More than modest: Honda Brio V CVT

The Honda Brio V CVT variant exudes sporty minimalist vibes

More than modest: Honda Brio V CVT

Mid-variant models are often seen as modest versions of their respective nameplates. Since they are positioned in between the base and the range-topping trims, they usually get passable features befitting their reasonable price tags.


  • What powers the Honda Brio V CVT?

    The Honda Brio V CVT is powered by a 1.2-liter, four-cylinder, gasoline engine.
  • How much is the Honda Brio V CVT?

    The Honda Brio V CVT variant is priced at P827,000.
  • Honda Brio V CVT by Juan Paulo Papa 6

    However, the Honda Brio V CVT is out to prove that mid-spec models — like itself — can be beyond basic. Here’s what we found out after spending some time with this mid-variant compact hatchback.

    Simple, yet sporty exterior

    Compared to the top-of-the-line Honda Brio RS CVT (or its striking Black Top counterpart), the V CVT variant looks somewhat simple. But despite its not-so-over-the-top appearance, the said model still exudes a certain level of sportiness — enough to catch eyes and turn heads when passing by.

    At its fore is a plain honeycomb grille adorned by a chrome Honda badge at the center. A chrome strip brings together the emblem and the two halogen headlamps that flank the fascia of the Honda Brio V CVT.

    Honda Brio V CVT by Juan Paulo Papa 2

    Below the grille is a black plastic bar that extends to the far sides of the Honda Brio V CVT’s fascia, giving the small city car a dash of character. Under its chin are strips of rubber that make the car look like it sits low on the ground.

    To note, the aforementioned black bar serves as the housing for the LED fog lights of the top-tier variant, a feature not available for the Honda Brio V CVT.

    Further giving this variant a sporty appeal are the sloping windows on its sides. The lines slowly drop forward and create a sharp look for the hot hatch. The dipping frame also ensures that the driver enjoys a better view of the road as the descending lines open up to a better angle for maneuvering through tight spots and narrow roads.

    Also adding subtle sporty design cues are its two-tone alloy wheels shod in 175/65 tires.

    Providing contrast to the sporty elements on the Honda Brio V CVT’s side profile are body-colored pillars, door handles, and side mirrors. The lack of side skirts also facilitates a minimalist look that appeals to many of today’s car buyers.

    Honda Brio V CVT by Juan Paulo Papa 4

    The rear end of this mid-variant Honda Brio features bulb-type taillamps, an LED high-mount stop lamp integrated into its discreet spoiler, chrome scripts, rear parking sensors, and provisions for a tow hook.

    I appreciate that Honda made the rear glass large enough to see what’s behind you. The rear hatch too has its own button and is hydraulically-assisted, which is always a plus.

    Overall the Honda Brio V CVT offers the perfect balance of sportiness and minimalist design that it stands out from the crowd without being too loud.

    Well balanced interior

    The cabin of the Honda Brio V CVT offers the perfect balance of nostalgia and modern features.

    Welcoming the front-row occupants are semi-bucket seats with upholstery trims that appear like they’re taken from a ‘90s lookbook. These provide ample cushioning and bolstering to keep the driver and the front passenger snugly in place during various driving situations.

    Honda Brio V CVT by Juan Paulo Papa 11

    Similar trims are applied to the second-row seats, which understandably lack a pull-down armrest.

    Honda Brio V CVT by Juan Paulo Papa 12

    The manual hand brake not only allows the driver to enjoy a familiar tactile feel but also gives the mid-spec Honda Brio’s cabin a classic vibe. Similarly, its instrument panel — predominantly filled with simple and easy-to-understand analog gauges — keeps the driver informed of relevant details.

    Honda Brio V CVT by Juan Paulo Papa 9

    Its modern interior features come in the form of a multi-functional steering wheel with controls for the car’s audio, a seven-inch capacitive touchscreen infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and digital controls for its manual air conditioning system. The speed-sensing door locks are also good to have, especially if you’re driving around with a fidgety kid at the back.

    Honda Brio V CVT by Juan Paulo Papa 10

    What I loved about the Honda Brio V CVT’s interior is that it has a black headliner, which helps keep the car’s cabin look clean; and its gray interior accents that match most of the hues and shades of the vehicle’s interior.

    To note, the Honda Brio RS CVT has a red interior accent regardless of what exterior color you pick.

    As expected from a mid-variant model, the Honda Brio V CVT sports plenty of hard plastics with an abundance of interior appliques that lean towards durability and ease of maintenance — and that’s not a bad thing. In my opinion, it makes the model a good daily driver since it offers owners just the right amount of features needed for day-to-day driving.

    Seamless driving

    And while we’re on the topic of driving, the Honda Brio V CVT drove smoothly and admirably.

    Under its hood is a 1.2-liter, i-VTEC engine mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Power distribution in the entire rev range felt adequate and allowed for confident strides on both flat roads and minor uphill climbs.

    Honda Brio V CVT by Juan Paulo Papa 13

    Because it uses a CVT, the shift from low to high speeds felt buttery smooth. The 88-horsepower gasoline mill, with 110 Newton-meters of torque, translated propulsion to the front wheels seamlessly. And since it’s a four-cylinder powerplant, it’s not as rough or jittery as hatchbacks fitted with similarly sized three-cylinder engines are.

    The Honda V CVT also proved to be a stable car and can take on curves at decent speeds with very minimal body roll. Noise, vibration, and harshness are apparent — but that’s expected from a small city car.

    Pros and cons

    Overall, the Honda Brio V CVT makes for a good case of solid mid-variant models. It offers some important features that will help drivers better enjoy their journeys without shooting for the expensive model at the top of the variant hierarchy. And while there are some features reserved for the range-topping variant, these are probably some amenities you can live without.


    • Seven-inch infotainment system
    • Speed-sensing door locks
    • Digital, single-zone, manual A/C
    • Cool-looking, comfortable seats
    • Boot area can hold decent luggage
    • Capable engine
    • Smooth CVT
    • Rear parking sensors


    • Halogen headlamps
    • Could use wireless infotainment connectivity
    • Charging ports for rear occupants would be nice

    Pricing and variants

    The Honda Brio comes in four variants, namely S MT, V CVT, RS CVT, and RS Black Top CVT.

    Below are their prices:

    • Honda Brio S MT: P735,000
    • Brio V CVT: P827,000
    • Brio RS CVT: P853,000
    • Brio RS Black Top CVT: P863,000

    Final thoughts

    In general, the Honda Brio V CVT makes for a good pick for those on the market for an affordable daily driver. Included for less than P830,000 are features that one can take advantage of on a regular basis.

    Honda Brio V CVT by Juan Paulo Papa 1

    Sure, it might not have skirts and body kits, but its simplicity and minimalist design — coupled with a dash of sportiness — make it a more appealing car for everyday use.

    Photos from Juan Paulo Papa

    Also read:

    Compact Car Experience Redefined: What's Inside the New Honda Brio

    Refreshed 2023 Honda Brio unveiled in Indonesia, PH next?

    Small car, big heart: Honda Brio RS Black Top CVT

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