Ever since it was first launched over a decade ago, the Honda Activa has rule the roost in the scooter segment. It is so popular even today that over 2 lakh units are sold every month, making it not just the best-selling scooter, but also the highest-selling two-wheeler in India!
So, what is the secret to its phenomenal success? In our quest to seek answers, we snagged the latest iteration of the Activa, dubbed the 3G, and subjected it to our test routine. Here’s what transpired.
While the first-gen Activa was a staid, plain-jane family scooter, the current version looks smart and elegant. While the actual design might be nearly 5 years old, Honda has kept it looking fresh by adding a few contemporary details to this model. The new colours in its palette, deep red and the deep blue featured here, really give the scooter a sophisticated feel.
Build quality has also gone up a notch. The paint finish is excellent, and as always, the Activa feels solidly built. The plastics that are used on the inner side of the apron and around the speedometer have a nice tactile feel, and seem hard-wearing.
Like most scooters, the Activa too seats its rider in an upright position. The upshot is that there is a tad more room to move about. The seat is also quite sizeable, and can accommodate two in relative comfort. Pillion comfort is excellent, with well-positioned foot-pegs, and a chunky alloy grab rail that offers a lot of support.
The 109cc single-cylinder unit that powers the Activa 3G is the same that’s found in many of Honda’s products, and it is an accomplished performer. It runs very smoothly, and provides the scooter with zippy acceleration. There is a slight lull initially, till about 20 kmph, but post that, there is a strong rush all the way to 75 kmph. We managed to hit a speedo-indicated top whack of 85 kmph.
Just like the rest of Honda’s line up in India, the Activa’s engine too is equipped with Honda Eco Technology (HET), a series of small engine improvements to maximize fuel efficiency. As a result, the Activa 3G is touted to deliver over 60 kmpl. We reckon it’d definitely deliver between 45 – 50 kmpl, if ridden sedately.
It may not be the most nimble scooter around, but nevertheless, the Activa 3G feels quite surefooted, allowing riders to tackle heavy traffic with ease. At speed, it feels very stable, be it while cornering or in a straight line.
Ride quality is more compliant than the previous generation Activas, although we felt it had a slightly firm edge to it when riding over rough patches. This is despite the fact that the scooter still uses the age-old trailing link front suspension set-up
The Activa 3G gets drum brakes on both wheels, along with Combi Braking System as a standard feature. This setup proved to be very effective, and aided the scooter to come to a quick stop whenever required.
The Activa 3G is a simple scooter; all it gets are clear-lens lights all-round, tubeless tyres, and a capacious underbody storage space. Compared to competitors like the Jupiter, the Activa seems woefully under equipped.
At around Rs 49,400 (ex-showroom, Delhi), we feel the Activa 3G is very well priced, considering what it offers.
We've finally come to a conclusion as to why the Activa is unbelievably successful. Unlike most of its competitors, it doesn't have one single defining character. Instead, it is like a jack of all trades, performing commendably in all areas. It offers peppy performance, is reasonably agile, and it feels like it was built to last. Sure, it may seem to have fewer features compared to rivals, but then again, it is this simplicity that allows Honda to offer it at a competitive price. If you are in the market for a no-nonsense and trouble-free scooter, take test ride of the Activa 3G before you check out anything else.
|Engine||Air-cooled, 4-stroke single cylinder|
|Power||8 Bhp @ 7500 rpm|
|Torque||8.74 Nm @ 5500 rpm|
|Chassis Type||High Rigidity Underbone Type|
|Brakes||Front:130 mm dia Drum
Rear:130 mm dia Drum
|Suspension||Front:Bottom Link with Spring-loaded Hydraulic Damper
Rear:Unit Swing, Spring Loaded Hydraulic Damper
|Fuel Tank Capacity||5.3|