Honda Brio automatic first drive impressions

Honda is launching a Brio with an automatic transmission in a few days, and CarToq got to preview this vehicle in and around the Delhi-NCR region.

honda brio AT drive

The Honda Brio automatic will come in two variants – the S AT (Option) and the V AT, a mid-variant and a top-end variant. It features a five-speed automatic transmission mated to the tried-and-tested 1.2 litre petrol engine that puts out 86 bhp of power in the Honda Brio.

Here’s a quick look at what the Brio automatic has to offer.

Looks, fit and finish

There’s very little to distinguish a Brio with an automatic transmission compared to the one with the manual transmission. There are no external styling changes, except for badging on the boot. The same cab forward stance, large glass area and cute design cues continue. Fit and finish is quite good on the Brio.

Performance and handling

honda brio gear shift

Now the Brio has always been a peppy little car to drive. In fact, it is one of the peppiest in the segment, putting out 86 bhp of power and 110 Nm of torque. The five-speed automatic in the Brio is the same unit that does duty in the Honda City, but does not have paddle shifts. The selector has seven different modes – P,R,N,D,D3,2 and 1.

With the transmission in D, the Brio shifts up early to extract maximum fuel economy, if you drive with a light foot. If you floor the accelerator in D mode, it will hold each gear to its maximum rpm (around 5,500 rpm). On the expressway, driving in D mode, you need to floor the pedal and wait for a second for it to downshift and accelerate – typical of most torque converter automatics.

In D3 mode, the Brio will not shift beyond third gear – this is a mode useful for hill climbing and twisty ghat roads. In 2 the transmission stays locked in second gear, while 1 locks it in first gear – useful when you want engine braking for descending steep hills. Also read: Honda Brio Sedan launch with diesel motor confirmed!

The car has good all-round visibility and driving it in crowded city traffic is a breeze. The car feels effortless to drive and is stable even at speed on the expressway. The manual was always easy to drive, and the automatic makes it even easier.

Mileage

During our short run in city traffic the Brio returned a mileage of 12.1 kmpl which is excellent for an automatic. This was with a mix of city traffic, high-speed expressway traffic and crawling about town.

Quick impressions

The Brio automatic is the third small hatchback to get an automatic transmission – the other two being the Maruti A-Star and the Hyundai i10 automatic. The Brio automatic is likely to be priced about Rs. 60,000 more than its manual counterpart, so expect a price point of about Rs. 5.5 lakh for the S (O) AT variant and about Rs. 5.8 lakh for the top-end Brio V-AT. This makes it extremely competitive when compared with the Hyundai i10 automatic – which is a 4-speed automatic. The Maruti A-Star will still be the cheapest automatic. Also read: It’s not a myth: Honda Brio diesel spotted

Overall, we think the Brio automatic is a good car to buy if you want an easy to drive, easy to handle and fuel efficient petrol hatchback for the city.