Little more than six months after the South African release of Honda's entry-level Brio hatchback, the range has been extended with a sedan version, adding a little more interior space (especially rear legroom, thanks to a 55mm longer wheelbase) and a lot more boot space - 405 litres of it to be precise - although Honda boasts that the three-box Brio is only 30kg heavier than its hatch sibling.
Drive, as per the five-door, is to the front wheels from a 1.2-litre i-VTEC four rated for 65kW at 6000rpm and 109Nm at 4500; a five-speed auto is also available in the range-topping Comfort model.
Honda quotes a 0-100km/h sprint time in the mid-12 second bracket, at an average cost of 6.1 litres per 100km for the manual Trend base model.
FAMILY-FRIENDLY REAR SEAT
But even the Trend comes with a decent trim level for a car that has to compete with a flood of underpriced Chinese imports.
The dashboard and instrument layout are the same as for the hatch (it would be a waste of development cash if they weren't) while new, wider-opening rear door give easier access to a wider, more comfortable rear bench seat, complete with rear centre armrest and two cup holders (on Comfort models).
The Brio sedan will be offered in South Africa in a choice of two trim levels - the base Trend model with five-speed 'box and the Comfort with either manual or auto transmission.
Honda has also realigned the hatchback range to match the two-model specification mix found in the sedan. This basically sees the Comfort model moving upmarket and a new Trend model coming in at a slightly lower price point.
Opt for the cheaper one and you still get air conditioning, electric windows, height-adjustable steering, dual front airbags and ABS brakes.
However, if you want alloy wheels, fog lights, silver interior decorations, four-speaker USB/Aux audio system (linked to steering wheel controls), remote central locking and rear screen defroster then the Comfort model is the one for you.
1.2 Trend - R128 900
1.2 Comfort - R136 900
1.2 Comfort AT - R146 900
1.2 Trend - R119 900
1.2 Comfort - R127 900
1.2 Comfort AT - R137 900
Prices include a three-year or 100 000km warranty and a two-year or 30 000km service plan; with service intervals at 15 000km, that means your first two services are free.
HIDING ITS BUM?
It was interesting to note that Honda South Africa - despite having hired a photographer to shoot a large selection of pictures of the new sedan on local soil - elected to post no rear end pictures of the car on its media portal. Not to worry, we found some from abroad, so please note that the ‘Amaze’ badging does not apply to local models.
Unless you really are Amazed but its hind quarters?