Which 2020 Honda Brio variant should you buy? [Comparison Guide]

Updated Mar 22, 2021 | Same topic: Which Car Variant to Buy?

It’s small but it’s quite sporty looking. But which one to buy?

When Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. introduced the 2nd-generation Honda Brio back in April 2019, a lot of people were understandably excited.

It is quite a departure from the old 1st-gen Brio, and it reminded a lot of titos and titas out there of the Honda Civic of yesteryears; affordable, small, and very sporty looking.

2019 Honda Brio Review Philippines: How do you like its new look? Philkotse

As a result, the humble but very attractive looking Honda made city car became Honda PH’s third best selling vehicle. As of 2019, the said Honda model even managed to hold a 19-percent market share in the A-segment category, as well as Honda PH’s third best selling model that year.

Now the Honda Brio has four variants available for the Philippine market: the 1.2 S MT, 1.2 V CVT, 1.2 RS CVT, and the 1.2 RS Black Top CVT. As such, many of you prospective Brio buyers are wondering which one to get. That being said, here’s a guide as to which Brio variant is ideal for you.

A picture of the Honda Brio

Check out that very aggressive looking front fascia

Honda Brio Variants: Dimensions

In terms of dimensions, the Honda Brio’s variants are essentially the same save for the RS Black Top, which is 15mm longer on account of the RS body kits.

For the rest of the Brio variants, they measure in at 3,800mm long. All Brio variants have a width of 1,680mm, and a height of 1,485mm.

Likewise, wheelbase length is uniform at 2,405mm, and ground clearance at 258mm. Both the RS and RS Blacktop are the heaviest of the bunch at 992 kg, while the 1.2 V CVT weighs in at 969 kg, and the lightest is the 1.2 S MT.

When it comes to exterior styling, the 1.2 V CVT and the 1.2 S MT are similar in such a way that they both come in the basic Brio shape and silhouette.

A picture of the rear of the Honda Brio

It's less angular at the rear but it sure is a departure from the look of the 1st gen

The RS however, comes with RS body kits. The RS Black Top also comes with body kits but as the name implies, it comes with a black colored roof.

The RS and RS Black Top are also equipped with a tailgate spoiler, fog-lights, a side turn signal integrated into their power folding and power adjustable door mirrors.

The V and S variants on the other hand only have power adjustable mirrors with no power folding function. All of the variants are equipped with a rear non-intermittent wiper, a micro type antenna, LED high mount stop lamp, and multi-reflector halogen lamps.

>>> Related: Top best hatchback cars in the Philippines: Price, Specs & Review

Honda Brio Variants: Interior

Inside, the Brio RS Black Top and the RS are equipped with black fabric seats with orange stitching, adjustable headrests, a 3-spoke RS design steering wheel, as well as orange accents for the interior trim.

All variants save for the manual 1.2 S have a seven-inch touchscreen, but all do come with Bluetooth connectivity, audio streaming, and a USB port.

The RS and RS Black Top also have more speakers numbering at six, while the V and S only has S. All variants save for the 1.2 S MT have a vanity mirror as well steering wheel mounted audio controls.

A picture of the interior of the Brio

Sometimes, simple is just the way to go

When it comes to interior space, all of the Brio’s variants can comfortably seat five. They also come with identical cargo capacities at 258 liters with the rear seats in use, and 710 liters when folded down.

>>> Related: 2020 Kia Picanto vs Honda Brio Comparison: Spec Sheet Battle

Honda Brio Variants: Engine and Performance

The 2nd-generation Brio uses only one engine option; the gasoline powered 1.2 liter L12B i-VTEC inline-4. It makes 89 horsepower and 110 Nm of torque, and power is sent to the front wheels.

The RS Black Top, the RS, and the 1.2 V comes with Honda’s Earth Dreams Technology continuously variable transmission. The 1.2 S on the other hand has a five-speed manual.

The Honda Brio 2020 also comes standard with a MacPherson strut and stabilizer for the front, a torsion beam for the rear, front ventilated disc brakes, and drums for the rear.

