Finally booked a new Honda Brio S(O)MT after doing extensive research and reading several reviews of all the hatch backs in the market. I and my wife are eagerly waiting for the delivery of the Brio, which can be in the next week…..
We have been planning to buy a car from the last 6 months but were unable to come to a decision until I took a Test Drive of all the cars in my list.
Let me briefly outline my bit of analysis and research in arriving at a decision to buy a Honda Brio.
The cars in our list were
1. Maruiti Swift Diesel and Petrol
2. Maruti Ritz Diesel and Petrol
3. Fiat Punto – MJD
4. Volkswagen Polo – Petrol
5. Honda Brio
As you can see from the above list, I have both diesel and petrol variants listed out. I had to decide between diesel and petrol hatches. This decision was quite difficult to arrive at, for us, as I was more inclined to Diesel variant initially until I had done my math with respect to my usage of car.
The below were my requirements
--> Monthly City Usage of approximately 800 to 1000 Km which includes my daily commute to office and weekend errands.
--> 2500 Km approximately for Annual Long Trips.
--> Average increase of 5% in total KM per annum.
So my averages are:
--> Monthly Average : 1000 Km
--> Yearly Average : 12100 Km
Fuel Prices considered for the Math are:
Petrol : 75 Rs/Litre
Diesel: 45 Rs/Litre
Service costs (generously assumed) taken for both the petrol and Diesel as below for my calculations:
Ser after every KM Per Ser. Cost
Petrol 10000 3000 Rs
Diesel 5000 2500 Rs
Total Cost of Maintaining Diesel Car (Fuel + Service) : Rs 47,500 Anually for 12100 Km
Total Cost of Maintaining Petrol Car (Fuel + Service): Rs 79,250 Anually for 12100 Km
Must Features, I was looking for, in the Car: Airbags + ABS
Good To have features: Alloy Wheels , Spacious Interior, Beige Tone and Music Player with AUX in and decent Boot Space for my weekend Trips (for a family of 3)
Now coming back to the cars in my list:
1. Swift Diesel and Petrol: It’s one of my favourite vehicles from the day it was available in the market. Although I never got a chance to drive it until lately, I liked the old swift looks. I was told by my friend that performance too was great for both variants. Come 2011, I was eagerly waiting for new Swift, but, was a bit disappointed by its new looks of bulged rear. I thought, I would need more time to get used to the new looks of Swift-2011.
As part of my evaluation I had to do a Test Drive of Swift-2011 ZXI:
Looks: They range from Enthusiastic Front to a bit disappointing Rear. Overall OK.
Interiors: Interiors were looking good, especially with the new dashboard console. Space and rear leg room was just ok and was not class leading. All round visibility was not too great according to me. I felt that absence of beige interiors gave a dull feeling.
Engine and Performance: I have done the test drive of ZXI with petrol Engine (1.2 Ltr K-Series VVT) and was quite impressed with the slotting gear shifts and smooth engine. I absolutely loved it. Ride and handling was also quite good. I have read several reviews and came to a conclusion that it K-Series VVT could give an average city mileage of 14-15 in city traffic of Hyderabad.
Although I couldn’t do a Test Drive of Diesel vehicle, The DDIS Diesel Engine, I was pretty sure that, performance would be absolutely great and be fun to drive. Swift Diesel would easily give a city average of 17 kmpl.
Features: All the features like Air Bags and ABS
are available only in top variants like ZXI and ZDI. I felt , VXI and VDI could atleast have necessary features like ABS
the old Swift. I was disappointed with their absence in mid variants.
Cost: Swift Petrol : OTR price of approx. 6.7 Lac for ZXI with a waiting period of 1-2 months.
Swift Diesel: OTR price of approx. 7.9 Lac for ZDI with a waiting period of 2-3 months.
2. Ritz Diesel and Petrol:
I felt, Ritz is a practical car for a small family. I had never driven a Ritz in the past and I had decided to do a Test Drive.
As part of the TD evaluation I felt the below:
Looks: Looks are very good from the front, but the rear part of car is disappointing. The rear part of the car couldn’t satisfy my aesthetic sense and my wife too felt the same.
Interiors: Interiors were good, but I felt the new swift interiors were a lot better than Ritz. Rear leg room is good and ingress, egress was quite easy. Outside visibility was also quite good and boot space was sufficient. Point to note here is Gear shift lever is more integrated towards the dashboard.
