Honda Brio minicarNo Magic Seat here, but some smart packaging
Honda Brio minicarEnlarge Photo
Honda hasn't worked anything close to the same kind of packaging magic they have with the Fit here—it's basically a standard subcompact interior in this respect, too—but the cargo floor is especially low, which we imagine would allow you space to double-stack grocery bags behind the back seat without them getting in the way of visibility.
From the inside, and from a passenger standpoint, the Brio feels like a surprisingly roomy car, with pretty good outward visibility. Switchgear is very basic, including lock-and-window switches that look raided from a parts-bin.
Everything in the Brio—from the seatbacks to the dash to the doors themselves—feels thin and minimized. While we'd rather have thicker doors for side impact and better-contoured seats, we can understand the approach.
The materials used for the dash itself don't seem any worse than those in the 2012 Honda Civic, although we grabbed the climate-control switchgear and it also felt retro-1980s econocar—likely in an unintentional way.
Cheap and charming, but off-bounds for the U.S.
This all makes a little more sense when you consider how much the Brio costs. With a starting price, in India, of just 406,000 rupees—a straight conversion to less than $8,000—it's a deal, here or there. That's several times the price of a Tata Nano.
With tougher regulations on safety and higher demands for refinement, the U.S. is no longer a possibility for a model like this; yet we have a feeling Americans would find the Brio's back-to-basics approach (and price) quite charming.