Honda Cars India Limited, a completely owned subsidiary of Japanese auto maker Honda Motor Co., has finally introduced its much awaited Amaze entry level sedan in the domestic auto market. The company launched its Amaze model amid a great amount of buzz and speculations in the press media, owing to the presence of a diesel powered model in its line up. The compact sedan is the Japanese car maker's first diesel run product for the Indian consumers, which had put it on top of the list of most awaited new car launches for the 2013 calendar year. Indian consumers can purchase the new Honda Amaze in both petrol and diesel run models.
Honda Motor Company had first introduced the Amaze compact sedan in Thailand market during November 2012. The model arrived at Thailand shores amid some intense media coverage by the global auto industry and was closely followed by the global car enthusiasts. However, the Thailand spec Honda Amaze is powered by a petrol engine at the moment and the Japanese auto maker launched its diesel Amaze for the first time in the Indian auto market. Upon its arrival, the Honda Amaze entry level has been pitched in the hottest segment of the Indian auto market. The Amaze design is based on its little sibling- Honda Brio hatch, on the similar lines of Maruti Suzuki’s compact sedan Swift DZire, which is an extended version of the Swift hatch.
Prior to the launch of Amaze, Honda Cars India Limited offered no diesel powered model in its product portfolio for the domestic market. Hence with its new Amaze entry level sedan, the Japanese car maker seems to have finally settled scores with the present global auto industry requirements. Accordingly, Honda Motor Company had developed a cutting edge 1.6 litre i-DTEC diesel powertrain, which happens to be an end product of it’s critically acclaimed 'Earth Dream Technology' project. The 1.6 litre i-DTEC diesel engine was showcased to the entire automobile industry, media and general public at last year's Paris Motor Show (2012). As per reports, Honda Motor Company had introduced the 'Earth Dream Technology' initiative some three years ago in 2010, that was intended towards creating a powerful diesel engine, which was both noise optimised and highly fuel efficient. The rumour mill is abuzz with speculations that Honda Motor Company is also working on a Brio-based Multi Purpose Utility Vehicle (MPV), which has been codenamed as the 2NH. The Brio-based model is going to be a compact MPV and is being designed after considering the needs and requisites of the Indian and South East Asian car buyers.
The Honda Amaze entry level sedan derives its power from a 1.5 litre i-DTEC diesel engine, which is nothing but a toned down version of 1.6 litre i-DTEC engine showcased by Honda during the Paris Motor Show last year. As per reports, the 1.5 litre i-DTEC engine is compliant with the excise duty norms for sub 4 metre compact models plying in the Indian passenger car market. At present, any car incorporating a petrol engine capacity below 1200 cc or diesel engine smaller than 1500 cc, along with having net length less than four metres, attracts an excise duty of 12 per cent in the country. The car makers have no other option but to conform with the government authorised norms, so as to benefit from the excise duty cut offered to compact cars complying with the aforementioned restrictions. Honda Motor Company’s i-DTEC Earth Dreams diesel motor has been termed by industry experts to be among the best examples of exemplary innovations in the field of automobile engineering coming from Japan in the past few years.
As per industry sources, Honda Cars India Limited has decided to locally produce the 1.5 litre i-DTEC diesel engines powering the Amaze models at their Tapukara manufacturing unit in Rajasthan. Further, the car is assembled at the company's Greater Noida situated manufacturing facility. The Japanese car maker has kept the pricing of its Amaze range downright aggressive in the Indian auto market, in order to challenge the competition with ease.
It must be noted that Honda Cars India Limited has certainly missed out the rising demand for diesel powered models among Indian car buyers in the past few years. Hence, the Japanese auto maker has pinned many a great expectations from its newly launched Amaze model, which is offered to Indian buyers in both petrol and diesel run trims, for the first time (being a Honda) in domestic market. Evidently, the passenger car market is going through a paradigm shifting phase, since the demand for diesel cars looks set to surpass those witnessed by their petrol counterparts in the country.
