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Old 12th May 2013, 22:50   #1
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Default My Honda Amaze i-DTEC Diesel

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My new Honda Amaze


Variant: E-MT (Base Model)
Fuel Type: Diesel
Color: Taffeta White

Having recently joined Team-BHP and got a new ride for myself: The new Honda Amaze i-Dtec E-MT, I thought why not write my first ownership report on Honda's first diesel car in India. I sincerely hope that this report could be of some help to people currently in the market looking for a sub 4-m diesel sedan. So here I start to write about my experience so far:

Requirement and cars considered

We already own a 2012 Swift (LDi) and there was a need of having an additional small diesel car in the family, maybe a hatch or sedan. Since we did not wish the budget to exceed more than 7 lacs, the sedan choices were strictly limited. The decision making process started in late March and parameters being considered were decent performance in the city, spacious interiors and good braking (The Swift though a great handler with a worthy engine, definitely underscores in the braking department. The brakes aren't confidence inspiring and lack bite at speeds above 80-90 kmph. Hence having adequate braking was a top priority). While purchasing the Swift last year, we had already test driven the i20, Etios Liva and the Ritz. Since dad somehow does not have a liking for Ford and Tata badged cars, Figo and Vista were left out. Did not put the base variant of the Dzire in the list again due its braking niggles.

The i20 was rejected due to its almost zero feedback from the steering and poor ride quality. Also, the ABS equipped variant went beyond our budget and was removed from the list.

The Ritz has undergone a face-lift recently and due to the addition of Zdi variant with ABS and Airbags, it had become a serious contender. Since my friend owns a Ritz diesel, I was well aware of its braking being better than the Swift. However, there was one factor which began driving us towards the Liva: Maintenance Costs. In my opinion, Maruti is no longer cheap to maintain these days. Our Swift has run around 21,000 kms in the last year and the servicing costs for the 10,000 and 20,000 kms have been quite high. Maruti has made it mandatory to use synthetic engine oil which costs around 4000 bucks. Also the service schedule for these cars is quite rigorous and almost all the lubricants including the coolant, gear oil, brake fluid, etc have to be replaced after every 20,000 kms. The cost for servicing at 20,000 kms came close to around Rs. 10,000 and this is by no way cheap.

When I went through several ownership threads on the Etios and Etios Liva, I found that the maintenance costs were indeed lower than Maruti. Liva too has undergone a face-lift recently and the beige interiors looked nice. The car is quite spacious too and comes equipped with ABS.

Thus the mind was made up for the Liva, but then came a news that Honda is planning to launch its first diesel sedan in April, the Amaze. Hmmm, started reading about it and found GTO's last year review from Japan. The looks of the car were well proportioned and impressive, given the fact that it was a sub 4-m sedan. Came to know that Honda had roped in F1 engineers to develop the engine for this car. As I read more and more, the Amazement continued and I started looking forward towards TD'ing this H-machine at the earliest. However, the fact that it could go out of our budget became a concern. Come April, Honda started advertising and bookings were officially opened.


Buying Experience

Visited Ring Road Honda, Gurgaon to book the car before the launch. A token amount of Rs. 21,000/- was given and was told to be 100% refundable in case I did not like the car after seeing it physically post launch. Come 11th April, the prices, specifications and the variants were officially declared by Honda. The base E-MT variant attracted me the most with its killer price tag of 5.99 lacs, ex-showroom Delhi coupled with a decent equipment level: ABS, all four power windows, tachometer, central locking, etc. The base variant (Ldi) of the Swift Dzire comes with none of these features at the same price. Honda's brand value remains as an additional plus. However every automobile journalist from Overdrive, NDTV, AutoCar who had reviewed the car had one common grudge about high NVH levels as compared to other cars in the segment.

After doing a test drive and seeing the car physically, the base E-MT variant looked real value for money and fitted well in our budget. The initial impressions about the Amaze which made me proceed ahead with the buyind process were:
  • The car I drove was quite silent at idle and apart from the usual diesel clatter (comparable to my Swift DDiS), I did not find any unusual vibration or noise coming inside the cabin. At higher rpms as well, there was a mild roaring sound giving the feel of the 1.5l i-Dtec growling with power. In all the car felt quite petrol like and there was very negligible turbo lag allowing me to easily pull off right from 1100 rpm.
  • Found the braking of the Amaze to be quite good and the additional plus of ABS with EBD would definitely help during panic braking and rainy conditions.
  • The showroom then, was flooded with people (typically unlike Honda) and the TD was being done in groups. This gave a chance to drive the fully loaded Amaze with 5 passengers. It did clear all the bumps I could find during the test drive without scraping even once. However the high ground clearance of 170 mm in the Swift Dzire is a definite plus and I hope that the 165 mm of the Amaze remains adequate for Indian roads.

