Buying new car
I moved back to India in Feb 2013 and while I was planning to move back, I had decided to buy a new car the week I land in India. So my search begins. Initially confused over buying a compact SUV, MUV or a sedan. To make it worst I also considered few hatchbacks as options. Thats when I stumbled upon TAI
and my research got a direction. Selection Process
After learning about existing and upcoming models I penned down following options:
Maruti Suzuki Ertiga
Honda City (Corporate)
Ford Figo Titanium
All these ranged between 7 - 10 lakhs. With such a varied options, it had become highly important to stick to a segment and a budget. I decide the later, OTR price - 9 lakhs.
That ruled out Duster.
Ertiga I found too big for me hence dropped from the list (I know, not a convincing reason).
I always carried doubts over Ford for its fuel economy and maintenance.
Hence pursued Honda cars (City and Jazz). Unfortunately no one (I am talking about 6 cities in Maharashtra) had City corporate or Jazz. Not even City EMT. So the only option was City SMT or wait without any clarity on delivery dates. City SMT OTR price was 11 lakhs so it automatically got ruled out. But in this process I got introduced and well versed with Amaze. Only problem was launch & delivery date + pricing was not known to anyone I talked, only speculations.
Somewhere early March I visited my relatives and he happened to be very good friends with a Chevrolet dealer. I got to see Sail (diesel version). I liked overall looks and interior quality. And it was perfectly in my budget plus Chevy's 535 offer. I went ahead and booked Sail LT ABS
. No TD and no delivery date. But since I had to pay nothing and was guaranteed first delivery whenever lot arrives, I did not mind taking risk. I still had time to TD and cancel at will.
So I was suppose to be a Sail LT ABS
owner. Got AMAZE[d]
One weekend, early April, I visit my friend. We decide to TD Chevrolet Sail and check with Honda dealers in his locality for the availability of City Corporate and Jazz.
Sail's TD disappointed us big time (strictly personal opinion) and that very moment I decided to drop Sail from the list and cancel the booking.
Then we visited Honda showroom and once again dejected for City Corporate and Jazz. But that made me all the more inquisitive about Amaze. And guess what, next day I visited Honda showroom in Mumbai and booked it. Yet again without any TD or any glimpse of the car. Just Honda brand, speculations about the car and clarity over launch + delivery dates. Only safe bet was iVtec engine which is tried, tested and best rated. Deal
I booked my car at Arya Honda (Shaman cars India), Prabhadevi. Sales agent, Devendra (contact me if you need his details) assisted in entire deal to delivery. This guy is most transparent sales person I have dealt with. Overall dealership experience was good.
I did not get any discounts or freebies, but that was the case all over for Amaze, considering its launch and buzz it had created. Only good part was the clarity on timelines and guaranteed availability. First Impression
First time I saw Amaze on the launch date (11th April). I visited the showroom to checkout the car and TD. I was pretty convinced to pay in full very same day. But that was merely few mins ride and color + feature comparison.
It was only on the date of delivery that I really felt Amaze. Smooth gear shift, short turning radius, ample space, practically NO engine sound, iVtec power, Honda safety, Tafetta white color and much more.
Frontal view (as widely known) is quite similar to Brio. Sometimes I wonder people will mistaken it to Brio and mis judge the length in traffic.
Rear view is bit elevated compared to other Honda designs, but I guess its for increasing the boot volume. Sail's rear view is much attractive I would say. It can only be debated against Dzire's rear view in its segment.
Side view is plus plus plus in overall design in its segment. With rich shades the curves shine and give an aerodynamic look to the car.
I went for the top model (VXMT) considering the features Honda offered across the models. To my surprise safety features (for which Honda is known for) are only available in top models. But yes those were my basic requirements so did not compromise against the cost difference.
Interiors are quite plush. Plastic quality easily fares better than its competitors in its segment. Space is well optimized.
Innovative seat design avails good leg room for rear passengers. Driver seat height adjustment and tilt wheel is delight to drivers of any height. Headrest is integral to the seat and cannot be adjusted.
Entertainment unit does not have CD player which is OK, but no bluetooth is very big disappointment. In this age, any car boasting to be safe, should make it a mandatory feature.
iVtec as known to all is best petrol engine in its class. Amaze iVtec carries the tradition of power and practically no noise. Clutch is optimally tight and gear shift is smooth with (Ford like) engagement response.
Steering and maneuvering is smooth and perfect for city drive. Best part is the turning radius. On a two lane road each side, it can easily take a u-turn. Summary Best at
1. Value for money in its segment.
2. Honda brand (will never feel like being in a cab like competitor cars
3. iVtec Engine
4. Perfect for city to get into narrow lanes or crowded areas
5. Uphills with full house, no worries at all. I believe again its iVtec and the power is dissipates in every gear compared to competitors in its segment. Could do better
1. Remote lock response, simple beep or click helps clearing conscious.
2. Inbuilt Bluetooth to connect phone or media streaming is must.
3. Remote trunk unlock will make it complete auto lock / unlock.
4. Front seat head rest should be adjustable. With the fixed design it does not cater all audiences.
5. Width, 1695 as oppose to current 1680 can make a huge difference to child car seat owners. Now its a comfortable 4 seater with a car seat.