Honda Amaze

New-gen car is im­proved in ev­ery way

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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 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...

Tata Tigor EN­GINE POWER 1.2-litre turbo petrol/1.05-litre diesel 85bhp/70bhp 7.19 lakh PRICE

Maruti Suzuki Dzire EN­GINE POWER 1.2-litre petrol/1.3-litre diesel 82bhp/74bhp 9.43 lakh PRICE

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

Rahul Ghosh As­so­ciate Edi­tor rahul.ghosh@in­to­ @bul­let­com­pany

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