Delivery and experience so far

Got the phone from the dealer that my white E-MT Amaze i-Dtec has arrived and I need to make the payment to take delivery. The car costed INR 6.6 Lac on road and fitted well within my budget.

Some pictures of the car at the stockyard:


My Honda Amaze i-DTEC Diesel-20130416_154539.jpg

The side profile of the car. Many bhpians have been wanting to see the ORVM of the E-variant and it can be seen here. It is not even internally adjustable and resembles with the one from M800.


My Honda Amaze i-DTEC Diesel-20130416_154541.jpg



My Honda Amaze i-DTEC Diesel-20130416_154549.jpg

My Honda Amaze i-DTEC Diesel-20130416_154618.jpg

Took the delivery on 26th April and since then have driven it close to about 2,700 kms. I guess, this has been my highest run ever so far in less than a month.

My Honda Amaze i-DTEC Diesel-20130517_210639.jpg

Have got the first service of the car done and the following are my impressions about it:

Performance
If you own a Swift, you must be used to the sudden kick or pull one gets close to 2000 rpm. In the Amaze, you shall get none. I have already talked about the power delivery which is very linear and like a petrol car. The specs on paper look pretty amazing with 100 ps of max power but in reality is it really that amazing?? Here's my take. If I forget the sudden adrenaline rush I get in the DDiS for a moment, the acceleration of the Amaze is not at all bad. However the real difference of having a bigger, powerful engine in the hood is evident the moment you cross the 80 kmph mark. I have felt that the Amaze is far quicker than the Swift in the 90-130 kmph zone. Although driving at triple digit speeds is dangerous on Indian roads and by no way do I support that, but if we just look at the performance this is what I feel.

Having gone through several threads posted in the official review, many people have been comparing the 100 ps engine of this car with 105 ps of the Vento. With all due respect, I feel that it would be slightly unfair to do this comparison since the Vento is around 2-2.5 lacs expensive than a similarly spec'd Amaze and thus belongs to a different category. I also feel that Honda has de-tuned this engine's performance for two major reasons.
  • The customers of this segment are quite mileage sensitive and would not like if their car returns an average of 14 kmpl in the city which is the case with Vento. I have got a mileage (tankful to tankful) of around 20.5 to 21.5 kmpl with A/C.
  • Honda does not wish to cannibalize the sales of its City leaving no incentive for the customer to shift from the Amaze. Honda would be putting the same engine with a different state of tune or maybe the 1.6 l i-Dtec in the City next year, and they definitely want to leave a niche for that product to survive too.

This might also help in increasing the engine life just like Toyota's D-4D and only a long ownership report can help establish that.

Refinement and NVH levels
To be honest, while you accelerate in the 2nd or 3rd gear, the engine noise intruding inside the cabin is definitely more than the Swift. However the moment the car slots in the higher gears 4th and 5th, the clatter reduces considerably. Somehow, I feel that the refinement is better than the Swift once one slots in the 5th gear. Also as I am crunching more and more kilometers, the engine is getting more and more refined with the clatter going down. Once it properly lubricates after around 5000 kms, one could comment on it further. Honda has used liquid mounted struts on this car and one should not expect the noise to increase after 20,000 - 30,000 kms which happens normally with diesel cars.

"Kitna deti hai??"
Uptil now, I have done two tankful to tankful and got a mileage of 21.5 kmpl in the first run with sedate driving. In the second run, the mileage dropped to 20.5 kmpl due to some aggressive sprints. Both of these are in the city with A/C.

Emissions
One thing more that makes this car look more petrol like are the emissions coming from the exhaust. Sometimes, while the engine is running for idling and I am accessing the boot in the Swift, the exhaust gases start hitting me. However, in the Amaze one can't feel the diesel exhaust much. Another interesting observation that I made was while checking the engine oil level using the dipstick. Normally the moment one fires up the diesel engine, the engine oil turns totally black due to the carbon(like in the Swift). However in the Amaze, the engine oil even after 2000 kms is still transparent and clear. Definitely looks like a more cleaner diesel.

Space and Interiors
I don't have words to describe this. Hat's off to Honda's engineers for extracting so much space in the rear and in the boot. There is ample legroom in the rear but seating three adults is still difficult due to its narrow stance. However the dash is quite simple and the uneven panel of the glove box does look odd. Looking at the price point at which I got this car, it seriously looks acceptable to me.

