It used to be that the A-Segment passenger car category is all about small affordable fuel-efficient (SAFE) cars that tend to look, uh… safe, i.e. common, bland and unexciting.
But last April 23 at the ballroom of the Grand Hyatt Hotel BGC, Honda Cars Philippines, Inc., upped the ante by infusing Honda’s signature sporty and practical characteristics into the all-new 2019 Honda Brio and Brio RS. And as if the two unveiling surprises were not enough, HCPI pulled a third hat trick with the new car’s affordable price package.
HCPI President and General Manager Noriyuki Takakura confidently stated that the excitement generated by the all-new second-generation Brio will further help bolster the sales and market share of Honda cars in the country. Tsutomu Harano, the development leader of Honda Research and Development (R&D) Asia-Pacific, explained that the all-new Honda sub-compact hatchback was based on the grand concept “Proud Over Class” that was developed by the company in response to their customers’ needs, keeping in mind the Filipino end-users. The concept introduced improvements that placed the all-new Brio a class above the competitors in its segment.
Honda designers conceptualized the interior of the all-new Brio on the idea of “Comfort, Harmonize and High Quality”. The new car features a wheelbase that is 60mm longer than the previous model that extends the cargo area by 90mm and endows it with increased passenger comfort and bigger trunk space, which can easily accommodate larger items. The hatchback can swallow 258 liters of cargo with the rear seats up or 710 liters with the rear seats folded down. Its flexible and spacious interior allows it to carry cargo that belies its sub-compact body.
• Increased interior room was derived from the all-new Brios’ longer wheelbase.
• The rear legroom is more spacious than the previous model.
• Rear cargo space can hold 258 liters with the rear seats up.
Honda engineers added a digital display for the manually-controlled air conditioning system and provided a choice of in-car entertainment with two different audio head unit options: a 7-inch touch screen audio system (1.2 V CVT) and a 1-DIN audio unit (1.2 S MT). The two audio systems provide intuitive controls and functions, and features easy connectivity to the occupants’ devices via Bluetooth or USB port. Clearly, this new Honda sub-compact hatchback will prove to be a comfortable cocoon to while away Metro Manila’s horrendous traffic.
In line with the “Proud Over Class” grand concept, the all-new Brio features an exciting, dynamic and mature exterior styling where designers created a sleek sporty profile and strong sense of motion that emphasized the car’s low center-of-gravity and wide stance. Its sporty front fascia features a honeycomb front grille and multi-reflector halogen headlights with LED parking light guides. Unlike its first-generation version, the design of the all-new Brio is harmonious and its character lines neatly align all the design elements from front to back.
To maintain excellent rear visibility while providing improved body rigidity, stiffness and safety, the all-new Brio now features a new tailgate instead of the large glass panel of its predecessor. New rear combination lamps with rear reflectors not only improve the car’s visibility to drivers behind it, the large external red lenses of the tail and brake lights expand to the edge of the vehicle to emphasize the car’s sleek, wide and sporty stance.
Its new 1.2-liter inline 4-cylinder SOHC i-VTEC engine, which churns out 90PS at 6,000 rpm and 110 Newton-meters of torque at 4,800 rpm, is mated to a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) that was developed based on Honda’s Earth Dreams technology. This engine and transmission, combined with the all-new Brio’s light 992-kilogram curb weight, promises brisk acceleration, smooth cruising, and increased fuel economy. For those who savor the pleasures of driving a racy stick shift, the Brio 1.2S MT with its 5-speed manual transmission may be their ideal hatchback.
Diminutive 1.2-liter SOHC i-VTEC inline-4 packs 110Nm of torque.
Sleeker aerodynamics and light weight helps improve overall performance.
Despite the longer wheelbase, the tight turning circle is maintained.
Improved platform, unibody construction, and essential active and passive vehicle safety features afforded a 4-Star ASEAN NCAP safety rating for the all-new Brio. Honda’s G-CON technology enhances impact absorption for the added protection of passengers in an event of a collision. To provide security and peace of mind for its occupants, all variants of Honda’s A-Segment hatchback will be equipped with dual front driver and front passenger SRS airbags and anti-lock braking system (ABS) as standard.
Honda’s G-CON technology and other safety improvements netted the all-new Brio a 4-star ASEAN NCAP rating.
Racier and Sportier
According to Harano-san, the all-new Brio RS, which was based on the Small RS Concept that HCPI previewed during the 2018 Philippine International Motor Show (PIMS) last September, aims to enhance the new model’s sporty exterior design and represent Honda’s vision of a small sporty car. It features an aggressive sporty exterior with RS Design Piano Black front grille, RS Design 15-inch alloy wheels shod in performance Bridgestone tires, RS Design side sill garnish and rear bumper garnish, and tailgate spoiler.
Rear spoiler adds a racy touch and a great place to mount thr third brake lights.
Brio RS rolls on 15-inch alloys shod in Bridgestone Potenza 185/55R-15 tires.
The RS Design interior features a dashboard and door trims with orange accents and black fabric seats with orange piping to provide continuity of design and a sporty high-quality appearance. The 7-inch touch screen audio system is equipped with Bluetooth and USB connectivity for audio streaming and six speakers with additional two tweeters to enhance the listening experience. The top-of-the-line Brio 1.2 RS Black Top Navi CVT will be finished in Phoenix Orange Pearl, which is a new color exclusive to RS models only or Carnival Yellow, another new color that can also be found on the Brio 1.2 V CVT. Other colors include Rallye Red (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.