Honda Amaze Facelift Review & Test Drive

Honda Amaze Overview

Honda has launched the all-new Amaze in India in the highly competitive compact sedan segment. Unveiled at the 2018 Delhi Auto Expo for the first time, the compact sedan boasts a completely new design inspired by the bigger sedans from the Japanese brand. Also, it gets a refreshed styling and features inside the cabin along with wide range of advanced safety features. Not only that, the car gets CVT with both petrol and diesel engines making this one of the most desirable car in the segment.Apart from the styling and updated new features, the paddle shifter and improved performance have made the sedan much more appealing.   Honda Amaze price range in India is between 5,62,960/-to 8,99,900/ check for detail pricing of Honda Amaze in Carzprice

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Honda Amaze Design

The previous-generation Amaze was based on the Brio hatchback and that reflected in its overall design. However, this second-generation model has been developed from scratch and its platform will serve as a base for future Honda models. The new car sheds 40-60kg due to the use of high tensile steel that’s lighter yet stronger than conventional pressed steel panels. Honda claims that the overall structure has been further strengthened, cross sections have been beefed up and crumple zones are stronger now, making the car ready to meet all upcoming crash test regulations.Like the older generation, the dimensions of the Amaze have been restricted to sub-four-metres, qualifying it for a lower tax structure. It is 5mm longer and 15mm wider than the car it replaces, and the front and rear track have increased by 23mm and 28mm, respectively, so its stance feels more planted and proportionate than before. The wheelbase has gone up by a significant 65mm to 2,470mm.

The overall design is very different from the older car – it is smart, stylish and doesn’t look like a compromised compact sedan; instead, it looks more expensive now. A talking point of the Amaze’s design – and one that divides opinion – is the vertical grille that looks like the car has rammed into a wall. But to many, the chunky chrome grille looks really good. Even though the wheels are an inch larger than before, at 15 inches, they appear a size smaller and don’t fill the large wheel wells nicely and the design seems bland, especially when compared to what Maruti offers. Unlike the distinctive two slashes on the older car, the waist line now is subtle. The biggest change, however, is at the rear where the ‘C’-shaped tail-lamps give the car a mini-Civic-like look.

Honda Amaze Cabin

Honda has really gone to town with the new Amaze. Even the cabin has been fully updated with a sleek new layout and new materials. You get a nicer looking instrument cluster with plenty of driving related information and a new multimedia display with built in navigation, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The Amaze now even gets push button start, keyless entry and LED turn indicators on wing mirrors. The quality of plastics are on part with the segment, however, it isn’t as consistent as the Hyundai Xcent.Moving onto space and comfort, the front seats are wide and well padded, however, we would have liked some more thigh support. On the plus side, we didn’t have any complaints with the rear seat comfort as the bench itself is nicely contoured and the seat base is long enough to keep under thigh support in check.

The only downside is that the cabin isn’t wide enough to have three people at the back in total comfort. Visibility all around is pretty good, with a large windscreen along with plenty of glasshouse with the front and rear windows. All the controls up front are logically laid out and easy to use although we found the steering mounted controls a little too small for our liking. Finally, the 420-litre boot is slightly larger than the old car but the loading height isn’t the best in its class.

Honda Amaze Engine

Given that most of you probably are keen to know about how the diesel CVT works, we will get on with it first. To begin with, Honda has detuned the 1.5-litre diesel engine to make it work more efficiently with the CVT gearbox. As a result, it makes 80bhp and 160Nm (as against 100bhp/200Nm as standard). However, within minutes of driving the CVT equipped variant you can feel the improvements in driving comfort. Firstly, Honda has put in some work to make the engine less noisy and improved the sound deadening. The diesel clatter, as a result, is well subdued compared to the old car.

Secondly, the turbo lag has gone down considerably compared to the manual. Sure, there is still that strong pull around midrange and the car will effortlessly climb up to highway speeds but the difference here is that the CVT masks nearly all of the lag with the way it works. That said, just like every other CVT, this one has a rubber band effect too which means flooring the pedal will have the revs climb up immediately. The gearbox even has an S mode which keeps the revs high for better pulling power. However, under heavy throttle you can hear a lot of diesel clatter in this mode compared to when you put it in drive.All in all, this engine gearbox combination works better than the petrol CVT Amaze if you are after effortless performance and efficiency. In the corners, the Amaze isn’t as sharp as the Ford Aspire or even the Maruti Dzire but feels balanced nonetheless and offers good body control and feedback from the steering which contribute to above average dynamics in this segment. As for the ride quality, the car absorbs most of the rough stuff with ease thanks to the well calibrated dampers. Still, expansion joints and sharp-edged inconsistencies can be felt in the cabin and at high speeds there is some amount of vertical movement especially when the car is loaded. It’s not a deal breaker though just a point worth making.

Honda Amaze Driving

The Amaze is softly sprung and the travel range of the suspension is quite long. While this results in good bump absorption over broken roads, it crashes over sharper ones. Although ground clearance is rated at 170mm, with a full load of passengers, the rear suspension compresses quite a bit (just like the old Civic), so the car is susceptible to scraping its underbelly over speed breakers. At higher speeds, the Amaze bobs a bit more than usual over expansion joints and vertical movements over wavy surfaces are noticeable.Its steering has some weight to it, more in the diesel than the petrol, and while it remains consistent, it isn’t very precise. The turn-in isn’t sharp like its rivals and it doesn’t feel agile or willing to change direction quickly. Understeer (or the car’s tendency to continue in a straight line despite turning the steering) is noticed a fair bit when driven briskly. Body roll is on the higher side, again as a result of the softer suspension set-up. What’s nice though are the brakes that offer great feedback and inspire confidence while shedding speed.

Honda Amaze Safety

The new Honda Amaze gets several safety features that include dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, child seat anchor points and seatbelt warning. The structure itself is capable of absorbing impact offering better protection to the occupants.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. View offers on Honda Cars from Honda dealers in Hyderabad at Autozhop

Honda Amaze Price

Honda Amaze Ex-Showroom Price in India ranges from 5,62,960/- (Amaze E MT Petrol) to 8,99,900/- ( Amaze V CVT Diesel). Get best offers for Honda Amaze from Honda Dealers in India

Honda Amaze Verdict

So there you have it, the new Honda Amaze. It’s bold, its aggressive looking and in many ways better than the old car. You get more features as standard, a better looking cabin and a whole lot of convenience as you get the CVT gearbox in both petrol and diesel engine options. On the other hand, what lets it down is the inconsistent cabin quality and a mediocre petrol engine. Given the wide range of engine and powertrain options, Honda is clearly aiming at the Maruti Suzuki Dzire which also gets an automatic for both petrol and diesel versions. However, the Amaze CVT could become noticeably more expensive since CVT technology comes in at a much higher cost compared to the relatively rudimentary AMT gearbox.

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