Honda Brio – review
Honda has unveiled their new baby called “Brio”. Brio means vigor, vivacity – full of life. True to its name, Brio has an infectious appeal and character that let you fall in love with it and also as the Honda tag line goes “Brio Loves You Back”, definitely the car has a life in it that would love you back. Do I sound smitten by love? I am and you will know why, read ahead.
In India, Honda has always been identified with premium cars with their lineup of Jazz, City, Civic, Accord and CR-V. While City was a run-away hit and market leader in its segment, Jazz was a promising car but Honda bungled in its pricing. Recently Honda dropped prices to began an aggressive retailing phase for the company in the Indian market and the company pins a lot of hopes on its new model, Brio which could add the numbers and the bottom line profits.
Honda has done lot of homework into the making of Brio (pronounced: Br-ee-oo) considering the fact that the car is designed from scratch especially for India and Thailand market to begin with. The entry level hatchback segment is over-crowded with well established models plus new entrants rolling in. This is also a segment where one successful model means a huge volume for the company but the problem is cracking the segment which is demanding as well as price-sensitive. So what Honda did? It patiently went about doing surveys and collecting facts, understand the customer demands and mindset and then collaborated with European designers along side taking inputs and involving the engineers from the targeted segment countries and arrived at what Honda calls double triangle form for Brio. The below picture explains it. (For more interesting aspects on Honda’s design talk, read HERE)
pic courtesy: Honda.com
So finally Honda Brio is here. Brio has a large-cylinder-design halogen headlights, a front grille that spells character and class of Honda’s styling. The bumper is flanked with wide lip like lines that give a wide stance. The two bold lines that draws up the front grille gives a strong presence and masculine nature to the car. Am I impressed by the front stance? Definitely yes.
A bold front…
The rear is interesting and Honda has taken a risk with the large glass hatch. You might like it or hate it or some of you might be slightly paranoid over the naked glass hatch. But trust Honda, the glass are really sturdy and fits very well. Its a hard reinforced glass hatch door and it isn’t definitely fragile at all, you can slam it shut as hard as a normal one. Personally, I liked this and it keeps the Brio stand apart from the rest since not many uses this design form factor these days.
The rear lights are interesting as well. Large, round red eye of the tail lamp and stop lights at the edges of the body accentuates the wider stance and protrudes and wraps up neatly to the sides and neatly slices the glass hatch diagonally.
In short, Brio has a pointy leaping forward wide stance, bold lines on the side that sprints upwards to the rear and a well sliced hatch with large glass and a curious tail lights all put together gives a contemporary, stable look to the car which is aerodynamic as well as boasts a terrific individual character and a strong presence.
Sit inside the car and you will smile at the tagline. Yes, Brio loves you back with one of the best in class interior quality. Inspite of the obvious pressure to keep the costs minimal, Honda has surprised as with a rich interior in the form of high quality plastic, fit and good upholstery. The dual tone beige upholstery brightens up the interiors as well as very comfortable and gives a uber cool rich feel to the car.
The dashboard is not as steep as in Jazz inspite of the forward design. A dual tone dashboard that nests the instrument console and other controls. Not overly glamorous, functional, pleasant and decent.
The 3 spoke design steering with a dash of smoky silver finish is compact and wonderful to hold and soft on your hands. Except for the start variant, all the other variants has steering mounted audio controls. The three pod analog 3D meter cluster with a soft orange illumination sits pretty. The MID display is basic and indicates trip distance info and average fuel consumption. The good part is the amber illumination stays even during the day light and is easy on eyes and to read. There is an Eco lamp function, when it is glowing green, it indicates you are driving economically. A green thought indeed!
Curiously, the music system controls are positioned slightly away from the driver but then the audio console is part of all the variants except for the basic variant. And one sore note, the audio console does not have a CD support. So you got to do with the USB sticks and other aux-in. Understood, a 4 GB USB costs very little now and can transport music in a pocket but then we still have a large population that are comfortable on CDs even now.
A long view from the rear…
The front door with side pockets. Note the blue color? well, its the lining pocket and strangely Honda decides to leave it bare showing the metal color of the car and not lining it with fabric. Yes, it adds a color but then I feel a fabric lining would have been a better idea.
