Comfort should not cost a limb, says Honda Brio

STYLISH driving does not need to cost an arm and leg, hence the existence of the Honda Brio in the market. What more do you want in a car, which this little player does not have? Power play, maybe, but if easy drive and comfort is what you are looking for don’t far. At start price of just R128 900, you are really going places for less.

The Brio is manufactured in India but the reliability of the Japanese brand remains intact. This car is suitable for all – from the first-time car buyer to someone who just wants to cash in for the more the car offers for so little.

“The good news is that we have turned around and things are going well,” says Honda Motors Southern Africa (HMSA) automobiles director Graham Eagle.

A random monthly comparison shows HMSA sales for May 2012 at 558 new cars, with the Jazz hatchback the biggest seller, at 194 units. However, by May 2013, following the introduction of the Brio in December 2012, HMSA units for the year flew past 1 112 mark in South Africa, with the Brio in the pole position.

The new Brio has succeeded in introducing the Honda brand to a much-needed younger audience, he adds, with 17% of customers aged between 18 and 24, which is exactly the Brio’s target audience.

Just over 98% of all Brio customers say they will buy another Honda, adds Eagle.

Hopefully, the expansion of the Brio range will add to all of these numbers, with the new sedan version aimed at somewhat older buyers with families.

 Eagle says the segment for entry-level vehicles in South Africa is “growing nicely”.

He believes current new vehicle market growth in the country is largely driven by manufacturers providing a range of incentives in the upper-end of the market, where “things are getting really difficult”, as well as an increase in the sales of smaller, cheaper cars.

Entry-level sedans are also showing a recovery over the last two years, after facing slower sales than the booming entry-level hatchback market.

Eagle says this can be attributed to consumers buying down from the larger, more expensive C-segment, into the B-segment.

The Brio sedan has a 405 litre boot and 1.2 litre i-VTEC engine, electric windows, ABS brake system, aircon and the works. The four-cylinder engine produces 65 kW of maximum power at 6 000 rpm, with a torque peak of 109 Nm at 4 500 rpm.

The front-wheel drive sedan has a five-speed manual gearbox. However, a five-speed automatic gearbox is also available.

Fuel consumption is 6.1 l/100 km for the manual-gearbox model.



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