Honda has launched three new variants of the Brio. Two of these are automatic variants priced at Rs. 5.74 lakh and Rs. 5.99 lakh for the S (O) AT variant and V AT variant respectively, while the third is a manual transmission variant the Brio EX MT priced at Rs. 4.26 lakh.
The Honda Brio automatics are both five-speed automatics, which build on the strengths of the Brio with its peppy engine, compact size and ease of driving. Also read: Honda Brio automatic first drive
So what’s different with each of these variants of the Brio?
Brio V AT
The Honda Brio V AT is the top-of-the-line Honda Brio, and the most expensive of the lot at Rs. 5.99 lakh. It comes with a five-speed automatic transmission besides the other features present in the manual transmission (V MT) variant of the Brio. The Brio V automatic is Rs. 75,000 more expensive than the manual variant. The car comes with two airbags and ABS, power door mirrors, tilt-steering and integrated audio system with steering audio controls. It also gets fog lamps and alloy wheels.
Brio S (O) AT
The Honda Brio S (O) AT variant is the second most-expensive Brio in the line up, priced at Rs. 5.74 lakh ex-showroom. This variant gets airbags and ABS, but does not have alloy wheels or fog lamps. It has the same specs as the manual transmission S (O) MT variant.
Brio EX MT
The Honda Brio EX MT priced at Rs. 4.26 lakh is a variant that sits in between the base Honda Brio E MT and the Brio S MT. This variant of the Brio gets an integrated audio system with USB and Aux-in, and two front speakers. It also gets body colored rear-view mirrors, body colored door handles and a strip along the doors to enhance its looks.
The Brio is powered by a 1.2 litre petrol engine that puts out 86 bhp of power and 110 Nm of torque. The automatic transmission in the Honda Brio is the same unit that is used in the Honda City as well and comes with seven modes. However, the unit in the Brio does not have paddle shifters like the City has. 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!
If you are looking at an automatic transmission small hatchback, you now have more choice – with two variants of the Brio automatic, two of the Hyundai i10 and one in the Maruti A-Star range. Of these, only the Brio is a five-speed and is probably the better of the lot. Also read: Brio automatic vs A-Star vs Hyundai i10