Honda: Hip and Happening?

We’re back! It’s that time of the year, the roads are getting busier, tans are fading and the weeks are getting longer. Most of us will have been back at the grind stone for a while now. However, there exists a unique sub-section of society who will still be enjoying carefree summer days for a few more weeks.

When this sub-section of society, known as varsity students, return to ‘work’ the roads will be littered with various cars; hand me downs, bangers, Mom/ Dad’s car, Sandton trust funds, and of course the cars aimed at students. One thing I could say with certainty in 2012 was that very few of these cars would have been Hondas’.

I suspect this will not be the case in 2013. Honda recently launched the Brio in an attempt to get a slice of the emerging student cars market.

Brio_02The Brio’s name was derived from the Italian word for “verve”, “vigour”, “cheerfulness” and “energy”. This aptly describes Honda’s first entry into the growing and increasingly important segment which will allow budget-conscious buyers to experience the brand’s famed product quality, driving dynamics, fuel-efficiency, spaciousness and safety in a new and affordable package.

Indeed the Brio is a good looking little car and fits well into the market it is aimed at. On a test drive I navigated the little Brio into its natural environment, the university campus. Student responses were positive to the little hatch, most were stunned to find it was a Honda and reacted positively to the new addition to the Honda family.

The interior of the car exudes a feeling of spaciousness that makes a car seem roomier than it actually is, as well as a feel of quality.

The design of the interior was  approached on a practical level with the design calling for  maximising the space available for people through minimising the space required for mechanical components.

With a move in the market to digital music, special attention was paid to the look and feel of the audio controls. Unified in appearance with the instrument panel, the silver and lustrous black controls offer an advanced and elegant feel.

Honda have definitely done their homework with the Brio, the build quality and safety features are in line with what you would expect from Honda. Perhaps my only criticism of the Brio has to do with the interior colouring of the model I drove. Brown on brown is a colour option may Grandmother may enjoy, but I suspect not many students will be signing up for that option.Brio_01

So as student’s became the great trek back to lectures keep an eye out for the new Honda Brio on the roads. You might just be surprised.


1,2-litre i-VTEC petrol producing 65 kW at 6 000 r/min and 109 Nm at 4 500 r/min

Available with five-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission with Grade Logic Control and Shift Hold Control


R119 800 for Comfort Manual, including a 3 year/100 000 km warranty and a 2 year/30 000 km service plan

R129 800 for Comfort Automatic, including a 3 year/100 000 km warranty and a 2 year/30 000 km service plan

Justin Stephenson
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