Steering and ride quality
The steering feedback is quite good and the car can be easily cornered. The car comes with 175/65 R14 tyres and I am planning to stick with the stock configuration initially, since Honda mentions in the owner's booklet that using an inappropriate tyre size could result in failure of the ABS unit. As far as the ride quality goes, I feel its ok. The suspension does soak bumps easily.

Accessories
The E-MT variant doesn't come with a factory fitted audio system. I have still not ICE'd it and planning to spend around Rs. 20-25k for a decent 2-DIN setup with component speakers at the front. The list of accessories is still not available from Honda and have only got the mud flaps installed for 1500 bucks. Would post some pictures once I get the ICE installed.

What I have liked so far
  • There is ample amount of space for the rear passengers
  • The beige interiors and the adequately sized windows give an airy feel to the cabin unlike the somewhat claustrophobic feel in the Swift
  • The braking is precise and feels adequate for the car. Have tried to avoid hard or panic braking during the initial stages and so can't comment on the effectiveness of the ABS unit
  • The flat torque from this 1.5L i-Dtec: In bumper to bumper traffic with the car in the 2nd or 3rd gear, one can just keep the foot off from the gas and the car moves on
  • Cruising on highways: Drove the car on the Yamuna expressway and the pickup was fantastic in the 90-120 kmph zone. One can really feel the 100 ps of the engine once one moves over the 80 kmph mark
  • Lastly, the air-conditioning is quite effective and cools the cabin well even when the car has been parked for long under sun. I really liked the concept of rotary vents and feel that it allows one to exactly force the air to flow wherever one desires.

What I haven't liked
  • NVH levels in the city: The diesel clatter intruding inside the cabin is definitely much more than other cars like the Swift while the car accelerates in the 2nd and 3rd gears. The engine does become quite silent once one begins cruising in the 5th gear
  • Space for the rear speakers: Unlike the Brio, the rear speakers can't be installed in the rear doors but on the parcel shelf behind the rear set. Since this is a compact sedan, there isn't much space on the rear shelf and only 4 inch speakers can be installed as per my accessory guy. With such small speakers, the sound effect would considerably reduce and I don't understand as to why Honda decided to move the location of the speakers from the doors to the parcel shelf!!
  • In city traffic, the pickup is average and not very electric. Maybe this is due to the absence of the turbo kick which I have got used to with the Swift

Conclusion

To sum up, since this is a completely new product, I was a bit apprehensive about initial niggles before buying it. Having driven so far, have not found one and I just hope that it remains so in the future. Up till now, I am pretty much satisfied with the product and looking at the price point of the base variant and the features it comes with, it looks total paisa vasool to me.

Last edited by sid_deb : 18th May 2013 at 23:28.
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Old 18th May 2013, 23:35   #2
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Thread moved from the Assembly line. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 19th May 2013, 00:04   #3
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Good one. Congrats on owning a honda. The mileage you are getting is fabulous.

Wish you miles of happiness with he.

Thanks
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Old 19th May 2013, 00:13   #4
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Congratulations on the amaze! White colour makes it look bigger. Great car at this price point. Enjoy the iDTec !
Looking forward to more pics and also the ICE installation.
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Old 19th May 2013, 08:00   #5
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Congrats in your Amaze sid_deb!
The car looks very nice in White.
The mileage from the car also seems very good.
Looking forward to more pics of your car and the ICE!
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Old 19th May 2013, 09:41   #6
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Congrats sid_deb.
Thanks for crisp unbiased review.

AT 6.6L on-road this is pure VFM. Fantastic mileage you are getting mate!!

That OVRM, as you rightly state, sticks out like a sore thumb. Any plans to get it changed?

Wish you many many miles and smiles with the car.
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Old 19th May 2013, 11:18   #7
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Congrats on your new buy. Could you please share details of the maintenance schedules ?
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Old 19th May 2013, 11:30   #8
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Hey sid,
Congratulations on your purchase and wishing you many more happy miles ahead.

You driving increased to 2500+ kms per month says a lot about your comfort level with the car. That speaks for itself

Liked you key points to distinguish from the current market leader the swift diesel. Specifically, the finer nuances like the exhaust smell and engine oil color. Kudos to you ..True bhpian style.

I've a couple of questions:
1. Did your delivery get prolonged because you booked the E-MT basic variant compared to the V or S.

2. Which color apart from white is non-metallic. Heard Honda is following Maruti path in charging 4500 plus for metallic / non-metallic colors. New trend which Fiat and Honda taking Maruti path.

