WHAT’S UP, Brio?

By Kenneth M. del Rosario Philippine Daily Inquirer June 05,2019

A popular saying goes that if your car survives the uphill and winding roads of Baguio, you’ve got a keeper of a car in your hands.

We’re kidding-there’s no such saying. But there might as well be. The steep incline and tight turns a car must conquer to get to and from the mountainous city is no easy task.

To this end, the all-new Honda Brio gets flying colors for successfully navigating the challenging routes that this writer took, together with several motoring reporters, on a
recent Group Media Test Drive organized by Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. (HCPI).

The new Honda compact hatchback is the brand’s entry to the A-Segment passenger car category in the Philippines. The test drive showcased the dynamic performance of the second generation Brio, which Honda released in the market in April.

On its first week alone, the Brio sold 150 units, a testament to the goodwill the first generation garnered over the years.

Over the course of the three-day test drive, the media participants took turns driving the six Brio units, which included two new variants: the 1.2 RS Black Top CVT and the 1.2 V CVT. They tested the Brio’s mettle, navigating the long drive along the expressway to La Union and Clark, going up the zig-zag roads of Baguio, and back to Manila.

As a driver, it’s noteworthy to mention the smooth drive and efficient fuel economy of the Brio, thanks to its 1.2 Liter 4-cylinder SOHC i-VTEC engine that produces a maximum power of 90 ps at 6,000 rpm.

It was a solid drive over all. The Brio kept in pace with other cars with bigger engines on the road. Even when rain started to pour, grip was fantastic and reliable.

As a passenger, the Brio’s sporty yet comfortable interior gets a seal of approval, with its larger cabin space and improved legroom brought about by its 60mm extended wheelbase and 90mm extended cargo depth.

Having a spacious interior is essential, especially during long drives when passengers are likely to snooze the hours away. Being able to comfortably stretch those arms and legs is priceless.

There are also orange accents in the dashboard (for the Phoenix Orange variant), which adds a luxurious touch to the car’s interiors.

Even when the driver was doing maximum speed on the highway, passengers feel safe, knowing that the all-new Brio comes equipped with the essential active and passive vehicle safety features. Honda’s G-CON technology enhances impact absorption for the added protection of passengers in an event of a collision.

Looking from the outside, the Brio features a strong sporty front fascia that blends with its character lines featuring a Honeycomb Front Grille and Multi-Reflector Halogen Headlights with LED Parking Light Guides.

At the rear, the Brio now features a new rear design (compared to the large glass panel found in its predecessor) which gives drivers a better rear visibility. At the same time, it provides improved body rigidity, while making passengers much safer inside.

These welcome tweaks contribute to a wider look and strong sense of motion with a sporty expression. As part of Honda’s Sporty Spirit, the Brio’s RS variant was developed to further enhance the sporty exterior design. It features the RS Design Gloss Black Front Grille, RS Design 15-inch Alloy Wheels, RS Design Side Sill Garnish and Rear Bumper Garnish, and Tailgate Spoiler.

The all-new Brio comes in five colors: Phoenix Orange (new color; exclusive for 1.2 RS Black Top CVT); Carnival Yellow (new color; 1.2 RS Black Top CVT and 1.2 V CVT only); Rallye Red (new color; 1.2 V CVT and 1.2 S MT only); Modern Steel Metallic (1.2 RS CVT, 1.2 V CVT and 1.2 S MT); and Taffeta White.

As a special introductory price, the all-new Brio would carry the following price tags until June 30, 2019: 1.2 RS Black Top Navi CVT: P732,000; 1.2 RS Navi CVT: P727,000; 1.2 V CVT: P646,000; and 1.2 S MT: P585,000.

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