Which of the two diesel automatic compact sedans should you be putting your money on?
Although an increasing number of buyers in the Rs 7-10 lakh bracket are moving towards compact SUVs, sedans under 4m in length still have a sizeable control over the market. Incase you are looking for diesel powered compact sedans that also offer the convenience of an automatic, these are the only two options.
Honda launched the 2021 Honda Amaze with minor updates yesterday and this car, along with the Hyundai Aura are the only two diesel automatic offerings. But which one of these should you opt for and why? We try to make this decision simpler through our quick, no-nonsense comparison
Design & Dimensions
Both the cars have identical length of 3995mm but its Amaze sits wider and lower, giving it a sportier stance. It also has a more elegant design as compared to the Aura though it the latter that flaunts its modern and bold design - for example the bigger grille, the jazzier alloys and the unconventional rear end. If you want to play safe, the Honda Amaze is the pick but if you want to experiment with a design that might look funkier, the Aura is what we recommend.
The 420 litre boot of the Amaze seems to be better designed and integrated into the body while also offering more space than the Aura’s boot which is rated at 402 litres. Top versions of both the cars come with similar sized 175mm wide tyres on 15 inch alloy wheels
Interiors and features
Both the cars offer ample space for a family of five and inspite of being under 4 meters in length to enjoy small car tax benefits, rear knee and legroom is impressive. In terms of sheer comfort though, the Amaze has an upper hand. Honda is achieved perfection when it comes ’machine minimum, man maximum’ concept, edging the Aura even in the space department. If you want to be chauffeur drive, the Honda is our choice too.
That said, the Aura’s cabin, seen above, offers a few more features than the Amaze - a bigger touch screen, a larger LCD display in the speedometer, wireless charging, cooled glovebox, drive rear view monitor to name a few. So if you want to impress your family or friends, the Aura it is!
Engine and gearbox
This is where things become very interesting. The Amaze first - with the automatic gearbox, the engine is tuned to deliver 80 PS as against 100 PS on the manual diesel. Thankfully, maximum power comes in at a lower rpm than that of the Aura. Even though the Amaze has a clear engine capacity advantage (1500cc vs 1200cc) over the Aura’s unit, the Honda offering produces peak torque of only 160 Nm as compared to 190 Nm that the Aura offers.
But what makes a huge difference to the driving experience is the CVT or continuously variable transmission gearbox that the Amaze diesel offers. This is a far better unit than that of the AMT (automated manual transmission) which the Aura offers. The Amaze’s CVT has no jerks or lags whatsoever and thanks to unlimited ratios, it steps up smoothly. Ditto for part throttle response. The Aura’s low cost AMT on the other hand robs you of driving pleasure.
Pricing and verdict
Hyundai offers the Aura diesel AMT in two trims of S and SX. In addition to have a low cost AMT, a mid-trim version also helps to keep the price range lower. Further more, the recent hike in Amaze diesel prices has further widened the gap between both the cars. So while you pick the Aura S AMT for Rs 8.4 lakh and SX+ AMT for Rs 9.3 lakh, the Amaze’s sole diesel CVT (VX) is priced at Rs 11.15 lakh, all prices being ex-showroom Delhi.
Even if we compare the top versions of both the cars, an on-road price difference of about Rs 2 lakh is difference big enough for buyers to consider. True the Amaze offers better comfort and a smoother driving experience, but at this price point, the Aura diesel AMT cannot be overlooked at all. Either ways, you won’t be going wrong with your purchase decision.