3. Did you manage to check the top speed limit of 140kmph.

Cheers
MKP

Last edited by mkpiyengar : 19th May 2013 at 11:31. Reason: spell correction
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Old 19th May 2013, 11:51   #9
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Congrats on your new drive. I was very keen on this car, but the NVH levels turned me of. In city we are mostly on 2nd and 3rd gear and you have stated that its at this gears the noise is the maximum. Have you looked at options to improve NVH. Also how is the feedback at high speeds, after being spoilt by Fiesta i find it difficult to drive any car. The other day i drove a swift and liva and frankly I did not like both of them.
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Old 19th May 2013, 12:40   #10
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Congrats sid_deb! Good review and a fantastic car. Could you please comment on the handling characteristics of the car ? Also, how is the low speed ride ? I have driven my wife's Brio and find that low speed ride is not the best - the car hops and jumps over even minor road undulations (with recommended tyre pressure). Are the rear wheel wells covered in Amaze or is the metal body exposed ? In Brio, due to exposed wheel well, small stones thrown up by the rear wheels cause big unnerving noises in the cabin. Thanks.

Last edited by pc73 : 19th May 2013 at 12:42.
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Old 19th May 2013, 14:49   #11
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Congrats sid_deb on your Amaze.
The Amaze is surely the sub 4 meter sedan to buy and the E-MT variant at 6.6 lakhs on road is sheer VFM proposition.
I'm quite impressed with the mileage figures that you are getting and one could expect it to get better as you drive on.
Drive Safe and do keep us updated.
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Old 19th May 2013, 22:36   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CPJ View Post
Congrats sid_deb on your Amaze.
The Amaze is surely the sub 4 meter sedan to buy and the E-MT variant at 6.6 lakhs on road is sheer VFM proposition.
I'm quite impressed with the mileage figures that you are getting and one could expect it to get better as you drive on.
Drive Safe and do keep us updated.
Thank you so much for your wishes!! I do hope that the mileage increases after the 2nd and 3rd service. Waiting to check the economy figures on the highway though!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by pc73 View Post
Congrats sid_deb! Good review and a fantastic car. Could you please comment on the handling characteristics of the car ? Also, how is the low speed ride ? I have driven my wife's Brio and find that low speed ride is not the best - the car hops and jumps over even minor road undulations (with recommended tyre pressure). Are the rear wheel wells covered in Amaze or is the metal body exposed ? In Brio, due to exposed wheel well, small stones thrown up by the rear wheels cause big unnerving noises in the cabin. Thanks.
Thanks for your wishes!! The car handles well and one can easily cut through corners and round-abouts without a fuss. The steering feedback is good too. As far as the low speed ride goes, I have felt that the car remains planted on the road and one can't feel the minor undulations inside the cabin. The additional weight due to the diesel engine at the front and the wider 175/65 R14 probably help in giving a better ride over the Brio. I am not sure how the suspension setup differs in the Amaze over the Brio though. Which area are you exactly referring to the rear wheel wells? Would be great if you could share a picture!! By the way, the area you are talking about must be covered since I haven't felt any such noise coming inside.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chillout View Post
Congrats on your new drive. I was very keen on this car, but the NVH levels turned me of. In city we are mostly on 2nd and 3rd gear and you have stated that its at this gears the noise is the maximum. Have you looked at options to improve NVH. Also how is the feedback at high speeds, after being spoilt by Fiesta i find it difficult to drive any car. The other day i drove a swift and liva and frankly I did not like both of them.
Thanks Chillout.

I guess I should have mentioned this in the review itself. The high NVH levels that I was talking about in the city, are felt only when one accelerates from around 2000 rpm to about 3000 rpm and above continuously in the 2nd or 3rd gear. However the Amaze has a different state of tune than the popular DDiS engine, where all the action starts after the turbo kicks in at around 1800-2000 rpm. In city traffic, due to its flat torque one hardly needs to step on the gas pedal and even if one does, one can easily lift the car from 1100 rpm and remain in the 1100-1500 rpm range. In this range, the noise coming inside is not much and thus this doesn't look an issue to me. However if one is an aggressive driver and keeps the revs high, the noise would start intruding in almost any diesel car.

There is no denying that Ford cars are excellent handlers. I haven't driven a Fiesta myself and hence can't tell you the difference between these two. However I feel that the high speed manners of this car are adequate. I would suggest that if possible, you should test drive the Amaze and see if the NVH levels and the handling look acceptable to you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mkpiyengar View Post
Hey sid,
Congratulations on your purchase and wishing you many more happy miles ahead.

You driving increased to 2500+ kms per month says a lot about your comfort level with the car. That speaks for itself

Liked you key points to distinguish from the current market leader the swift diesel. Specifically, the finer nuances like the exhaust smell and engine oil color. Kudos to you ..True bhpian style.

