Automatic hatchbacks in India are slowly picking up speed because of their sheer convenience in increasingly congested city traffic. The latest small automatic hatchback in the Indian market is the Honda Brio automatic that will be launched on October 18.

CarToq recently previewed the Honda Brio automatic and we were quite impressed with this cute hatchback’s performance in city traffic. Read more: Brio automatic first drive impressions

Now let’s see how the Honda Brio automatic compares with its main rivals – the Hyundai i10 Sportz automatic and the Maruti A-Star VXi automatic.

honda brio AT drive

Looks, fit and finish: Brio is the finished car of the lot

The Honda Brio automatic is probably one of the best put-together among the three, with good fit and finish all around, except for some minor mismatch around the glove box area. The car looks compact and quite attractive externally, with its unique feature being the all-glass rear hatch. The car is roomy on the inside but compact on the outside. The Brio comes with an automatic option in two variants – S (o) AT and V-AT.

The Hyundai i10 Sportz automatic is currently one of the more popular automatic hatchbacks, selling more than its only other competitor till the arrival of the Brio automatic, the Maruti A-Star automatic. The i10 automatic has a tall-boy design with good interior fit and finish, which looks quite premium. It features all beige upholstery and a tall seating position. The exteriors get Hyundai’s fluidic design theme, with an automatic badge on the boot to differentiate from its manual sibling. It is offered in two variants – Sportz automatic and Asta automatic.

The Maruti A-Star automatic is the cheapest among the three automatics and is available only in one trim – the VXI AT. It is the most compact of all three cars with hardly any rear legroom or luggage space. The front seats are comfortable, while the black and grey interiors make it look a little cramped. The A-Star looks quite unique from the front, with its “cute” headlamps and large “open-mouthed” grille. Fit and finish is good.

Overall, among the three cars the Honda Brio feels the most premium of the lot in its fit and finish and it also looks quite nice.

Engine, performance and handling: Brio is a joy

The Honda Brio automatic is powered by a 1.2 litre petrol engine that puts out 86 bhp of power and 110 Nm of torque. This is mated to a five-speed automatic transmission with seven selectable modes – P,R,N,D,D3,2,1. This is the only car in its segment with a five-speed automatic transmission, as the A-Star and I10 have only four-speed automatics. This also gives the Brio an edge in drivability and performance. The car is very peppy to drive and responds instantly to throttle inputs. It has a short turning radius of just 4.7 meters and is compact at just 3.6 meters in length. The large glass area and light steering make it a breeze to drive and park in city traffic, while it stays stable on the highway, at high speeds.

The Hyundai i10 automatic is powered by a 1.2 litre “Kappa” petrol engine putting out 79 bhp of power and 111 Nm of torque. The car has a four-speed automatic transmission with six modes – P,R,N,D,2,L. The i10 has a bit more lag compared to the Brio when you want instant response from the throttle. But it has a very refined engine and the tall driving position make it easy to move in city traffic. The car has a slightly stiff suspension which makes it slightly bouncy at high speed. It’s more at home in city traffic only.

The Maruti A-Star is the cheapest automatic of the lot. It is powered by a 1-litre, three-cylinder petrol engine putting out 66 bhp of power and 90 Nm of torque. It has a four-speed automatic transmission with six modes – P,R,N,D-3,2,L, using a gated shift selector. It is very convenient to drive, especially with just two people on board. Visibility at the rear is slightly restricted.

Overall, the Honda Brio automatic feels better to drive than the Hyundai i10 and the Maruti-A Star, although all three cars are great for their sheer convenience.

maruti A star

Price, mileage and value for money: A-Star is the cheapest but Brio has good VFM

The Brio automatic is expected to be priced about Rs. 60,000 more than its equivalent manual counterpart as the automatic transmission is being imported from Indonesia. So expect the S (O) AT to be priced at about Rs. 5.6 lakh and the V-AT to be priced at about Rs. 5.85 lakh. The Brio automatic variants come with safety features including two airbags and ABS. They also get integrated music systems, while the top-end variant gets alloy wheels as well. The Brio claims a fuel efficiency of 16.95 kmpl for the automatic.

The Maruti A-Star automatic is available only in one variant (VXI AT) priced at Rs. 4.56 lakh ex-showroom. The A-Star has a claimed mileage of 17 kmpl for the automatic. The A-Star gets a music system and ABS, but no airbags.

The Hyundai i10 Sportz automatic comes with a music system, rear wash-wipe. The Asta variant also gets ABS and airbags. The i10 automatic is priced at Rs. 5.3 lakh for the Sportz automatic and Rs. 6.2 lakh for the Asta automatic, making it probably the most expensive of the lot (depending on how Honda prices the Brio).

In terms of value-for-money the Maruti A-Star is probably the most value-for-money automatic car you can get. If you want a good balance of drivability and value, the Brio automatic would be a good choice. Also read: Automatic cars in India under Rs. 10 lakh

Verdict: It’s Brio all the way

In terms of sheer value for money there’s no beating the Maruti A-Star for being the most affordable automatic car available. The Honda Brio is the best all-round car with its five-speed automatic better suited for all-round driving – in the city or on the highway. The Hyundai i10 is a good choice for those looking for a premium automatic with space and a tall-boy design that is convenient for the city. Which one would you pick? Share your thoughts with the CarToq community.