The front sports a very comfortable riding stance with good legroom and headroom. The rear is decent enough not exceptionally roomy but average size to fit in easily the average Indian sizes.
The 175 liter boot space is well, small. The rear seats can be folded but no split folding. Don’t fret over the large glass hatch that might make your baggage visible in case you are paranoid about it, you might want the glass tinted dark or better grab a parcel tray. Personally, I found the glass hatch pretty and would not complain about it.
The heart, ride and performance of Brio:
The Brio is powered by the same 1.2 Liter SOHC i-VTEC petrol engine that is tucked inside the bigger sibling, Jazz. Though it is tuned marginally lower. The 4 cylinder engine delivers 88 BHP @ 6000 rpm and 109 Nm @ 4600 rpm.
Inspite of sharing the same engine as Jazz, being a lighter sibling Brio’s power to weight ratio is superior providing a peppier drive. City driving is a delight on Brio and feels very agile and willing. Handling is surefooted and reassuring in city traffic. It corners amazingly well thanks to a very responsive electric power steering. Drive it into highway, the car is more delight to ride, thanks to the characteristic refined engine of Honda staple.
ARAI certifies a 18.4 Km/litre fuel efficiency. Even if it is couple of notches below on realistic note, it is still a good score. Since it is Honda, it is only petrol engine as of now but Honda is believed to be working on a diesel engine but then it might take couple of years more for them to actually bring it to production level.
There are in total 4 variants of Brio and the top two variants come with front driver i-SRS and passenger SRS Airbags and also sports ABS with EBD. All the variants sports electric power steering and air conditioner with heater and also front power windows and central locking. The rear power windows is in all models except the starter one. Except the basic variant, all the variants also has keyless entry.
Brio comes in 6 colors – Energetic blue, Rallye Red, Urban Titanium, Alabaster Silver, Taffeta white and Crystal Black pearl.
Now, this is where Honda has got it all right, learning their bitter lesson from their Jazz experience. The base variant starts @ Rs. 3,95,000 and the top variants has a sticker price of Rs. 5,10,000.
(Prices Ex-showroom, New Delhi)
It is quiet a competitive and aggressive pricing considering the styling, performance , quality and goodies that come along with the car.
A compact car that carries the Honda’s engineering and quality mantra. At a very aggressive sticker price, it is definitely a value for money and a owner’s pride. Brio definitely loves you back. Fall in love, well I have. Brio has in it to be the car of the year in its segment.
Toyota Liva – review
After a fairly successful outing with its entry-level sedan, Toyota Etios, the world’s largest automobile manufacturer drives into our Indian roads Liva, Toyota’s small car made-for-India. The small car segment is quiet populated and each car maker, unleashing an array of models. It’s a tough market to crack where volume matters, let’s see if Liva can as their tag line goes “Liv Tmrrw 2day”
The first look…
When you look at the front, Liva looks familiar. It looks identical to its bigger sibling, Etios. So like the sedan, Liva too has a conservative styling and devoid of any radical lines and flamboyant designing. It’s a plain-Jane design and Toyota has kept it clean, simple and neat.
Though Liva is not a stunner and a head turner, it sports a pleasant smiling grille with chrome ornamental finishing that gleefully meets the crystal clear wrap -up headlamps with indicator, parking lights integrated within. The bonnet sports two neat lines giving a slight mid-rise that adds to the subdued understated and a dash of sporty styling. (The basic model of course comes with a Black matte front grille). The bumper is neat too with fog lamps and skirting and again let me remind, don’t expect them in base version.
Come to the rear and it is where Liva comes on its own. Etios rear design has been chopped of and given a wonderful treatment. Shedding the big boot, Liva sports a well-proportioned silhouette. Thanks to the rounded hatch, it looks more appealing and cute. Overall, the rear of Liva compliments with the front design, unlike the Etios rear. The mounted tail light makes the difference to the Liva. The slight bulge and the mounted tail light gives a sporty and charming character to the car. It blends well with the hatchback and also adds to the characteristics of the car.
Measuring 2460 mm, Liva has a huge wheelbase and good ground clearance.
