Honda Amaze Facelift First Drive

Honda Amaze Overview

The first-gen Amaze was a pioneer for the Honda brand in many ways. It was the first Honda in India to get a diesel engine and it was also the carmaker’s first crack at the compact sedan segment. It went on to become a huge sales success and in the span of five years, it reached 2.5 lakh households to become the second bestseller in the segment (after the Dzire) and the second bestselling Honda too (after the City). So the Amaze is a very important car for Honda, and, for this all-new model, the Japanese company has taken lots of learning from the first-gen car to take the game up several notches.

Gone is the built-to-a-cost Brio platform – a fundamental weakness of the previous-gen model; this time round, the second-gen Amaze is built from a clean sheet of paper, or, specifically, an all-new platform. Honda claims to have engineered and incorporated several features in the new Amaze, based on user feedback. Strengths like space and practicality have been enhanced, the premium feel has been upped and even claimed fuel efficiency, from the familiar 1.2-litre petrol and 1.5-litre diesel engines, has been improved. The option of a diesel-CVT is a trump card that distinguishes the Amaze from its rivals. More on that later. View offers on Honda Cars from Honda dealers in Hyderabad at Autozhop.

Honda Amaze Exteriors

Honda calls it the ‘Dauntless Solid’ design, the goal being to give the Amaze a premium and sensational first impression along with doses of added masculinity. It may not appeal to everyone, but there is no denying that the new Amaze looks a class apart from the competition.Honda seems to have chosen to go with the boxy look to cash in on the rising interest among Indian buyers in cars that look like SUVs. The front, with its tall and long bonnet, Honda’s signature ‘Solid Wing Face’ grille and broad headlamps make the Amaze look wide. The headlights now get LED guidelamps but miss out on projector headlamps altogether.

From the side, the Amaze looks much more proportional than the car it replaces – this is after all a car that was designed from the ground up to be a sedan, and is not a hatchback with a luggage compartment stitched onto it. The boxy dimensions become even more evident when the Amaze is looked at from the side, with both the bonnet and the boot being in parallel with the front and rear bumpers, respectively. The 15-inch alloy wheels are larger than the 14-inch units on the older car and complement the new, bolder look of the Amaze.

Like the front, the rear too feature signature Honda elements on it. The overall design seems to have taken inspiration from the Civic and the Accord. These include the taillamps which extend onto the boot, a prominent boot lip and a stylised bumper. But this is where the Amaze could have looked better, the boot lid could do with some sort of ornamental addition to reduce the bulk, especially on variants painted in the new Radiant Red Metallic option. We did see Honda use a chrome bar on the boot of the unit they showcased at the 2018 Auto Expo and we expect the carmaker to bring it back at the time of launch or at least offer it as an accessory.

Honda Amaze Interiors

The inside story is also completely different. The new dashboard has a neat layout and also gets piano black finish. The instrument cluster is also new and has twin dials for the speedo and tacho. In betwen them is the driver info screen which has information such as trip meters, distance to empty, fuel consumption and a digital clock.The steering wheel is also brand new and is a chunky one. It feels nice to hold. It has controls such as audio and bluetooth and also cruise control, available on the top VX variant only. The steering wheel however does not get leather wrapping, even on the top variant. The gear knob is also new, but is sill small.

The Amaze gets a new 7-inch touchscreen system with Android Auto, Apple Car Play, Mirror Link and Navigation. There is a reverse camera as well. This touchscreen comes only on the VX variant. It has a good touch mechanism however the resolution is only 480p. The audio system is decent, with 4 speakers. The quality of the reverse camera is average. In bright sunlight visiblity of the screen does get affected. There is automatic climate control available on the V and VX variants.

Storage spaces are in abundance. All 4 doors can take a 1 litre bottle, There are cupholders on the front console and also space for keeping other stuff as well a a 1 litre bottle. The glovebox is not too big but has decent enough space. There are two 12V ports and a fast charging USB option too, however only in the VX variant.The seats are also new and much better now. The cushioning is soft and the padding is comfortable. The front seats now have an adjustable headrest. There is a grab handle on the tp even for the driver and we do not the the reason for that.

The rear has more space now as the knee room has increased by 25mm.However, three persons cannot sit very comfortably due to limited shoulder room. There is a armrest at the rear and the rear headrests are fixed. One annoying thing was that there is very little headroom. Tall passengers or large sized individuals will have their head touching the roof, at the rear and also to the grab handles. There are no rear AC vents available. Though Honda says that cooling is now 26% better, rear AC would have helped more, especially for hot summers.

Honda Amaze Performance

Honda has delegated the familiar 1,199cc, four-cylinder petrol engine and a 1,498cc four-cylinder diesel engine to power the Amaze. While the petrol unit makes 90hp and 110Nm of torque in both, the five-speed manual and the CVT, the diesel makes 100hp and 200Nm of torque with the five-speed manual, but a slightly lower 80hp and 160Nm of torque with the CVT. This time around, Honda claims to have improved overall sound insulation and has redesigned the engine block, used a different head cover material and optimised the engine mounts, all in the interest of keeping a check on the noise and vibration levels inside the cabin. While the petrol engine remains extremely refined at idle, the diesel is noticeably quieter and more refined than before. It’s only when the motor is revved harder does it get vocal; but even then, it’s more of a drone than a diesel clatter that can be heard inside the cabin. It isn’t all good news, though, as vibrations are still felt on the pedals and steering of the diesel Amaze.

