As I write this post, Honda has almost set the record of driving the Amaze for a grueling 23,000 kilometers. The car has completed 15,000 kilometers with 21 days to go to set the record and being driven by Bunny Punia, Shantonil Nag and team.
I had driven the Honda Amaze from Navi Mumbai to Aamby Valley and back (read the blog post here) and had an amazing time. The lavish space in the car, refinement of the engine & gearbox and drive quality had impressed me. So when the team which is aiming to achieve this record was in Mumbai, I had to pay them a visit.
The event was held at International The Lalit and started early. I got a chance to catch up with a few people whom I had met at the previous event. After breakfast (lovely chicken sandwiches, coffee and cookies), we settled down to hear from the marketing team about the engineering innovations which the Amaze boasts of. Some include offering loads of space in a car which is about 4 meters in length, a windshield which keeps the car 6 degrees cooler than competition and an engine with a good boost while being fuel efficient at the same time.
Bunny Punia walked up to the podium next, showcasing a lovely video and a series of photos narrating his experience with the Amaze since he had started driving it. We then went out for a photograph with the car, which is when I got to speak to him.
Manufacturers will always speak about their car in glowing terms. But when an independent ex-auto journalist, whom you have been following since about 10 years, praises the car, you know you have a winner. Bunny said that the car was quite comfortable and they had done more than 12,000 kilometers in it without a glitch. He said that he wasn’t carrying any tools except an emergency tire inflator. He hadn’t felt the need for any. The car was reliable on rough patches as it was on the highway and was munching miles with ease.
I then got the opportunity to speak to Shakeel san, the marketing head of Honda Cars India (at Honda India, they term each other ‘san’ like in Japan, as a mark of respect). We had a long discussion where he informed me about the Mobilio doing very well in sales and that they were soon setting up a manufacturing plant in Gujarat (both these news were later reported in newspapers). It was quite an enlightening decision, where I got to leant more about Honda’s marketing and product development strategies. Add to that a delicious lunch (I ate so much that I skipped dinner) and you can be assured that it was a memorable event.
I have spoken to some Honda Amaze owners since the ‘Hang Out with Honda’ event. I wanted to know whether the car continues to impress over a period of time. And most of them have echoed the sentiments of Bunny. They say the car is reliable and doesn’t need maintenance. The car lives up to the Honda brand’s reputation by offering reliability, refinement and a ‘feel-good’ factor to drivers. For anyone who is looking to own a comfortable sedan in the sub 10 lakh price range, the Honda Amaze is definitely recommended.