Despite being a sub 4-metre, the Amaze has loads of space on the inside and a massive boot of 400 litres. Even the quality of the plastics, the fit and finish are good on the Amaze. The Amaze gets integrated music system, electrically folding mirrors, USB connectivity as standard on its range topping VX version.
Interior styling of the instrument panel will be similar to the Brio, nevertheless we expect a few more frills on the sedan. The Amaze gets electrically adjustable mirrors, with electrical folding. The quality of materials is decent and even the fit and finish is decent. The integrated head rest is there even on the Amaze, just like the Brio hatch.
The Amaze might be a sub 4-metre sedan, but it is definitely the most spacious in its segment. Honda’s man maximum, machine minimum has made it possible to have loads of space in the front and the rear, with a massive boot of 400 litres. The wheelbase has also been extended by a good 60mm, which has amended the knee room for the second row passengers.
E: E is the base variant on the Amaze and it is available only on the manual versions. This variant gets front chrome grille, body coloured bumpers, power steering, power windows, AC, driver info display, tachometer and ABS with EBD only on the diesel model. The interiors are single tone beige fabric.
EX: The EX gets body coloured door handles and ORVMs, 1 DIN music system with speakers are the additional features. The diesel variant again gets ABS with EBD and this variant is also available only on the manual versions.
S/SAT: The S version is available for manual, while the automatic gets SAT. This variant gets keyless entry, driver seat height adjustment, power adjustable ORVMs, power socket, 2 DIN music system and chrome surrounds on air vents.
VX/VXAT: This is the top of the line version, with electrically adjustable and folding ORVMs, ABS with EBD, airbags and all the bells and whistles.
Micra is a high-refined product form the Japanese automotive manufacturer. It is light and driving it is a breeze. The space is sufficient with decent seating. It also comes loaded with bells and whistles that are now being introduced in other B+ segment hatchbacks.
The Micra continues with its curvy theme for the interiors. The door handles, the tachometer, the air-con vents, the centre console all are round in shape. With the Micra, you can cash-in on features like keyless entry, push button start and electrically folding ORVMs, which are first-in segment. The quality of the interiors plastics is good and the fit and finish is also decent.
The space in the Micra is good. The space for the front row is sufficient with enough support for your back and thighs. At the rear, though the thigh support could have been better. The size of the boot is also sufficient.
XE: The XE is the base model on the Micra and it is available only on the petrol version. The XE comes with body coloured bumpers, integrated head rests in the front seats, power steering, tilt steering, driver airbag and manual AC.
XL: The XL is the model above XE and it is again available only in the petrol version. The XL version comes with rear wipers and washer, adjustable front and rear seats, in-dash music system with 4-speakers with aux-in port, tachometer, rear parcel tray, central locking and remote keyless entry. There is an inclusion of the USB and Bluetooth connectivity as well.
XV: The XV is the top model for the petrol engine and the base model for the diesel engine. The XV version comes with body coloured ORVMs and door handles, rear defogger, electrically foldable mirrors, keyless entry and push start. The petrol comes with dual airbags and ABS, while the diesel version only gets driver airbag and no ABS. The petrol and diesel also get front fog lamps.
XV Premium: The XV Premium is available only on the diesel version and front fog lamps, alloys and 15-inch tyres. Also the XV Premium gets rear spoiler and leather wrapped steering wheel and gear knob. It now even gets ABS as an added feature and it gets reverse parking camera as well.
The engines and their performance are good on the Amaze, and there are no second thoughts to how good Honda engines have been. The 88bhp petrol and 98bhp diesel engines on the Amaze are powerful and one of the best in its segment, atleast on the manuscript. The acceleration produced by the Amaze is decent and it is very drivable, unlike competition.
1.2-litre petrol: The iVTEC from Honda makes driving bliss. This is another fine example of Honda’s engine craftsmanship. This perky engine is easy to drive with a strong mid-range. The exhaust note sweetens as you rev it and the engine being eager to spin faster even when it closes to red-line. Power delivery is linear and Amaze happily touches 100km/hr. Alibi, extra efforts are needed to excel above the 100 mark. Honda petrol engines are one of the reliable motors, and this is no exception. It comes mated to a five-speed manual or automatic transmission. The golf ball gear knob is easy to grab and the shifts on the gearbox are short and seamless. The Amaze is the only sedan in this segment to have a five-speed automatic transmission— others have a four-speeder.
