Twist the ignition in both cars, and you’ll instantly agree that the Dzire’s engine is more refined and is less heard within the cabin. This is simply due to a brilliant noise insulation job carried out. Lack of similar insulation on the Amaze, along with the characteristic trait exhibited by CVT gearbox of clinging to the higher rev-range, results in more decibels from the engine at slow speeds.
Power for Maruti’s Dzire comes from the 1.3-litre 74bhp diesel engine with 190Nm on tap. In comparison, the Honda Amaze’s larger 1.5-litre mill makes a higher 80bhp. On the flipside though, it churns out a markedly lower 160Nm of torque. Couple the Dzire’s superior 30Nm torque advantage to its 990kg weight, vis-à-vis the Amaze’s 1040kg, and I know what’s going through your mind. But that’s what is on paper.
In real life though, when off the mark, the Amaze’s torque is unleashed with a strong and consistent tug that’s quite unlike the Dzire’s which feels sedate in comparison. Furthermore, in bumper-to-bumper traffic situations, the Dzire’s AMT gearbox’s shift lag can get jerky. One needs to be careful with a foot on the brake, else it could just leap and upshift when you intend to slow down or maintain a specific speed.
Since the Dzire’s AMT gearbox requires one to be constantly alert at creeping traffic speeds, it kills the whole idea of having an automatic for comfort (other than the absence of the clutch of-course). On the other hand, there are no such concerns involving the Amaze’s CVT whose power delivery is much smoother and linear. This makes the Amaze’s power output more predictable and far more usable.
Although the Dzire’s AMT shift-lag decreases substantially as speeds rise, it just can’t match the Amaze’s strong and constant flow of torque throughout the rev-range. To give you a perspective, despite testing the Amaze in wet conditions, 0-100kmph took a quicker 12.71 seconds unlike the Dzire’s 13.14 seconds (dry conditions).
Even the 20-80kmph and 40-100kmph drivability tests, an indication of quicker overtaking, are clocked in a swifter 6.58 seconds and 9.04 seconds by the Amaze. In the Dzire though, it took longer - 8.19 seconds and 10.49 seconds respectively. However, it needs to be said that the Amaze’s engine noise (due to its CVT) isn’t as prominent as speeds rise, since it is overpowered by the road noise, tyre noise and other exterior noises that filter into the cabin.
On the fuel efficiency front, while both cars returned more-or-less 19kmpl on the highway, it is the city-run that surprised us. The Amaze returned a substantially higher 16kmpl when compared to the Dzire’s 14.2kmpl.