In terms of its characteristic, the diesel engine remains unchanged. It’s responsive from the word go, and, being a big engine in a light car, it feels effortless in the way it performs. Turbo lag is negligible and those who drive in higher gears at low engine speeds will love the unit’s linear yet effortless nature. Spin it past 2,000rpm and it pulls ahead with a sense of urgency. The wave of torque continues all the way until 4,300rpm, after which power cuts off abruptly. This engine maxes out at 142kph (like before) and feels as though it has hit a wall – like the engine has been restricted even though it feels capable to go faster. 0-100kph is a significant 2sec quicker than the outgoing version, and even in-gear times are much faster. It’s worth noting that the gear ratios haven’t been changed, so the credit for this improved performance goes to the engine tuning and the kerb weight, which has reduced by 52kg. The clutch travel, however, is a bit long. The pedal is eager to spring back up when depressed and the release point is high. The five-speed manual has short throws and slots into the gates smoothly, although, not as smooth as some of its rivals. For more info on Honda Amaze  check   

The diesel with the CVT makes 20 percent less power compared to the manual and Honda says that this was done to prevent belt slippage and preserve the life of the transmission. For regular city driving, the CVT is just so convenient and paired so well to the engine that the power deficit isn’t noticeable. There’s always power available on tap, it shifts ratios extremely smoothly and is fantastic in the way it operates. It isn’t jerky in its operation like an AMT and neither does it get confused at lower speeds. Mash the throttle hard and the CVT instantly reacts by holding revs at 3,700rpm as the car builds speed. Acceleration is just 0.8sec slower than the manual and top speed is locked at 143kph.

The petrol engine is very refined in the way it does the job. It delivers a satisfactory performance in the city. There are prominent tugs in power beyond 2,000rpm and 3,500rpm, and this engine feels most energetic beyond 5,000rpm, spinning all the way until 6,700rpm. Those who love driving will love to rev it hard, but most users will find the performance at mid revs to be weak. Honda has tweaked the gear ratios of the petrol-manual which now gets a taller final drive but shorter first, second and third gears (for better acceleration). The fourth gear is significantly taller and this is noticeable while trying to overtake traffic at highway speeds. 40-100kph in fourth gear takes an agonising 25.26sec. If the momentum breaks on the highway, the petrol warrants a downshift to build speed again. Overall acceleration timings are almost identical to the older car, but the top speed is now 146kph. Like the diesel, the clutch travel is a bit long and its springy characteristic demands a conscious effort to drive smoothly.

The CVT paired to the petrol does a far better job than the manual in delivering the power. The spikes in power delivery are masked well and this extracts the best performance from the engine. It is keen to upshift and keeps the engine revs low in the city. Put your foot down, and it’ll hold revs at 6,000rpm, as the speedo needle climbs rapidly. There’s also a Sport mode on offer that keeps the car in a lower ratio, thus keeping the engine on the boil. Acceleration is significantly quicker, with the CVT managing 0-100kph 2.5sec quicker than the first-gen Amaze with a five-speed torque converter. The paddleshifters are nice to use and react well to inputs; these are particularly useful when there’s a need for engine braking or for a more involving feel.

Honda Amaze Driving

The new Amaze is a big improvement in this department. The new chassis is lighter and so the car is more chuckable. It handles better than the earlier model and the steering response is also better. High speed stability is good and it gives more confidence during cornering. The brakes are fine, but I would have preferred some more bite, specially at high speeds. What impressed us most is the rear seat ride quality. The new suspension has revised damping and the feel is close to a European car. The car also doesn’t get unsettled easily o bad patches. The glove box of the car kept popping open whenever we ran over a speed breaker. A lock adjustment would solve that issue.

Honda Amaze Safety

The standard safety equipment list is long too – ABS, EBD, dual front airbags and ISOFIX anchor points are offered as standard on all variants.Honda has equipped the top VX variant of the Amaze with all the features that we’ve come to expect from a car at this price, like the 15-inch alloys, shark-fin antenna, keyless entry, start/stop button, electric folding mirrors, 7.0-inch touchscreen, reverse camera, climate control and cruise control. Safety kit like ABS with EBD, dual front airbags, Isofix child seat mounts and parking sensors are standard across the range.

The CVTs, however, are available only in the lower S and V variants, which also get a 2-din audio system with Bluetooth instead of the touchscreen. The petrol-auto gets segment-first paddleshifters as well. The Amaze still misses out on some features that its competitors get, like projector LED headlamps, daytime running lamps, rear air con vents, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, driver armrest and a cooled glovebox.

Honda Amaze Cost in Mumbai

Honda Amaze On-Road Price in Mumbai ranges from 6,43,755 to 10,45,550 for variants Amaze E MT Petrol and Amaze V CVT Diesel respectively. Honda Amaze is available in 12 variants and 6 colours. Below are details of Honda Amaze variants price in Mumbai. Check for Amaze price in Mumbai at Carzprice.

Honda Amaze Final Thought

The Honda Amaze was always a practical and spacious car. It strated to get outdated, specially after the arrival of its revamped rivals. 2018 Honda Amaze is a big improvement over the earlier car and is also a well rounded package now. It also offers a diesel CVToption, making it a good choice for many buyers. The only glitch is that the top end variant does not get a CVT option. We feel that this may not go down too well with those looking for an automatic. The price will be announced next month, which will prove whether it is value for money or not. However, it has got us impressed in most areas.

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