Honda Motor South Africa is set to introduce the Brio; a new entry-level offering to its line-up in a bid to take the fight to such wallet-friendly favourites as the Ford Figo, Hyundai i10 and Toyota Etios.
WeÂ reported on the Asian-built Brio almost two years ago, but at that stage Hondaâ€™s local arm was not considering such a model for our markets. Now, spurred on by the success of the aforementioned budget hatchbacks, Honda has decided to bring its Brio over here.
According to a Honda Motor South Africa spokesperson, the Brio is will spell a new chapter in the brandâ€™s development in our market. Where Hondaâ€™s buyer profile has traditionally been more mature and the pricing bracket its products have occupied premium, the Brio looks set to introduce Honda to a younger, more budget-conscious audience.
Although Honda SA is understandably loathe to disclose pricing and specification ahead of the Brioâ€™s local introduction in early December 2012, their spokes person has made it clear that the car will be â€œhighly competitive within its segmentâ€ and cited the likes of the Kia Picanto, Hyundai i10, Ford Figo and Toyota Etios as the rivals against which it will compete on price.
On the specification front, Honda SA has stated that the focus will be on safety with such features as ABS with EBD, dual front airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners and a high-tensile steel body construction going some way to quelling the safety concerns that often surround cars in this segment. The local spokesperson also suggested that the local Brio will not be quite the spartan affair that its Thailand-bound model has been, with such niceties as air-conditioning, audio system, electric windows and power steering likely to feature.
Power is provided by a four-cylinder, 1,2-litre i-VTEC engine developing 65 kW and 109 N.m of torque and will be offered with a choice of five-speed manual and CVT transmissions.