With a radically new and improved car, has Honda finally got its mojo back with the second generation of this compact sedan?
IF YOU’RE IN THE MARKET FOR a sub-4m sedan priced around ₹6-7 lakh for a petrol and around ₹7-8 lakh for a diesel variant then the Maruti Suzuki Dzire is the king of the hill. There’s no arguing against that one really. Just look at the numbers and you’ll know. And it isn’t just the vastly improved third generation version we’re talking about. That has been the case right from the beginning of the unique-to-India and mostly inexplicable sub-4m phenomenon. When Honda launched the Brio-based Amaze back in 2013, many expected the game to change. Sadly for Honda loyalists, the product that finally rolled off the assembly line was unexciting at best. It had some good bits for sure but it simply wasn’t the lump hammer that could have broken Maruti Suzuki’s dominance in that category. The second generation Amaze therefore has a lot to live up to. Not only must it deliver on every single aspect of that dreaded phrase “value-for-money” but also restore the loyalist’s confidence. Honda’s pricing this brand new car at a competitive ₹5.59 lakh for the base petrol and ₹6.69 lakh for the entrylevel diesel certainly hints at an aggression and a desire to take the fight to the segment leader. If initial indicators are anything to go by, then judging from the combination of the product and the pricing, it would appear that Honda is indeed ready to play up, play up and play the game.
So what’s new anyway
Well, in this case pretty much everything except the engines. In its second generation avatar the car is built on a spanking new platform that has ensured dimensional growth. The new Amaze is longer and wider than its predecessor and its wheelbase has grown by 65mm, to 2470mm, giving it the second longest wheelbase after the Ford Figo Aspire’s 2491mm. Body rigidity is improved too, which equates to a potential for better dynamics, and the new platform offers better protection in front, rear and side impacts. Ground clearance is up by 5mm too, to 170mm from the earlier 165mm.
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