War of Automatics: Honda Brio A/T vs Hyundai i10 A/T vs Maruti Ritz A/T
- Wednesday, February 27, 2013, 11:19
- Brio, Comparisons, Hatchback, Honda, Hyundai, i10, Maruti, Ritz
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The purpose of a family hatchback is mainly ferrying people around the city where streets are crowded with humanity and traffic is spilling out over the hard shoulder. Especially in India where the tarmac not only belongs to the automobile but also to illegal hawkers, pedestrians and animals alike. Now, in this case what’s the best car you can have to move your family around amongst all hustle and bustle without bumping into any of the aforementioned elements? Certainly, you don’t want a car that’s too long and neither do you need a car with a ‘Sport’ button. All you want is a user-friendly automatic. That’s exactly what I will be discussing about as you read on.
The family hatchback segment is teaming with products from various car makers. Chief among them is Honda, Maruti and Hyundai. All three of them offer cars that come with a slush box much to the satisfaction of the city driver. But, which one would you chose among the three. It could be difficult to choose between the Honda Brio A/T, Ritz A/T and the Hyundai i10 A/T. Let’s put things into perceptive, then starting with the Honda Brio.
Honda Brio A/T:
The Honda Brio automatic is the new kid on the block. Honda’s first hatchback offering, the Brio has been doing pretty well in a market where diesels were slowly gaining ground on petrol power. The Brio like any other Honda product is built to extremely high quality standards and it’s the legendary Honda reliability that customers would never miss out on. The Brio is powered by a 1.2 litre petrol engine that is highly refined and economical. The power plant puts out 88 PS of peak power that more than its competitors. As tested by ARAI, the Brio does 16.5 kmpl despite being an automatic.
The high fuel efficiency can also be related to the 5-speed automatic transmission that resides under the steel body. Which means the engine revvs lower while the i-VTEC system prevents the engine from knocking at low revvs. The interior of the car is well appointed and the quality of plastics is top-notch. The Brio does look tiny from the outside but does have decent hauling capacity. The boot lid is comprised of just the rear windshield which is easy use. Just be careful while closing or you might crack the glass. The Brio Automatic is priced at Rs 5.77 lakh ex-showroom which puts it in between the Hyundai and Maruti Ritz. Features like ABS and Airbags are standard on both the S(O)AT and V AT variants. Alloy wheels and fog lamps are a standard affair on the top-spec Brio AT.
Hyundai i10 A/T:
The Hyundai is the cheapest among the cars that we have here. It isn’t as economical as the other two. Of course, ARAI figures suggest that the Hyundai i10 A/T can do 16.95 kms in a litre of petrol. That’s under test-conditions, but in the real world and in traffic don’t expect similar fuel economy figures. This is also true with the other two in the comparison. The i10 also uses a 1.2 litre petrol engine with 80 PS of peak power. Which means the Honda beats the Hyundai when it comes to outright punch. Also, the Hyundai uses a 4-speed automatic which does result in higher operating rpms. The car also comes with a driver-side airbag but lacks Anti-lock brakes.
That said, you do get most of the necessary creature comforts inside the cabin. Steering is light as in most Hyundais and is electric rather than the usual hydraulic assisted power steering. The standard equipment level on the i10 Automatic includes power windows, audio system, cup holders, air-conditioning etc. The list price of the Hyundai i10 A/T is Rs 5.32 lakhs and that’s withouth alloy wheels, ABS and fog lamps.
Maruti Ritz A/T:
Now, most folks would choose the Maruti over the rest. Maruti Suzuki has got a huge customer base in India and has been at the brand that sells the most number of cars in a year. The Maruti Ritz was among the favorites when it was launched. It gave the option of an upgrade for those who would’ve instead gone for the Wagon R but didn’t quite afford the Swift. The addition of an automatic further improved the position of Maruti Suzuki in this segment.
Powering the Ritz is a similar 1.2 litre petrol that puts out 85 PS of maximum punch and 113 Nm of torque. The Ritz trounces the competition when it comes to outright torque. The Brio has to do with 109 Nm while the i10 has got just 111 torque to play with. It is also the only one breaking into the 17 kmpl range as far as economy is concerned and with a 43 litre fuel tank it can go much further than the other two. That said, Maruti won’t offer airbags as standard fitment on the Ritz A/T. Anti-lock brakes too are optional. You do get a multi-functional steering wheel, audio system, key-less entry, tilt-steering, etc. The high profile of the car means there is ample head room for the occupants. The Maruti Suzuki Ritz Automatic is priced at Rs 6.19 lakh making it the most expensive of the three.
The figures suggest that the Hyundai i10 is the most value-for-money product. That said, the Brio does offer more kit including crucial safety features as standard for the additional Rs 45,000 approx. The Ritz on the other hand may be the most expensive of the lot but can be ideal for elderly people who would prefer easy ingress and egress.