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Detailed Expert Review On Honda Amaze Car - 116712

Rs. 5.34 - Rs. 8.04 lakhs
Ex-showroom Price (Mumbai)

Apr 01, 2013 : Expert Review By

Honda Amaze Review: Smart n Compact 

Finally, the wait is over and the Honda Amaze is out in flesh. This was my precise reaction when I saw the car. In the past, there have been many occasions on which we reviewed the Honda Brio. Be it the solo review, travelogues or the automatic drive, I can’t seem to get enough of the Brio and am totally in love with its fantastic i-VTEC engine which is a dream on the road.

Honda has always made cars with premium feel and quality finish. Its cars are a benchmark for its category. The only hurdle that Honda was facing for long was an absence of a Diesel engine as naturally seeing the rising petrol prices; diesel is the current favorite for all the consumers. The company was initially stubborn about bringing a diesel unit but then sensing fierce competition and also a strong market demand, the Amaze has been brought in.

The Honda Amaze would be available in petrol as well as diesel variants. The petrol variant would share the existing Brio’s unit while the diesel gets an all new 4 cylinder, 1498cc i-D-TEC diesel engine. Honda claims a mileage of 25.8kmpl for the new diesel engine. All this sounds merry on paper but then does the new Honda succeed in Amazing us is what we find out in different sections.

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Detailed Expert Review On Honda Amaze Car - 116712

Rs. 5.34 - Rs. 8.04 lakhs
Ex-showroom Price (Mumbai)
Technical Specifications
 Make Honda
 Model Amaze
Variant VX
Fuel Petrol Diesel
Engine Capacity 1198 1498
Power in PS/RPM 88/6000 100/3600
Torque in Nm/RPM 109/4500 200/1750
Gears 5/MT, 5 AT 5/MT
Dimensions
Length mm 3990 3990
Width mm 1680 1680
Height mm 1505 1505
Wheel base mm 2405 2405
Kerb Weight in Kg 965 1075
Ground clearance mm 165 165
Fuel tank capacity 35 35
Turning circle radius in M 4.5 4.7
Tyre Spec 175/65 R14 175/65 R14
Fuel Effeciency(KMPL) 18 (MT), 15.5 (AT) 25.8
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Detailed Expert Review On Honda Amaze Car - 116712

Rs. 5.34 - Rs. 8.04 lakhs
Ex-showroom Price (Mumbai)

Except for the Dolphin Honda City, I have always loved the way Honda cars looked in India. They have had certain distinguishing characteristics in the design. Honda cars have a design that attracts an enthusiast and thus they have never looked boring. The design is minimalistic styled and does not look dated.

The Honda Amaze too looks a well proportioned sedan. It has cuts and creases in right quantities at the right places. The design is based on Honda’s Smart Micro Limousine concept which emphasizes on strong present with compact dimensions. Seem from certain angles the Amaze looks like a mini-Honda City. The length of it has been limited to 3990 mm making is a sub 4 metre sedan. Smaller dimensions mean no sweat in finding parking lots.

The front face of the Honda Amaze is similar to the Brio. It gets a twin storey chrome garnished radiator grille which looks nice with the contrasting dark mesh in the background. The bonnet has a short and stout stance with two profile lines running on it. It has a wide stance in front hinting of a larger sedan but then dimensionally it is as wide as the Honda Brio so the wide stance is just a visual feel. The tight meshing of the bonnet line with the bumper line is seamless

.

The big and bold pearl drop shaped headlamps look cute. They are also very effective in dark conditions. Along with the crystal clear headlamps, the headlight assembly also comes with a jeweled turn indicators embedded in them. The lower section of the front bumper looks as if it’s smiling with braces. I believe a simpler and stylish design would have done the trick. The small fog lamps fitted on the extreme corners do not get very well with the headlamp design with is normally the pattern. The bumper has a very strong profile line flowing towards the wheel arches.

A lot of my guy pals have written off the design of Brio as they did not like the way the side lines end with a chopped glass tail gate. The Honda Brio has a lot of potential to look good with only two doors though I am sure with the new Honda Amaze my pals would do some re-thinking.

If you remember the wedge line on the side profile of the Brio, the Amaze has got two of them running beside each other. These wedge lines form an important part on the side profile as it gives some definite character. The first one starts from the front wheel arch and continues till the rear passenger door while the second one starts underneath and in line with the passenger door handle it continues till the rear tail lamp. The wheel arches have mild flares. The running board too doesn’t have a wheelbase parallel line but instead it descends from the front wheel arch.

The front door window design remains same like the hatch while the rear window design has been changed due to the extended body design. The Honda Amaze is taller than the Brio (+5mm) and so it looks a tad bigger. Sharp and edgy lines of the Brio have been converted into subtle and curvy lines for the rear door and windows. The roof line gradually flows down to the boot lid.

The petrol and the diesel variants get different set of alloy wheels design. The diesel gets a strong wide cut square rib 10-spoke alloys while the petrol too gets a 10-spoke alloys but with a flowery design. Both the alloy designs look sporty but the one on the petrol variant clicks really well with me. They would look ultra stylish if coated in black matte paint and finishing the disc calipers in red (just a thought).

The large rear combinational lamp jets out from the design but subtly and not in a flab manner. They offer good illumination as well as make the rear profile look wider. The rear profile indeed looks very premium with a bold chunky chrome strip running on the boot lid. The lip of the boot lid is elevated forming a spoiler like design. The rear bumper has solid contours on it and has an overhang which makes the sedan look bigger.

