We just days away from the launch of the Honda Amaze in India. This is among the most anticipated launches of 2013 after the Ford EcoSport. The Amaze is the first diesel Honda ever to appear on the Indian car market and soon we will see more of this engine working its magic in other Honda cars. Honda is targeting cars like Mahindra Verito, Tata Indigo eCS and the most popular Maruti Suzuki DZire compact sedan. Maruti offers the DZire with a diesel heart and Honda would be looking to grab some of its market share with the launch of the Amaze diesel. So, let's see how both the diesel compact sedans compare-
Design: Amaze wins this round hands down.
Well, you don't need an aesthetically sound eye to spot the differences between the DZire and Amaze's exterior. The Amaze's design looks more balanced and proportionate compared to the Maruti DZire. Exterior design has never been the forte of the DZire. While the previous generation of the car was especially horrid, the new model irons out much of the old cars offensive design details. However, the Dzire still has an out of proportion boot-lid albeit with a makeover that has been received well by the public. No wonder then, it is the best-seller in the segment.
The Amaze feels more like a compact sedan that was designed to be compact in the first place and not just a sedan version of a hatchback. The Amaze's design builds onto the Brio's lines. The use of chrome on the front grille differentiates it from the hatchback. The rear end is crisp and the tail lights give the car a compact Civic-ish look. The Amaze has a better presence than the Dzire, no doubt.
Engine and Performance: Honda Amaze diesel is the most fuel efficient in the segment.
I know most people in India have got a soft corner for Maruti, but let the numbers do the talking this time. The Honda Amaze is quite literally the most powerful and the most fuel efficient diesel engine in the segment. With 100 PS of peak power coming at 4000 revs, the 1.4 litre diesel churns out 200 Nm of maximum torque at 1750 rpm. So, how about the Dzire. Well, the Dzire uses the same 1.3 litre Multijet diesel from the FIAT family. This engine delivers 75 horsepower and 190 torques. The Amaze is the clear winner, then.
Coming to fuel economy, Honda claims an astounding figure of 25.8 kmpl- best-in-class mileage beating the Dzire fair-and-square. The Swift Dzire only manages 23.4 kmpl. When it comes to performance, the Amaze would most certainly beat the Swift Dzire in a pedal-to-the-metal race thanks to its lightweight construction and better power-to-weight ratio.
Drive and Handling: Honda Amaze has a well sorted out ride and brilliant steering
Given the fact that the Honda Amaze is a lightweight car with a potent diesel engine, the drive tends to be exciting and enjoyable. I'm sorry but if you are a Maruti fan, the Amaze is a product you would not like to discuss. The Amaze is just better than the Swift Dzire in most respects. Ride and handling is well sorted out with a light steering wheel that's precise. Build quality of course is of Honda standards which is the best in the world. Also, the Honda Amaze is a no-compromise product. The only figure that's yet to be disclosed is the price. Reports suggest, the Amaze will be priced aggressively with the Swift Dzire in its cross-hair.
Verdict: Honda Amaze diesel is better in all respects
The Honda Amaze diesel is going to be a nightmare for Maruti Suzuki- India's largest car maker. Will the Amaze be able to chew into the DZire's market share? We think so and for numerous reasons. Better interior space, good looks, Honda's legendary reliability, reasonable price, excellent fuel economy, powerful engine, better handling- that's all you need to make the perfect compact family sedan.