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Bang With A Brio

Author : rathish kumar

Submitted : 2011-09-22 13:17:17    Word Count : 1029    Popularity:   9

Tags:   Speed

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Bang With a Brio:

Honda is making big on the Brio in terms of market share. This ba¬by hatchback is the cheapest that Honda has ever made in India, and it will sit below the Jazz in

the range. Also, it is squarely aimed at the Swift, the current segment bench¬mark, and all its competitors. Honda has put its heart and soul, into what is easily the

most important model for Honda in India. The Brio has a futur¬istic look to it and will surely stand out in a parking lot. The lines are fresh, the stance is

aggressive and the detail¬ing sporty. The car has a compactness to it that's quite appealing. Yes, it does take a while to get your head around the Brio, especially

the rear, but there's plenty to like straight off the bat - pitched-forward stance, short overhangs that accentuate the wheels and wide air intake in the chin. What's

clearly evident on this car is Honda's brilliant packaging. The 1.2-litre motor is squeezed really tight in the en¬gine bay, the design of the dashboard is very

shallow and Honda has con¬centrated on making the best use of the short 234~mm wheelbase, which incide~ta11y is the shortest in its class. . Sirii:£tuel economy,

performance and rigidity are all important, the Brio is pretty light too, tipping the scales at only 925kg. But this is not at the cost of rigidity, as plenty of

high-strength steel and reinforcements in key areas have been used. The Brio's suspension is well specified too. Sub-frames are used to locate important suspension

bits, stronger control arms have been used instead of cheaper and more simple links and a column-type electric power steering system has been drafted in as well.
What isn't really new on the Brio is the 1.2-litre i - VTEC engine. This same fabulous unit sits under the hood of the Jazz and produces a scarcely be¬lievable 88bhp.

Like all Honda mo¬tors, it uses both variable valve timing and variable valve lift to give it some extra zing in the top end. What's unique is that one ofthe intake

valves on this four valves per cylinder engine is kept closed at low engine speeds. This

increases the airflow into the other inlet valve to improve low speed engine responsiveness.

Climb into the Brio and the first thing you notice is just how big it is on the inside. While the cabin is not very spacious, it's so much larger than you expect and

after looking at the car's compact dimensions. it comes a surprise. The rear seat is pretty substantial and comfortable as well. Thigh support is good, the short

backrest is reasonably supportive and there's plenty of space for your feet under the front seats. How has Honda managed this?
every millimetre of the Brio's limited luggage area and we were amazed by the size of bags we could fit vertically.The new Brio does have one unique safety featurthat

deserves mention - the i-SRS airbag can sense the dis¬tance to your face. The Brio is the fastest, strongest performer in its class and this is apparent as soon as you

wind up the little four cylinder engine and let it stretch its legs. There's a noticeable spike in power around 4500rpm and, like all Honda engines, its snarl tells

you that it enjoys being wrung hard all the way to the 6500rpm redline.The dashboard with its two-piece There'senoughperformanceontapto and offset centre console is

unusual give you a nice little buzz; exactly and maynotto be to everyone's tastes. what Honda wants to deliver.

This is Also, the dash has a Spartan feel to it also the only car in its cl. that's and you can see that equipment levels quick enough to duck under the 13- aren't

very generous. However, what's second barrier to lOOkph. But despite really impressive about the Brio is all the variable valve trickery, the 1.2 that despite being

designed with tight• i-VTEC lacks low end grunt. Though costtargets in mind, it doesn'tfeellike it's fairly responsive on part-throttle it is built using the lowest

cost materi- when you floor the pedal at low revs, it als available. Honda's soft-touch takes a while to react. However, that steering wheel looks upmarket as do

doesn't stop the Brio from outgunning the instrument panel and . hooded most of the other hatchbacks when dials. The dark 'tan, black and beige accelerating in""gearand

this makes it faCIa is quite smart but again it's a aprettycapableperf6rmerbothinthe matter of taste. The chrome rings city and on the highway. The Brio, around the

air-con vents add a bit of however, is best enjoyed by using the class to the cabin and the most of the delightfully light and accurate gear¬switchgear feels solid and

good to op- shift to keep the engine on the boil. erate. There's plenty of storage too, For the most part, the engine is especially ahead of the gearleverand smooth

and silent but it does tend to in the big door pockets. get a bitvocal at higher engine speeds.However, there are signs of cost Honda has also included a unique

fea¬cutting which didn't escape our atten- ture on this car. The letters ECO light tion. There's no driver's seat height up in green on the dash every time the adjust,

no rear parcel tray, no CD play- car senses you are driving in an -eco¬er and the rear power window switch- nomical manner and it's quite enter¬es look dated. The boot

too is quite taining trying to keep the green light small but again Honda has carved out glowing in traffic ~ a fun way, if there was one, to save fuel.Fun to drive is

what the Brio is about. For a start, its power steering is a revelation for an electrical unit. It is light and easy to twirl at low speeds like most EPS systems but

surprising¬lywell weighted and pretty direct, and that improves the driving experience tremendously. Yes, the Brio lacks an aggressive turn-in and it doesn't have a

great body control but still a car you enjoy pedalling hard.

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