We called it and we’re right – Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. (HCPI)launches the all-new Brio this summer to sizzle the competition within the pint-sized hatchback segment. With its completely revamped look and sporty appeal, we can’t help but get excited to get our hands on it for an in-depth review.
Aimed to compete against segment best-sellers like the Toyota Wigo and Mitsubishi Mirage, the 2019 Brio now carries the sharp wing grille on its fascia that’s found in its bigger brothers, along with the all-new RS trim, which is a nod to the small RS Concept that was showcased during the 2018 Philippine International Auto Show. With that in mind, the battle for the sportiest looking small hatchback is on.
What separates the RS trim from the rest of the Brio range, apart from the red RS badge, are the blacked-out grille, side sill garnish, black roof, distinct 15-inch rims, side-mirror-mounted repeaters, rear diffuser, and spoiler with high-mounted LED stop light. All variants get multi-reflector halogen headlights and LED guide lights.
On its side, the makeover continues as the 2019 Brio inherits the sharp character lines that Honda cars are known for. The non-RS variants get 14-inch alloy wheels and fender-mounted turn signal lights, while the rear-end gets a massive update as well, dropping the pizza taillights of its predecessor in favor of the C-shaped taillamps.
The 2019 Brio is longer than its predecessor, both in overall length and wheelbase, while retaining the width and height. This slight change in size promises better legroom and trunk space.
Inside, the all-new Honda Brio gets the dashboard layout of the Jazz, but with a different steering wheel design. The similarities include the textured plastics and other finishings that accentuate the cabin. For the RS variants, orange contrasting accents found on the dashboard, gauge clusters, door handles, and the seats make the interior stand out.
Standard in the lineup are power-adjustable side mirrors, automatic windows, steering wheel audio controls, and a 1DIN entertainment system for the base S MT variant. The V and RS trims get a 7-inch infotainment system with Bluetooth and iPod connectivity.
Under the hood, the 2019 Brio gets a 1.2-Liter i-VTEC gasoline engine across the range, coupled to either a 5-speed manual or Honda’s Earth Dreams continuously variable transmission (CVT). It produces a healthy 89 horsepower and 114 Nm of torque. Of note, only the base S variant gets a manual transmission. Disc front and drum rear brakes are standard across the lineup.
For security and safety, it has dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, seatbelt reminders, immobilizer, alarm, and speed-sensing door locks.
The 2019 Honda Brio units in the Philippines are completely built units from Karawang, Indonesia. It will be available at Honda Cars showrooms starting tomorrow, April 24, 2019, with early reservation deals started rolling out last month. It can be had in five colors: Phoenix Orange Pearl (RS Black Top CVT); Carnival Yellow (RS Black Top CVT, V CVT); Taffeta White (RS Black top CVT, RS CVT, V CVT, S MT); Modern Steel Metallic (RS CVT, V CVT, S MT); and Rallye Red (V CVT, S MT).