Engine and Performance: I had test driven a Ritz petrol, which hosts 1.2 Ltr K-Series Engine. I was aware that it is not a VVT engine. The engine was good and gear shifting is not comparable to swift. I felt approaching the gear-lever near the dashboard needs some getting used to. Ride and handling is ok, not comparable to Swift, I felt it has some ‘Body Roll’ especially while cornering which can be attributed to its tall stance. After reading several reviews of Ritz petrol, I believed it could give an average city mileage of 14 kmpl, a bit less compared to VVT Engine Of Swift. Ritz Diesel could easily give an average mileage of 17 kmpl in city.
and Airbags are available in ZXI – Petrol Variant. Ritz VDI has only ABS
as optional feature and Airbags are absent. VXI/VDI variants doesn’t come with a music player and it needs to be bought from the market.
Cost: Ritz ZXI (Petrol Variant) with current Offers: 6.1 Lac approx.
Ritz VDI (ABS
) (Diesel Variant) with current offers: 6.8 Lac approx..
Final Opinon for Ritz: Not very satisfied with the rear looks and I felt fun to drive factor is missing.
3. Fiat Punto.
Punto has absolutely stuning looks from the front and rear alike. Features and performance was absolutely good. Ride and handling requires a special mention here, It is class leading.
I did not consider Punto petrol because of its low mileage. I had test driven a Diesel variant and I was overall, quite impressed with this car. After sales service for fiat may vary from place to place, and I felt, after doing my research, current situation is manageable.
Fiat MJD could give an average city mileage of approx. 16.5 kmpl according to my research.
Cost of the Punto MJD Dynamic variant (without Airbags) was approximately 7.25 Lacs with all the current offers.
Final Opinion for Fiat Punto: Looks, Performance, Ride and Handling was quite good, however 7.25 Lacs was out of my budget.
4. Volkswagen Polo:
I have driven Polo petrol for a long trip from Mumbai to Mahabaleshawar, So I did not go for a test drive. Polo was absolutely stunning from outside, interiors was good. Ride and handling was quite good and is comparable to a big car. However, polo petrol was hosting a 3-cylinder engine and Polo TDI (Diesel) is a bit pricey for the model having features like ABS
Final Opinion: Pricey Diesel variant and Out of my Budget.
5. Honda Brio:
Honda is an aspirational brand for me, and I was always been impressed with the Honda City’s interiors, exteriors and its performance. Since City and Jazz were out of my budget, I thought of test driving a Brio.
I finally went for a test drive of Brio.
Looks: I liked the design and looks; Brio’s rear look was futuristic with a glass hatch and I had no complaints with it. My wife too was satisfied with the looks of the car. From the outside the car looks a bit smaller compared to Swift, Punto , Ritz and Polo.
Interiors: Step into the car, you would be surprised by the overall visibility,airiness, space and quality of the interiors. Dual tone beige interior in VMT variant looks good and cheers up the mood. Rear seat leg space is fantastic too and I felt the overall interior space is more or less equal to swift interior space. But the all-round visibility sitting inside the car is phenomenal !!!. Boot space is a bit less at 180Lts, which is slightly less compared to swift boot.
Engine and Performance: Brio has only a petrol variant and hosts 1.2 ltr i-VTEC engine which I feel is a Gem of an engine in petrol variant. The power of the vehicle is more or less equal to that of a Swift. Ride and handling is fantastic too. Overall I was very satisfied with engine and performance. It is extremely fun to drive and during my test drives I could easily reach 3 digit speeds on highways without great difficulty. Brio is said to be giving a city mileage of approx. 14.5 to 15 in Hyderabad which I thought is not bad.
Features: The S(O)MT variant and VMT variant hosts all the features like ABS
, Airbags. These two variants also come with a very good quality Music Player with AUX-in and steering mounted controls. I was pretty satisfied with the features.
Cost: The cost of S(O)MT variant of Brio costs only 5.6 lac on-road with current discounts which is a real value for money.
Final Opinion: I thought, the BRIO is an absolute value for money with overall good package for its price and extremely fun to drive car!!!
I could come to a conclusion that that, the price difference of approximately 1.7 lac between a BRIO S(O)MT (ABS
+ Air Bags) and Punto MJD Dynamic (with ABS
alone)/Swift VDI (without ABS
and AirBags) variant would take approximately 5 years, if not less for my yearly average of 12100km(with 5% increase every year)
Rs 1.7Lac if put in a fixed deposit for 5yrs with an interest rate of 9% could give a return of Rs 2.65 Lac. Also, articles in the business newspapers about Diesel price hike by around Rs 4 in the near future to gradually bring down the price difference between petrol and Diesel to Rs 20 gave enough impetus for me to buy a petrol car.
Finally booked a Brio S(O)MT, Energetic Blue color and I am waiting for delivery in next week.