Maruti DZire vs Honda Amaze Shootout

Shootout – Maruti DZire vs Honda Amaze

The Maruti DZire’s dominance is under serious threat for the very first time, the Honda Amaze is that good.

Sub 4-metre sedans (better known as compact sedans) have become the hot flavour in the Indian market, so much that every automaker is working on one. The tax benefits are too lucrative to ignore this segment, while the demand from buyers is soaring too. While other companies continue to work on their compact sedans, Maruti Suzuki has much dominated this segment, selling a massive 20,078 units of the Swift DZire last month. But there is a new kid on the block, which is already giving India’s largest car maker some serious challenge. Honda’s latest offering, the Amaze is here, with both petrol and diesel engines in its arsenal. It is ready to change the volume game for Honda in India and is very promising all around. On paper, the Honda Amaze feels superior, but does it have the same advantage out on the road? We pit both these compact sedans head to head to come to a definite conclusion.

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Styling – For most people in India, styling is a key parameter while purchasing a vehicle. The Swift DZire is not the best looking car in our country, infact, it is one of the most disproptionate. The front styling from the Swift is neat but the boot is a complete after thought. This makes the DZire look very odd when viewed from rear angles. The Honda Amaze on the other end seems to be conceptulatized as a sedan from day one. It has smooth flowing curves with the Brio front giving it a sense of cuteness. Both cars come with indicators on rear view mirrors with B-pillars blackened out. The Amaze has more use of chrome on the body, which will be an instant hit with Indian buyers. The rear gels well with the overall design and the Amaze does end up looking a whole lot more soothing to the eye than the DZire. The neatly integrated boot means the Amaze has lines which show the right proportions. That said, both vehicles looks quite small due to their sub 4-metre length.

Maruti DZire vs Honda Amaze InteriorsMaruti DZire vs Honda Amaze Dashboard

Interiors – Both cars carry the same dashboard as their hatchback siblings, the Swift and Brio. The Amaze’s dashboard doesn’t look as substancial as the DZire, as the latter feels slightly better put together with more style and features (climate control, removable cup holder, etc). The Amaze’s interiors feel good too but feel a little short in terms of style and feel good factor compared to the Swift DZire. While the DZire feels more expensive with its rich textured dash, the Amaze is the cooler car, thanks to its heat absorbing windshield (top end model only). The DZire’s doors feel heavier and shut with a more assuring thud than the Amaze’s.

Maruti DZire vs Honda Amaze Rear SeatMaruti DZire vs Honda Amaze Space

The instrument cluster in the Amaze is not as sophisticated as the DZire’s. You do get to see if you are driving with mileage in mind, with the Eco light blinking on the cluster. The Amaze gets electronically retractable rear view mirrors, a feature in handy when you are squeezing through tight spots. Front seats of both cars are good, with excellent all round support but the DZire has that slight edge with better cushioning. Even though the Amaze has a 25 mm disadvantage in wheelbase over the DZire, the Honda boasts of much better rear seat legroom. Honda’s ‘Man Maximum, Machine Minimum’ philosophy has paid dividends when it comes to overall packaging and it shows. The Amaze feels much better at the rear, with headroom, legroom (improved due to scooped out seat back) and knee room being easily class leading. Even a third passenger will be comfortable at the rear, but not so in the DZire. You sit very comfortably in the Amaze and the beige interiors and big windows further make you perceive the Amaze to have more cabin space. Sadly none of the seats have adjustable headrests, which is a shame as that is the only sore point of the Amaze’s seats. The rear seat arm rest in the Amaze has cup holders, the DZire’s arm rest doesn’t.

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People buying compact sedans over a hatchback need that little extra in boot space and the Honda Amaze comes out on top here, offering 400-litres. The DZire is not so well packaged and offers only 316-litres. This not only makes the Amaze more practical of the two but also points to the clever engineering done by Honda to ensure more cabin and boot space, while keeping the length of the vehicle under the 4-metre mark.

