Honda Activa 3G Review
Bike Tested: 2015 Honda Activa 3G
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 57,300/-
The Honda Activa has come a long way and its third generation has come after 15 years
We are back with a scooter ride review and we again have another update to a Honda scooter. Yes, the Activa in its 3G version (third generation). The scooter got updated this year in February and we wanted to get a quick ride review as soon as possible. But the “don’t care at all” behaviour by Honda kept us waiting. It was above a month and Honda couldn’t give us a scooter for a mere test ride. We thought let’s take it the other way round, as a customer; we headed to some showrooms for a test ride but everyone came up with a similar reply, “Sir, if you want to buy the scooter, you can ride it then, we currently don’t have any test ride vehicle”, not expected from a company that holds an amazing market. And then with a covering quote they say, “Sir, you can test ride the Activa 110, the 3G is the same with smoother engine and better design”, well someone hasn’t come to a showroom for a bargain. Luckily we got the scooter and we are here to see whether the caption “ACTIVAH!” lives up to the “VAH!” (wow) factor.
Motor Quest: The Honda Activa has been in the Indian market from the year 2000, while it got its first update in 2009. The legacy continues with another update in 2015 and it’s being badged as the Activa 3G (3G being the acronym for “Third Generation”).
Styling – We have the Activa 125 in our long term fleet since four months now and we are glad that Honda hasn’t done much brainstorming for the Activa 3G. The rear design is just picked up from the Activa 125 where as the front is from the older version. There are some minute changes in the styling which includes the indicators getting new transparent covers and the front centre panel having a aerodynamic bulge. While comparing the scooter with its older version, the design elements run the same all the way but the curves have become a bit more edgy, giving a try for an updated look. The exhaust looks a bit more square and the rear body appears a bit shrunk from the lower side, as the whole rear tyre and exhaust is visible (not much visible in the older version). The Activa 3G now gets two new colours, one being trance metallic blue and another being metallic red.
Instrument Cluster and Switchgear – The update doesn’t have much changes in this department but the cluster gets a new background and the diamond shaped glass seems to be more clearer. The cluster includes LEDs for the high beam and indicators while the rest stay classy and analog. The scooter finally gets a pilot lamp, yet the switchgear is the same as of the older version and quality has been maintained (still could have been made better).
Ergonomics – No changes at all in this department, the Activa 3G has the same ergos as of the older version. The new design for the rear might make one feel that the pillion seat is a bit wider but it’s the same in dimension. The comfort for both rider and pillion is taken care very well. The handlebar, the mirrors; everything just feels the same. The update could have had the seat being a bit more comfortable as it’s a bit stiff like the Activa 125, yet similar to the older Activa.
The Activa 3G is new only in design and looks, gets no mechanical updates
Performance – With the same HET engine and the same specifications, the Activa 3G isn’t a new generation here. The same engine is being continued from the Activa 110 and no alterations have been made to the powerplant which offers 8 BHP of power and 8.83 Nm of torque from the 109cc mill. The engine does feel a tad smoother as the NVH has been lowered. Very less vibes are felt on the handlebar, still this could be because of our test scooter being new. 0-60 km/hr is dealt with under 10 seconds while the top speed is just under 85 km/hr. The motor uses the same CVT gearbox and there is no change in mileage either with the Activa 3G returning around the 50 km/l mark.
Riding Dynamics – Riding a scooter is just a matter of acceleration and braking. The Activa 3G with its design elements can cut the air well while rest of its aspects remain the same. The scooter is fun to ride and the practicality is felt from the time you get on it. The handlebar is perfectly positioned and the suspension setup is softer than the bigger sibling, the Activa 125, making it more preferable to ride on bad roads. The handling is quick and sharp, but taking a quick turn makes the scooter lose its balance. The Activa still focuses on the mass commuter segment and so the overall ride quality is maintained. The absence of telescopic front suspension is still felt and continues to be a shocking omission. The drum brakes still exist and the feature of combi-brakes is still the same. Braking performance didn’t seem to have any great change, the same combi system and similar tyres work well, yet they are the same as the old scooter.
Verdict – There are a lot of competitors in this segment and the Honda Activa 3G loses out much on the offering factor. It has been the leader in the market for over a decade and a half, and the new generation was expected with at least telescopic forks at the front and some new design features. With a Rs. 60,000/- on-road price (with some of the accessories), the Activa 3G isn’t new, but it’s just a newer design with the same heart within, along with some optional new colours. The “VAH!” (wow) factor has been missed out completely, but as a new product from Honda, the sales wouldn’t be an issue for the company. Some good unique hardware could have made the Activa 3G the leader all over again but this scooter will continue to sell on its brand name as has been the case for a long time now.
Just some cosmetic updates and Honda calls the new Activa as a new generation model. An update in the hardware department with some new features could have made the Honda Activa a better scooter, making it sell on its merits, rather than brand name.
* Super smooth and refined engine, Honda knows its engine
* Two new eye catchy colours, will help differentiate from the sea of Activas
What’s Not So Cool
* Still no telescopic front suspension, Honda continues to take customers for a ride
* Same old design and features, being segment leader but still lacking on innovation
* Extra cost for every added accessory, you pay much more than the asking price