UPDATED: Here is our Amaze test drive video
UPDATED: Amaze goes on sale at Rs 4.99 lac - CLICK TO READ
Honda's first diesel for the Indian market comes in the form of the Amaze sedan. Based on the Brio hatchback, the Amaze has been designed to meet the small car norms of being under 4m in length. This lets the car enjoy small car tax benefits and hence can be priced in the same range as the Maruti Dzire, its direct rival. Due for launch in April/May 2013, the Amaze will compete in the entry level sedan market and will come with both a 1.2-litre petrol and an all-new 1.5-litre diesel engine. Looks wise, the Amaze is more or less a Brio with an added boot. However, the wheelbase has been increased for more cabin space and the boot looks neatly integrated into the body. The end result is a pleasing looking sedan with the rear tail lamps hinting at design cues taken from the City sedan. The front looks same as the Brio with the only changes being the grille and the bumper. Side profile of the car is also sporty with two strong shoulder lines running from each end (front and rear), finishing in parallel in the front door.
The Amaze wears 14-inch wheels shod with 175/65 tyres and ofcourse, the top end versions get alloy wheels. The Amaze is made with an aim of providing a very comfortable drive for 5 adults. With an increased wheelbase over the Brio, the Amaze actually provides amazing interiors space. We drove the car with a 6 feet tall person up front in the driver's seat and yet, a similar sized person could easily sit at the rear. We can safely say that the cabin space will better the Dzire and same goes for the surprisingly spacious boot as well. Design of the fascia remains same though Honda might change the color theme inside. Rear passengers also get a central arm-rest with cup-holders while the almost flat rear floor means seating three abreast will not call for problems!
The Honda Amaze, when launched in April-May 2013, will get both a 1.2-litre petrol engine (which does duty on the Brio and the Jazz) and an all-new 1.5-litre iDTEC engine as well. Now this engine is the world’s lightest 1.5-litre diesel motor and thankfully, Honda has tuned it perfectly well for Indian roads. They studied data across various metros and noticed the driving pattern of car owners. This has resulted in an engine that responds terrifically well to driver’s inputs at low RPMs. Infact, the car pulls neatly from under 1500rpm, all the way to 3000rpm. The trump card here is the diesel engine - the 1.5-litre engine not only puts out class leading power of 100Bhp, it is also makes the Amaze the most efficient car across all the segments in India with an ARAI rated economy of 25.8kmpl! With over 30% more power than the Dzire, it also beats the Maruti offering on acceleration and top speed!
Gearing is spot on for both city and highway use with 2000rpm coming up at 85-90 in 5th gear. 2nd gear is good for 70ish which does hint at a slightly shorter gearing for better punch during city driving. Overall NVH levels were impressive considering this was a prototype. Infact, day temperatures were as low as 8-9 degrees and even with the engine cold, diesel clatter was well controlled. The Brio is a lovely car to drive in city and the Amaze is no different. Infact, the overall weight difference between a petrol Brio and a diesel Amaze (the one we drove) isn’t much and hence the car hasn’t lost its agile nature. Steering is light with enough feedback and the track we drove on allowed for a few cornering antics which did reveal that the Amaze will be a delight to drive fast. We cant say much about the suspension over bad roads though – wait for a few more months for this one. The Brio hatchback starts at just over 4 lac (ex-showroom Delhi) and as the Amaze falls under the small car norms (under 4m in length), it will surely enjoy tax benefits, translating into an ex-showroom price of under Rs 5 lac for the petrol and under Rs 6 lac for the diesel. At this price, it certainly is a genuine winner given all the right boxes it ticks. Further, it comes backed with Honda’s brand name and strong re-sale value in the market. All the right ingredients then for a tasty recipe? You bet!
Check out the Honda Amaze video