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Performance – Being sub 4-metre cars, power comes from sub 1.5-litre diesel and sub 1.2-litre petrol engines. The Maruti DZire petrol is powered by a 1197cc, K-Series engine which gets VVT to produce 86 BHP of power at 6000 RPM and 114 Nm of torque at 4000 RPM. The Honda Amaze petrol is powered by a 1198cc i-VTEC motor which produces 88 BHP of power at 6000 RPM and 109 Nm of torque at 4500 RPM. Both cars are mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox along with the option of an automatic (4-speed auto in the DZire, 5-speed auto in the Amaze, the latter is much better in performance). Output being almost identical, performance is quite similar but the DZire has a slight edge with the motor feeling more alive throughout. However there is little to choose as both petrol engines are simply fantastic and should return negligible mileage difference between each other. Expect 12 km/l in city driving conditions from both (the DZire will return .5 km/l more mileage). The manual gearbox of both cars offer smooth shifts.

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The diesel Swift DZire draws power from Fiat’s famed 1248cc Multijet mill which belts out 75 BHP of power at 4000 RPM and 190 Nm of torque at 2000 RPM. The diesel Amaze produces 98.6 BHP of power at 3600 RPM and 200 Nm of torque at 1750 RPM from its i-DTEC powerplant. The Amaze has significantly more power and drives much better too. Not only is the Amaze faster, its diesel engine is simply bombastic. Power delivery is instant and there is very little turbo lag. This makes the diesel Amaze at home in crowded city conditions, as much as it is at ease on the highways. The DZire has quite a bit of turbo lag but once you rush past 1800 RPM, the DZire picks up steam. It is much stronger at high revs too. However there is no replacement for horsepower and the Amaze is that much quicker throughout. However the DZire’s engine is more silent and the Amaze diesel is quite audible, although there are not too many vibrations from the motor. Both cars are mated to 5-speed manual gearboxes, both having precise shifting mechanism. The diesel Amaze is a good 1 km/l more fuel efficient than the diesel DZire. The DZire has a higher top speed as the Amaze is limited to 140 km/hr.

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Driving Dynamics – The Honda Amaze feels much easier to drive than the Maruti DZire, thanks to lighter steering and pedals. While the Swift DZire is softly sprung, the Amaze offers a better ride quality at higher speeds. Ride quality in the DZire is good at low speeds even though it rides on 15-inch wheels against the Amaze’s 14-inchers. The Amaze is more stable at speed with its slightly stiffer suspension and handles better too. The DZire is not far behind in terms of handling and both cars offer a very exciting and fun to drive experience with involving dynamics and good steering feedback. Braking performance of both cars are again on par but the Amaze has a tiny advantage, with better pedal feel.

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Verdict – The battle between the Maruti Suzuki Swift DZire and Honda Amaze is a very close one. Both cars have their strengths but the Amaze manages to edge ahead of the DZire on several counts. The Amaze is not only faster (diesel), it is more economical too. Factor in the easier to drive characteristics, better rear seat experience, larger boot and better appearance and the Honda Amaze emerges on top. The icing on the cake is the Honda badge, which holds higher value than Maruti Suzuki’s, making the Amaze the clear winner and the undisputed champion in the compact sedan space.

The Maruti DZire range starts from Rs. 5.93 lakhs and goes up to Rs. 9.02 lakhs, while the Honda Amaze range starts at Rs. 6.08 lakhs and goes up to Rs. 9.27 lakhs (all prices on-road, Mumbai). The slightly extra price you pay for the Honda Amaze is well worth it considering you get a more DZirable package.

Further Reading –

Honda Amaze Review
Honda Amaze Long Term Review
Maruti DZire vs Tata Zest
Honda Amaze vs Hyundai Xcent vs Maruti DZire
Maruti DZire vs Honda Amaze vs Tata Zest vs Hyundai Xcent
Honda Amaze vs Hyundai Xcent vs Ford Figo Aspire vs Tata Zest