Ease in driving, supported with a powerful but fuel-economic engine with a delightfully designed cabin are characteristics that have ensured that the Hyundai i10 continues its rule in the hatchback segment. With revised versions and facelifts coming with regularity, the i10 has been able to hold its position higher than its competitors.
However, Honda Brio has been putting in concerted efforts to displace Hyundai from its top position. Both the vehicles have been provided with 1.2L engines with the Brio having a size advantage and the i10 winning on features. With top-end variants of both separated by a pricing of Rs.20,000 only, it remains to be seen which car is going to be the best value for money for the consumers at large.
Engineering and Design:
As mentioned earlier, Honda Brio has a distinct size advantage with additional length and width of 25mm and 80mm respectively over the Hyundai i10. These incremental dimensions have given the vehicle a squatting stance, while its look is further distinctive through its low grille as well as high-mounted headlights. The Brio gets the look of a vehicle ready for action thanks to its sharp rising window lines and its 14-inch wheels. The rear has also a stylish element with its tailgate being completely made of glass and its ideally finished bodywork.
The i10 does not quite match up to the Brio in terms of sporty looks. However, the vehicle has been provided with great detailing with its sharp headlights and hexagonal grille, giving it a feeling of freshness. The tail-profile of the i10 highlights its well maintained cabin as well as the decent space for luggage provided. Providing the boot with a deeper floor ensures that you can fit larger bags into it.
Boot space in the Brio is comparatively smaller but it does surprise you with the load that it can carry.
Both cars are front-wheel drives having electrically powered steering systems, independent suspensions at front along with rear torsion beams and transverse motors.
The passenger room provided in the Brio could even put bigger hatchbacks to shame. It has also maintained the driving position perfectly by giving the driver a great view.
Though quite spacious and also providing good headroom, the i10 comparatively has lesser space inside. Its driving seat has adequate visibility but does not provide thigh support. Its rear seat cushions are a bit hard as well.
The Brio has a well-built dashboard but it cannot be deemed to be the best due to not having a total central console as well as non-provision of colors and plastics on its dashboard. It simply gives a feeling that the budget slash on this vehicle has been done due to the dashboard.
The i10 has a neat and complete dashboard with stylish layouts. Its top end version, the i10 Asta comes with latest features including CD player, Bluetooth connectivity, rear wash and wipers as well as parking sensors in standard fittings.
The Honda Brio focuses on economic interest of consumers by using a single-motor 1.2L i-VTEC engine. It achieves good enough power of 88Bhp and does not back out when extra performance is demanded. However, it does not function optimally at low speeds with its gearbox design calling for frequent downshifts. But, its motor is definitely more refined.
The Kappa2 motor used by the i10 has better response providing the car the aggression desired when starting. The motor has been tuned to operate till 6,700rpm but the engine starts feeling strained once the 4,500rpm mark is crossed. Therefore, its pull at top levels does not match that of the Brio.
Transit to 100kmph is achieved in 12.04 seconds and 12.47 seconds by the i10 and the Brio respectively, with the i10 also staying a bit ahead on in-gear acceleration.
The Riding Experience and Handling:
Both the cars have been provided with compact dimensions as well as light steering. This facilitates ease in city driving. The Brio handles bad roads quite effectively. Suspension of the i10 is not as sorted as is with the Brio. The i10 operates comfortably at slower speeds but once speed is picked up on rough roads, the i10 does not look a settled vehicle. This aspect is further compounded if the vehicle happens to be fully loaded.
If you develop the urge of revving up on the performance aspect, the Brio proves to be an ideal car. Its willingness to deliver high-end performance with its excellent brakes and the ease with which it tackles corner lends specialty to the Brio. You can push the Brio to its limits but it is still going to retain its confidence, poise and balance.
On the contrary, you definitely need to indulge your senses before pushing the i10. With excessive body roll and the risk of losing poise easily and with its ultra thin tyres losing grip pretty soon, it definitely is not advisable to push the i10 too much.
Though it delivers an additional 9Bhp power compared to the i10, the Brio still proves to be better in fuel efficiency. It clocks 12.6km/liter on city roads peaking to 17.0km/liter on highways. On the contrary, the Hyundai i10 delivers figures of 11.7km/liter and 16.0km/liter on cities and highways respectively. The difference though small is critically in favor of the Honda Brio. Both the cars however suffer from a range restriction due to their 35-liter capacity fuel tanks.
The Final Word:
The i10 is a product of extensive engineering combined with a healthy performance. It has won over customers with its versatile usage and still retains this credibility. Extensive and useful features have been provided to the top-end variant of the i10, which exudes class to the vehicle. The car offers good value to its customer’s money and maintaining it is also quite hassle-free. However, it completely lacks the fun element that one can associate with driving the Brio, which also offers a greater degree of passenger comfort, as well as much better riding and handling qualities. The interiors, though well-built in the Brio, somehow make the impression that the car has been made subject to budget cuts.
However, this dwell is won by the Honda Brio owing to the fact that it gives its users all the charms of a big car at the budget of a small one.