Speaking of prevalent competition in Indian market, the Honda Amaze has been pitched against the likes of Maruti Suzuki Swift DZire, Chevrolet Sail, Toyota Etios, Mahindra Verito and Tata Indigo eCS, in the entry level sedan segment. At present, the Swift DZire model is the undisputed champion of entry level compact sedan segment of the domestic car market. Both Swift and Swift DZire cars remains Maruti Suzuki's and India's best selling passenger cars, which also lured General Motors to bring its Chevy Sail model in the country.
At present, Honda Motor Company remains the largest manufacturer and exporter of Internal Combustion (IC) engines in the world. Further, the Honda models are popular for their best in class performance oriented engines and style statement. Even though the domestic passenger car market is going through a slow phase in terms of sales of petrol powered cars, Honda Cars India Limited manages to pull off sales of 6,000 units a month in the country. Hence, the launch of petrol and diesel run Honda Amaze range in the domestic passenger car market, has been pegged as great as a great move on part of Honda, by the industry experts.Variants of Honda Amaze
The newly launched Honda Amaze entry level compact sedan is offered in both petrol and diesel powered trims in the country. The petrol Amaze models come fitted with the 1.2 litre i-VTEC engines, whereas the diesel variants generate their power from the critically acclaimed 1.5 litre i-DTEC Earth Dreams powertrains.Review of Honda Amaze
The Honda Amaze in India ticks all the boxes for a stylish entry level sedan. The exterior appearance and interior setting are of best-in-class make and the compact model definitely wins hearts from the first impression itself. It must be noted that the freshly launched Amaze model is just an extended version of Honda’s current Indian volume puller – Brio, and looks exactly like the premium hatch at the front end. The tailgate could remind one of the old City model and still it manages to look fresh.
The engine of Honda Amaze is peppy and fun to drive, especially in day-to-day city traffic conditions. The driving experience and gear shifts of the modish compact sedan are up to the best that can be found in its class and price point. The compact size allows the owner to park the car in situations where other models cannot fit-in.Expected Specifications of Honda Amaze
The Honda Amaze comes fitted with a 1.2 litre, 4-cylinder i-VTEC engine powering its petrol avatar. This i-VTEC engine also powers the company’s other model, the Brio premium hatchback in the Indian auto market. The 1.2 litre petrol engine powering the Honda Amaze delivers maximum power output of 87 bhp, along with a peak torque delivery close to 115 Nm. The Amaze engine assembly comes equipped with an identical five speed manual transmission system found in Brio.
On the other hand, Honda Motor Company’s latest Earth Dreams diesel engine technology powers the Amaze model’s diesel variant. The Japanese has already developed its cutting edge Earth Dreams Technology laden 1.6 litre i-DTEC diesel powertrain was unveiled at the 2012 Paris Motor Show. Therefore, a slightly toned down version (1.5 litre) of the 1.6 litre i-DTEC powertrain is installed in the diesel Honda Amaze. As per reports, power and torque output equations of the i-DTEC engine stands at 99 bhp and 200 Nm, respectively. The engine assembly is mated with either a five speed manual or a five speed automatic transmission gear boxes. The technical model specifications of the upcoming Honda Amaze compact sedan are summarised in the tabular form as follows.
Exterior of Honda AmazeExterior Appearance
| Engine || Specification |
| Displacement || Petrol || Diesel |
| 1.2 litre || 1.5 litre |
| Technology || I-VTEC || i-DTEC |
| Brakes || Front || Ventilated Disc |
| Rear || Drum |
| Tyres || Type || 175/65 R14 |
| Steering || Type || Power |
| Transmission || Type || 5 speed manual |
Honda Amaze flaunts basically the same design language of its Brio sibling, alongside few small cosmetic changes, which are noticeable once the car is observed closely. The front fascia of Amaze looks contemporary with the new twin-slat chrome tipped grille that gives the compact sedan a seemingly more mature appearance as against its most prominent sub-4metre rivals, such as Maruti Suzuki Swift DZire, Chevy Sail, Mahindra Verito and Tata Indigo eCS. The basic Honda DNA is evident with the stunning front and tail lamps detailing, along with stylish raised belt line and posterior crease. The bumpers are quite different from the ones incorporated in the Brio model and give the Honda Amaze its youthful good looks and underline its modish design philosophy.
