The All-New Honda Brio media drive

The All New Honda Brio was recently launched and it wasn’t long after, the guys at Honda Cars Philippines Inc. (HCPI) invited me, along with other media guys to put the car through it’s paces. We were invited to drive their New little car from BGC to La Union, Baguio and then back down to Clark.

We met up for breakfast early in BGC after which we were one of 6 Honda Brio’s, three of which were the 1.2 V CVT and three were the 1.2 RS Black Top CVT variant. We loaded our luggage, good for three days into the back where there’s 258 liters of cargo space with the seat up. We noticed the good amount of space in the second row, even with the driver and front passenger seats moved to a comfortable distance and reclined, there was still a lot of leg room in the second row. As the saying goes, small outside, spacious inside. It’s true and this is due to it’s 60mm longer wheelbase over the previous generation.

my carmates - Angel Rivero of the Philippine Star aka "Erning" and Ron Delos Reyes of Auto Review

Once we were on the road, the Brio’s got attention from other drivers on the road due to it’s new sporty and wider look up front which includes a Honeycomb Front Grille and Multi-Reflector Halogen Headlights with LED Parking Light Guides. The back has an all new look with a proper rear hatch this time and not just a hinged glass panel found in the last generation, improving body rigidity.

It was a long drive and my car mate Angel Rivero had a theory about the how and why Game of thrones ended the way it did, you can watch it here:

The star of the drive was the RS variant which has sporty appointments, making it look more aggressive with it’s RS Design Gloss Black Front Grille, RS Design 15-inch Alloy Wheels, RS Design Side Sill Garnish and Rear Bumper Garnish, and Tailgate Spoiler.

The 290km drive from BGC to Aureo Resort in San Fernando, La Union let us experience the All-New Brio’s engine, the new 1.2 Liter 4-cylinder SOHC i-VTEC who’s max power of 90 Ps at 6,000 rpm with 110 Nm of torque at 4,800 rpm, is mated to a Honda’s Earth Dreams Technology – Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT).

It put out enough power to keep pace with the Civic RS’s that led our convoy on the stretches on NLEX, SCTEX and TPLEX. The sweeping country roads were a breeze for the Brio. Taking turns behind the wheel enjoying both the power, interior space and comfort this little car had to offer till we got to our first stop, Aureo Resort in San Fernando La Union, where we would spend our first night.

Day two we headed up on a 66km drive to Baguio via Naguillian road. We experienced the 110Nm of torque the 1.2 engine had to offer, which may seem paltry on paper, but the little 4-cylinder shone on the climb to Baguio, along with the CVT which eagerly “upshifted” when extra pull was needed. You’ll definitely hear it exert itself, but it never got short of breath on long upward stretches. The hadn’t changed with the three of us and our luggage, the car got us to the Ben Cab Museum as fast as lead Civic could muster the convoy.

After lunch, and a brief tour, it was time take a 170km drive via Asin road to Marcos Highway to get back on to TPLEX, SCTEX, and then Clark. This let us feel the braking and handling characteristics of the All-New Brio.

We took the winding downhills at reasonable speed, and they proved to be easy to negotiate, showing us how much better and more rigid this new chassis is and how well set up the suspension was. The shock absorbers never bottomed despite the sudden dips and uneven road patches. Once back on TPLEX and SCTEX, we were back to cruising mode and it wasn’t long we had reached our end destination, the Marriott in Clark, for the All-New Honda Brio drive.

The Brio did pretty well on this drive, doing just about everything a big car can do, maybe some things better. It’s economical, easy to park and fun to chuck around eating up the roads as quick as we could get onto them and spatting it out the back just like any VTEC would. This surprising little city run-about can run up to La Union and Baguio and back with the big boys.


Here’s a video of the whole trip from start to finish…

The 1.2 V CVT we drove is priced at Php646K and the 1.2 RS Black Top Navi CVT is priced at Php732K. These prices are introductory until June 30, 2019, making it cheaper that the other Japanese 1.2L 3-cylinder. Maybe now is the time to get a Honda.

For more information on the All-New Brio visit Honda Cars Philippines, Inc.’s official website at