New Honda Brio: Stylish and Sprightly
Pay attention to the intrepid new Brio, for Honda Motors Southern Africa now offers an exciting and affordable alternative in the entry-level, hatchback market. The stylish and sprightly Brio, which is aimed at the younger, first-time car buyer, is available in both manual and automatic.
My initial thought was that the car seems generally smaller than your usual entry-level car, but the interior is surprisingly spacious and the exterior design screams ‘fun and excitement’. According to Honda, the Brio’s name was derived from the Italian word for ‘verve’, ‘vigour’, ‘cheerfulness’ and ‘energy’. This aptly describes Honda’s first entry into the growing and increasingly important segment
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that will allow budget-conscious buyers to experience the brand’s famed product quality, driving dynamics, fuel efficiency, spaciousness, and safety in a new and affordable package.
Sometimes, there is a sense of spaciousness that makes a car seem roomier than it actually is. With the Brio, however, the interior is in fact spacious for both front and back occupants, and the slender, lower part of the instrument panel creates more physical space for one’s knees and feet. This was especially the case for a 1.8m-tall male driver.The specially designed glove compartment provides ample storage space, and the slender seat backs with integrated headrests result in more legroom for the rear occupants.To this end, a cockpit with concentrated controls and a quality feel was created for the Brio. Triple, three-dimensional meters with floating graduations and orange, illuminated rings add a spunky whilst refined touch.
The Brio has good roadholding and is a stable, comfortable ride, while the speed-sensitive electric power steering ensures easy steering at low speeds, which is ideal for city driving, and delivers stability at higher speeds for stress-free motoring.The Brio features active and passive safety technologies, including dual SRS front air bags, an antilock braking system (ABS), electronic brake distribution (EBD), and front pretensioner seat belts with load limiters.Advanced technology is epitomised by the sprightly 1.2-litre, i-VTEC engine, which is new to South Africa, that delivers both sparkling performance and frugal fuel economy.
Despite the fact that initial production was meant for Thailand and India, the Brio packs a punch and will make South Africans sit up and take notice.The latest-generation, four-cylinder unit employs intelligent, electronically controlled variable valve timing and four valves per cylinder to produce a lively 65kW of power at 6 000rpm, and 109 Nm of torque at 4 500rpm, which is good enough to propel the manual version to 100km/h in just over 12 seconds.
Price of Fuel
Fuel economy is excellent, with combined figures of 5.6l/100km and 6.3l/100km for the manual and automatic versions respectively. Moreover, fuel consumption is also displayed on the control panel for ease of reference. While engine emissions meet Euro 4 standards, this is the ideal car for a student or first-time driver.The Brio is offered in either five-speed manual or automatic.
It is also the first model in its class to boast a five-speed automatic gearbox. The manual transmission’s optimised gear ratios ensure excellent low-rpm acceleration and smooth, high-rpm performance, making the Brio enjoyable and fun to drive.Manual air conditioning is standard in both models. Also included are headlight-off and ignition-key-off reminders, a day/night rear-view mirror, a passenger vanity mirror, an audio system with USB and Aux inputs, remote central locking, and an immobiliser.The Brio 1,2 Comfort manual will retail for R119 800 at Honda dealers, with the Brio 1.2 Comfort automatic retailing at R129 800. This includes Honda’s three-year/100 000km warranty, as well as a two-year/30 000km standard service plan.
by Shalane van Rensburg
* Prices as at date of publishing