Small cars are taking over. Not only are they super affordable to purchase, but also cheap to run and they don’t take up too much space either. From a sizing point of view, the Brio is not that big and in saying that, you could probably park it in your shoe box.
Honda has finally jumped into this micro hatch market and I think that the Brio will do rather well. Be it as it may, being built in India might put prospective buyers off, but there isn’t really anything not to like about this little car.
The Brio is powered by a 1.2l Ivtec single overhead cam engine, making 65kw and 109nm. It might sound a little low, but this Brio really weighs next to nothing coming in at a tad under 1 ton mark. The engine, so typically Honda, is rather eager to rev and may be a little gutless until things get to the boil. This is where the little Brio seems to wake up and becomes rather nippy; acceleration from about 80kph – 140kph, which is pretty brisk for something as small as this.
Driving around, it has a typical ‘small car syndrome’ going on. I find the need to squeeze into the smallest parking bays and manoeuvre myself into the oddest gaps. Yet, the Brio does it all without a blink of an eye. The Brio’s true forte is that of a city car. This is where it shines.
The suspension features McPherson front struts and a torsion beam set-up in the rear. Damping seems to be pretty spot-on and the ride is comfortable and plush. Acceleration is claimed 12.2 seconds from 0-100kph and a little slower at around 14seconds for the automatic version. The figures are sort of deceiving as this little car really gets up and going around 70kph. Something that might concern you is the speed limiter which was set at 145kph. This was probably done from a safety aspect, but I can assure you that the car feels completely stable at that speed.
The interior is covered in a brown cloth – not my first choice, but I certainly don’t hate it either. The seats are pretty good and my 1.9 meter frames fits in very well. Things like electric windows, power steering and central locking, all comes standard.
The radio, which is a 4 speaker unit, supports mp3 playback and even has a USB input, for those of us who like changing our music on a daily basis. The sound is very good, all things considered, in a car with a price tag of just over 100k.
Anti-lock braking, as well as electronic brake force distribution, is standard with a driver and passenger air bag up front. Central locking with alarm is also on the list. Luggage space is a rather small 161l with the seats up and 519l with the seats down, but then again, this is a perfect young, single person’s vehicle where you won’t find yourself needing copious amounts of luggage space anyway.
The Brio makes compelling argument in this very competitive segment of the market. Not only is it affordable, but it offers good value and is backed by a 3 year 100 000km warranty and a 2 year 30 000km service plane. Services are scheduled every 15 000km.
For a price tag of R119 800 this is a great car.