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Old 24th November 2012, 20:58   #136
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Default Re: Honda Amaze 1.5L Diesel : Driven

Honda sure is doing things right with this Product :
-Firstly they got TBHP invited to provide an honest opinion (Big Plus)
-They have a jewel of a Diesel engine now, its light, its quick, its responsive and if Honda wants to make it affordable, I can only imagine that they mean competitive to Maruti (+25K to 50K) premium
-They got the design worked well, its not that anyone would really dislike- must for a mass selling product {first gen Dzire is an exception}
-The space seems to good for back seat comfort, means that we will see driver driven Amaze on the roads.
Few things they can surely do
-Provide more features per variant than Dzire, even if its more than 25K difference, IMHO India looks at VFM rather than Cheap products
-Throw in an introductory price, Maruti trick to topple Maruti "apple cart"
-Avoid bulk bookings to ensure it doesn't go in to Taxi segment
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Old 24th November 2012, 22:18   #137
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I notice from the 360 degree view of the interiors of the BRIO launched in Thailand that it doesn't have steering mounted audio controls. (source honda thailand website)
Assuming that the interior view provided is that of the highest variant, which usually is the case, Honda seems to have consciously removed this feature from the AMAZE.

On the contrary, steering mounted controls are present on the BRIO sold in India. Looks like this Honda's strategy to differentiate between the City & the AMAZE. Sad!

Also, unlike the per-production model driven by Viddy, the Thai website shows the AMAZE with the front bumper blackened out just like the BRIO, which looks great IMHO.

Hope Honda changes its plans and gives us steering mounted controls!
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Old 24th November 2012, 22:52   #138
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Excellent preview Vid. Thanks.

Honda seems to have packaged the deal well trying to balance what Indians want - drivability given our driving cycles and traffic, and good mileage, which is something I naturally expect from a Honda. They are known to squeeze most from every drop of fuel. However, Indians also would like to see that it looks good and costs less!

Though I am afraid it might sound OT, but I thought I should share about a popular character from a popular play from Andhra who probably represents the average Indian's thinking. What most Indians want is something like (Gireesam) from a very famous play (Kanyasulkam) from Andhra where the character announces that he is looking for a 'young, beautiful, rich, virgin widow'! You get the picture

My fear is that they may price the product at a higher level, since Honda got used to pricing their products at a 'premium' level which probably were justified when they launched the first set of City models. A higher price would kill a brilliant package - like the Jazz (the super hatch back in my view) which generated great expectations but did not do too well for them.

But at another level I do notice a change - Honda seems to be moving away from the maxim of their founder, Soichoro San, that a car ought to have maximum visibility. If you notice the first few City models and especially the City ZX the design principle is evident where the rear glass bleeds into the C-pillar.

However from your pictures I notice that the glass is contained within the C pillars and also see that the black 'frame' that you normally see in hatchbacks is there too, thus compromising the rear view. Quite un-Honda-like.

Hope they will change it for the good and keeping in with their old tradition.

I personally prefer the design principle - form should follow function.

Thanks once again for the crisp preview.
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Old 24th November 2012, 22:57   #139
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Default Re: Honda Amaze 1.5L Diesel : Driven

Amaze, if priced right, promises to do the volumes for Honda and they would find it difficult to keep pace with the demand. It also looks good to me from all angles. Yes, the creases are there to spoil it for some folks, but I think they go pretty well with the personality of this car, personality as coming through from the pictures and the nicely written review. Toyotas and Nissans (barring a few cars like the Celica) traditionally have had understated sober looks, and Hondas over the years are known to make a statement in the looks department.

I find it quite strange that whether a particular car is used as taxi is a huge point of consideration for many. Maximum number of taxis in Germany are Benz, and that does not take anything away from Benz as a brand value.
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Old 24th November 2012, 23:01   #140
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Amaze is spot-on for the segment. It does not need any more bells and whistles. Priced rightly, they will get volumes and being premium the will not enter taxi segment. They just need the ball rolling and prove 1.5 DTEC to India. I'm impressed with engine mounts that are liquid filled, and sans the need of DPF. This shows their commitment to reliability, fitness for Indian conditions and refinement an end user expects out of a Honda. As they will redesign the next generation of Honda city, they will for sure plonk a i-DTEC there. It might have those missing gaps. Its typical of Honda. Lot of customers start with a brio and end up seeing till the accord, feel their pocket and settle with the best they can afford. At the desired segment, Honda has some misses by design, which is fulfilled at the next level. Honda would be keeping their fingers crossed for reliability. Think of a Honda Amaze catching fire, or low FE < 15 kmpl - I can see so many unpredictable things that can go bad. Hope Honda understands that and delivers on some of these challenges. And I'm very glad personally if people think Honda has copied designs (lol, taken inspiration). Its their answer back to what H did to their steering and lamps. Too bad Honda does not have an exciting petrol engine now for India. Probably this will be first indian sedan by Honda which is not as aerodynamic as compared to present-past (by external looks). I do not have the official Cx value. Can someone share it
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Old 25th November 2012, 01:43   #141
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Default Re: Honda Amaze 1.5L Diesel : Driven

