There are more than a dozen hatchbacks in the sub-5 lakh rupees segment that the Indian car buyer can pick and choose from. Almost every car in this segment delivers three things – good fuel efficiency, reliability and affordability. And most buyers in this segment are happy to pick the car that offers the best combination among these three attributes.
[Image courtesy Team-BHP]
Some buyers like to be different though. They want performance. They want a car that makes them smile everytime they stomp down on the loud pedal. They want to win traffic light GPs. This story is for them, and also for the rest who don’t know what they’re missing on.
[Image courtesy AbinBabsPhotography]
For great acceleration, you need three major factors to come together. One – a powerful engine, two – a light kerb weight and three – the right gearing that can exploit the engine’s performance. The car in which all these factors come together in perfect harmony is the one that accelerates like a bat out of hell.
The Honda Brio, ladies and gentlemen, is the car that is the fastest accelerating one in the sub-5 lakh rupees segment. The car uses a 1.2 liter-4 cylinder i-VTEC petrol engine that puts out 87 Bhp and 110 Nm. It’s light kerb weight of 920 kilograms gives it a power to weight of about 95 Bhp.
The result? A 0-60 Kph timing of 6 seconds 0-100 Kph sprint timing of 12.5 seconds. These numbers makes the Brio faster than every other car priced below 5 lakh rupees. That isn’t all, the hatchback is even faster than hot sellers and much more expensive cars such as the Maruti Dzire and the Ciaz. The Brio is compact, and has a light electric steering that makes it very flickable on city streets. The powerful engine completes the equation by giving the hatchback enough poke to keep it ahead of cars that cost twice as much. An ego massager or a pint sized powerhouse, call it whatever you want. The car’s base variant costs 4.21 lakh rupees.
Everything isn’t perfect about the Brio though. Many buyers don’t like the hatch lid that’s an-glass affair because of the wrong perception that it makes the car weak. Some don’t like the hatchback’s choppy ride due to the firm suspension. While the first issue can’t be sorted out, the second easily can. After market suspension for the Brio is capable of elevating the car’s perfomance to an all new level by allowing it to be planted and plush at all speeds.
So, that’s one change that you as an enthusiast can make to the Brio, to boost ride and handling to levels that can make the best use of the car’s powerful engine. The other thing regards the styling department. There’s no dearth of interesting styling ideas for this pocket rocket. From zany paint jobs to a Modulo body kit, the Brio isn’t short of inspiration.
You don’t want the Brio for reasons best known to you. However, you still want a sporty hatchback that accelerates hard and that’s very affordable. What is your other option? Three words. Maruti-Suzuki-Swift. This is one car that you and even your uncle can be seen in without being embarrased. The Swift is India’s best selling B+ segment hatchback, with over 15,000 copies finding happy homes each month.
While most buyers opt for the Swift for reasons other than performance, you must know that the petrol engined model can accelerate rapidly when you’re in the mood for it. What’s more. The Swift larger car than the Brio, and also feels more substantial in comparison. With a relatively light 960 kilogram kerb weight and the 1.2 liter K-Series petrol motor (86 Bhp-110 Nm) in tow, the Swift does the 0-100 Kph run in about 13.2 seconds.
The Swift scores above the Brio when it comes to high speed handling. The feedback of the Maruti car’s electric power steering is quite good and the chassis can take some very spirited cornering. Overall, this is a fun car to be in. This also explains why you see many Maruti Suzuki Swifts being driven very spiritedly on Indian roads. Prices of the Swift Petrol start at 4.58 lakh rupees.
[Images courtesy AutoPsyche on Facebook]