Finally, a diesel from Honda

The Amaze is the saloon version of the Brio hatchback, and will be available by mid-2013

The car you see here is Honda's new compact saloon that will go on sale in India in mid-2013, called the Amaze. It's based on the Brio hatchback and it will slot-in below the City in Honda's saloon line-up. Importantly, since its length is under four metres, it's the latest entrant to the compact saloon category. Tata's Indigo eCS and, more recently, the new Maruti Swift Dzire rule this segment. In case you are wondering why we've highlighted its length, you should know that as per the government's taxation rules, any car with a length of under four metres is considered a small car and correspondingly subject to a lower rate of excise duty. This crucial detail means you can expect the Amaze to be priced competitively. We expect pricing to be similar to the Swift Dzire and significantly lesser than full-size saloons like the City. Now that we have your attention, let's take a look at the car in detail.

It doesn't take much time to establish that the Amaze is the saloon version of the Brio hatchback. In fact, right up till the front doors, the two cars are near identical. It's only the different front bumper and a restyled bar of chrome on the front grille that distinguish the Amaze from the Brio. The big differences between the two start at the rear doors. In an attempt to increase cabin space, Honda has extended the Brio's wheelbase by 60mm to 2405mm. This, along with the different roof line, has warranted the need for larger rear doors.

Thereafter, you'll like how neatly Honda's designers have managed to integrate the boot section to the Brio's hatchback body to give it a clearly defined three-box silhouette. The City-like wraparound tail-lamps and smooth creases on the rear bumper only help the appearance further. That said, the boot-lid itself looks quite ordinary but it does open to reveal a fairly large luggage bay. Sure, the Amaze's boot is not as accommodating as the ones on the Etios, Manza or Verito, but we think it strikes the right balance between size and practicality.

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