Honda launched the first-generation Amaze back in 2013 – and it found more than 2 lakh homes in India within a span of five years. Honda managed to target the sub4-meter segment thanks to the brand being proficient at space utilisation and packaging. And despite the stringent four-meter length, Honda managed to create a spacious cabin and boot, making it a practical offering. The first model, however, was based on the Brio hatchback’s platform, and somehow, never managed to cut the mustard in terms of quality ever after some updates it received over the years. In 2018, Honda launched the second-generation model – and this one was brand new from ground-up. Thankfully, it isn’t just a hatchback with a boot stuck on to it, as we find out after having driven one.
The family look
The second-generation Honda Amaze is built on a new platform, which Honda Cars says, will be the base for upcoming models from the brand, meaning it will also be up to the task of meeting all safety norms. The entire body has been toughened, giving it broader cross sections and crumple zones that can withstand severe impact. That, in fact, might have you think the Amaze has gotten heavier, but it hasn’t; it’s actually 40kgs lighter because of the use of lighter (yet stronger) high-tensile steel. The new Amaze is also wider, longer and taller than before and the length of the wheelbase has seen an increase too, helping improve cabin space.
Looking at the Honda Amaze, we can’t say it looks sharp, but it does have its own distinct look – and thankfully – looks nothing like the car it replaces. The flat nose may not be to everybody’s liking but the wide, broad signature chrome grille helps give it a classy look from up-ahead. The flat bonnet won’t be appreciated by many though. On the sides, the lines are simple; nothing too striking. We like the C-shaped tail lights that seem inspired by the Civic.
A new-gen cabin
The whole interior of the Honda Amaze is new and a lot roomier as well. The dashboard gets a two-tone look and what’s clearly evident is the step-up in quality. The materials have a soft-touch feel to them and certain bits, like the climate control knobs, steering controls and buttons are well finished, while the steering feels nice and chunky to hold. The front seats get adjustable neck restraints and the seat fabric is so much better than before. Also, what happen to be newly designed seats, provide good support – and we found them rather comfortable. The touchscreen functions seamlessly and the car comes with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay along with satellite navigation.
At the rear, occupants have lots of room and the seat is comfortable, offering sufficient thigh support as well – and thanks to the scooped-in seatbacks, there’s ample knee room and legroom. Headroom for six-footers, might be a problem, however. There are no rear AC vents, but the unit up-front cools effectively. As far as the features are concerned, it gets a touchscreen infotainment system, climate control, cruise control, tilt steering adjustment, keyless entry/go and paddle-shifters on the petrol automatic model. The list of safety features includes dual airbags, ABS and EBD. There is no shortage of storage spaces and boot capacity, at 420 litres, is the best-in-class.
The Amaze’s 1.5-litre diesel engine is still responsive and there is a gradual increase in power, with boost kicking-in at about 1,800rpm. Performance is strong but smooth up until 3,800rpm. Even if taken to its limit, the engine doesn’t lose out on its refined characteristics. Vibrations – once noted on the old car – have now been sorted out. The 5-speed manual ‘box is perhaps the best in the segment, thanks to the shot throws; what’s more, the clutch is light too. There’s even a CVT gearbox offered on the diesel model and while power seems to have taken a hit, the gearbox works rather well. Performance is strong and the CVT ‘box works smoothly even when the engine is pushed hard. The rubber band effect is present, no doubt – but once you let the revs drop, the Amaze moves calmly. The 1.2-litre petrol engine, on the other hand, feels nice for as long as you’re not too hard on the engine – and it is at its best mostly in the city. However, frequent gear changes are required. Also, grab the latest info on the new cars, only at autoX