Honda has worked hard to raise the style quotient of its new, longer, slimmer and taller Dio by endowing its body panels with multiple smooth edges. Unlike the previous model, the absence of multi-colour graphics makes its lines more prominent and attractive. The smart front apron sports a wide headlight and clear-lens indicators which give the scooter a trendy look. The re-profiled mirrors are neat and the analogue speedometer and fuel gauge in separate pods give a simple, uncluttered feel, while the switches and levers feel decent to operate. The rear brake has a locking clamp that fails to impress in operation, but comes in handy when parked on a slope. The handlebar grips feel good and the ignition key slot and manual choke lever remain constants.
The new Dio offers increased legroom with a flat floorboard and gets a wider, single-tone seat that’s comfortable for both rider and passenger. The sleek side panels flow to the rear and come with appealing 3D emblems. There’s a wide, stylish rear grab handle and sharply styled brake light cluster.
Replacing the outgoing 102cc motor is a 109cc, four-stroke, air-cooled engine which also powers the new Activa and Aviator. It produces a peak power value of 8bhp at 7500rpm, 1bhp up on the older model, and 0.88kgm of torque at 5500rpm.
Saddle height remains a constant, but the new Honda Dio gets 15mm higher ground clearance. It gets age-old spring-loaded hydraulic suspension in front, a disappointment on the new Honda considering so many Indian scooters have upgraded to superior telescopic forks, and there’s a single shock absorber system at the rear. An upgrade for the new Dio, however, is its Combined Brakes System (CBS), which works effectively to enhance safety. This feature, exclusive to Honda for automatic scooters, works to simultaneously apply the front and rear brakes when the left-hand lever (rear brake) is squeezed.
The gearless scooter comes with a spacious underseat compartment and tubeless tyres are standard too. However, Honda would do well to include essentials like a side stand as standard equipment with its scooter.
Honda’s new Dio is offered at Rs 42,362 (ex-showroom, Delhi) in a choice of five colours – red, grey, white, green and violet, and is on sale now.