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The compact sedan segment in India is a vast one with many options to choose from. Today, it might be shadowed by the number of compact SUVs and Micro SUVs on sale in the Indian market. However, there was a time when the segment was booming and it was at that time that Honda brought forth the Amaze.
It was in 2013 that the Honda Amaze was first launched. The sedan took on the likes of the Maruti Suzuki Dzire, Ford Aspire, etc. The Honda Amaze was priced well, was built well and came with a bootload of features. This resulted in the compact sedan selling in decent numbers and the Honda Amaze kept going.
In 2018, Honda unveiled the second-generation of the Amaze at the Indian Auto Expo. Finally, on 18 August, 2021, Honda launched the facelifted model of the sedan. While the petrol and diesel engine options remain the same, the features list has grown longer. We drove the facelifted sedan and here is what we have to say about it.
Design & Style
Honda has made a few changes to the sedan. It literally gets a facelift with a few changes up front. The list of changes isn't very lengthy, but it makes a subtle and understated difference to the way the Amaze looks.
The biggest change up front comes in the form of new headlamps. The redesigned LED headlamps feature a projector and they also come with LED DRLs. The C-shaped DRLs look lovely and accentuate the frontal styling of the Amaze.
The three-slat grille replaces the big single-piece grille on the outgoing model. The chrome strip is still retained, but it is now smaller and the two lower slats also get a chrome element. The Honda logo still gets a lot of prominence on the grille. At the bottom of the front bumper are the two LED fog lamps.
The bonnet and bumper features straight lines and flat surfaces, and the same design language is carried over to the sides as well. The compact sedan now rides on stylish dual-tone, ten-spoke, 15-inch alloy wheels.
It also features large ORVMs with the LED turn signal indicators integrated into them. These mirrors are power adjustable and foldable. The door handles are finished in chrome and this lends a rather premium feel to the compact sedan.
At the rear, things are pretty simple and neat. Flat surfaces and straight lines are seen once again towards the rear of the sedan. The LED tail lamps take the shape of a ‘C'. There is a small boot lip that accentuates the design of the sedan at the rear. Towards the bottom of the rear bumper is a chrome strip to give it a premium look.
Cockpit & Interior
The boxy proportions and straight lines continue inside the Honda Amaze as well. Tug on the thick chrome door handles and you are greeted by a dual-tone interior theme. Beige and Black are the colours found inside the facelifted Honda Amaze.
The seats are decked in beige and so are the bottom sections of the doors and dashboard. The upper sections of the after two and the centre console are all decked in Black. There are also a few brushed elements on the dashboard, steering wheel and doors that are finished in Satin Silver.
The first thing one will invariably notice when looking at the dashboard is the AC vent positioned on the dashboard. It is placed up high and features a unique shape. Right underneath it is the 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system.
It comes loaded with features like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Weblink, etc. Connecting your smartphone to this system is pretty easy and using it is a simple affair.
The infotainment system offers a whole range of smartphone connectivity options. The Digipad 2.0 infotainment system can even read out your incoming text messages. It also is navigation compatible via your smartphone. These are some premium features and using them has a feel good factor to it.
Controls for the climate control and air conditioning are placed below the infotainment. The controls look great and the buttons have a tactile feel. The button for the hazard lights is placed in a rather awkward position, next to the infotainment system and this makes it stand out.
The steering wheel feels decent, but comes equipped with steering-mounted controls for the infotainment. It is made of hard plastic and we ended up wishing for a leather or fabric-wrapped steering wheel. Instrumentation is handled by a digital analogue console. The MID displays lots of information like the fuel level, distance-to-empty, trip meters, odometer, etc.
Moving on to the rear seat, we found that Honda has kept things rather simple. The seats get some contouring and Honda has equipped the car with a foldable armrest. The armrest gets inbuilt cup holders as well. The rear passengers also get a 12V power outlet.
Comfort, Practicality & Boot Space
Good ride quality that results in passenger comfort has always been Honda's forte and its cars continue to offer this trait even today. The ride quality of the Amaze stands testimony to this. The seats are decked in fabric and though the contours are good, Honda could have done with more premium materials for the seats on the top-spec variant.
The driver's seat gets height adjustment as well and that's a good thing to have. These are definitely not among the sportiest seats out there and neither are they the most comfortable seats in the segment. They offer the right mix of both and that makes it a winner. The same mantra is recreated for the passengers at the rear too.
Leg room for passengers at the rear is good enough, but we did end up wishing for better thigh support. Head room is decent and the journey is really comfortable if four people are traveling. The passenger in the middle on the rear seat might find it a little too uncomfortable over longer journeys.
Honda makes some of the most practical cars that make it easy to live with. The facelifted Honda Amaze too comes with a few cubbyholes and storage spaces that make it very practical. In terms of boot space, the Honda Amaze comes with 420-litres of luggage hauling capacity. This is a large space and is good enough for most small families.
|Dimensions||Honda Amaze Facelift|
|Boot Space||420 litres|
Engine Performance & Driving Impressions
The 2021 Honda Amaze is powered by both petrol and diesel engines. One is the 1.2-litre i-Vtec engine which is the one we drove. Both the motors come with either a 5-speed manual or a 7-step CVT transmission.
