Honda Amaze Hatchback First Look Review

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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.

Honda Amaze Look

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 Comfort

Honda’s conservative approach, particularly when it comes to equipment levels has seen buyers complain, but the new Amaze should change that. But first, let me tell you about the interior design. The dashboard looks clean, sans the busy-ness seen in a lot of new-age cars. It is a simple layout with a mix of matte black and piano-black plastics. The central air-conditioning vents sit at the top of the centre console, below which is the 7-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system (on offer only in the top, VX variant).Check for Honda Amaze price in Ahmedabad at Tryaldrive.

The steering wheel is new and looks and feels nice with its revised controls. The seats and lower half of the cabin are beige-hued, making for a nice contrast with the black finish of the top half while also offering a roomy feel. A definite highlight inside is the amount of space you get courtesy the new chassis. Honda has spaced the front and rear wheels further apart from each other to increase the wheelbase by 65mm. The car is 5mm longer at 3995mm and 15mm wider at 1695mm which means there’s more shoulder room, legroom and kneeroom and Honda says there’s an additional 25mm of space between the front and rear seats. What’s more, the new Honda Amaze gets a rear arm rest complete with two cup holders now, which adds to the car’s premium feel as well as passenger comfort.

Honda also tells us rear headroom has been increased, but at 5 feet, 11 inches I had my hair brushing against the roof which means six footers will not be comfortable. Honda also claims the air-conditioning system is more efficient thanks to the revised placement of the vents and a quicker cooling system, but temperatures in excess of 40 degree Celsius meant we did feel warm at the rear, especially since the Amaze does not get rear AC vents. The VX variant offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity via the touchscreen, which also integrates Wi-Fi to access navigation or browse the internet via your smartphone.

The VX also sports two USB ports – one with a 1.5 Amp output to charge and connect phones and a second one with a 1.0 Amp output only for charging. Lower variants only get a single 1.0 Amp port for connectivity/charging. The VX also comes equipped with cruise control and a reverse camera, while lower variants only get rear parking sensors. The keyless entry system integrates touch sensors now so you simply need to touch the door handle to unlock the car. The new Amaze also boasts a larger boot now as the volume is up to 420 litres (up by 20 litres).

Honda Amaze Transmission

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.For more information on Honda Amaze  check Mpculture

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

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

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 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 Final Word

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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