It’s been a long time coming. Honda made us wait to finally start making compact cars for India and gave us the Brio last year. Now, we have Honda’s entry to the diesel space in India - Amaze.
At first glance, the Amaze is a very compact car, but it is also stylish and attractive. The side profile is a bit short and makes the car look stubby, but it doesn’t look odd or disproportionate like the Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire. Its face is, no doubt, similar to the Brio’s, but the rear doesn’t look forced or added on and is therefore congruous.
At 3990 mm, the Amaze is 5 mm shorter than the Dzire. Its wheelbase is also shorter than the Swift Dzire’s at 2405 mm, but is 60 mm longer than the Brio’s.
Although volume figures have not been revealed, the boot-space seems impressive and will certainly swallow way more luggage than the Swift Dzire.
It is a similar story inside the cabin too.
Knee and legroom as well as cabin headroom are simply unbelievable. The car has surprisingly spacious interiors and cabin comfort levels, and the rear especially is far from cramped.
For the most part, the cabin reminds of the Brio in terms of colours and layout, with similar steering mounted controls and a music system.
So overall, I expect similar variant offerings overall. The Amaze will, however, sport both diesel and petrol variants.
Its petrol model comes with the same 1.2 litre i-VTEC engine as the Brio and Jazz.
The diesel variant, meanwhile, sports Honda’s all new i-DTEC engine, which is part of its all new diesel engine family that began development about 5 years ago. Even though Europe got the 1.6 litre diesel first, it was originally developed as the 1.5 litre that we are getting.
The diesel Amaze will no doubt be Honda’s ticket to the big time. The company has long had diesel models on sale in Europe, but the 2.2 litre engine wasn’t fit for use in India due to fuel quality concerns. There are no diesel variants for CR-V or Accord on the offer too so far.
It is an all-aluminium diesel engine making it the lightest in its class, and yet the higher displacement promises more power. Honda isn’t sharing the figures just yet, but we will get more when the car is ready for launch in April 2013.
The car feels agile, and that’s despite the overall light weight. The steering is also light but precise, and the car has good balance with correct weight distribution. Power delivery on the diesel is smooth though not electric. Gear changes are also smooth, with the 5 speed gearbox seemingly adequate for this motor. The engine has low friction levels like in petrol engines, which helps deliver more efficient running.
Prices are expected to stay about Rs 20-30,000 higher than that for Maruti Suzuki’s Swift Dzire. I expect the Amaze to be one of the most significant launches of 2013.