The power output on the petrol variant is 88bhp and it puts out 110Nm of peak torque. However, the diesel variant is available in two states of tune. The one equipped with the manual gearbox one churns out 98.6bhp of power and 200Nm of peak torque. On the other hand, the CVT variant produces 78.9bhp of power and 160Nm of peak torque.
Now the petrol variant is the one we received for a test drive. The power delivery of the CVT is very linear and it feels like it is made for cruising comfortably. The car does not have any driving modes, but you get the D and S modes on the gearbox. In the D mode, the gears shift quickly and if you are light on the gas then there is an ECO indicator that will pop up on the cluster and as soon as you step on the gas the ECO indicator vanishes.
We could manage the ECO light till around 85km/h, which is a good thing as that is when the car is giving the maximum fuel efficiency. In the S mode, the car holds the gear for a longer duration and the throttle response becomes sharper by a significant margin. Just like the previous generation model, the 2021 Honda Amaze too gets a paddle shifter.
The suspension setup on the new Amaze is on the softer side and that is because the company wanted to offer maximum comfort in the sedan. The bumps and potholes that the urban jungle has to offer are absorbed nicely by the car and not much can be heard inside.
The insulation levels are decent as long as you are light on the gas, but the moment you press the accelerator hard because it's a CVT, there is constant noise from the engine that might get irritating after a while. The NVH levels certainly could have been better.
The steering wheel is light and has a good response to inputs. However, owing to the soft suspension setup, if you flick the steering wheel hard, the car will change lanes fast but will be unstable for a fraction of a second and that makes a world of a difference as far as handling goes.
As far as fuel efficiency is concerned, since we got the car for a couple of hours we could not do a proper efficiency test. However, the company claims that the petrol version delivers around 18km/l in the manual and CVT. On the other hand, the diesel manual variant can deliver more than 24km/l and the CVT around 21km/l. We will be getting the cars soon for a full road test review and at that time we will check if the real world figures match what Honda claims.
Safety & Key Features
The Honda Amaze comes with a decent number of features. These features are more than sufficient to keep it in the game when it comes to the competition. In terms of safety too, Honda has equipped the car with quite a few features.
Honda Amaze Safety Features:
- Automatic Headlight Control
- Rear Parking Camera
- ABS with EBD
- ISOFIX Mounts for Child Seats
- Engine Immobiliser
Honda Amaze Key Features:
- 7.0-inch Touchscreen
- Steering-Mounted Controls
- Voice Command
- Cruise Control
- Automatic Climate Control
- Powered ORVMs
Variants, Colours & Pricing
The Honda Amaze is sold in three trim levels.
The ‘E' variant is only available with a manual gearbox while the S & VX variants can be had with a manual or a CVT gearbox.
Honda Amaze Colour Options:
- Radiant Red
- Platinum White Pearl
- Lunar Silver Metallic
- Golden Brown Metallic
We drove the Golden Brown Metallic colour and it is a shade that is not commonly found. This made it stand out when we were driving it out on the road. The VX trim that we received was the full-loaded one and came with all the bells and whistles. The E variant on the other hand is very basic and only gets the bare minimum.
Variants & Pricing
|E MT||₹6.32 lakh||₹8.66 lakh|
|S MT||₹7.16 lakh||₹9.26 lakh|
|S CVT||₹8.06 lakh||NA|
|VX MT||₹8.22 lakh||₹10.25 lakh|
|VX CVT||₹9.05 lakh||₹11.15 lakh|
Competitors & Fact Check
The compact sedan segment in India is very competitive and as a result, the Honda Amaze will be competing with the likes of the Maruti Suzuki Dzire, Tata Tigor, Ford Aspire, etc.
|Specifications||Honda Amaze||Maruti Dzire||Tata Tigor||Ford Aspire|
|Engine||1.2-litre Petrol / 1.5-litre Turbo-Diesel||1.2-litre Petrol||1.2-litre Petrol||1.2-litre Petrol / 1.5-litre Turbo-Diesel|
|Power||88bhp / 98bhp||88.5bhp||84.5bhp||95bhp / 99bhp|
|Torque||110Nm / 200Nm||113Nm||113Nm||119Nm / 215Nm|
|Transmission||5-speed Manual / CVT||5-speed Manual / 5-speed AMT||5-speed Manual / 5-speed AMT||5-speed Manual|
|Prices||Rs 6.32 lakh to Rs 11.15 lakh||Rs 5.98 lakh to Rs 9.02 lakh||Rs 5.64 lakh to Rs 7.81 lakh||Rs 7.28 lakh to Rs 8.73 lakh|
The older Honda Amaze was a car that wouldn't grab your attention immediately, but it would serve the user reliably and at a low cost. The facelifted Honda Amaze retains the reliability and usability factors while improving on the desirability factor. It always drove well, but it now also looks much better than it did earlier.
In terms of pricing, the Honda Amaze is the most expensive when compared to its competition. However, it does offer a more premium feel and the ‘Honda value' and that is something that the competition cannot offer. On the whole, it is a brilliant little refresh to an existing product.