Wheels24 reader ROBERT DANIELS drives the Honda Brio and finds that quality outweighs everything else.
Reader: Honda's supermini rocks
This little car is Honda’s latest attempt at attracting a younger audience. Usually Honda vehicles attract more mature buyers, but I think quality has something to do with it. Older people tend to look for quality goods, so you’ll find these same people in Woolworth stores and not in stores which focus on name brands.
Honda offers better quality vehicles and I’m not just saying so. Recent JD Power Surveys rate Honda among the top of customer satisfaction. I also find the fit and finish of Honda products to be of premium standard when compared to other Japanese brands such as Toyota and Mazda.
This one is also aimed at the more practically-minded with its big boot. With that said, it does interfere with the youthful styling.
The Brio is a supermini and competes with the Chevrolet Spark, Hyundai i10, Kia Picanto, Toyota Aygo and several other little city runabouts. Compared to the cars mentioned, it has the best suspension, best build quality and it’s the most modern. The Kia and Hyundai come close, but the Honda just feels more comfortable, more refined and the more complete car. The award for looks, however, goes to the Picanto, but in my books the Brio wins at everything else.
It drives like a bigger car and feels very-well put together. It might look wide for such a small car, but that means it’s great for shoulder room. The Brio does not have a CD player, but you get a USB port so you can carry loads of music on a memory stick or you can plug in your cellphone. Remember, it’s aimed at the younger market and CDs are so 2005 in any case.
Noise and vibration levels are very low compared to a Toyota Aygo or Chevy Spark - both of which bad cars because I like them both, but the Brio is simply better.
The only downfall is the beige interior. It’s going to get dirty, quickly, and those stains won’t come out of the fluffy fabric and Honda needs to reconsider this aspect. The dash and steering wheel are modern and with convenient audio controls on the steering wheel. It has an upmarket appearance, but would probably favour the sort of look stylish young ladies would like. I don’t see a guy appreciating the colour scheme or the subtle chrome detail.
However, guys would like the effortless performance because the Brio has a powerful 1.2 i-VTEC four cylinder engine where the competition makes do with mostly one litre, three cylinder units that sound gruff and need frequent gear changes to get them going. The new Honda engine produces 65kW/109Nm which is more than enough to propel the Brio’s lightweight body from zero to 100km/h in 12 seconds while the competition needs about 15 seconds to do the same thing.
Strangely, this Honda also uses very little fuel when compared to the smaller engine rivals at 5.6 litres /100km. It’s not a ground-breaking record but you should get about 600km from the 35-liter fuel tank.
On the safety front you get two airbags, aircon, central locking, power steering and electric windows. I might not like the choice of old-school fabric for the seats, but I can’t fault the Honda Brio on anything else. It’s the driver’s car of the supermini A-segment and my new favourite.