (neither too lean nor too attentive), there's hardly any space for another average height person at the rear to sit comfortably.

K. Ground clearance needs some understanding. Once understood you won't scrape the bumper but sometimes requires a lot of attention while handling the bad roads.

L. Piano-black insert around head-unit is a scratch magnet.

M. Loud radiator fan noise. Kills the whole silent vibe of the car as soon as it's turned on.

N. Lack of engine protection plate. This is something I feel Honda should provide in all of their cars as they are low on ground clearance. Or at least provide as an official accessory.

O. Poorest damping at the back. There are tons of road noises and won't be a quiet place even on highways.

P. Basic speedometer.

Now, let's take you to the kitchen and learn how this donut landed up in our garage

It wasn't as easy as visiting SuperDonuts or DunkinDonuts and getting it.

I was assigned a superb handling vehicle, which was basic and powerful enough (Wait, I'm lying, I was planning an engine swap in it). Introducing, Zen.

Quick introduction

  • Model: Zen LX (ignore the LXi badging)
  • Purchase year: 1998
  • Engine: 1.0L G10B
  • Odo reading at the time of selling: 2.18 lakh

Our family's first car clocked 2.18 lakh km easily without any major repair (only the clutch was changed twice) and took every sort of abuse an average middle-class family puts their vehicle through. Probably, more than that because we belonged the hills and the car rarely hit the highways.

Why the upgrade?

  • The car was aging pretty bad. We weren't even able to use AC because of the unavailability of AC gas refills in our city.
  • Had served us well but was unreliable for long runs.
  • Lack of safety features.
  • The car was close to its registration's end.

With these factors in mind, In 2017 September, the search started with a budget of close to 7 lakhs.


  • A hatchback, because the car had to be city-driven and we had Scorpio for our outstation duties and honestly at that time we didn't travel much.
  • A Petrol engine; because there should be one in every garage.
  • Unsacrificingly comfortable because my daily driving was (pre-covid times) mostly in city covering close to 80kms daily.
  • Space wasn't any primary factor for our consideration as the vehicle was meant to be bought only for my use, and I generally have only one co-passenger in my car (I regret this part a bit now).
  • Should be at the top of safety features.
  • Top variant. This was just because I'm a firm believer of factory-fit's quality. I didn't want to add anything to the car that's aftermarket (might become an ironical statement afterwards).
  • Should obviously be more powerful.
  • Should have good lower-end torque, and stiff suspension. These all because they make the hill drives easy and fun.
  • Shouldn't be a Maruti Suzuki. This was there because we had plenty of them and we were bored with them.

Vehicles considered

Etios Liva V


  • Torquey engine
  • Toyota's reliability


  • Dated dashboard
  • Placing of the speedometer
  • Flimsy quality of the door panels.

I liked it but rejected it because I can't stand the middle-placed speedometer because I find them distracting.

Ford Figo Titanium


  • Best driveability of all the hatchbacks (until Brio was test-driven).
  • Feature loaded.
  • Everything felt so tightly packed made me feel safe in it


  • Hard seats
  • Engine at higher RPMs felt lazy

Since the cons weren't something I couldn't literally work with, I went ahead and booked this vehicle in white color since it was year-end and the dealer had one parked in his stockyard. So we got it around our budget. With only carpet mats as a free accessory.

Volkswagen Polo

This was struck off from the list as the top variant was out of our budget. So, didn't even bother to take a test drive.

Continue reading the ownership experience and vtecblast's thoughts on his Honda Brio. Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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