Nissan Micra CVT vs Honda Brio AT Comparison Review

Brio AT vs Micra Automatic Comparison Review:


"Honda decided to stick with the antiquated torque convertor transmission on the Brio, instead of upgrading to a CVT unit, like it did in the Amaze facelift. The Micra on the other hand is the cheapest car in the country having a state-of-the-art CVT."

Pricing & Features:
Brio’s one and only automatic variant, the ‘VX AT', retails for 7.6 Lakh Rs. (On road, Delhi). Nissan Micra petrol, is now available only with an automatic transmission. It offers the option of two variants, the ‘XL’ retailing for 6.9 Lakh, which is 70,000 Rs. cheaper than the Brio, & the ‘XV’ costing 7.8 Lakh, which is 20,000 rupees dearer than the Brio. However, the Brio VX does have quite a few extra features, over the Micra XL like Passenger Airbag, Alloy Wheels, Fog Lamps, Height Adjustable Driver’s Seat, Electrically Adjustable & Folding Mirrors and Rear Defogger. However, apart from passenger’s airbag most other features are not really essential, and it would have been better, if Honda also offered the automatic option, in the ‘S’ trim, to avoid the unnecessary added expenditure.

Common Features: ABS, Driver Airbag, AC, Power Steering, Power Windows, Central Locking, Keyless Entry, Stereo: FM, USB, Aux, Bluetooth + 4 Speakers, Steering Wheel Switches

Extra Features in Brio (VX AT): Passenger Airbag, Alloy Wheels, Fog Lamps, Height Adjustable Driver’s Seat, Electrically Adjustable & Folding Mirrors, Rear Defogger

Extra Features in Micra (XL CVT): None

Performance & Drivability: 
Petrol:
Honda decided to stick with the antiquated torque convertor transmission, on the Brio, instead of upgrading, to a CVT unit, like it did in the Amaze facelift. The Micra on the other hand, is the cheapest car in the country, having a state-of-the-art CVT 'box. The Micra is a pure delight to drive around town, it is completely free of jerks, by the virtue, of it continuously variable transmission. The Brio on the other hand, has a fairly smooth, but slow shifting gearbox. However on the highway, the Micra suffers from the 'rubberband effect', which is a bane, while overtaking fast moving traffic. The Brio fares much better on the highways, and downshifts a gear or two, in response to a heavy press on the throttle.

Power (PS@rpm): Micra – 77@6000, Brio – 88@6000
Torque (Nm@rpm): Micra - 104@4400, Brio – 109@4500
Kerb Weight (kg): Micra – 930, Brio – 970

Power to Weight Ratio (PS/ton): Micra – 83, Brio - 91
Torque to Weight Ratio (Nm/ton): Micra – 112, Brio - 112
                               
Fuel Efficiency: 
Brio's age-old conventional gearbox, is simply no match to the impressive fuel efficiency of the Micra CVT. In our real world tests, the Micra was almost 2 kmpl more efficient, than the Brio. This equates to a savings of 60,000 Rs. over a usage of 75,000 km.

ARAI Mileage (kmpl): 
Micra (petrol, automatic) – 19.34, Brio (petrol, automatic) – 16.5

Fuel Cost for 75,000 km (in Lakh): 
Micra (petrol, automatic) – 3.65, Brio (petrol, automatic) – 4.25

Space & Comfort: 
The Micra is half a segment bigger car, than the Brio. Knee-room, as well as shoulder space, are in extremely short supply, inside the Brio, and its piddly little 175-litre boot, is downright disappointing. The Micra on the other hand, has adequate room to sqeeze in three adults at the rear. It also has a 251 litre boot, which is a much needed 75 litres bigger, than the Brio's.

Length (mm): Micra – 3825, Brio – 3610
Width (mm): Micra – 1665, Brio – 1680
Height (mm): Micra – 1530, Brio – 1500

Ride Quality & Handling: 
The Micra, has a noticeably more mature and composed ride, than the Brio, thanks to a longer wheelbase, and a slightly softer suspension setup. The Brio's tiny footprint, coupled with stiffer springs and dampers, makes it especially susceptible to bigger bumps and potholes. However, it does feel more eager, more responsive around the corners, compared to the Micra. Although both cars do suffer, from an overtly light steering rack that is completely devoid of any feel or feedback.

Ground Clearance (mm): Micra – 154, Brio – 165

Wheelbase (mm): Micra - 2450, Brio - 2345

Tyre Size:
Micra – 155/80R13 (XB/XB/XM), 175/65R14 (XT/XZ)
Brio - 175/65R14

Reliability and After Sales Service: 
Honda definitely has and advantage over Nissan, when it comes to product reliability, and service support in India. Firstly, Honda has had a much longer history in our market and has well established dealer network compared to Nissan. Secondly Honda's cars have always been a tad more reliable than Nissans, not just in India, but all over the World.

Resale & Cost of Ownership:
The Brio AT is bound to hold slightly better resudual value, than the Micra CVT post a usage of 5 to 7 years. Overall though, the Micra CVT still works out to be 1 Lakh Rs. cheaper than the Brio AT, in terms of Overall Ownership Costs.

Resale after 5 to 7 years est. (Lakh): 
Micra XL CVT (Petrol, automatic) – 2.45 Lakh
Brio VX AT (Petrol, automatic) – 2.75 Lakh

Total Cost of Ownership (in Lakh): (Vehicle Price + Fuel Cost – Resale Value)
Micra XL CVT (Petrol, automatic) – 8.10 Lakh
Brio VX AT (Petrol, automatic) – 9.10 Lakh

Verdict:
The Micra comprehensively beats the Brio, to claim the pole position in this comparison. It is better value for money, thanks to excellent fuel efficiency, as well as a slightly lower price tag. Technically also, it has a slight edge over the Brio, thanks to a more modern and seamless shifting gearbox. But most importantly, it is a much more practical car than the Brio, thanks to spacious and comfortable rear seat, and a decently sized boot, both of which is in short supply in the Brio. In fact there is a small section of car buyers, who find the Micra such a good fit for them, that the CVT Micra continues to be sold from Nissan outlets, while its manual geared petrol versions have been discontinued.

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