Honda Brio Variants: Safety Equipment

In terms of safety, all the Brio’s variants are equipped with what you’d expect from a modern vehicle. It has dual front airbags, an anti-lock braking system, and an engine immobilizer.

However, the RS Black Top, RS and the V does come with speed sensing auto door locks, and a security alarm.

A picture of the Honda Brio's airbags deployed

Here's the Brio's dual front airbags in action

Honda Brio Variants: Price

Honda Brio Philippines price
Honda Brio Variants
Brio 1.2 S MT
Php 598,000
Brio 1.2 V CVT
Php 658,000
Brio 1.2 RS CVT
Php 730,000
Brio 1.2 RS Black Top CVT
Php 735,000

>>> Refer to Honda Brio Philippines price and downpayment

Honda Brio Variants: Conclusion

If you really want an affordable city car that’s fun to drive, we highly get the Brio 1.2 S MT. Note that Honda is known for making excellent manual transmissions, and with the Brio 1.2 S MT’s weight, we’re sure that you’ll have tons of fun rowing those gears, as well as a worry free driving experience on the road.

Do note though that even the slightly heavier, top of the line RS Black Top is a very light car. As such, these cars are the ideal vehicles to come with CVT.

Trust us, it’s like driving a go-kart and plus, you’ll never have to break a sweat again when driving in traffic. Also, if you care about having an attractive vehicle, go for the RS or the RS Black Top. If not, then you might want to settle with the more affordable Brio 1.2 V CVT.  

>>> Related: 2021 Honda Brio: Expectations and what we know so far

A picture of a yellow Brio in a mountainous road

While the RS Black Top and the RS looks great, the V and the S are attractive looking cars in their own right

And lastly, the Brio is one of the few vehicles in its class to come with an Inline-4 engine, the other two being the Chevrolet Spark and the Kia Picanto. So if you don’t want a three cylinder but you still need a city car, then the Brio in general is a great option for you.

For more car buyer’s guides like this, keep reading here on Philkotse.com

Know more about Honda Brio 2023

Honda Brio

The Honda Brio 2023 is the Japanese automaker's entry to the local hatchback segment alongside the newly-introduced Honda City hatchback. It is considered to be the small hatchback option, while the new City hatchback is on the more premium option of the brand. In consideration of its price points ranging from PHP 680,000 to PHP 838,000, the small hatchback is regarded as the entry-level vehicle of the Japanese carmaker. It is available in three variants, including a Black Top option for the top-of-the-line RS variant. Under the hood, a 1.2-liter i-VTEC gasoline engine is standard across the range, delivering 89 hp and 110 Nm of torque. Depending on the variant, the engine can be paired to either a 5-speed manual or an Earth Dreams continuously variable transmission (CVT). The Brio Philippines offers dimensions that span 3,815 mm in length, 1,680 mm in width, and 1,485 mm in height. Rivals in the hatchback segment include the Toyota Wigo, Kia Picanto, and Suzuki Swift.

In Thailand, Honda first introduced the Brio in 2011 in response to a government-funded eco-car program. While in India, the small hatchback was produced by Honda's subsidiary company known as Honda Cars India Ltd (HCIL). The manufacturing process took place in its facilities in Greater Noida. Most of the parts used to make the model were brough from Indian suppliers. And in 2014, HCPI debuted the Honda Brio in the local market which provided Filipino car buyers with an affordable and sporty-looking hatchback. The PH-spec model is currently on its second-generation version and consists of the base S variant, mid-spec V variant, and top-of-the-line RS variant.

₱ 680,000 - ₱ 838,000

Cesar G.B. Miguel

Cesar G.B. Miguel


Cesar Guiderone B. Miguel was born and raised in Iligan City, Lanao Del Norte. He graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts in English degree from Mindanao State University - Iligan Institute of Technology. He previously worked as a freelance writer for various websites, as a member of the Iligan City Disaster Risk Reduction Management's training staff, and as a medical sales representative.

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