- Published On: 30 April 2018
- 6 min read
The new Amaze is Honda’s second attack at Maruti’s Dzire. We tell you just how good it is.
Honda first took on this segment back in 2013. It did pretty well and sold around 2.5 lakh units. The government’s taxation policy that offered special discounts to cars below the 4 metre mark helped the sales of the Amaze to a great extent. The first generation model was designed on the Brio and built to be affordable; this resulted to the car feeling insufficient in many ways. Honda, however, has now resolved this and developed the new Amaze from scratch.
On the outside
The new Amaze is built on an all-new platform which will be a base for future models. This means the car is capable of meeting upcoming safety regulations. Furthermore, all of this strengthening hasn’t come at the cost of additional weight. Interestingly, the new car is 40kg lighter. In terms of dimension, the Amaze has grown in almost every direction. Even the wheelbase is longer than the older model.
In terms of styling, the new Amaze is quite polarising however, it does manage to grab a lot of attention. The front-end is flat and vertical and everyone isn’t a fan of this. The new grille towards the front of the Amaze does make the car look a bit wider than it actually is. The extra width does result to the tyres looking a bit too small. Towards the side of the car, the lines are much smoother but nothing to write home about.
The rear of the new Amaze has been considerably updated and looks upmarket. To add to it, the large taillights make it look like a smaller Civic.
Mechanically, the car can be had with two engine options – a 1.2-litre petrol or a 1.5-litre diesel. Both engines can be had with either a manual or automatic gearbox. The automatic diesel variant produces 20 percent less power than the manual which Honda has done for the longevity of the transmission. Honda has also made many changes to improve efficiency, as well as reduce the vibrations and harshness levels in the diesel.
How does it drive?
Honda 1.5-litre diesel motor makes 100hp and like earlier performs quite well. The power on the car builds in a smooth manner and even though the boost comes in at around 1,800rom, there is quite a bit of power available below that. This diesel motor also doesn’t sound unrefined this is thanks to the company’s many measures to reduce noise. The transmission in the car is one of the best in the segment and clutch is light as well.
However, the biggest new feature Honda has been boasting about is the diesel variant’s CVT transmission. Interestingly, the power on this bike has also not been significantly reduced. Furthermore, the box shifts quickly as well. The engine drones and sounds rough at high revs but as you go off the throttle, the Amaze cruises well and without stress.
The 1.2-litre petrol engine on the other hand drives very similarly to the way it did before. If you are smooth on the pedal, the car offers similar refined performance. But, the car lacks mid-range and this means you will need to constantly keep shifting gears. However, the gearing has been changed so that you can get more fuel economy.
In terms of ride, the Amaze offers a smooth experience as well. It takes on rough terrain well and doesn’t move around a lot. But, the car does suffer from bottoming out on large speed breakers when people are seated in the back. Another negative is that the steering feel is a bit odd but overall stability is pretty decent.
On the inside
This new model isn’t just nicer on the outside; it has been overhauled on the inside as well. The two-tone dashboard may seem a bit cluttered with all of the styling elements. However, the nicer quality materials on the inside do result to a more upmarket feel. Even though the interior isn’t exactly ‘soft touch’, it does feel like a step up from before. The steering and ac buttons are also significantly nicer and the wheel itself is better to hold. Another nice touch are the front seats which offer more adjustability and higher quality fabric. The Honda also features Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
The first-gen model offered good rear for its segment and the new variant carries over this strength. The car offers a large amount of legroom and knee room, it also doesn’t fall short in terms of thigh support. The only place the rear is lacking, is in terms of is rear headroom.
The new Amaze does miss out on air conditioning vents for rear passengers but the front ones are good enough at cooling the cabin pretty quickly. Equipment-wise, the top-spec model comes with cruise control, climate control, tilt steering adjustment and safety tech like ABS and EBD. The boot space has gone up by 20 litres, taking the total to 420 litres.
Should I buy one?
The 2018 Amaze is considerably different from the older model; a good way to describe it is calling it ‘grown-up’. The compact side is bigger in terms of dimensions and also a lot more refined. However, the biggest feature by far is the CVT for the diesel which works very efficiently. But, this gearbox can’t be had in the top-spec model which means you will lose out the touchscreen. Honda will have to price this car well to attract customers towards it and away from its competition. A good thing is that there’s now a strong alternative to the Dzire.