Which is a better option: mid-level variant of the new Honda Brio or the Maruti Suzuki Ritz?

Last week, Honda launched the Brio at an aggressive price of Rs. 3.95 – 5.10 lakh, making Brio the cheapest Honda car in India. But is the Brio’s competitive pricing and ‘Honda brand’ image enough to stir the market where cars such as the Maruti Ritz are a strong favourite with buyers? Let’s compare the mid variants of the two cars, the Brio S MT (Rs. 4.35 lakh) and Ritz Vxi (Rs. 4.38 lakh) and find out.

Performance and handling

Honda Brio has a 1.2 litre petrol engine that offers offers 87 bhp and 109 Nm of torque. Gearing is perfectly suited for city driving, and the occasional highway drive won’t disappoint you either.

The Maruti Suzuki Ritz too has a 1.2 litre engine that produces 84 bhp – a bit less than the Brio. Torque is at 113 Nm, a little better than the Brio. Gearing of the Ritz is spot on, and you won’t have any complaints about it in the city.

honda brio road test

In pure performance though, the Brio wins. How? The Ritz weighs 1015 kg, while the Brio is much lighter at 940 kg – and that translates to a more nimble, sporty drive for the Brio.

On the highway, however, both cars are not comfortable at high speeds. Both don’t feel planted on the road – the Ritz because of its tallboy design, while the Brio because it is very light. These are not perfect highway cars, though both can take you on an occasional trip. To read more about the Honda Brio click here.

Verdict: The Brio wins this because of it is the sportier car of the two.

Looks

Honda Brio is a radically designed car based on the double triangle theme. The car has a bold front face with thick chrome grille and the highlight at the rear being the glass hatch door and the triangle shaped taillamps.

Maruti Ritz too is a radically designed car with its boomerang tail lamps at the rear. The car has a cab- forward front face, well-pronounced wheel arches and funky rear styling.

Verdict: Though both cars are unique in their own way, it’s the Brio with its sporty and dynamic proportions that has a slight edge.

Space and comfort

maruti suzuki ritz photo

Both the Brio and Ritz are best for four passengers only and hence the fifth occupant is unwelcome, especially during long trips. The boot space is 175 litres in Brio is smaller than the 236 litres of Ritz. The front passengers in the Brio have excellent supportive seats and great leg room, while the front passengers in the Ritz have commanding road view (tall boy design) with easy ingress and egress seats.

The Brio with its compact dimensions and a shorter turning radius (4.5 m) is city-friendly than the Ritz (turning radius 4.7 m). Seeing through the transparent hatch door, parking will be easier in Brio even in tight parking spaces.

The overall dimensions of the Brio are smaller than the Ritz.  The Ritz is taller by 120 mm (more head room), lengthier by 105 mm (more boot space) and has a 15 mm wider wheel base (slightly more legroom for rear passengers) than the Brio.

Verdict: Ritz has an edge over Brio in headroom and boot space, while Brio is city-friendly with its compact dimensions and good all-round visibility.

Standard features: which is better equipped?

Both the Ritz Vxi and Brio S MT are equipped with electric power steering, central locking, tachometer, all four power windows and manual AC. Ritz Vxi has 60:40 split seats at the rear while Brio has fold-down rear seats (no split).

The Brio S MT has more features than the Ritz such as MP3/AM/FM (no CD or DVD) player with USB and Aux-in ports, steering mounted audio controls, keyless entry, front power windows with auto shut down and fuel consumption display.

Verdict: Brio is better equipped than Ritz

Mileage and value-for-money

The ARAI-certified fuel efficiency of Ritz Vxi is 17.7 kmpl which is less than the 18.4 kmpl of Brio. Further, Brio (940 kg) is lighter than Ritz (1015 kg). Hence, the lighter Brio will accelerate faster, very handy for easier city driving.

With regard to price, the Brio S MT is Rs. 3,700 cheaper than the Ritz Vxi. At the same time, it offers more convenient features such as steering mounted audio controls and keyless entry.

Verdict: Brio and Ritz are similar priced and equally frugal. But Brio offers more in features. So it has a slight edge over Ritz in value-for-money.

In summary

If you want a car with more headroom, bigger boot space and low on maintenance costs, go for the Maruti Suzuki Ritz Vxi. But, if you want a stylish, better-equipped, petrol hatchback, which is also peppier to drive, go for the Honda Brio S MT!

Features and specs comparison

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