All the zip – and much more space!
- Subcompact sedan joins trend-setting Brio hatch in South Africa
- Extended wheelbase provides roomy cabin and spacious boot
- Lively and economical 1,2-litre i-VTEC engine retained
- Exceptional safety and convenience features
Just more than six months after the debut of Honda’s affordable and zesty Brio entry-level hatchback, the range is being extended with the addition of an equally dynamic and contemporary sedan version.
The four-door sedan retains the Brio’s trademark bright and bold design language, linked to zippy performance, exceptional efficiency and compelling value. However, it adds the practicality of more interior space and a large luggage compartment to the successful Brio formula.
More space, more practicality
By extending the Brio wheelbase by 55 mm, Honda’s engineers have achieved an even roomier cabin with exceptional rear legroom, while the generous boot has a 405 litre capacity.
That additional space and practicality will appeal to young families seeking a trendy and attractive car that is also affordable, economical and versatile, while benefiting from Honda’s exceptional track record as far as reliability and longevity are concerned.
Although slightly larger and significantly more spacious than the Brio hatchback, the Brio Sedan’s kerb mass has increased by only 30 kg, which means that it retains Brio’s zippy, energetic character.
Efficient, enthusiastic powerplant
The sedan retains the Brio hatchback’s modern and economical 1,2-litre i-VTEC powerplant. The compact four-cylinder engine produces a generous 65 kW of maximum power at 6 000 r/min, accompanied by a torque peak of 109 Nm at
4 500 r/min.
Drive is to the front wheels via a five-speed manual gearbox. An efficient five-speed automatic gearbox is also on offer in the Comfort model – an option that will be particularly appealing to urban commuters who have to regularly endure heavy traffic.
The Brio Sedan’s favourable power-to-weight ratio allows brisk dynamics, with a 0-100 km/h acceleration time in the mid-12 second bracket for the manual models. More importantly, fuel consumption is frugal, with a combined cycle figure as low as 6,1 l/100 km for the manual-gearbox Trend 1.2 model.
Roomy, comfortable cabin
But it is the interior that is set to be the Brio’s star attraction. The front layout is identical to that of the hatch, with an ergonomic approach that prioritises occupant comfort and driver appeal.
The layout of the instrument dials and controls is intuitive, and generous equipment levels, even on the entry-level Trend model, ensure a high degree of comfort, while the even more luxurious Comfort model adds an extended features list.
New, wide-opening rear doors ensure easy access to the roomy rear bench seat, which features exceptional leg and headroom. A rear centre armrest with integrated cup holders adds a further touch of luxury.
Both active and passive safety are comprehensively addressed, with the likes of ABS brakes, dual front airbags and Honda’s Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure ensuring excellent occupant safety.
Two trim levels, two transmissions
The Brio sedan will be offered 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.
“The Brio hatchback really took the market by storm when we launched in early December last year,” says Graham Eagle, director of automobiles at Honda Motor Southern Africa.
“It brought Honda’s famed quality and reliability within the reach of a broader audience, while introducing a vibrant energy and youthful appeal to the brand.”
Eagle says that while the hatch is specifically targeted at young and trendy motorists, many of them first-time buyers, the sedan extends the nameplate’s reach to include young, style-conscious families with an appetite for the four-door’s extra space and practicality.”
“Compact sedans are growing in popularity, and the expanded Brio range will provide an affordable, economical and visually vibrant option for young family buyers seeking a spacious, contemporary and well-equipped four-door saloon.
“We’re also extending the appeal of our Brio hatch with the addition of a new, entry-level Trend model to augment the exiting Comfort variant. We’re convinced that this will allow even more motorists to share in the Brio magic,” Eagle concluded.
Model range and pricing
The recommended retail pricing of the new Honda Brio Sedan is as follows:
- 1.2 i-VTEC Trend Manual R128 900
- 1.2 i-VTEC Comfort Manual R136 900
- 1.2 i-VTEC Comfort Automatic R146 900
The prices include a two-year/30 000 km service plan, and a three-year/100 000 km warranty, while services are at 15 000 km intervals.
NEW HONDA BRIO SEDAN: TECHNOLOGY AND SAFETY
More than just a pretty face
Double-triangle design provides dynamism and space efficiency
Advanced G-Con and ACE technologies boost occupant safety
Extensive active and passive safety features
Honda’s i-VTEC engine technology links efficiency to performance
Eco-friendly assembly ensures green credentials
Honda’s new Brio sedan is not just a handsome car to look at: under its sculpted sheet metal, the compact sedan benefits from Honda’s considerable expertise as far as advanced automotive engineering is concerned.
The inherent double-triangle design of the Brio Sedan is a good example. Unlike square box-based designs, the triangle infers dynamism and aerodynamic efficiency. But to add efficient space utilisation to the triangle concept, the Brio employs a double-triangle approach, off-set both front and rear, to combine dynamism with efficient packaging.