Quote:
Originally Posted by rattandip View Post
-Avoid bulk bookings to ensure it doesn't go in to Taxi segment
Quote:
Originally Posted by devsoftech View Post
Amaze is spot-on for the segment. It does not need any more bells and whistles. Priced rightly, they will get volumes and being premium the will not enter taxi segment.
As far as I understand, Honda does not allow their cars to be used as taxis. The maximum I have seen is them being used as hotel-fleet cars and rental vehicles.
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Old 25th November 2012, 08:30   #142
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As far as I understand, Honda does not allow their cars to be used as taxis. The maximum I have seen is them being used as hotel-fleet cars and rental vehicles.
Not sure if I understood it correctly, how can a manufacturer 'not allow' one of their models to be used as a taxi? If I want to buy a Honda City today and register it as a taxi, is there any rule that would prevent me from doing so?

I thought the reason we don't see Honda cars as taxi currently is lack of oil burner which makes running costs too high when compared to other models. Probably the repair costs too, when compared to Tata. I don't think the company has any say in this though I could be wrong here.

Last edited by zenren : 25th November 2012 at 08:33.
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Old 25th November 2012, 09:15   #143
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asitkde
I find it quite strange that whether a particular car is used as taxi is a huge point of consideration for many. Maximum number of taxis in Germany are Benz, and that does not take anything away from Benz as a brand value.
It is the typically Indian mentality of being from an elite class. In germany the cars are bought because of need. In india many people buy cars for show off. They want to be seen as belonging to elite class. That is the reason this particular class does not want to associated with mass movers i.e, the taxis.
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Old 25th November 2012, 10:28   #144
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It is the typically Indian mentality of being from an elite class. In germany the cars are bought because of need. In india many people buy cars for show off. They want to be seen as belonging to elite class. That is the reason this particular class does not want to associated with mass movers i.e, the taxis.
This has nothing to do with the mentality of regular private owners. Its all about economics for fleet owners. Their mentality is to keep running costs low. A taxi fleet owner finds more sense in buying a much more VFM and abuse friendly indicab or Dzire Tour edition or a logan. I'm not sure if you are right about the "elite class" perceiving a taxi car as a less exclusive car. On the other hand, there are very exclusive cars like Teana, Merc, BMW's used as cabs (by hotels), what happens to the elite class feelings then ? It all boils down to economics and ROI. When we travel in cabs, we are concerned about comfort and lower cost of travel, not the badge value. If a brand fails to deliver value to a daily commuter, you will see less of it. Even in India travel is an essential commodity, but then money is the deciding factor for the choice. Petrol car was not a choice when you look at economics, Honda included. Honda marketing places their products in such a way that its not a natural choice for taxi owners. It will not handle abuse to the extent indicab (for instance) can take. Another example would be the diesel SX4 that entered taxi market, which was not case earlier when petrol variant was around. Its a complete personal choice if we wish not to see our loved cars as taxi's or not. A car is sentimentally exclusive to any owner - Whether it is a nano or a ferrari. And each customer feels elite when they own the same. This is a vicious cycle, a santro owner feeling more eliteness than a nano, or, a merc owner having more eliteness than a c segmenter.. so on... (no discrimination here by use of above examples). People have varying purchasing powers, and they always feel elite about what they buy.
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Old 25th November 2012, 10:49   #145
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Wow, seriously. Why are these car manufacturers dumping these badly,awfully,pathetically designed cars here. They have taken us for granted it seems.
Dumping crap designed by people who apparently know nothing about designing a car or who only know how to slap on a damn boot.
Then off course we have no choice but to go ahead and purchase such cars in huge numbers. The point is, imagine if the dire were carefully thought of in design and blending the front end aesthetically with the slap on boot, the sales would have sky rocketed even further. I'm sure cars like the desire are extreme vfm but there are still many who have not purchased it because of its looks. Me for one.
Off course I do understand the more R&D for a new design would relate to a more expensive vehicle. But a little smart thinking wouldn't hurt either.
These hatchbacks turned into sedans just don't fit into my world. Every time I see one I feel like taking a huge hammer and slamming it from the rear to turn it back into a hatch. (Sorry for aggravating the loyalists of such cars)
With all this though, there is only one hatchback to sedan or sedan to hatchback conversion that I like. And that goes to the sx4. It looks proportionately done up. Does not feel like a slap on boot.
Off course I am not saying anything about the engines for these cars, because they are absolutely brilliant. It's just from a design point of view which I'm sure many would agree.
I just wish we in India would realise soon enough that these car companies are being thoroughly lazy. So lazy that they do not want to come up with a proper thought process for this blend.
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Old 25th November 2012, 11:24   #146
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raycers_honda
Wow, seriously. Why are these car manufacturers dumping these badly,awfully,pathetically designed cars here. They have taken us for granted it seems.
If manufacturers have taken us for granted, who should be blamed? Its none other than 'US' - customers. If people flock to the showroom to but a boot pasted hatch, then manufacturers will obviously see an oportunity there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by raycers_honda
...Then off course we have no choice but to go ahead and purchase such cars in huge numbers.
Wow! We have no choice but to buy these cars? HOW?! Ofcourse everyone has a choice what they want to buy. If you don't want to buy a Dzire / Amaze, walk away; buy a Manza / Etios / SX4 / City / Verito. Whose stopping anyone from looking into these properly designed non-compact cars?
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Old 25th November 2012, 13:00   #147
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I just wish we in India would realise soon enough that these car companies are being thoroughly lazy. So lazy that they do not want to come up with a proper thought process for this blend.
.


