The compact sedan was a trend that was started by Tata Motors. It didn't take long for other manufacturers to understand the amount of success the Indigo eCs enjoyed all thanks to a chopped boot. Soon Maruti jumped on to the bandwagon with the Dzire and then even Honda looked into that direction for a compact sedan under 4-metres. The Dzire has been around for some time now but it is the Honda Amaze that is the new kid on the block. So how does it fare when it comes to the market leaders rendition of a sub-4 metre car.
The Dzire is your everyday car and if you've driven the Swift hatchback, it is the same but with the addition of a small boot. The boot accounts for 320 litres of space and that translates to 108 more than the Swift hatchback. Most of the other combinations and features in the car remain the same, so even on the design front it resembles its cousin, but of the boot. Maruti has managed to play around with the proportions to make it look like a sedan but it doesn't really work out that way, for one look at the Honda Amaze and you understand how hard the Japanese company has worked to make the Amaze look like a proper sub-4 metre sedan.
It is not as if the company hasn't borrowed from the inspiration - the Brio, but it has done it in style. The Amaze looks like a brand new car and well in terms of looks, all those cuts and creases give it a high score. The Amaze is the first car from Honda to come equipped with a diesel engine and this one gets a 1.5-litre one which guarantees good mileage. With 98bhp and 200Nm of torques at your disposal, the Amaze is quite a spritely car. It's light and there is a lot of torque to propel you to top speeds. The only thing that is a cause of concern is the NVH levels. The engine noise at times is so harsh, that it changes to becoming disturbing and so cannot be ignored.
The Dzire on the other hand gets a 1.3-litre diesel powertrain which develops less power and torque when compared to the Amaze, but the insulation from the noise that Maruti has managed to provide is uncomparable to the Amaze. Its silent and torque and even the 5-speed manual transmission works seamlessly as all the gears find the slots. There's something about Maruti gearboxes, they are so very well sorted.
The ride and handling is better in the Dzire as it takes on potholes and undulations of the road in its stride. The Amaze too isn't far from that. Apart from the engine noise, Honda has got everything sorted out and the ride quality too is good but when you compare it to the Maruti, you feel the Honda has to go a long way to get there.
Safety and feature-wise both the cars are equally packaged but what Honda provides is a breath of fresh air and a proper sedan under 4-metres, while the Dzire is more like a hatchback with some extra space at the back. Honda looses the battle when it comes to NVH levels inside the car but redeems itself in the ride and handling department. It isn't a tie but the Honda is clearly fun to drive and to go one step ahead, more powerful when compared to the Dzire. Honda has indeed pulled out a rabbit from the hat with the Amaze and we think it surely is a winner.