The top two versions sports a 12 spoke alloy wheels.
The inside story…
Liva carries the Etios’s touch inside…
The dashboard is plucked straight from Etios.
cool glove box
So you have the same central instrument control, vertically mounted central air conditioning vents and the chilled glove box. There are plenty of bottle and cup holders (I think I counted 7 of them) and the 13 litre glove box with the air-conditioning vents is a cool thought.
If you thought the centrally placed instrument console would be not practical, you are wrong. It is not only easy to read but also gives the car an interesting perspective and a cool quotient. The console is pretty well stacked though the two of the starting base versions does not come with tachometer.
The top two variants come with a dual tone fabric upholstery – black and red in the top most variant and the other one in black and grey while the starting two variants comes in a single tone black upholstery which was quiet a boring sight. Again only the top two variants comes with fabric insert door trim. The front and rear door comes with pockets, which was quiet convenient to stuff papers, files etc.
Liva is quiet spacious. It provides good legroom and headroom both in the front and rear, sitting inside is quiet a lively experience.
Open the hatch and you get a decent 251 litres of b00t space. The rear seat can be folded but there is no split option.
The engine,the heart and the ride…
To take advantage of the excise duty concessions that the government provides for the small cars, Toyota Liva is powered by a 1.2 Litre, four cylinder engine that fires 89PS @ 5600 rpm and 104 Nm @ 3100 rpm. The brief given to the Toyota engineers is concentrate more on the engine efficiency rather than firing on all cylinders. The car is a delight to drive in city roads. It is peppy and behaves well in low revs and accelerates smoothly further. But come to highways, you will be slightly disappointed but then Toyota has strived at giving a good city car rather than a speedster.
As per ARAI, the car delivers 18.3 kmpl. But on a realistic note, expect 14 kmpl in city conditions and 16 kmpl in highways. This is the fine balance the Toyota engineers had worked on balancing the engine efficiency, acceleration and max power.
If you are looking for a diesel engine, sorry to say Liva comes with only a petrol version.
Liva comes in 7 colors, apart from the 6 colors that was seen in Etios range, Liva has one added blue color which looks cool too.
The variants and pricing…
Liva comes in 4 variants – J, G, V and the fully loaded VX . The basic version is heavily stripped down and without even power steering, which we find is hugely disappointing and ridiculous. The base model starts at Rs. 4,21,47 and it goes up to Rs. 6,08,684 for the top model (Prices are ex-showroom price, Bangalore)
GingerChai verdict: Liva is a good city car spacious and with decent looks, good ride quality and delivering a good mileage and more importantly its an affordable Toyota. It might not impress the speed demon within you but its a practical, no-nonsense, city car that is what Toyota has aimed and made for India.
Mahindra Verito – Old Wine in New Label
Old wine in a new label – this is the apt description for Mahindra Verito which is nothing but the erstwhile Logan in new branding. Barring minor cosmetic changes, Logan is here as it is but with Mahindra badge.
Even after its divorce with Renault, Mahindra managed to sustain a decent sales figure to its entry level sedan, Logan. Now with Renault charting its own path, Mahindra inevitably has to rebrand the Logan and so we have the new label Verito. The name is derived from the Latin word ‘Veritas’, meaning truth.
- As you see, the Verito comes with the prominent Mahindra badge replacing the Renault badge
- Verito sports a new fog lamp now.
- Verito sports a rail rack for a trendier look.
- It also sports side cladding now.
- A prominent rear chrome strip gives a style quotient to the car unlike the bland read of the logan.
With small but visible cosmetic changes, Veritos now looks sportier and more stylized when compared to the dull looking old Logan. Along with the new welcome change, it also retains the rugged feel that it infuses.
