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Remembering The Honda Brio And Why It Failed The Indian Market

The Japanese carmaker that has enjoyed its time here in India is Honda. A while back, Honda was part of almost all the segments until recently. They had, Brio, Amaze, WR-V, BR-V, Mobilio, City, Civic and CR-V. But now, Honda does have limited vehicles in India. Well, it was the Honda Brio that was the entry-level vehicle from the carmaker in India. So today, let’s look at the life story of the Honda Brio, the reason it failed to sell in big numbers.

Honda Brio
Honda Brio

Before starting, I’d like to tell you everything about this cute little hatchback. So, let’s get rolling.

Honda Brio, Visual Appeal

Honda Brio
Honda Brio

This small Japanese car came to the Indian shores in 2011. And for the time, the vehicle was one of a kind. Honda back in 2011 got many features making the vehicle stand out in the crowd. Speaking of which,


Length (mm) 3,610
Width (mm) 1,680
Height (mm) 1,500
Wheelbase (mm) 2,345
Boot Space (Litres) 175
  • On the outside, Brio did look a size smaller than its competition but it was nothing to complain about (more on that later).
  • Staring this hatchback from the front, it had an arrow inspired design which was a common affair for Honda at that time.
  • Moving to the side is where one could visually see the compact dimensions of the vehicle. Also, in those days in the top-end trim, Honda Brio used to come with 14-inch alloy wheels.
  • Onto the read, Honda Brio was the only hatchback with this unique tough. It was only the glass that was the opening for the boot of the car.
  • Also, from the front as well as the rear, Honda Brio didn’t look narrow in fact it was quite the opposite.
Honda Brio Rear
Brio Rear

Indeed, Honda Brio in 2011 did seem to be a little ahead of its time.

How was the Honda Brio from the inside?

Honda Brio Interior
Honda Brio Interior

Now this will come to you as a surprise, but it was super spacious. More spacious than some of the hatchbacks and sedans of today. That said, soo much space on the inside has to do with clever engineering.

Everything on the inside of the vehicle is built with one thing in mind, more space on the inside. This is the reason most of the things done to the interior is to do exactly that. This includes,

  • Scoped out front seats, to open a ton of legroom at the rear.
  • Scoped outdoor panels, again to make more space on the inside.
  • Not just that, to increase the airiness inside, Honda gave the hatch a lot of glass area. Also, the majority of the interior was made from beige colour.
  • Again this enhances the roominess on the inside.
  • Enough with the space, Honda Brio also packed quite some features for the time. Brio was pampered with string mounted controls, good quality sound system with AUX input.
  • Sadly, there was no CD player nor there was Bluetooth connectivity at that time.

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The Powerhouse of Honda Brio

Engine Specifications

Engine 1.2-Litre 4 cylinder NA Petrol
Power  90ps @ 6,000Rpm
Torque 109Nm @ 4,500Rpm
Transmission  5-speed MT / CVT
Fuel Efficiency 18.5kmpl*

*ARAI Figures

Another reason, Honda Brio was unique was the matching under the hood. Brio till the engine was powered by a 1.2-litre 4 cylinder naturally aspirated petrol engine with no diesel option.

Honda Brio iVTEC Engine
Brio’s powerhouse iVTEC Engine
  • The engine was capable of generating a peak power of 90ps and 109Nm of peak torque.
  • This made this hatchback the only vehicle in its category to have a sub 13 seconds time of 0-100kmph.
  • Talking about the transmission, the hatch powered the front wheels via a 5-speed manual transmission. But later, the company did offer a CVT automatic transmission, the best for fuel efficiency you know.
  • And yes, not to forget, this 1.2-litre engine did get Honda’s proprietary i-VTEC technology. Indeed, this is a delight to the car guys as it revs the soul out.

Why did Honda Brio fail the Indian Market?

Now, let’s come back to this burning question. Well, in 2011 Honda brought the Brio specifically for the Indian market. Meaning, it was tailored for the buyers of India. Also, it was the cheapest car in the market manufactured by Honda. Now, from day one the Japanese carmaker, Honda is known to have a little expensive after-sales service or at least this is what the people had in mind. Next, if we filter in the price of the vehicle, it sure was mouth-watering, it was everything but affordable.

The second try! Honda Bio Facelift | 2016

10 great cars that deserve a second chance
Honda Brio | Facelift | Image for representation only

In 2016 Honda did try to revive the Brio’s market with another try, in comes the Honda Brio facelift. In this facelift, the Honda gave the exterior of the hatchback subtle updates. But it was the interior that finally stepped into this high tech world. In 2016, Honda Brio got a revised dashboard with a little better-looking instrument cluster and also some additional features. This included a touch screen infotainment system and also a part digital instrument cluster. Also, the mechanicals under the hood was unchanged.

Honda Brio Interior
Honda Brio Facelift Interior

Still, this was not enough to unsettle the market leader. Next, in February 2019 the company pulled the plug on this peppy and fun to drive hatchback.

Also, read Remembering the Honda Brio and How we wish Honda Brought it back

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Must read: Best Pre-Owned Hatchbacks You Can Buy!

Let us know in the comment section, is Honda Brio worthy of coming back?

Utkarsh Bhardwaj
Technical Content Strategist at GoMechanic | Big Time Petrolhead with the passion for building cars and driving those beauties.


  1. It fails because of d glass boot cover n small boot.just change that and add Blutooth..I like d 2 din music system ..d engine is superb .14 inch Tyre is mind blowing…I own 2012 brio I don’t like the 2016 facelift version also.

  2. Brio was funny/weird looking car and thought Honda didnt spend good time in design. Probably they thought honda badge will sell and got slap from Indian market. They still didnt learn and had arrogance to price mobilio much higher than ertiga and failed big time. And Brio looked like a joke in front of Swift.

    I understand Brio could be mechanically capable and probably more safer than Swift but exterior design and road presence is also important.

  3. Brio is always successful model… Don’t tel failed like that… I’m very very very happy with my brio & I’m so proud with my car…. Lucky car & unique car to me…..


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