Honda is known for manufacturing cars with premium pricing. Before 2012, cars such as Accord, Civic, City, CR-V, Jazz and Brio, all launched with petrol only option and a high price tag. Honda had a strong resistance towards the diesel engine, but when it realised that Indians prefer diesel cars for its high fuel efficiency and high power and torque, Honda realised the need of the hour. This sparked the brilliant minds for the innovations like a larger turbocharger by Honeywell and less friction between moving parts, especially for India. At the same time, compact sedan market offered with the diesel engines was gaining high popularity and cars such as Ford Fiesta, Maruti Suzuki Swift DZire, Tata Indigo eCS all were selling like hot cakes. This provided Honda the best platform to showcase its winds of change. When the ad campaigns for the most awaited i-DTEC "Earth Dreams" diesel engine released, it also said that it will debut with Honda's first compact sedan- Honda Amaze. The Honda Amaze was launched in April, 2013. The Japanese automaker priced the Amaze so cleverly that it became a hit with the people in India and in 2013, in the initial months of its launch, it became the company's bestseller. The Honda Amaze had undergone a facelift in May 2016 with minor cosmetic changes. Honda Amaze comes in 4 variants of E, S, SX and VX with 6 colour options of Carnelian Red Pearl, Orchid White Pearl, Urban Titanium Metallic, Taffeta White, Golden Brown Metallic and Alabaster Silver Metallic. MYNEWCAR.IN recommends top of the line VX variant.
|Ex-showroom Price Range||5,68,366 - 8,79,027|
The Honda Amaze is the sedan version of Honda Brio, so its lengthier than the hatchback. Since the Honda Amaze is a under 4-metre sedan, it has a length of 3990mm, width of 1680mm and height of 1505mm. A wheelbase of 2405mm means the rear passengers will have a comfortable ride. At the front, the Honda Amaze looks amazing. The front grille gets dual chrome garnish which is flanked by the stylish headlamps on the side and fog lamps at the bottom. At the sides, both the petrol and diesel trims get their own 175/65 R14 alloy wheels with a separate design and the ORVMs get turn indicators. At the rear, the chrome lining on the trunk lid is impressive and the rear combi taillights make a style statement. There is a micro antenna on the top as well.
The interiors are airy and roomy, thanks to the large wheelbase. The dual-tone colour scheme of black and beige is indeed good. The driver's seat is height adjustable. The steering wheel is tilt adjustable and gets audio and handsfree control buttons. The 3 pod instrument panel has a soothing blue illumination with multi information display and ECO lamp for fuel efficient driving. The centre console get cup holders and USB and AUX ports. There are ample storage facilities in front and rear doors, rear centre armrest and glove box. The boot space of 400litres allows to pack everything for a long trip. The VX variant get heat absorbing windscreen which means the people inside the car will enjoy long, cool drives during the summer heat. The rear windscreen gets a defogger which allows you to keep it clean. The SX and VX variants get premium beige floor carpeting.
The i-VTEC is the classic Honda engine borrowed from the Brio and Jazz. At idle, it is silent and responsive at low speeds. However, at mid range, the weakness shows the indication to shift gears to reach the strong top end where the awesome power can be experienced beyond 4500rpm. However, engine noise will be an issue.
The 1.5litre i-DTEC diesel mill which has come from the Honda's "Earth Dreams Family" is an all-aluminium engine block and sits on liquid-filled mounts to reduce vibration. Honda made great efforts to reduce friction in the engine and enhance refinement. When the engine starts, it shudders a little before settling to silence. But hit the gas, and it becomes a noisy student who refuses to be quiet. This is an issue here. But the best point is that it has very little turbo lag. Another plus point is the smooth power delivery. The diesel Amaze has an acceleration of 0-100km/h in 12.97second.
The manual transmission is very light and accurate with short shifts and light clutch. However it has a delayed reaction to throttle inputs. The 2016 Amaze facelift gets a CVT transmission and unlike any other automatic transmissions, it executes itself in a smooth and seamless manner. This is a new plus point in automatic transmissions.
Coming to ride and handing, the Honda Amaze has a softer ride and handling of bumps and potholes is good, but not top class. The steering is good and well-weighted. Handling is at acceptable levels, but not as good as other cars of this class.
Honda Amaze gets the option of the i-VTEC petrol engine and i-DTEC diesel engine along with 5-speed manual and CVT automatic transmission options.
The i-VTEC engine is the classic Honda engine which is a 1198cc, 4 cylinder SOHC engine. This engine has two transmission options of 5-speed manual and CVT automatic transmission. CVT is available only in S and VX variant. When mated with the manual transmission, this engine has a power of 86.8bhp at 6000rpm, torque of 109Nm at 4500rpm and fuel efficiency of 17.8km/litre. When the CVT automatic transmission is coupled, the i-VTEC petrol powerhouse gets a power of 88.7bhp at 6000rpm, torque of 110Nm at 4800rpm and fuel efficiency of 18.1km/litre.
The i-DTEC diesel mill debuted when this car was launched for the first time in 2013. This engine gets only 5-speed manual transmission. The i-DTEC diesel mill gets a power of 98.6bhp at 3600rpm, torque of 200Nm at 1750rpm and fuel efficiency of 25.8km/litre.
Honda made efforts in the safety feature segment of the Honda Amaze. ACE body structure is standard. Dual front airbags is standard only in SX and VX variant while it is optional in other variants, same story with the seat belt pretensioners. ABS with EBD is standard in all diesel variants but in petrol variants it is seen only in SX and VX variant. Other standard features include wave key, immobilizer, high mount stop lamp, central locking and driver seatbelt reminder. The Honda Amaze gets the rock solid stability thanks to the McPherson Strut Coil Spring suspension in front and Torsion Beam Coil Spring suspension in rear. Honda made a good effort in braking with the disc brakes in front and drum brakes in rear of the Amaze.
Honda did a magic by cleverly pricing the Amaze between Rs. 6.02lakh to Rs. 9.07lakh, making Amaze the bestseller of the company after its launch. Remarkable exterior, spacious interior, all-good handling, smooth CVT transmission and affordable price makes it a worthy competitor in the compact sedan segment. If we see the prices of the rivals, the Maruti DZire is priced from Rs. 5.74lakh to Rs. 9.86lakh and the Hyundai Xcent is priced from Rs. 5.73lakh to Rs. 8.94lakh. So Honda Amaze is priced comfortably in the midway range which makes it affordable.
Assume that the car is driven for 1000km a month i.e. 12,000km yearly. So, the cost of ownership for Honda Amaze can come upto Rs. 71,857 for one year, which includes Rs. 17,600 of insurance cost, Rs. 6,500 of maintenance cost and Rs. 47,757 of fuel cost. Here the loan interest is not factored in as it depends on person to person and the percentage of amount taken in loan.
Honda Amaze has more powerful rivals such as Maruti DZire, Volkswagen Ameo, Tata Zest, Hyundai Xcent and Ford Figo Aspire. Honda made head-turning features for the Amaze and also got the title of the company's bestseller. Will it continue to retain the title or the rivals will have the last laugh? Only the future sales will have the answer.