There is not much change in the interiors except for the new plush fabric upholstery. It retains the same roomy feel of Logan and as it is the most spacious car in its segment. The dashboard is the same from Logan and the instrument cluster with LCD display includes a tachometer, digital clock, mileage both total and partial and temp guages and intelligent panel that informs you the trip meter, average fuel consumption, distance to empty (ofcourse , don’t expect the intelligent reports in the base model)
Verito comes in both Petrol and Diesel engine. The 4 cylinder, 8 valve 1390 cc petrol engine revs a 75 PS max power while the 1461 cc diesel engine revs up a 65 PS max power. Though the numbers are not impressive when compared to its peers, the Verito scores over its competitors when it comes to one factor that is all important for average car and bike users – the mileage. The petrol version boasts a 16 kmpl and the diesel version boasts an impressive 21 kmpl. Remarkable numbers considering the concern in most minds with the fuel prices shooting up and up.
Verito comes in 7 colors.
Mahindra has sensibly prices the Verito. With the starting price tag of Rs. 4,82,100 for petrol variant and Rs. 5,61,800 for diesel variant (ex-showroom price, Chennai) it is a car over all decently packaged.
GingerChai verdict: With a refreshing facelift though not very drastic but still making it more sporty and stylized than the erstwhile Logan and with the same old Renault engine giving a great mileage and with a sensible pricing Verito is a value for money in its segment.
Toyota Etios – Review
I know it was long over-due but then due to various reasons, I was able to keep my eyes, hands and feet on Etios just now. But then as the age old cliché goes better late than never right? One parallel I could draw from this long pending review and Etios is even the car was much over-due from Toyota, ideally speaking the world’s largest car maker and seller should have launched the car in India couple of years back but then sometimes delay happens for various reasons. If it happens for a good reason and a better product, the delay can be forgiven. Like almost in this case with Etios. Read again, I stressed on almost.
My friends were betting on the car to give Maruti Suzuki’s D’zire a Hosni Mubarak fate. But does Etios have in it to take on the number one Sedan of the segment and topple it from its position? Before answering this, let’s figure out the car and what it is all about.
So after setting up my date with the car. I arrived before it and went around it. Well, I wound not say Etios is a heart racing stunning beauty. It has an understated elegance that also gives a commanding, soothing presence. The front is classic Toyota-istic with crystal clear wrap-up of headlamps with indicator, parking lights integrated within to add to more clear looks with chrome ornamental finish of the grills and moulded fog lamps on bumper plus the Bonnet with neat lines that adds to the subdued style. (The basic model of course comes with a Black matte font grille). The side profile holds in it a side protection moulding with classic chrome insert (the basic model does away with it) giving a visual aerodynamic appeal apart from the safety feature. The rear of the car continues with the understated elegance without going over-board with interestingly good looking clear red tail lamps. Overall Etios has a sensible, not-over-the-board, subdued styling.
Ok after Nano does any other car come with single wiper these days? I can’t recollect immediately but you have Etios. Though the broad sweep is aimed at maximum coverage, I doubt practically how it efficiently it will handle the Indian rainy season.
Etios comes in 6 colors: Symphony Silver, Harmony Beige, Serene Bluish Silver, Vermilion Red, Celestial Black, White.
So far, so good. Even if the exteriors where not flamboyant, it scored better than D’Zire, its main number game rival. Understated, not loud, it had a strong, conservative but pleasant look.
What caught my eyes, when I stepped in was the central instrumental console. A smart design element by Toyota in an otherwise conservatively designed car. The tachometer, digital trip meter, the audio console and all the buttons and knobs sits pretty well over there. But then my eyes also caught hold of the poor dashboard plastic quality. Yes, cost is a factor but then from Toyota our expectations are always high. So one cannot deny a dip in the excitement.
You stretch your legs, turn around, peep into the rear and you smile again coz the car stacks in a plenty of head room, leg room, shoulder room, knee room and amble real estate both in from and rear. It also packs in smart placements like vertically stacked air-vents, seven 1 litre bottle holders, a spacious 13 litre cooled glove box etc.
With 595 litres of luggage space, the boot space is definitely something to boast of.
The top two versions of the car comes with dual tone fabric upholstery (Black & grey, Black & red) and the basic two versions in a single tone (black).
Finally a good report card banks upon the performance. Sporting a 1496 cc, 16-valve 4 cylinder DOHC engine delivering 90 PS of power at 5600 rpm, riding on a kerb weight of 930 Kg helps Etios to surge very quick off the line. Thanks to the light weight, the drive is sprightly and sporty to drive. So Toyota does not leave any room for disappointment in the engineering front. Truly an uncompromising Toyota offering.
