First Drives

05 October 2012

First Drive: Honda Brio Automatic

Why the Brio automatic could well be the best city car to have.

Ashish Masih
Car image

Honda’s ability to deliver a sweet dish is simply unparalleled, and they prove it with their new automatic version of the cute-little runabout, Brio. The car gets a 5-speed automatic gearbox from the City, and to our delight, its flexible enough for both city and highway use. The gearshifts are slick, effortless and smooth.

Add to that the compact dimensions with light steering, and it’s easy to see why we think this is a hassle-free car for town use. The 1.2-litre VTEC again is a reminder as to why we love Honda petrol engines so much. Its silky smooth, loves to rev and has a nice meaty roar when you close in on the redline.

Honda officials say that the car will be priced around Rs 60,000-75,000 higher than the regular manual versions

On the highway, despite its compact dimensions the Brio always feels as composed as some large sedans. We were doing speeds in excess of 110kph with the engine spinning around a lazy 2,000rpm and the ECO light still on. If that’s not brilliant then what is?

But when you urgently need power for a quick overtaking move and press the accelerator all the way to the floor, there is a ferocious roar from the engine. The gearbox then summons the engine for power but you wish it came a bit sooner. It’s better to use the shifter manually and go down a gear to get easy access to the power. The Brio prefers relaxed driving to snappy moves.

Honda officials say that the car will be priced around Rs 60,000-75,000 higher than the regular manual versions, which is just about decent, we think. There are a couple of things missing still. There is no dead pedal, a gross oversight, which Honda needs to fix soon. And the AC is still manual even on the top model, which robs the car of a plush feel. A shame since the cabin is simply awesome in both, quality and style. But all in all, as a city runabout, it’s hard to build a case against this Honda.

Tags: honda, brio



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