There is a very key point in your statement , that is that due to the Aam Indian consumer State of mind , we have not been getting proper shaped , powered and equipped vehicles , we generally discuss VFM cars but really are they , i am not sure . For example the hot selling swift have the minimum set of brakes only in the recently launched ZDI variant .But I do think that the over all value availability for us as customer is slowly changing now with the likes of Vento , Swift ZDI and so on. The city with Auto transmission and Cruise control is a model i like personally even though its petrol.
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Old 25th November 2012, 13:11   #148
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Originally Posted by raycers_honda View Post
Wow, seriously. Why are these car manufacturers dumping these badly,awfully,pathetically designed cars here.
Thats actually a lot of unwanted criticism without understanding the market drivers.
  • What started with Tata (CS) and continued with Maruti and now Honda is some smart thinking and optimization of a budget car within the 4 meter limit proposed by the Government for small cars.
  • Buyers have already voted with their wallet that they dont care about the looks, they want a well priced sedan, with decent space, good FE and cheap maintenance (Maruti Dezire is the best selling Sedan in our country by a huge margin)

Want to buy a better looking car? They are dozens of options available. There's the City, Verna, Vento and many others at a little more cost. Or pay about the same and buy a Jazz, i20 or a Polo. (looks are subjective, but I find these cars to be good. Your mileage may vary). You have a choice.

Dont blame manufacturers for giving what the customer wants.

Last edited by SkyWalker : 25th November 2012 at 13:13.
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Old 25th November 2012, 13:13   #149
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Originally Posted by raycers_honda View Post
Wow, seriously. Why are these car manufacturers dumping these badly,awfully,pathetically designed cars here. They have taken us for granted it seems.
Dumping crap designed by people who apparently know nothing about designing a car or who only know how to slap on a damn boot
I do understand that these cars look terrible. The Dzire, the Etios, the Sail, etc. And now the Amaze looks like a forced job, whichever way you look at it. Park it next to a Brio and you'll see why that it looks wrong.

But there is one thing all these cars have in common. It's that they are fundamentally sound. They handle well, they ride well, they perform adequately for our conditions and requirements and they give the masses what they want. And that's what it boils down to.

Did you know that cars like the Jetta have boots slapped onto them. Theoretically, it's a hatchback with a boot. Remember the Golf? The Civic too is a hatchback, but it's available in sedan form in many other countries as well, including the US. Same goes for the Jetta.

These were the entry-level sedans and everything below were hatchbacks. But once the emerging markets like South America, China and India caught up, it spawned the demand for a smaller sedan that is competent enough. These emerging markets have asked for a compact crossover, more compact than ones like the CRV and the Yeti. The unfold has begun and soon, all brands will join the bandwagon, because it's what the people want!

Would you buy a Golf in India? Well, many of us here would. But the enthusiasts comprise of a small % of the car-buying populace.

I hope you get what I'm trying to convey here. Basically, it's all about what the people want.

Last edited by suhaas307 : 25th November 2012 at 13:14.
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Old 25th November 2012, 13:17   #150
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swiftnfurious

If manufacturers have taken us for granted, who should be blamed? Its none other than 'US' - customers. If people flock to the showroom to but a boot pasted hatch, then manufacturers will obviously see an oportunity there.

Wow! We have no choice but to buy these cars? HOW?! Ofcourse everyone has a choice what they want to buy. If you don't want to buy a Dzire / Amaze, walk away; buy a Manza / Etios / SX4 / City / Verito. Whose stopping anyone from looking into these properly designed non-compact cars?
Yes ,partly the blame comes on to us. I have never doubted that. But do take into consideration the choice of vehicles in that particular class and segment.
For eg. There are five wallets laid on a table, you need one for sure. They do serve the purpose but might not suit your taste. But in the end since there is a lack of choice you got to pick one from those five.
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