In my entire car hunt and till the booking and delivery process, I’ve been always caught wondering why there is such less buzz around the Brio. It’s a car that drives well, has good brand repute and looks different from all others in its segment. Now, the rear look. You either love it or you completely hate it. No half measures here. I loved it anyway.
There are so many brands and cars doing rounds in todays automobile sector. You watch the roads, you see 5 cars on the roads. Generally out of those, 2 will be swift,2 will be i20 and a i10. No real issues with swift untill i heard the break wasn't doing good in there with swift. Was disappointed to here it initially as it was my family's first favourites among cars (before i had a TD of any of the Honda's). And I have always felt the Straight "H" is always better (in engine,performance and maintainence cost wise) than the Italic or the tilted "H"
Since I just got the car 2 days back (and have rolled out 100KM), it makes for the perfect time to get the first impressions out.
Have also driven Honda Jazz,Honda City I-VTEC and absolutely loved those cars. Had Jazz been around I would have gone for it. No second options. My selection criteria were as follows:
-Safety - ABS
-It had to be a petrol engine (Safety and Engine were my first priorities)
-Reliability and maintenance costs over the long run.
-Good driving characteristics and refinement (I will be driving it most of the time)
-Decent boot space and mileage ( I am an Indian tooooo
-Comfortable seating for four adults
The second decision was to go for a small car. The contenders:
Having test-driven all the cars in my budget, I was contemplating which one to go for. Surprisingly, the Honda Brio never figured in my list. At home, there was a big inclination to go for the Swift since the brand that is said to be tried and tested. Options and my reasons for rejection: Fiat Punto
– Nice interiors and finish and good to drive around in, but was not too sure of After Sales Service. Was my First choice before the HONDA. Felt it was perfect. Not denying it yet. this cars got something in it.
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. Swift/ritz
: If you want to be one among thousands, go for it.
These two tried and tested cars from Maruti had recently been given a upgrade and has the much talked K Series engine. I had driven the Ritz petrol and was fairly happy with the engine but when i was seated at the rear, i felt all cramped up at my knees. However, I decided to take a test-drive of the Swift just to get a feel for it.And I was pretty happy with the swift.
+ Very refined and powerful engine
+Good fuel efficiency
+Decent list of features,in the Vxi
+tall boy look (ritz )
-Poor brakes on the low and middle variants (Read a fair bit about the problem on this forum)
-Lack of ABS
, Airbags on the Vxi
-pretty common motor(s) on indian roads
-Poor build and interior quality
-body roll, black interiors and legroom space VW Polo:
+Good build quality
+Decent interior space for four average sized adults
+Fairly good features in the Comfortline variant
+Large boot and decent fuel efficiency (was doubting the FE)
-Clutch pedal was a bit disappointing. Wondered how can a TD vehicle be so. Felt it was placed a bit too high.
/Airbags in the Comfortline variant
-3 cylinder 75 PS petrol engine lacked pulling power on the way up inclined roads with the a/c on
-Doubted if the cost of ownership over the long run will feel costly. Hyundai i10:
+handling at low speeds was good.
+tall-boy look again
-Hyundai higher Service costs (as per what I read on different forums on the net and what I heard on the car by my friends)
-way too many of them on the roads.
-mileage was an issue. It was something i heard of almost everyone who used this car.
-my heart was always never running behind the "hyundai's"
-100 kmph was a horror movie in there. (Sorry, but its completely my opinion. I felt so. People may differ here) Hyundai i20:
Spacious and fully loaded. Underpowered, takes time to react even without the A/C. I know i20 diesel is fabulous but that’s not in contention here. Chevrolet Beat
: Sorry but never counted on it w.r.t the reviews i have heard on them. Ford Figo
+Feature packed Titanium model with all the space
+Huge boot space
+Better legroom in the rear bench, than some maruti suzuki's
-The 71 ps engine was a major disappointment. There is a lack of power and torque. And the lag when it pulls, didn't like it.
-Below par fuel efficiency (please confirm)
-found the car very low in height on roads. (just my view)
-also felt headroom an issue for 6 footers.
And then here it comes. Honda Brio:
If you want your car to standout unique and futuristic in design to the cars on the indian road traffic. This is it. Honda Brio will make a lot of heads rotate.
And I must mention Honda has a done a good job in reply to its negative feedback (in case of brio), by adding the Rear Defogger and Driver Seat Adjuster. You ask me Why they have not worked on the low bootspace then ?? Well , You have Amaze for that. Marketing Stratergy as Sales and marketing Proffesionals call it.
+Small (fits the space & parking needs, turning radius of 4.5m will make it even easier and better to control on hills)
+Swift & Spacious (don’t get misled by the exteriors. It really is very spacious on the inside for both front and rear passengers)
+The best power to weight ratio in its segment overtaking the swift.
+i-VTEC engine (Have always rated it right up there)
-The small sized boot won't really accommodate your "long-drive" luggage and the boot runs deep through it. Thus, you'll have to lift up your luggage items and then place them down rather than pushing and scrolling them in. The rear seat can be folded to create more space.
-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. And you get it free (or i got it free)
-Headspace can be tricky at the rear for 6 footers. the car cieling kisses your head on high bumps. MY HONDA BRIO VXMT
Picked up the Rally-Red as I always felt Brio looks Red HOT in this shade. Though, I must Confess, I was very tempted to get the Urban Titanium.
The new top end VXMT comes with Alloy wheels, fog lamps, dual-shade interior dash, ABS
, Air Bags,internally adjustable rear view mirrors and to this you also add up Rear Defogger, Driver seat height adjuster and tilt steering. I did not want these to be fitted in the "out" market. So chose this variant. Felt it was a bit 20k expensive though.
Delivery process was smooth by the dealers. Good Photo-op. Car Check was done well before delivery. Car check done by the dealers and personal PDI too. Would have written much more about the dealer had he offered extra cash bonus or something ;)
Not to forget,The chocolates by the dealer were yummy too.
First drive through relatively high traffic was zippy. The car drives well when the revs are higher. The gear box is a bit rigid and hope it loosens up a bit sooner than late.
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, but never for longer than 30 seconds.
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. What I Liked
-Looks -- it's distinctive on the roads
-Drive -- Smooth drive, no major body roll. Butter
-Gear Shift -- smooth shifts. Not exactly, but am happy with it. Hope to have it improved after the 1st service.
-- This Light glows on the console when you are in the correct speed-gear ratio. Somehow it just makes you feel good about driving sedately when the road is free. Have been getting a mileage of 13-14 kmpl till now.
-Back Seat Space -- there is a decent amount of leg and knee space. Much more than the Swift, Ritz and i10 in my opinion
-Steering mounted audio controls -- very good feature, especially if you like playing around channels while driving
-Small turning radius -- really a blessing while taking turns
-Styling is a bold and on your face, you either like it or hate it What I Did Not Like
-Boot (in litres) and Boot needs to have light.
-Accessories cost at the dealer showroom were somewhere on the moon.
-A slight body roll at high speed. Very slight though. negligiable
-Split rear seat folding option would be a handfull.
It has a kind of performance that the bigger and heavier hatchbacks will find hard to match. It's like you can easily pick up this car from one corner and slide it onto another, like a go-kart. The Brio is still a lot of fun.
Overall Brio is 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!
Photos will be added soon. Have only the exterior snaps for now. Will post once I am done with the interiors too. Important :
The views expressed by me here are solely my responsibility and completely my personal opinions with no intentions to hurt anybody's feel. I hope you understand and oblige if in any case my views did hurt you.
Warm Regards and Cheers,