The body structure itself reflects Honda’s G-Force Control body engineering. G-Con, as it’s also known, refers to an advanced approach to body design that recognises the need to dissipate the crash forces away from a vehicle’s occupants in the case of a collision.
This is achieved by engineering crumple zones into critical body components, while also regulating the way collision forces react with the interior components of a vehicle. G-Con also allows the accurate location of safety-critical components such as seat belt mounting points.
A specific expression of the G-Con approach is Honda’s Advanced Compatibility Engineering (also known as ACE), which specifically addresses the dispersion of collision forces over a larger frontal area.
ACE prevent cabin deformation in front-on collisions by dispersing the collision forces away from the passenger safety cell. It achieves this by employing a front-mounted polygonal main frame with energy-absorbing capabilities.
Because the energy is dispersed over a larger frontal area, and via multiple load-bearing pathways, the likelihood of passenger cell deformation is significantly reduced, which in turn boosts occupant safety substantially.
Despite its entry-level positioning, the Brio offers an array of high-tech active and passive safety features. ABS anti-lock brakes with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) are standard, while the dual front airbags are also fitted.
The Brio’s front-end design acknowledges pedestrian safety by providing space between the sloped, deformable bonnet and the engine. Inside, the integrated head restraints, and the front inertia reel seat belts with load limiters further augment the Honda’s high safety standards.
The Brio sedan’s engine is a further example of advanced engineering. The compact and lightweight 1 198 cc powerplant features Honda’s i-VTEC ‘intelligent’ variable valve timing, which allows the engine to be optimised for torque delivery at low engine speeds, and for peak power at high revs.
The i-VTEC system also benefits efficiency and economy by ensuring ideal engine performance under varying operating conditions. This results in lower running costs and reduced exhaust emissions.
The Brio sedan’s optional five-speed automatic gearbox is a further example of sophisticated technology. The gearbox features Grade Logic Control and Shift Hold Control – systems designed to prevent annoying ‘hunting’ between gears, and optimising performance.
Even the way the Brio Sedan is built reflects its high-tech foundations. Produced in India, the Brio’s assembly process includes the use of 48 advanced robots to ensure exceptional and consistent levels of quality.
The production plant features a translucent roof to reduce the need for electric lighting, which in turn has a positive impact on the overall eco-quotient of the production process. The Brio features lead-free paint, further adding to its green credentials.
HONDA BRIO: THE RANGE
Extended range offers hatchback and sedan choices
- New Trend model now most affordable Brio hatchback model
- Sedan versions expand Brio range to six models
- Choice of Trend and Comfort specification levels across the line-up
- Comfort versions available with five-speed automatic gearboxes
- Focus on fresh, dynamic execution, linked to value and superior Honda engineering
The arrival of the new sedan body shape not only extends the Brio range to six models, but also marks the extension of the Brio hatchback line-up with the addition of an even more affordable Trend version.
Combined, the sedan and hatchback body styles now provide discerning buyers at the entry level with a choice of six models, spanning hatch and sedan version, as well as two different specification levels, and a choice of transmissions.
Three Brio Sedan models
The new Brio sedan is offered in Trend and even more comprehensive Comfort specification levels.
The Brio Trend’s bright and dynamic exterior treatment includes colour-coded front and rear bumpers, an eye-catching chrome grille, door handles and exterior mirrors in contrasting black, and halogen headlights. The Trend is fitted with 14-inch steel wheels, shod with 175/65 R14 tyres.
Inside, the Trend’s comprehensive array of comfort and convenience features includes air-conditioning, electrically operated windows, a tilt-adjustable steering wheel, and a day/night anti-glare rear-view mirror.
The complement of standard active and passive safety items extends from dual front airbags, front-seat inertia reel seatbelts with pre-tensioners and load limiters, and the provision of three seatbelts for rear passengers, to ABS anti-lock brakes with Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD) and a high-mounted brake light.
The Brio’s practical sedan shape incorporates a roomy, five-seater interior, and a generous boot with a 405-litre capacity. The interior design includes three cup holders, and a bottle holder in each of the four doors.
The Trend is powered by the same compact and efficient 1,2-litre four-cylinder engine employed across the Brio range. The 16-valve unit is equipped with i-VTEC variable valve timing, and is credited with a 65 kW maximum output, combined with a torque peak of 109 Nm. A five-speed manual gearbox is standard on the Trend.
The Brio Comfort employs the same engine as the Trend, and also incorporates all of its standard features. But it adds a number of distinctive exterior embellishments, and also offers an even more comprehensive interior execution.
The compact sedan’s frisky appearance benefits from colour-coded door handles and exterior mirrors, in addition to the Trend’s colour-coded bumpers. Fog lights are standard, as are front and rear mudguards. While the 14-inch wheel size remains the same, the Comfort runs on handsome alloy rims, also shod with 175/60 R14 rubber.
