Back in 2013 when it was launched, Honda Amaze created its new and successful segment in the compact segment. It has been a hot cake when sales numbers are considered. Other manufacturers tried very hard, but were more or less unable to match its sales. For 2016, Honda has refreshed the new Amaze making it an even unbeatable package. It now gets a revitalised new face and tail lamp. Also the new interior fixes the only chink in its armour. We take out for a drive to see what’s what.
The new Honda Amaze now sports a bold new fascia with a more prominent chrome grille. Already a funky looking front has now been made classy and bulkier. Its looks like a complete sedan and not a jumped up hatchback at all. The new blue colour you see here is now deeper in shade and adds a dash of elegance to this very well sorted sub-compact sedan.
Majority of the changes will be noticed inside the new Amaze. The dashboard has been completely reworked upon and changed for good. All the fiddly knobs have been changed with well placed buttons. The new car has automatic climate control with its display screen and the new 2-DIN infotainment system is easier to use. You get USB AUX-in and Bluetooth connectivity to handle all your entertainment requirements. Still no CD player as this car is aimed at the techno savvy younger generation audience. Instrument cluster is new and has been picked up from the City, fuel gauge from the Jazz. Two tone black and beige colour of the interior makes it feel airy and spacious. What is even better is the quality of plastics used and fit-and-finish.
Another peculiar convenience that you’ll experience here is the brilliant noise isolation that Honda has done to this car. We’re driving the petrol version and are surprised how quiet the cabin is at 100kmph here on the open highway. Five adults feel comfortable inside the cabin and the boot is big enough to carry their luggage for a weekend travel.
Engine and performance
Engines are the same i-VTEC petrol and i-DTEC diesel unit as earlier which perform just fantastic in the Amaze. The petrol now comes with an automatic CVT transmission option which as claimed returns more fuel efficiency over the manual option. We are driving here is the petrol manual version that just reminds us how smooth and responsive this engine is. Nothing has changed mechanically over the previous version, but then nothing has to be changed as everything engine, transmission, steering just works perfectly well. Power delivery is linear with a smooth build-up of power through the rising revs and a growly engine note backing it all up. Diesel is slightly noisier than the petrol, but better insulation has lowered noise inside the cabin.
Ride and handling
Handling is nippy through congested streets and you can quickly align it through tight traffic. Ride quality is supple and Amaze really likes to be shoved into tight corners. It is an enjoyable car to drive and it stays true to its lines on highway speeds. Some might feel the ride slightly hard as it gets bumpy at very low speeds, but improves as you go faster.
Safety and equipment
Honda had already made great efforts by giving an ACE body structure to the Amaze which is lighter and rigid adding to stability. Now for even more safety Honda is offering optional Dual Airbags even on the base version of Amaze. Engine immobilizer comes as standard on all variants, but ABS with EBD has been skipped on two of the base petrol variants. Happiliy ABS with EBD comes as standard on all diesel variants. Equipment list is decent for the asking price, you get digital AC controls, front and rear power windows, central locking and tachometer even on the base models. Features get richer with keyless entry, driver seat height adjustment, automatic climate control, Bluetooth telephony and alloy wheels as you move up the variant range.
Honda has just put it back in front of the line as the obvious choice for somebody looking for an exciting to drive, spacious and fuel efficient sub-compact sedan. It is an all-rounder when it comes to accomodating five people in comfort and pamper them with its superior performance and features. Better looking and with completely new interior, Amaze will surely win customers over if they had any previous doubts.
Images by Mohd. Nasir