With the spiralling petrol price, the good news is the car gives 13.2 kmpl in city ride which is definitely not disappointing for a sedan.
Ex-show room price Bangalore: Rs. 4,92,530 for the very basic version to 6, 84,315 for the fully loaded version.
GingerChai verdict: Etios has every ingredient in it to conquer the Indian roads. They have taken time to understand the Indian market demand and have come up with a product that offers a no-nonsense car with remarkable Toyota engineering plus a bit of cost saving to grab the market. Currently there is a waiting period of 6-8 months and if it is fine with you, go ahead for a test ride and take a call and chances are you might just like it.
Nissan Micra – Review
After selling ultra-premium segment cars for over 6 years in India, Nissan has jumped into the mass popular segment where the numbers decide the game. So they begin their innings in already crowded B- segment with Micra.
As you cast your eyes on Micra you are certain to be transfixed over it. Micra is neither petite nor skinny but a little voluptuous, healthy and buxom car. It does not portray the regular, common car-next-door image but a classic beauty with a confidence redefined. The retro yet modern feel and look of the car wins your thousand smiles. The front of the car begins with retro lines with sleek integrated huge bug headlamps with integrated indicators and parking light. The bonnet flows smooth into the Nissan logo, with a single line grill. Gaze little lower towards the bumper, the black meshed grill adds a sporty look along with the fog lamps. The grills give a Mini feel to the car. All this and the retro curves give the car a very classy yet sporty appearance.
Move to the sides, the aerodynamic body lines flows gently wrapping the rear view mirror and giving a solid feel. The smooth roof lines gives a wind-tunnel feel good to cruise on highways.
The rear is wrapped up with integrated retro lights with roof mounted brake lights. The slight bulge curves and the screen give a vintage grace.
Click the button and Micra greets you in thanks to the intelligent key system and if that is not enough pamper yourself with the push button system to start the engine, all this while you are soaked in a comfortable seating. But this luxury comes only in the top variant, so prepare to shell out a bit more. Infact, the start stop engine button is a first of its kind offering by any car makers in this segment.
Look around, stretch your legs you find the car spacious. The dashboard is neat with a decent plastic job. The view from the car is comfortable to ride and pleasure to gaze around.
The tilt steering and airbag is standard in all the variants and also explains why your Micra cost a tad more than its fellow models. Nissan thinks safety and beauty should go hand in hand but of course the lower variant comes with only one airbag. The 226 litre boot space is fair enough for you to stuff your things on a road trip.
Micra comes in 6 colors: Sunlight Orange, Blade Silver, Storm White, Pacific Blue, Onyx Black, Brick Red.
Now step the pedal or push the button, Micra comes alive with the 1198 cc, 3 cylinder petrol engine that claims a 76PS @ 6000rpm and 104Nm @ 4000rpm. The ride is smooth and peppy. Criss-crossing in city roads amidst traffic, turns and potholes, the car was a pleasure to ride. The car is sturdy during while taking turns and gives you an extra confidence to the driver. In short the smooth, refined engine and the ride handling gives Micra a big thumps up.
Micra comes in 3 variants: XE (the base model), XL and XV (the top model)
The realistic mileage one can expect in our city roads with A/c on could be 15-16 Kmph, though the company claims 18.06 Km/litre.
Ex-showroom price as on July 15, 2010 checked in Bangalore showrooms are 4.01 Lakhs for the base model going upto 5.33 Lakkhs for the fully loaded version.
GingerChai Verdict: Micra is a small car with a big attitude. It is classic and yet loaded with modern features. Good ride quality and handling makes it a good city car as well as for a highway trip. Ofcourse the final on-road price is tad costlier than some of its comparative models but then the car is refreshing and has a confident personality. Only drawback is when it comes to service, one has to drive miles to reach a service centre. I hope Nissan works on this front soon. Otherwise, a good looking car, feature rich and wonderful to ride.
