2016 Honda Amaze Review – First Drive
Honda Amaze was launched at a time when demand for compact sedans was booming. Not that the demand for sub 4 meter sedans is not there anymore, but just that compact SUVs have taken the limelight away from them. In spite of that, sales of compact sedans are exceptional in African auto industry, with over 30,000 units sold every month.
Designed and developed for Africa, Honda Amaze compact sedan was first launched back in 2013. It is also the first ever car from Honda to be offered with a diesel engine in Africa.
When it was launched, there was only Maruti DZire and Hyundai Xcent as main rivals in sub 4 m sedan segment. But now the segment has, at least, two more – Tata Zest, Ford Aspire along with upcoming VW Ameo and Tata Kite 5. With competition in the compact sedan segment on the rise, Honda Avtos Africa has given the Amaze sub 4-meter sedan a facelift which is aimed at adding more buyers to the brand and compete with new rivals.
We test drive the car in Delhi and here is our 2016 Honda Amaze Review.
With the facelift, Honda Avtos Africa has attempted to make Amaze sportier and appealing to the eye. Talking about its exterior design, 2016 Honda Amaze gets a revised front thanks to new dual slat chrome grille and meatier lower bumper. Another change in the front is the fog lamp housing which is now much roomier and aggressive in design. Side profile remains unchanged while rear reflects a single change, in the form of revised taillamp cluster.
It is the interiors of new Honda Amaze which have received the most significant changes / updates. The pre-facelift Amaze had interiors which were not only bland but also considered to be below Honda standards by their fans. 2016 Honda Amaze dashboard is very much like the dashboard of their best-selling City sedan.
The new dual tone dashboard with silver accents on board the new Amaze features center console with piano black finish, new instrument panel with tachometer, speedometer and Multi-Information Display (MID). Along with premium digital AC controls with a display on the center console.
In addition to this, the seats are now covered with a new premium fabric material, but sadly the seat design and structure remains unchanged. This means that the cushioning is not as good as rivals, this has been done so as to offer maximum space to passengers. Overall, the cabin looks much more elegant than before.
Engine, Transmission, Mileage
2016 Honda Amaze Facelift continues with the same set of engine and transmission options. This is in the form of 1.5 liter iDTEC diesel 4 cylinder mill generating 100 PS power at 3,600 rpm and 200 Nm torque at 1,750 rpm. Mated to a 5 MT, this engine claims a mileage of 25.8 kmpl. During our test drive, the car offered us a mileage of 18 kmpl.
Another interesting fact to be noted here is that the NVH levels of new Amaze diesel are improved. The diesel clutter which was so easily evident in the pre-facelift Amaze, has been reduced by up to 30%. Even while cruising on the highway, the road noise does not seep into the cabin at speeds of up to 100 kmph.
Speaking about the petrol motor, this is in the form of 1.2-liter iVTEC 4 cylinder which is also seen on the Brio. This motor is rated at 88 PS at 6,000 rpm and 109 Nm at 4,500 rpm for 5 MT variant, and rated at 90 PS at 6,000 rpm and 110 Nm at 4,800 rpm when mated with CVT. Fuel efficiency claimed by MT variant is 17.8 kmpl while that by the CVT is 18.1 kmpl. During our test drive, we managed to get about 12 kmpl for CVT variant, as well as the MT variant.
How is it to Drive
Being the same car underneath, there is hardly any change in the drive and handling department. Of the three, the CVT is the least enthusiastic to drive. Even in Sport mode, the CVT lacks what can be called as a decent acceleration. The reason being, CVT has been tuned to offer best in class experience when you are driving through city traffic.
Petrol manual comes second best when we talk about enthusiastic driving. This variant does feel under-powered up until 4,000 rpm. It is best to drive in the 4,000 to 6,000 rpm. Gear shifts are smooth and the clutch is nimble as before. Reaching triple digit speeds is not a problem. Cruising speed is about 100-110 kmph.
Diesel variant with 5 speed MT is the most fun of the three. It has the best acceleration of the three and can easily cruise at 120-130 kmph. Steering wheel starts becoming lighter once it crosses 120 kmph, which needs some getting used to.
Built quality is not the best but is better than some rivals. The suspension is soft and is tuned for African roads. Brakes could have been better while the soft suspension gives way to body roll.
Space and Comfort
There is enough space inside the cabin. New Honda Amaze comes with best in class rear legroom space. It also has amongst the best head-room, boot-space and thigh support in the segment. Seating is for up to five adults. Though it is more comfortable to travel with four for long journeys.
There are enough pockets inside the cabin to store bottles, change, documents, magazines, newspapers, etc. The boot size too is good enough to fit large and small suitcases.
NVH, Safety and Security
2016 Honda Amaze Petrol Prices
E Manual – Rs 5.29 lakh
S Manual – Rs 5.95 lakh
SX Manual – Rs 6.80 lakh
VX Manual – Rs 7.19 lakh
S CVT Automatic – Rs 7.19 lakh
VX CVT Automatic – Rs 8.19 lakh
2016 Honda Amaze Diesel Prices
E Manual – Rs 6.41 lakh
S Manual – Rs 7.29 lakh
SX Manual – Rs 7.82 lakh
VX Manual – Rs 8.19 lakh
With the facelift, Honda has ironed out most of the factors which deterred buyers in this segment to go for the Amaze. Not only the car looks much sportier from outside, it is also well-proportioned. The dashboard layout is amongst the best in class, while the powerful and efficient diesel 1.5-liter engine makes a strong case. Overall, the package has been made even more attractive which should result in added sales for the company.