I've a couple of questions:
1. Did your delivery get prolonged because you booked the E-MT basic variant compared to the V or S.

2. Which color apart from white is non-metallic. Heard Honda is following Maruti path in charging 4500 plus for metallic / non-metallic colors. New trend which Fiat and Honda taking Maruti path.

3. Did you manage to check the top speed limit of 140kmph.

Cheers
MKP
Thanks a lot for your warm wishes and I am glad that you liked my review.

Yeah, the Swift has not run much since we have bought this car and it has been a really nice experience driving this car so far.

Regarding your questions,

1. I had not expected the car to be delivered so early, though I had booked it before the launch. I don't know as to how the choice of variants are affecting the delivery times. However I have heard a rumor, that people who are getting their cars financed or buying accessory packages from Honda dealerships might get a priority in getting the vehicle.

2. Only white color is non-metallic. All other colors including black are metallic colors. Yes, Honda is charging a premium of around Rs. 4500 for metallic colors. Also only silver,white and black colors are available on the E-variant.

3. Sorry, but I haven't checked the top speed of this car since I did not wish to strain the engine initially. Moreover, with all due respect, I feel that Indian roads don't permit such high speeds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 220kmph View Post
Congrats on your new buy. Could you please share details of the maintenance schedules ?
Pictures of the maintenance schedule (diesel model) from the owner's booklet.

My Honda Amaze i-DTEC Diesel-20130519_210551.jpg

My Honda Amaze i-DTEC Diesel-20130519_210611.jpg

As per the dealer, the engine oil and filter cost Rs. 1200 and 300 respectively. Also the lubricants don't require replacement at every 20,000 kms like the Swift. For instance, the coolant is good till 1,00,000 kms!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by pradyblr View Post
Congrats sid_deb.
Thanks for crisp unbiased review.

AT 6.6L on-road this is pure VFM. Fantastic mileage you are getting mate!!

That OVRM, as you rightly state, sticks out like a sore thumb. Any plans to get it changed?

Wish you many many miles and smiles with the car.
Thank you so much!!

Keeping the ECO lamp on most of the time, has not only helped me understand how to drive this car but also extract such mileage figures!!

No plans as of now to get the ORVM replaced due to present budget constraints, though don't know the cost. Maybe I could get it done if it can be done at a reasonable price.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nipcarlover View Post
Congrats in your Amaze sid_deb!
The car looks very nice in White.
The mileage from the car also seems very good.
Looking forward to more pics of your car and the ICE!
Thanks. Would surely post once I get it done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pyrodrive View Post
Congratulations on the amaze! White colour makes it look bigger. Great car at this price point. Enjoy the iDTec !
Looking forward to more pics and also the ICE installation.
Thanks. Would surely post once I get it done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiv_1984 View Post
Good one. Congrats on owning a honda. The mileage you are getting is fabulous.

Wish you miles of happiness with he.

Thanks
Shiv
Thank you so much!!
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Old 20th May 2013, 01:21   #13
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Congratulations sid for buying the new Honda Amaze Diesel.
Thanks for a nice review, specially highlighting the NVH aspect.
To me also, E or E+ is the best & most VFM variant in Amaze Diesel sedan.

The mileage you're getting in city with full AC is really great, as compared to i got in my New Dzire ZDi which was ~15kmpl, which is now ~18-19kmpl under same cycle.
Good luck & Happy mile munching ahead & Please do keep us updated with its ownership review regularly & its loads of pics.
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Old 20th May 2013, 10:08   #14
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Hey Sid congrats on perhaps the first ownership review of the Amaze. I have seen a black one near my house with fogs so I am guessing that's the top end variant. I would be interested to know how the boot space works out for a family of 4 going on a short trip? Plus can you get the fog lamps fitted from the dealer while taking the delivery?
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Old 20th May 2013, 10:55   #15
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HI @sid_deb

Congrats on the new car. Hope you have wonderful time with the car, & do keep all of us regularly posted.

When I visited the showroom, there was a stampede out there for the Amaze & it took us some time to sit inside the display car. However, what a wonderful package, spacious & despite being under 4m & the fit is also acceptable. My only grudge was the dash which could have been more attractive in wake of the competition, but, as I moved to the bigger stable mate City, I realised this is the family trend for Honda for cars under Rs.10 Lacs.

It seems that wither you or a similar car (Amaze i-Dtec EMT) was around Noida Sec-15 Metro Station on Saturday Morning around 9.30 am, just ahead if me. Was it you...
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