The bright and appealing cockpit of the Comfort builds on the Trend’s extensive standard feature list. Metallic accents for the air vent surrounds, the door handles and the steering wheel create a smart impression, while the driver’s seat is height-adjustable.
A four-speaker sound system with FM/AM receiver, and incorporating both USB and auxiliary inputs, is also part of the Comfort execution. Like the Trend, the Comfort provides cup and bottle holders, but adds front seatback pockets, and a rear centre armrest with cup holders.
Also on the Comfort model’s standard features list is a steering wheel with audio system controls, electrically operated and foldable exterior mirrors incorporating indicator repeaters, a 12V power socket for accessories, a sun visor-mounted vanity mirror for the driver and front passenger, and a rear screen with integrated defroster. Remote central locking is a further convenience feature.
As mentioned, the Brio Sedan 1.2 Comfort is powered by the same peppy and fuel efficient 1,2-litre engine as the rest of the Brio range, but it does offer a choice as far as transmissions are concerned. The five-speed manual gearbox is joined by a five-speed automatic gearbox, which will suit those buyers seeking the convenience of an auto transmission.
A trio of Brio Hatchback derivatives
The addition of a new, even more affordable Brio Trend model to the Brio hatchback line-up means that the hatch range now also consists of three versions, comprising the Brio Trend, the Brio Comfort, and the Brio Comfort Automatic.
The standard specification levels of the Trend and the Comfort derivatives are identical to those of their sedan counterparts. Thus, the Brio Trend hatchback gets colour coded bumpers, contrasting door handles and mirrors, and steel wheels.
The Trend’s interior execution combines the comfort and convenience of air-conditioning and electric windows with the reassuring safety of dual front airbags, ABS brakes with EBD, seats with integrated head restraints, and seat belts for all five seating positions.
The Brio Comfort builds on the Trend’s exterior and interior features list, adding full colour-coding and alloy wheels to the aesthetics, while the cockpit benefits from remote central locking, a four-speaker sound system offering USB and auxiliary inputs, audio controls on the steering wheel, and a heated rear screen.
As is the case with the sedan, the same 1,2-litre engine provides all Brio hatchback models with their lively personality. While the Trend is offered with Honda’s slick-shifting five-speed manual gearbox only, the Comfort is also available with a smooth and convenient five-speed automatic transmission.
The Brio range is available in Majestic Blue, Crystal Black Pearl, Carnelian Red Pearl, Alabaster Silver, Urban Titanium and Tafetta White.
Pricing, service plan and warranty
The Honda Brio range is available through Honda’s national network of authorised automotive dealers. Recommended retail pricing is as follows:
- Brio Hatch Trend R119 900
- Brio Hatch Comfort R127 900
- Brio Hatch Comfort AT R137 900
- Brio Sedan Trend R128 900
- Brio Sedan Comfort R136 900
- Brio Sedan Comfort AT R146 900
The prices include a three-year/100 000 km warranty, a two-year/30 000 km service plan, and a one-year AA roadside assistance package. Scheduled services are at 15 000 km intervals.
HONDA BRIO SEDAN: DRIVETRAIN AND DYNAMICS
The zip to match the nameplate
- Compact, small-capacity engine ensures frugal fuel consumption
- Honda’s i-VTEC system optimises performance and efficiency
- Modern five-speed automatic gearbox a welcome option in this segment
- Suspension tuned for ride comfort and response
- Quick steering with electric power assistance ensures easy manoeuvrability
As the Brio sedan’s nameplate implies, the compact four-door saloon offers brisk and enthusiastic performance, in line with its youthful positioning and dynamic presence.
At the core of the car’s performance is a compact, 1198 cc four-cylinder engine. The single overhead camshaft design employs four valves per cylinder, and is equipped with Honda’s i-VTEC variable valve timing system. Maximum power is a rated 65 kW at 6 000 r/min, linked to a torque peak of 109 Nm at 4 500 r/min.
The i-VTEC system allows the engine’s performance to be optimised for varying driving conditions by adjusting the valve timing. Thus, at low engine revs, the valve timing is adjusted to optimise low-down torque and response. At high revs, the timing is revised to focus on maximum power output.
The result is not only optimal performance across the entire rev range, but also the best possible efficiency, which translates into excellent fuel economy. The ability to adjust valve timing using i-VTEC means that the Brio can offer brisk performance, excellent response and frugal fuel economy, all from a small-capacity engine.
Brio buyers can opt for a five-speed manual gearbox in the Trend or Comfort, while the Comfort also offers the choice of a five-speed automatic transmission. Both deliver the engine’s urge to the front wheels. The Brio is one of the few subcompact sedans to offer a five-speed automatic gearbox.