TVS Wego – review
Couple of days back, I was discussing with my friends about gearless scooters. Many of my friends or their family members own Honda Activa. After the demise of Bajaj scooters, Honda has stolen the market of gearless scooters mainly with their successful Activa model. There was once popular kinetic scooters now taken over by Mahindra but then they could not match the onslaught of Activa. Then we have yet another popular model scooty but which is stuck in a teen image. So is there any real rival to Activa? As we discussed this, someone suggested TVS Wego and we immediately tried to test drive it.
WEGO “We Go!” – The name is quiet attractive in itself. Did anyone say “what is in a name?” Well, atleast for me there is something in the name. The name should appeal and be inviting. The makers of TVS scores high in the name. But all is not in the name but in the looks and performance of the machine.
As we stepped into the showroom, we were greeted by a beauty! Should I say a mean beauty? Yes, Wego looks striking, mean, bold and beautiful and carries lots of attitude in styling. The long oval indicators gives a very modern look to WEGO and the headlamp design is quiet aggressive in styling that goes well with the front that sports two nostrils flanking the indicators. The side panels are clean not trying to bank on sticker tricks to accentuate the look and feel. The rear is sharp with LED tail lamps. The speedo is large and clean with twin dials.
One interesting fact that WEGO has in it is the fuel cap. It is strategically placed outside behind the seat. The under seat storage and the fuel cap shares a single key. Click right and the storage opens and left the fuel cap opens.
So Wego grabs your attention in the looks department, now let’s look into the all important engine and performance. Wego holds in it a 109.7 cc, 4-stroke, single cylinder engine that gives a max power of 8 PS @ 7500 rpm, while peak torque is 8 NM at 5500 rpm. The engine is smooth, almost vibration free and gives a very peppy ride. What gave me a pleasant feel is the riding quality. The suspension felt great riding through bumpy roads and the gas-charged rear shock absorbers provides a good cushioning even with two people saying we-go together! Combined with this the 12” wheels give a good grip and stability and the telescopic front fork adds to the road confidence of the machine.
So seems like am going gaga over wego, isn’t there anything to say negative about it? Well, I think the under seat storage could have been little more spacious but then still it would fulfill our daily needs.
GingerChai Verdict: So overall, I would say Wego is a great scooter to ride and own and for all those fans of automatic gearless scooters here is one that is well packaged on all fronts. Say lets’ go in wego !
Volkswagen Polo – Review
At first look, VW Polo looks a typical hatchback with a premium tag banking on the prominent VW logo in the front grill. The look is not flashy but gives a masculine, sturdy appearance. The crystal clear headlamps with integrated indicators replaces the smoked headlamps of the European versions to cater to the price sensibilities of the Indian market. First glimpse of the front gives you a sturdy, masculine German machine. Not bad but not flashy either. Come to the sides, the prominent waistlines with door panels and rear view mirrors that flows with the body lines gives a pleasing look. The rooflines gives an aerodynamic look but then these days every car maker makes sure these things are taken care of isn’t it?
Over to the back, honestly it does not impress me much. The look is quiet boring and traditional. Not inspiring. Some fresh design inputs could have gone into the tail lamps. The only thing I liked in the back is the VW logo that also acts as the tailgate opener.
Polo comes in 6 colors: Candy White, Flash Red, Emotion Blue, reflex Silver, Pepper Grey, and Deep Black. My pick was Flash Red.
The inside looks:
Stepping inside, the first thing you obviously notice in any car is the dashboard. The instrument clutter and the dashboard in general do not make you whistle but it is loaded with sensible design and utility values. The quality of the plastic and other materials are very high and that offset the lack of flamboyance. Lot of care has gone into intelligent and sensible positioning of controls and utilities making it very ergonomic and user friendly. The steering is soft, trendy and gives you a good grip and feel to drive. The speedometer dials are extremely well lit.
The front seating is well positioned and comfortable with good legroom and headroom for an average Indian. The rear seating is little cramped but just about adequate. The boot space is quiet spacious like Figo and that is good news for Indian families who pack in a lot while traveling. The rear view mirror inside the car mounted on the windscreen is trendy and well positioned to give an effective usage.
