Honda has finally entered the diesel vehicle segment in the country with the launch of the compact sedan Amaze. Launched in both petrol and diesel variants, the Honda Amaze aims to be the first real challenge for Maruti Suzuki's Swift DZire.
The lowest petrol variant of the Honda Amaze is priced at Rs 4.99 lakh, while the top two variants, both automatics, will cost Rs 6.62 lakh and Rs 7.5 lakh. The base diesel variant is priced at Rs 5.99 lakh, while the top-end one costs Rs 7.6 lakh.
The diesel variant sports a 1.5 i-DTEC engine, developed specially for the Indian market, and has a fuel efficiency of 25.8 km per litre, according to the company. It has been derived from Honda's 1.6 i-DTEC which sells in Europe. The same engine will subsequently be used in next generation models of the City, Jazz and Brio starting next year.
The petrol model has the same 1.2-litre i-VTEC engine as the Brio and the Jazz, and will have fuel efficiency of 18 km/litre, the company says. The automatic variants will run 15.5 km per litre of fuel.
"The Amaze is our most strategic model in the Indian market and has been developed with strong focus on Indian requirements," Honda Motor Co. managing officer Yoshiyuki Matsumoto said at the launch.
Being under 4 metres in length, the vehicle will attract the excise duty levied on small cars - at 12 per cent. 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.
But the car is surprisingly spacious on the inside. Knee and legroom as well as cabin headroom are 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 will remind you of the Brio in terms of colours and layout, with similar steering mounted controls and a music system. The Amaze also has impressive 400 litre bootspace that will swallow way more luggage than the Swift DZire's.
Late as it may be in entering the diesel segment in the Indian auto market, Honda has left no stone unturned to ensure that its entry-level sedan Amaze becomes a success.
Apart from readying maintenance package, extended warranty schemes and exchange offers with the Amaze, top executives of the company even went on home visits of first-time buyers of the Brio to learn from their needs.
"The Amaze is a critically important car for us. Not only that we are entering a new segment of entry level sedan, we are also introducing our first diesel engine here. It is a growing segment and this should help us grow," HCIL senior vice-president (sales and marketing) Jnaneswar Sen said last month.
The company had recently said it would locally produce the diesel engines for the Amaze at its Tapukara plant in Rajasthan, while the car will be rolled out from its Greater Noida plant.
E: Rs 4.99 lakh
EX: Rs 5.24 lakh
S: Rs 5.62 lakh
VX: Rs 6.60 lakh
SAT: Rs 6.62 lakh
VXAT: Rs 7.50 lakh
E: Rs 5.99 lakh
EX: Rs 6.24 lakh
S: Rs 6.67 lakh
VX: Rs 7.60 lakh