New-gen car is improved in every way
Few months ago, Honda revealed the new generation Amaze compact sedan at the Auto Expo 2018 in Greater Noida. The company now is all set to launch the sedan in India and we got a taste of all the new variants.
Firstly, the new Amaze has changed quite drastically. The sedan now sits on a completely reworked platform (unlike the older version that was based on the Brio platform). As a result the sedan has new dimensions to show off. The new Amaze is then 5mm longer than the outgoing version and at the same time sports a 65mm longer wheelbase and is also 5mm higher. The idea was to infuse Honda’s famous ‘man maximum machine minimum’ philosophy and it seems the Japanese manufacturer has done so rather successfully.
As far as the styling goes, the new sedan has changed dramatically. It now has an all new front end complete with a chrome panel on the grille and headlamps with daytime running lights embedded within. In profile, one can notice the rather high ground clearance (5mm) in the offering. Honda claims 170mm as compared to 165mm from the outgoing version and that’s quite a lot we think, for a compact sedan. The wheels are larger too. Overall the car has got a more matured stance now.
From the back, it is quite possible to mistake it for a City courtesy the tail light and boot lid designed that comes pretty close. Inside, the Amaze gets all new features. The dash is design anew and there are numerous stowage bins and cubby holes. Moving on to the centre console, it houses a modern touchscreen infotainment system and the instrument panel is new and looks classy. The top of the line cars will also get cruise control as standard fitment. The cabin sees an improved quality as far as plastic goes and needless to say, it both looks and feels better. To top that is the cabin space that’s at par, if not more with all modern-day sedans in
THE SEDAN NOW SITS ON A COMPLETELY REWORKED PLATFORM; IT HAS A 65MM LONGER WHEELBASE
the same segment. This can be felt especially at the back. The boot is larger too and can take in 420 litres.
As for the variants, Honda is offering the Amaze with a choice of petrol and diesel engines. Both motors come in either a manual transmission or a CVT. The petrol CVT gets additional paddleshifters while the diesel does not. The CVT variants will also not be offered in the top of the line VX trim and this means no touchscreen infotainment or cruise control. On the upside, safety features like twin airbags and ABS remain standard across all trims.
We got the opportunity to drive all four variants therefore let’s begin with the 1.2-litre petrol mated to the 5-speed manual. The engine feels smooth and rev happy in sync with most other i-VTEC Honda motors. There is ample power and the car pulls cleanly of the line. The gearbox is slick and the clutch action light. Overall the sedan feels refined, light and zippy. With the CVT on board, the Amaze gets even more lighter to drive. The gear ratios are tuned keeping Indian road conditions in mind and they shift seamlessly through. To add to the fun of motoring and as already mentioned before, the CVT petrol variant comes with paddleshifter which allow the driver to shift through the ratios. Sure it is not lightening quick but it’s enough to infuse fun into the drive. We were also pleasantly surprised to know that the new Amaze has matured in NVH packaging area. The interiors are surprisingly quiet.
Coming to the Amaze diesel variants. While the manual trim offers 100bhp and 200Nm of torque, the CVT variant offers 80bhp and 160Nm of torque. But does this difference matter on-the-go?
For us, the manual version was a brilliant drive and stood out from the lot. The engine offers plenty of power and the car whisks to high speeds in no time and with utter ease. The linear power delivery ensures that one does not have to play through the slick gearbox much. A slight push to the accelera- tor and the Amaze pulls through cleanly. The CVT on the other hand feels a tad bit slower but in no way does it feel underpowered. Engineers at Honda claim that the ratios have been tuned in a way that they negate loss of power and we can vouch for the same. The other upside is that the cabin is now quieter thanks to the upgraded NVH packaging.
Lastly, the new car has a retuned suspension as well and as a result offers a far more refined ride than before. It easily takes on the ruts and potholes and dismisses them effortlessly. Although there is a bit of body roll, the Amaze holds it ground firmly. The steering feels light and at the same time offers decent feedback to allow for spirited driving.
1&2: The Amaze gets an all new dash with a modern touchscreen infotainment system. It offers plenty of functions and is a good addition. The car has ample cubby holes too. 3. The lower variants get a notas-thrilling infotainment system which offers USB...
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Likes Spacious, ride quality, handling, efficiency, option of CVT on diesel Dislike CVT version not to be made available in top trims, no rear AC Vents
1. CVT option available in both petrol and diesel trims. 2&3. Paddleshifters are a welcome sight though they are only offered in the petrol car