Polo comes in Petrol and diesel version. Though you may have to wait till may for the diesel version. The 1.2 litre petrol engine generates 74 bhp at 5400 rpm. The car is pretty good surging ahead and nice in city roads with a good road performance and handling. The best of the car performance can be extracted in the highway riding. The sturdy suspension and a decent ground clearance are well suited for Indian road conditions.
Pricing and goodies:
Here comes the all important factor though of course we are talking about a car positioned at a premier segment of hatchback. The car comes in three variant: Trendline, comfort line and high line. The trend line starts @ Rs. 4. 42 lakhs, The base line is Rs. 4.93 Lakhs and the high line stands at Rs. 5.82 Lakhs. All prices mentioned are ex-showroom, Bangalore. Trend line is very basic and stripped down and does not inspire the price tag. Unfortunately, the dual air bags are part of the high line. So is the case with fog lamps, ABS, Radio with MP3 players, rear defogger and rear wiper, VW could have incorporated air bags atleast in the comfort line.
GingerChai Verdict: Polo comes with a traditional but masculine styling, good, decent performance, a VW logo and brand but will it be enough for the German automaker to surge against the aggressively priced Figo, smart looking punto, the street smart i20 and the widely popular and accepted Swift? We have to wait and watch. If you have the extra bucks for the higher version of Polo, go for a test drive.
Honda CB Twister – review
If you want to be a real heavy weight player in Indian motor bike market, you cannot ignore the mass segment. It is where the real number games are played. Hero Honda with it’s flagship model Splendor has been the the market leader in the mass segment for a long time. Now, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd. (HMSI), the 100% owned 2-wheeler subsidiary of the Honda Motor Company, Japan has decided to take on its Indian partner in this popular segment with its latest offering CB Twister.
When someone says sub 110 cc category, what comes in mind is a boring, plain looking, high mileage bike. Time to unwind such image because Twister is a real head turner in its category. Living up to the style aspirations of Indian customers, Honda has taken a cue from its international stunner Honda CB1000R and has adapted it to the Indian price and performance sensibilities.
First the colors. The bike comes in 5 different colors – Black, blue, green, yellow and red (Pearl night star black, Pearl fiji blue, candy palm green, electric yellow metallic, pearl siena red)
Personally, I liked Yellow and Red. Black was kind of normal.
Now let’s come to the body. Honda CB Twister has set a new benchmark in styling in its category. The look is an outright stunner. Very aerodynamic, a muscular tank, a sporty look, screenless front cowl, trendy sharp rear with a compact muffler, unique grab rail design and a sporty silencer gives a peppy, eye candy look to the bike.
The tech features:
- CB Twister is packed with a 4 stroke, air cooled 109 cc engine delivering 9 bhp @ 8000 rpm.
- The bike weighs 108 kg and has a good ground clearance.
- The fuel tank capacity is 8 litres.
- Tubeless tyres (both front and bike)
- Trendy alloy wheels
- The top end comes even with a disc brake (but I am not sure if a 110 cc bike really needs a disc brake)
- It has both kick start as well as self start.
- The instrumental panel is conventional and basic.
The bike is very aerodynamic and has a very good seating posture that aids in a comfortable ride. The mounting of the engines and the design, Mass forward proportion as Honda mentions, adds stability to the bike and instills confidence in you while riding. Honda CB Twister will be the best in class in terms of acceleration & pick up. In fact, I was surprised with the great pick up and acceleration the 109 cc engine gave. Even while cornering, the bike is smooth and gives a confident stability and command over it.
The mileage: This is the more important factor of the bikes in this class, company claims a 70 Km per litre in city riding conditions which is good enough.
Price: The crucial factor when it comes to this segment. The base model starts at Rs. 41,850 and the top end model is priced at Rs.44,850 (Ex-showroom price, Delhi). With the looks and the performance the machine offers it is quiet a good deal.
- No provision for helmet lock in the rear.
- No parking lights.
- The top end comes with a disc brake but I feel they could have included a digital instrument panel instead.
GingerChai Verdict: Honda has given a new definition to the base segment of Indian motor bikes. The bike is definitely the most stylish bike of its class. The performance of the bike is also very good and with the brand name of Honda, it is definitely a bike to be taken very serious.