The conventional, torque converter-based auto transmission was specifically chosen instead of a CVT for the more positive and incisive gear changes it achieves, which in turn boosts driver enjoyment.
The manual gearbox-equipped Brio sedan is credited with a 0-100 km/h sprint time of 12,4 seconds, while the automatic model’s time for the same test is 15,7 seconds.
Fuel consumption is laudable at just 6,1 litres/100 km for the manual Brio sedan, while the automatic model achieves a combined-cycle figure of 6,9 litres/100 km. The CO2 emissions for the two versions come to 147 and 167 g/km respectively.
The Brio employs an independent MacPherson strut front suspension, together with an H-shaped torsion beam axle at the rear. The ride has been tuned for comfort and response, offering superb compliance for a compact, short-wheelbase sedan.
The rack-and-pinion steering system has a very small turning circle of just 9,6 metres, allowing exceptional manoeuvrability in even the tightest parking spots, while speed-adaptive electric power steering ensures minimum steering effort at slow speeds, and greater heft and feedback at higher speeds – all while benefiting from the electric system’s efficiency.
Finally, the Brio Sedan employs a servo-assisted braking system linking front disc brakes with rear drums. An ABS anti-lock braking system with Electronic Brake force Distribution is standard.
NEW HONDA BRIO: EXTERIOR AND INTERIOR
Fresh and appealing, inside and out
- Compact dimensions suggest agile dynamics
- Wedged profile emphasises clean aerodynamics
- Integrated boot retains sporty visual appeal
- Intelligent packaging and extended wheelbase create spacious cabin
- Generous rear accommodation and class-leading boot space
The new Honda Brio draws heavily on the youthful, energetic aesthetics of its hatchback stablemate, while adding a uniquely fresh and dynamic presence all of its own.
Sparkling, attractive styling
Based on the same platform as the hatchback, the Brio Sedan also shares the five-door’s distinctively styled front end, which combines large, tapered headlight clusters with a powerful trapezoidal grille and bold, chrome-accented Honda branding.
A large lower air intake, integrated bumper and extensive colour coding emphasise the Brio sedan’s young, active appearance. The 1.2 Comfort model also boasts elliptical fog lamps located in the front bumper assembly.
The sedan’s unique personality becomes instantly apparent when viewed in profile. The wedged waistline is carried through to the short, high deck of the car, while the C-pillar flows seamlessly into the generous boot.
The tapered side glass aperture and sculpted style lines emphasise the aerodynamic stance of the Brio sedan, while the extended roofline’s trailing edge ends in the sloping rear screen. Short overhangs endow the sedan with a poised and agile stance.
The rear view is dominated by large, triangulated tail light clusters, while the bootlid design incorporates an integrated, aerodynamic lip. The sculpted, integrated rear bumper is colour-coded, while a vanity strip above the number plate provides further visual interest.
Despite the Brio sedan’s slightly extended wheelbase (it is 55 mm longer than the hatchback), the four-door still exudes the nameplate’s distinctively youthful appeal.
Stylish, spacious interior
Reflecting Honda’s ‘Man Maximum, Machine Minimum’ design approach, the interior of the new Honda Brio sedan is a revelation, providing a level of space that seems completely out of kilter with the compact exterior.
Intelligent packaging and a relatively long wheelbase combine to create an airy, spacious cabin with plenty of room for both front and rear occupants. The front bucket seats are shaped for support and comfort, and feature integrated head restraints, while the rear seat features individually sculpted seating positions with a fold-down centre armrest.
Legroom is quite astounding for a sedan in the subcompact category, and together with ample headroom, ensures that rear accommodation is class-leading, with the kind of stretch-out space usually associated with larger sedans.
The ergonomically designed dashboard, with its intuitively laid out controls and instruments, is identical to that of the Brio hatch. The deep-set analogue instruments are placed in a binnacle directly ahead of the driver, and framed by a grippy, thick-rimmed steering wheel.
The driver’s seat and the steering column are adjustable, so that finding a comfortable driving position is easy, while the 1.2 Comfort models also offer height adjustment for the driver’s seat.
The cabin execution also focuses on practicality, with a comprehensive array of storage compartments and binnacles, including a generous glove compartment, and open compartments in the centre console.
There are three cup holders in the centre console, and two more in the fold-down rear armrest. All four doors offer bottle holders included in the storage pockets integrated into the door panels, while the front seat backs are equipped with storage pockets.
Capacious luggage compartment
One of the stand-out features of the new Honda Brio Sedan, and one that will endear itself to South African motorists in particular, is the large and deep luggage compartment made possible by the car’s three-box shape.
At 405 litres, the boot is amongst the largest in its class, and is easily accessed via the wide-opening, top-hinged bootlid. The lid opens all the way down to bumper level, making loading and unloading of even large objects conveniently easy.
Honda Brio Images