In terms of exterior appearance, the Honda Amaze seems to possess the perfect mix for a compact sedan, amongst the current models available in this segment of the Indian auto market. The Amaze flaunts a modish tipped-forward stance and when it hits the road, its most distinguishing features are a sporty attitude coupled with a dynamic visual appeal. This stunning mix of style and sportiness is missing in Swift DZire, Sail and Indigo eCS.Exterior Dimensions
Being a compact model, the Honda Amaze is a sub-4 metre sedan and looks cute in its first impression. The company's first offering in the entry level sedan segment, Amaze is pitched below the big Indian favourite- Honda City mid sized sedan in the Japanese car maker's portfolio.
Interior of Honda Amaze
| Criteria || Dimensions |
| Length (mm) || 3990 |
| Width (mm) || 1680 |
| Height (mm) || 1500 |
| Wheelbase (mm) || 2405 |
Like all Honda models, the interior detailing of the Amaze entry level sedan is of top draw quality, even though it reminds a lot of the Brio hatchback. The basic design and functionalities are also same in the Brio's extended version. However, significant improvements are evident both front and rear seats in terms of legroom volume, besides the luggage space has also been increased. The seats are comfortable and come bolstered with a fine quality fabric.Fuel Economy of Honda Amaze
The Honda Amaze compact sedan is offered in both petrol and diesel powered twins. Honda manufactured petrol engines are famous all over the globe, for their sublime build quality and superior fuel economy figures, as compared to their direct rivals. The fuel efficiency of petrol variant of Honda Amaze is around 15 to 18 kmpl, whereas that of diesel trim is 25.8 kmpl.Power of Honda Amaze
The Honda Amaze in India is powered with highly distinguishable powertrains under its hood. The petrol trim generates power output of 87 bhp. The much hyped i-DTEC diesel motor powering Amaze is rumoured to churn out a best-in-class output power of 99 bhp, besides delivering an equally impressive fuel economy over 25.8 kmpl. The Japanese car maker is renowned for its world class engine technology and it is going to be interesting to see how the Indian audience accepts the latest Earth Dreams i-DTEC diesel powertrains.Acceleration and pick up of Honda Amaze
The 2013 Honda Amaze compact sedan is quick, peppy and fun to drive. Both petrol and diesel Amaze engines are responsive, especially during the initial pick up. The 1.2 litre allows the compact model to reach a top speed around 170 to 175 kmph. In all fairness, Honda Amaze is an immensely inspiring model in terms of pick up and acceleration, as against its prevalent tough competition in the compact sedan segment of Indian auto market.Safety & Security of Honda Amaze
The Honda Amaze compact sedan comes equipped with a number of safety features, such as dual front and rear SRS airbags, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) system, amongst others. The other security trimmings in the Amaze model are ventilated disc brakes at the front wheels, drum brakes at the rear wheels, seat belts with pre-tensioners for all passengers, central locking system and child safety locks, amongst other interesting additions.Comfort & Convenience of Honda Amaze
The Honda Amaze in India incorporates several infotainment features, such as a 2-Din music system, complete with USB, Aux-in and iPod functionalities. The music stereo system is factory-fitted with four integrated speaker system. The steering wheel of the Honda Amaze also comes with mounted audio controls, which is a serious merit in the compact sedan's favour.Dealers of Honda Amaze
Honda Cars India Limited has a well-established country wide dealership network in the country. The company's power retail outlets spread in five Indian metropolitan cities, including New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata and Chennai, have been listed in a tabular form below.
