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New Brio sprouts a booty

18.07.2013

The Honda brand has always been synonymous with reliability and quality. So in an effort to get younger buyers into the brand, Honda launched its affordable entry-level hatchback a little over six months ago to try and capture the compact-hatch market.

The Japanese manufacturer has now decided to throw a four-door sedan derivative into the mix.

While it retains all the same funky design cues and bold styling, it has sprouted a big booty at the rear, capable of housing 405 litres thanks to the 55mm wheelbase extension.

The added room not only adds more practicality for city commuters, but also offers an enhanced value proposition.

The sedan retains the economical 1.2-litre i-VTEC powerplant found in its hatchback sibling. The compact four-cylinder engine produces 65kW of maximum power, accompanied by a torque peak of 109Nm.

It’s nippy through town and its frugalness means the consumer can benefit from reduced fuel costs as it averages around 6.1 litres/100km in the manual derivative.
The Brio might not be a ball of fire, taking just over 12 seconds to go from zero to 100km/h, but it’s a comfy runaround in town and the suspension setup complements the car well, as does the five-speed manual gearbox (a five-speed automatic gearbox is also available on the Comfort model).

Drive quality and engineering is certainly a standout feature of the Brio. Fit and finish, however, do leave a lot to be desired.

The interior cabin is identical to the hatch, albeit more spacious and while the cabin layout is driver focussed, the panel gaps and finish did make me cringe. That’s not to say it isn’t well built. It’s certainly built to last and the seats are comfortable and easily adjustable.

The Brio sedan is available in two model variants, the 1.2 Trend, available with a five-speed manual gearbox, and the 1.2 Comfort, offered with a choice of five-speed manual or five-speed automatic gearboxes.

While the base model Trend spec boasts active and passive safety features such as ABS brakes and dual front airbags, creature comforts like the radio isn’t standard fitment.

On the Comfort range, however, the Brio gains a radio with MP3 capability and a USB port, coupled with steering controls.

Other niceties on the Comfort guise include a centre armrest with cup holders and fog lights in the front bumper.

Aimed at younger and trendy motorists, this visually appealing car hasn’t lost any of its fashionable styling, even with the added boot. In fact, the Brio range has undergone a minor nip and tuck to further enhance its looks.
At the front, the new Brios receive a newly reworked front grille and bumper, making it a little more aggressive.

Overall the Brio sedan offers everything its hatchback sibling does, plus a bigger boot.
Pricing includes a 3-year/100 000km warranty and 2-year/30 000km service plan while services are at 15 000 km intervals.


Pricing:

1.2 i-VTEC Trend Manual            R128 900
1.2 i-VTEC Comfort Manual         R136 900
1.2 i-VTEC Comfort Automatic     R146 900

Article written by Autodealer
18.07.2013
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