There are exciting launches happening in the scooter market, and everyone from the Italians, to homegrown Indian companies are fighting for a piece of the market pie. But Honda, the undisputed champion in the scooter business, has been pushing up the ante by launching their next generation of scooters in India.
It started with the Activa and now it’s the Dio that went through a redesign process. Shown at the Auto Expo in Delhi this year, the next generation Dio is still aiming for a sporty design, as the previous generation. It has gone through a thorough redesign but it's still more evolutionary, since the designers have retained the outline from the previous version. The headlight still sits above the front wheel, and even the indicators now merge with the headlight. This does add to a more aggressive look on the otherwise friendly neighborhood scooter. Among the colour options, we say you go for the red, as it is the sportiest of the lot.
Matching that sporty design is a peppy 110cc motor that replaces the older 102cc. It's the same engine that's found in both the Activa and the Aviator, and that's a good thing, since the 110cc engine is super refined and feels super smooth.
The bad part is that the engine still makes 8bhp and 8.6Nm of torque, which are the same numbers you get in the other two scooters by Honda. Not to say that the Dio is underpowered in any way, but come on Honda. We wanted something with a bit more punch from this little engine.
Thanks to the compact dimensions, riding the Dio is quite a breeze especially in traffic. It can absorb most bumps quite well. Add to that a fuel economy of 48.5kpl and it gets harder not to like this scooter. There are a few drawbacks worth mentioning though, the 18-litre boot cannot swallow a full faced helmet. And please Honda – give us a side stand as standard, not an optional extra.
Apart from these shortcomings, the Dio is quite a nice scooter and will be an instant hit amongst the college going crowd. It's priced at Rs 51,000 (on-road, Mumbai), which should make it in the budget of most young buyers that Honda wants to attract.