The 4 metre law. It has steered the Indian automotive industry to a somewhat unattractive direction. The design of a car is done according to function, disregarding form to a large extent. And it has worked. We don't seem to mind the awkward dimensions as long as the car is light on the pocket and the Maruti Dzire is a prime example of this fact. It averages over 13,000 units every month for the past ten months. But its monopoly in the sub-4 metre sedan segment is about to end. Honda will launch the Amaze on April 11, after which, the Dzire's flight is sure to hit some turbulence. Let's have a look at the two if thrown into a bout.
The new Dzire comes from the new Swift, just like the old one. Only this time, the proportions are better making it more pleasing to the eye. It still has a stubby boot but no one was complaining earlier because there wasn't any alternative.
The Amaze comes from the Brio. The hatchback to sedan conversion is more extensive with a regular three box design.
Score: Dzire 0 Amaze 1
Space on the inside is same as the Swift. The light interiors create an illusion of increased space but there isn't. The front seats have ample space and are quite flexible but the rear feels a bit cramped. At 315 litres, the boot space is 112 litres more than the Swift, for which you pay about Rs 70,000 more.
The space at the rear is surprisingly good considering its compact dimensions. Honda has extended the wheelbase of the Amaze by 60mm over the Brio. Their man maximum, machine minimum design philosophy works perfectly in the Amaze. The boot of the Amaze at 400 litres, is 205 litres more than the Brio!
Score: Dzire 0 Amaze 2
Maruti has over 900 dealerships in India. It is the largest network in the country.
Honda has just over 140 dealerships in India. The Amaze will not have as wide a reach as the Dzire.
Score: Dzire 1 Amaze 2
The Dzire has a five speed manual and a four speed automatic for the petrol model. The manual gearbox is from the Swift.
The Amaze has a five speed manual and a five speed automatic borrowed from the City. The gearboxes feel on par with the Dzire on paper but only a proper comparison will reveal which one is better.
Score Dzire 1 Amaze 2
The 1.2-litre petrol develops 85PS and 113Nm of torque. The diesel mill churns out 75PS and 190Nm of torque. The diesel's ARAI certified mileage is 23.4kmpl.
The petrol Amaze is an 88PS, 109Nm, 1.2 litre unit. The diesel motor leaves the Dzire in the dust with its 100PS and 200Nm of torque. What's more, the Amaze has an astonishing ARAI certified figure of 25.8kmpl making it the most fuel efficient car in the country.
Score: Dzire 1 Amaze 3
The Amaze is expected to be logically cheaper than the Dzire because the Brio is cheaper than the Swift. Official prices will be revealed on April 11 so we shall reserve judgment on the pricing till then.
Score Dzire 1 Amaze 3
Except for the vast Maruti network, there isn't a single criterion where the Amaze doesn't trump the Dzire. On paper, this is a knockout for Honda. Only a proper comparison will reveal if this stands true in the real world. We'll keep you posted.