The Honda Brio is the smallest Honda car you can buy at the moment, and if you’re in the market for a city-oriented hatchback, it’s still possibly one of the few cool cars out there. It’s a mix of quirky and well-engineered, so you can be forgiven if you were confused about the car. Thankfully if you have your priorities set, purchasing and running the Brio is unlikely to be a problem. But if you’re a bit fickle-minded, then cementing that the Brio is the car for you might be a bit of a task.
From the outside, it’s a pleasant-looking car, the Honda Brio. While the Amaze and the BR-V (both share the same platform) now sport a very different face, the Brio hasn’t changed much. Of course, it’s got an update, but that’s hardly one that could swing your decision. The design is perfect for a small city-based daily car. It’s cute, too, but opt for a nice pair of aftermarket wheels and the Brio can be made to look purpose built. The glass hatch at the rear is something not everyone likes, but it does lend the Brio a unique appearance.
Is the interior the Brio’s Achilles Heels? Maybe, yes! Because when the car was originally introduced, its rivals didn’t quite sport the premium-looking at cabins that modern small cars have. The touchscreen systems weren’t as famous, either. Following the update, the Brio isn’t as
barebones as it once were, but it clearly does not have what you’d call the most well-loaded interior, either. The space on offer isn’t bad if you consider the size of the car, but since there’s no conventional hatchback, loading large bags/suitcases in the boot might be an issue. But if you can give those muscles a workout, the Brio might just accommodate it all. Don’t be too ambitious, though.
There’s just one engine available on the Brio, and it’s the 1.2-litre i-VTEC petrol. The four-cylinder engine also does duty in the Jazz and the WR-V. But owing to the smaller dimensions of the Brio, it’s clearly more fun in the smaller car. Maximum power of 88 PS isn’t too bad, and since shifting gears on the 5-speed manual gearbox is a pleasant gearbox, heading for the redline is something you’d do quite often — and happily so. There’s also a 5-speed automatic gearbox, which further makes the Brio a more sensible car for intra-city driving. Honda claims a fuel economy of 18.5 km/l for the manual and 16.5 km/l for the AT, so if you’re looking at running the Brio as a daily, the manual will prove to be more economical.
The Brio is priced at Rs 4.73 lakh onwards. That’s for the base ‘E MT’ variant, but if you continue to move up the variant/trim list, the fully loaded VX MT has priced at Rs 5.96 lakh. That’s the best-specced Brio you’d find on the market at the moment. If you fancy that automatic, you would need to spend Rs 6.81 lakh, since it’s only available in the fully loaded spec. Keep in mind these prices are ex-showroom, but due to low demand, there can be dealer-level discounts. In terms of competition, the arena is full of newer cars. Of the current lot, the Hyundai Grand i10 can make a lot of sense; it’s more practical and can be more cost-effective as well. But if you’re looking for something that stands out from the crowd, the Maruti Suzuki Ignis is a cool choice as well. The Tiago isn’t too far behind, considering it manages to look good but has a lot to offer.
Unique Fun to drive Longevity isn’t going to be an issue Pricey Not economical Lacks practicality