1.5-litre diesel: The i-DTEC engine that India gets is a 1.5-litre, which is a derivative of the 1.6-litre i-DTEC. This has been done to get the duty cut on the diesel engines. The 1.5-litre engine churns out 98bhp of power and 200Nm of torque. This is the most powerful diesel engine in this segment and we are impressed by the power it produces. . But the power delivery is fairly linear, without any turbo lag. The low-end torque is decent and the drivability factor is also high. Even the five-speed manual transmission on the Amaze has short throws and positive shifts. Clutch pedal is light, making driving a breeze.
Both the engines on the Micra are refined and drivable. The 1.5-litre diesel is a highly frugal engine with low NVH levels, both the petrol and diesel are recommendable. It all depends on your usage. For automatic, you only have the petrol CVT.
Nissan is another recent entrant that introduced the Micra for the Indian car market. The Micra has a three-pot 1.2-litre petrol engine with 75bhp and 104Nm under its belt. The engine has low NVH levels and it pulls seamlessly once the tachometer needle crosses 2000rpm. If you are the more attuned type, you shall notice that the engine shows a slight hesitation before the revs rise, even though it is quite imperceptible.
The petrol engine comes mated to the 5-speed manual. The gear shifts are a tad rubbery. The engine doesn’t show any sign of strain when you lug it in a high gear. Overtaking in Micra is a breeze. The ARAI mileage of the Micra petrol is 18.06kmpl. There is also the CVT box available on the Micra that is a good option for those drive within city. The fuel efficiency of the CVT box hasn’t been shared by ARAI, but Nissan claims it to be about 19kmpl.
Nissan gets the K9K engine from the Renault’s stable. This is the same engine that powers the Mahindra Verito, Renault Pulse. This engine churns out 63bhp of power at 4000rpm and 160Nm of torque at 2000rpm. K9K is another engine, which after the multijet is gaining popularity in the Indian car scene. None of the compared machines in this lot comes anywhere close to the smoothness, refinement and frugalness offered by this mill. Power delivery is linear just like a petrol car with no sign of latency from the turbocharger. Overtakes in the Micra are just a right foot away.
Even the diesel engine like the petrol comes mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. Gearing is spot-on however the rubbery shifts are a let-down to such a well-engineered powertrain. The ARAI claimed mileage for the oil burner version of the Micra is 23.08kmpl.
The Amaze is a bit softer than Brio for better ride but yet it is a good handler. It has been crafted for family use hence, it has better ride than the Brio.
The Amaze has a softer rear suspension, when compared to the Brio. This has been done for better ride for the rear passengers, and also for the fact that the wheelbase has been extended by 60mm. The softer rear means a more composed ride on rough roads. The ride is smooth and it doesn’t feel jittery even on rough surfaces. The handling of the Amaze is decent. It feels that the rear steps out, but it doesn’t really. The body roll is also minimal and even the tyres grip well. The chassis is well balanced as it twists well to take the load. The steering wheel is also light and easy to drive in city traffic making it stress free driving. The other advantage is that the vehicle has good visibility.
Micra has one of the best ride suppleness as it has softly sprung suspension. The handling is decent for city driving, for which the hatchback has been built.
All the cars in this segment have a sorted ride as the suspension doesn’t jiggle and disturb the peace of the occupants. Road undulations are well-taken care by the suspension. The Micra has one of the best ride suppleness as it underpins the softest suspension set-up that glides over potholes. The Micra has the McPherson struts at its front and torsion beam at its end.
The suspension set-up being soft, it isn’t a great handler. The handling is just fine. It is just that some manufacturers have further raised the standards for some cars. Even the light steering wheel makes driving a breeze. Driving and maneuvering in city becomes easy. Now with reverse parking camera, tight spot parking is also easy.