Company Quotes of Honda Amaze
| Dealers || Location |
| Delhi || · AutoMax Honda |
· Classic Honda
· Courtesy Honda
· Prime Honda
· Ring Road Honda
· Southend Honda
| Mumbai || · Apex Honda |
· Arya Honda
· Linkway Honda
· Solitaire Honda
| Bangalore || · Dakshin Honda |
· Magnum Honda
· Whitefield Honda
| Kolkata || · Eastern Honda |
· Pinnacle Honda
| Chennai || Capital HondaOlympia HondaSundaram Honda |
Commenting on the Honda Amaze, Jnaneshwar Sen, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Sales, Honda Cars India Limited, said, “The newly developed i-DTEC engine belongs to the new generation powertrain technology Earth Dreams Technology that realises both excellent driving performance and fuel economy at a high level. Amaze will be the first car from Honda to sport this new diesel engine. We feel that the contemporary style of Amaze and all the core values of Honda (durability, quality and reliability) will appeal to the growing base of entry level sedan customers.”
“It's the first all-aluminium diesel engine in the country with some amazing class leading capabilities of fuel efficiency and power”, he added, “The Amaze is a critically important car for us. Not only are we entering a new segment of an entry-level sedan, we are also introducing our first diesel engine here. It is a growing segment and this should help us grow.”
Stressing on the role of meeting customer requirements, he said, “With Amaze, we are expecting a lot of first time buyers. Our senior management people, even including our Senior Vice President and Director Shigeru Yamazaki, are doing home visits of Brio buyers to understand their needs and learn from them.” “Therefore, we are preparing for quick service, road-side assistance, maintenance package of two years or 40,000 km, extended warranty. We are ensuring that cost of maintenance is low,” Sen added, saying Honda Cars India Limited would also have used car exchange schemes for the Amaze model, with old models of any make.Competition of Honda Amaze
Honda Cars India Limited has pitched its 2013 Amaze model in the compact segment of domestic auto market. Therefore, Honda Amaze battles the likes of Maruti Suzuki Swift DZire, Chevrolet Sail, Tata Indigo eCS and Mahindra Verito, in the country. At present, Swift DZire is the undisputed champion of compact entry level sedan segment, which makes it the biggest rival of Honda Amaze model in the country.
Intense action is being witnessed in the Indian entry level sedan segment, as both Honda Amaze and Maruti Suzuki Swift DZire are involved in a direct face off. The Amaze has instantly locked horns with the Swift DZire, upon its launch in the country. Considering Honda Cars India Limited's strategies for the Indian passenger car market, the newly launched Amaze compact sedan carries price tags competitive than those of the Swift DZire models. The price sensitive domestic buyers usually opt for Maruti Suzuki models, owing to their lower maintenance requirements, cheaper parts availability and superior service network than the competition. Hence, Honda Cars India Limited has a tough hill to climb in order to consolidate a decent market share in the Indian auto market, with its untested Amaze entry level sedan.
The Honda Amaze left domestic buyers mesmerised with its stunning exterior setting and arches. Industry experts are of the opinion that the segment leader Swift DZire is a little obsolete in terms of design and has it has been quite some time, since model was launched in the country. Hence, the Honda Amaze could pose fresh new competition for the Swift DZire. The stunning Amaze compact sedan has all the fire power to lure the domestic car buyers in big numbers towards the Honda showrooms, instead of present leader of the pack- Maruti Suzuki.Pros of Honda Amaze
The Honda Amaze delivers best-in-class power and performance from its acclaimed i-VTEC and i-DTEC engines, along with an equally impressive mileage figures. The car looks stunning and can be easily called the most visually appealing model of its segment.Cons of Honda Amaze
The pricing of Honda Amaze might pose few problems for luring Indian car buyers to the company's nation wide retail outlets. However, industry experts feel that the complete Amaze package definitely does more than justice to its price tag.Conclusion of Honda Amaze
The Honda Amaze entry level sedan scores some great points in terms of engine specifications, interior styling, aesthetic looks and value-for-money quotient. For instance, the Amaze offers a fresh alternative over the current segment champion Swift DZire, to the domestic car buyers. The presence of a diesel run engine is expected to make Amaze the next big volume puller for the Japanese car maker in the country. Honda Cars India Limited has reported its Brio to be smashing success among the Indian car enthusiasts, and will certainly be hoping for a game replay with its stunning Amaze entry level sedan.