With the Ford Endeavour at home, it was quite surprising to have a highway cruiser with automatic while the city dweller was still a manual. The vehicle to replace was a Honda Jazz X which aged only because of time and lack of automatic transmission as it had done very low mileage having seen the highway only 2 times in it’s time with us.
The Jazz X had set some tough benchmarks in terms of space, ride and reliability. Also, as this vehicle was primarily for city use, availability of service with-in arms reach was most important. With a budget of 9-10 Lakhs, following alternatives were considered in the sub-4m category:
A. Honda Amaze CVT (Petrol): After the Honda experience, it was no surprise that the first alternative came from their stable. The new Amaze had clearly addressed the shortcomings of the previous generation – it was more spacious, had better exterior & interior design and ride was more comfortable too.
B. Honda Jazz CVT: Considered the Jazz briefly during the second test drive of Amaze but the ride over broken tarmac was a sore point. The fact that the clever magic seats are available only in the top variant equipped with Manual transmission was also a disappointment. Finally, the price, despite discount, was more than the Amaze.
C. Hyundai Grand i10 Automatic: With the test drive vehicle not being available across multiple dealers contacted including NCR, it was dropped from the list without being seen.
D. Renault Kwid AMT: It was a surprise move to sample the Kwid AMT solely because of it’s price and VFM factor. But driving the AMT, that too after driving the CVT, the jerky nature didn’t go well. For the price, it was indeed a very lucrative option.
While there are options available from Tata and Maruti-Suzuki in the similar price band, the same were not considered only because of the experience offered by AMT. Volkswagen was not considered as local service would have been an issue and Ford had already pulled the plug on the Aspire AT.
Honestly it was the dealership experience which also tipped the scales in Honda’s favour. Right from April 2018, the dealer created quite a buzz and multiple invites were sent to attend the launch at the dealership. Despite not being able to attend the same, they were in touch and extended every courtesy possible for test-drive, repeat test-drive and discussion on accessories at their place and our home. Once we finalized the colour (Lunar Silver) and variant (Petrol V CVT), knowing that I do not book a vehicle because of my past experiences, they were prompt in offering one from the stock despite there being a waiting period. The vehicle they allotted was from the last lot they had received exactly 10 days back and was manufactured in June only. Due to soaring heat, they themselves got the vehicle in the showroom from their stockyard after a top wash for me to have a look after which it was promptly taken back to their holding area for accessories addition and next day delivery. A final last minute accessory (seat covers) was also asked to be added but despite that they made the delivery at requested time on 22 June 2018.
The first sight after getting it for PDI in the showroom (the staff confused it to be a display vehicle and pasted the New Amaze plates)
Unveiling snap from delivery shared by dealer