Honda Amaze Test Drive in Pune

Honda Amaze Overview

When the compact sedan segment was born a decade ago, we knew it wasn’t just a flash in the pan. These cars distorted the idea of a sedan for many considering how manufacturers simply slapped a boot onto existing hatchbacks, though we knew the second generation onwards most would become full-fledged, cohesively designed cars. And that’s exactly the case with the second generation Honda Amaze.

The all-new Honda Amaze was first showcased at the 2018 Auto Expo, where it garnered attention for how radically different the design is from the previous generation Amaze. It also boasts higher equipment levels as Honda wants to offer a richer, more premium feel to the compact sedan buyer. And while the previous generation Amaze was the first Honda to use a diesel engine in India, the second generation Amaze is the first diesel to come mated to a CVT. A quick spin behind the wheel of the petrol and diesel versions on the outskirts of Bengaluru helped us acquaint ourselves with the car.View offers on Honda Amaze in Ahmedabad at Autozhop.

Honda Amaze Exterior & Style

The design language is inspired from bigger cars like the Honda City and Civic, which makes for a more muscular stance and is in stark comparison to the older version’s Brio-based front end. I wouldn’t say the design is more modern, in fact there’s a slightly retro feel to the face as the front end is flat and absolutely vertical. There’s a hint some of the 1990’s American muscle cars too, especially the way the headlights and front grille are styled.

I personally like the way the face looks, though the design seems to have received mixed reviews. More importantly, as I mentioned above, the design is a lot more cohesive and one look at the new Amaze should tell you this isn’t a cut-paste job. The way the roofline slopes and merges into the boot looks a lot more appealing thus, and you know Honda’s designers have spent time perfecting this particular portion of the car, given that it has been an Achilles heel for the segment.

The sides aren’t as appealing, with just one crease at the shoulder, which makes the car look drab. The rear end looks good though and reminded me of the last generation City, particularly thanks to the bootlid’s pronounced lip, C-shaped tail lights, the angle of the number plate and the rear bumper. On the whole, this is a well-designed car and I am glad to report that in terms of their design, compact sedans have come of age.

Honda Amaze Interior & Space

Tuck your hand behind the door handles to open either of the front doors and the proximity sensors unlock the car automatically, saving you the effort of pressing any button; a nice touch. The beige-black dashboard looks premium at first glance and Honda has incorporated a piano black trim quite nicely. The rest of the cabin is beige, which lifts the sense of space and airiness on the inside. Finally, Honda has included adjustable front neck rests, and the seats are rather well shaped, offering good side and shoulder support. Taller drivers will find the need to raise the seat height, else they’ll sit in a knees-up position due to the low-set seats. The front passenger’s seat, however, is fixed and is placed very low. The white dials are easy to read and so is the Multi-Information Display (MID), although, the latter can seem a bit cluttered. Overall, ergonomics are spot on and everything falls to hand easily, with several storage areas spread across the cabin.

Like before, the Amaze’s backseat impresses. The recline angle, the cushioning and the support are just right. Legroom at the rear is huge and if you’re chauffeur-driven, this is one of the better backseats around. When it comes to cabin width, you get an extra 80mm of rear shoulder room than on the older car, but it is still best for two passengers only. There are some flaws, like headroom is tight for taller passengers, but what’s most disappointing is the absence of adjustable rear neck restraints; the ones offered now are too short and may result in serious whiplash injuries in the event of a collision.

Build quality and fit-finish, though a significant improvement over the first-gen car, still isn’t great. Plastics are of a better quality but aren’t in the league of the VW Ameo or the Hyundai Xcent. We were surprised when the glovebox popped open every time the car went hard over a sharp pothole. Another area where the Amaze needs a significant improvement is cabin insulation; it doesn’t stop ambient sounds from entering the cabin as nicely as its rivals. Also, a lot of wind noise is quite audible at speeds after 80kph.

To improve its effectiveness, Honda has added a much larger air con compressor, and we’re happy to report that this unit is quite a chiller. Yes, the Amaze still doesn’t get rear air con vents but their presence isn’t missed, as the high-positioned dashboard-centre vents channel air effectively to the back. Boot space is the largest in the segment at 420 litres, bettering the older car’s by 20 litres and the Dzire’s by 42 litres. The wheel wells protrude a bit into the usable luggage space, but it is still adequately large enough for the family’s weekend luggage.

Honda Amaze Engine & Gearbox

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.To know more details on Honda Amaze visit Pasear-w

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.

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 Dynamics

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.Apply car loan for Honda Amaze at Fincarz.

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 Braking & Safety

The Amaze is making a much needed leap forward on this front. With regards to safety, ABS with EBD and dual airbags are offered as standard. Adjustable headrests on the front seats improve the protection level. The driver also gets treated to a reversing camera along with rear parking sensors. The latter is a feature even the City doesn’t have! Cruise control is also on offer here, however, only on the manual variants.

Honda Amaze Price in Ahmedabad

Honda Amaze On Road Price is 6,38,007/- and Ex-showroom Price is 5,80,500/- in Ahmedabad. Honda Amaze comes in 6 colours, namely Majestic Blue Metallic,Alabaster Silver Metallic,Carnelian Red Pearl,Golden Brown Metallic,Urban Titanium Metallic,Taffeta White. Honda Amaze comes with FWD with 1198 CC Displacement and 4 Cylinders with Maximum Power 87 bhp@6000 rpm and Peak Torque 109 Nm@4500 rpm DRIVE TRAIN FWD and reaches 100 KMPH at N/A . Honda Amaze comes with Manual Transmission with FWD .

Honda Amaze Verdict

The 2018 Honda Amaze is clearly a massive step-up from the first generation car in every respect. The car looks a lot more appealing than outgoing version, while the interiors have been spruced up to challenge its updated rivals like the Maruti DZire, Hyundai Xcent, Volkswagen Ameo and Tata Zest. The feature list is a lot more comprehensive now, which adds further to the car’s likeable feel and Honda is clear about wanting a larger share of the lucrative pie that the compact sedan segment is even today, a decade after it was born. The new Amaze will be launched in the second week of May and while it will be priced competitively, expect it to also command a premium over its predecessor. All said and done, the 2018 Honda Amaze does have the firepower to do well in what is easily the most important car segments in the country.

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