The smallest Honda has finally got a much needed update and now comes with a new look along with added features. The Brio (pronounced as Br-ee-yo) hatchback has always been an underrated car with its compact sedan sibling being more popular . The Brio, is priced between Rs. 4.6 lakh to 6.8 lakh (Ex-showroom Delhi). This update version once again brings this car back into focus and if you want a fun little car then the Brio is a perfect choice. At the moment it is only available in petrol with automatic and manual gearbox options. There are also three trim levels on offer.
A four-cylinder 1.2-litre i-VTEC engine delivers a maximum output of 86.7 bhp @ 6000 rpm and Torque of 109 Nm @ 4500 rpm yields an excellent fuel economy of 18.5 kmpl for Manual Transmission and 16.5 kmpl for Automatic Transmission. The 1.2 petrol with the 5-speed manual is one of the most fun cars at this price. This engine like any true Honda loves to be revved and comes alive after 3,000 rpm. However for low speed duties, you do need to work the gearbox to get the motor going but with its light clutch and superb gearshift, you would not mind. However you can get the automatic if you want a relaxed drive in traffic. Unlike the Amaze which has a CVT, on offer is the same 5-speed torque converter as before but fret not as it is quite good. It is smooth at low speeds thus in traffic works well but you can also put it on D1 or D2 where it will hold onto the gear. Other aspects remain the same which means it has a firm low speed ride and an agile nature. The steering is light and driving it in the city is a breeze plus unlike other small car it offers a good driving experience which is what makes it stand out.
The Honda Brio is available in four variants - EMT, SMT, VXMT and VXAT in six exterior colours. The Brio is built efficiently around Hondas man maximum, machine minimum concept which maximises space for people and minimises the space for mechanical components. Do not let the compact size fool you as it is spacious with an airy cabin with excellent visibility. At the rear though it is best for two and the boot is small but the thin seats bring out lots of space. Elsewhere there is a huge change inside with the new look cabin. It looks much more premium and addresses the biggest complaint of the previous one. The new dash looks good plus the top-end versions get an all black cabin which looks sporty and fits in with this car. From the outside you can see the change as well-atleast from the front which gets a new grille, updated bumpers and headlamps. At the rear the look is the same but you have new tail-lamps and an all new Tailgate Spoiler with LED High mount Stop-Lamp. The all glass rear remains as before.
In terms of features it covers the basics but not anything more. However now you get digital ac controls, new integrated audio system, Bluetooth connectivity, hands free telephone along with the usual features you expect like steering controls, power fold mirrors, drivers seat height adjust etc. In terms of safety you have dual airbags along with ABS with EBD.
The Honda Brio is now a much more desirable package than before especially the new interiors and some of the new features. Thus if you want a fun small car, more so with an automatic then this car is what you should be looking at. The automatic makes sense and is a good alternative to the AMT equipped cars out there. The manual petrol though is the best buy for its peppy nature. Yes you can get more spacious or practical cars but this little Honda does bring in something different in this crowded small car space.