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Detailed Expert Review On Honda Amaze Car - 116712

Rs. 5.34 - Rs. 8.04 lakhs
Ex-showroom Price (Mumbai)

Nostalgia is the feeling when one gets inside the Honda Amaze as this one packs in the same interiors as her identical younger sister the Honda Brio. The interiors continue to be a strong point like any other Honda car. Premium fit and finish is the key element in the interiors. The cabin feel inside the Amaze is amazing with lot of space. The interior color combination is nice with sand beige and black.

From the driver’s view, the sight is very confident and the pillars by no way form an obstruction to the vision. The cushioning of the seats is adequate for both rows. Front seats come with an integrated headrest which stand firm at a slight inclination. However, the angle of inclination should have been a bit more to protect against whip lash retardation. The front driver seat has a height adjusting arrangement which can elevate the seat manually by 50mm.

The rear seats are decently thick and offer good legroom and headroom. The wheelbase of Honda Amaze has been extended by 60mm as compared to Brio. This extension in wheelbase means a lot of room to stretch your legs which is needed in long journeys. Also, since the Amaze is taller than the Brio hatch the headroom too is good. The seats have been done very well in beige fabric with good quality stitching. The lumbar support for front seats along with the under thigh support is nice. The only small issue which is a generic one with all beige interiors is they are prone to attract dust and get dirty specially on the seat borders.

The interiors of Honda Amaze have been designed with the “man maximum machine minimum” concept which concentrates on allotting more space for occupants by minimizing the space required for mechanical components. This design philosophy also makes the interiors very spacious yet compact at the same time.

The instrumental panel is identical to the one in Brio which has a 3D combination meter with amber lighting. The digits looks very sporty. On the instrumental panel, the central cave is the speedometer which also houses the digital fuel gauge in it. The digital display shows tripmeter, odometer and fuel consumption of the vehicle in addition to the fuel gauge. The left cave features the analog tachometer and it’s a superb sight to see the needle jump up and down during pedal to metal style of driving. The cave type arrangement of the instrumental panel sometimes makes it difficult to see other information apart from speed.

The three spoke steering wheel feels the correct size. It has audio controls mounted on it to shuffle different channels as well as adjust the volume while driving. The mode button on the steering wheel shuffles though different audio playing mediums (Radio, MP3 etc). The switch gear quality is fantastic and the buttons are at a very accessible position.

Entertainment system in the Honda Amaze comes with an integrated Audio system with MP3, USB and Aux-in support. The speakers are embedded in the door panel. The music output is decent and at high frequency, there are occasions when the speakers tend to get little noisy. The USB cable continues to be planted at the bottom of the central panel near the power output. It may not be the one of the most convenient spaces but then it is the correct position as the one on the audio panel tends to get damaged easily due to their firm position.

Also mounted on the central panel is a 4 speed Air Conditioner with an Auto-Climate control. The AC was performing at its chilling best but then the Goa weather was hell bent on torturing the Amaze so much with excessive heat that the AC could do precious little.

There are lots of convenient pockets located at different places for storage purpose. The glovebox is indeed a generous loader. There are two cup holders on the central panel. The front door and the rear door pockets have provisions for housing a 1-little class beverage container. The small demerit of the Brio was lack of a generous boot space. The Amaze which measures 3990mm long has a smart boot which swallows in 400L of luggage meaning it can easily accommodate two piece f medium size luggage and 2 piece of small size luggage.

Overall, the Honda Amaze will definitely strike a chord with the ones who are looking for an entry level sedan but with a premium feel. Subtle two tone interiors, chrome hints and plush interior feeling guarantees a positive feeling about the Amaze.

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Detailed Expert Review On Honda Amaze Car - 116712

Rs. 5.34 - Rs. 8.04 lakhs
Ex-showroom Price (Mumbai)

Honda is not one of those companies which bring out products as soon as there is a demand. They take their own time in coming up with a product which caters to the varied needs. This may look like a slow process but then the company has to make sure that all the products offer supreme quality of features and performance the company is known for.

The Amaze petrol borrows the Brio’s heart. It has a 16 valve 4 cylinder SOHC i-VTEC engine with a displacement of 1198cc. This engine produces a peak power of 88PS at 6000 rpm and a torque of 109Nm at 4500 rpm. The petrol engine is offered in 5 speed manual as well as 5 speed Automatic transmission options. When it comes to a smooth refined and a performance engine, i-VTEC is one of my strong favorites.

The reason i-VTEC lists in my favorites is cause of the dual character. We have driven the Brio for more than 1000kms but even after driving the pint looking hatch for so long, the fatigue factor is negligible. In fact, during our Discover to Drive experience, the Brio was at its chirping best. On highways, we were blasting past all with the i-VTEC shouting at its peak and we loved the engine soundtrack.

So obviously, cause of the super smaller sibling we were packed with Amazing hopes with the sedan. A slight crank at the key and the i-VTEC greeted us with a subtle purr. As soon as we were flagged off from the venue, I knew it this one will surely be a treat. This one is dimensionally bigger as its taller and longer. The wheelbase has also been increased. Naturally, because of the extensions on the body, the Amaze will not be as agile. When you throw the Amaze around tight corners, the car will make you realize that there is a boot behind.

The transmission remains taut and crisp. The ratios are well divided and the inter changing of gears while driving is very smooth. The tachometer goes all the way up to the 8k mark. The petrol engine is indeed a performer comparatively. It reaches triple digit speeds at a great ease. Overtaking maneuver remains very confident so one does not play much with the manual stick to haul the car. The Amaze occupies a front disc and rear drum configuration for brakes which are effective.

It as McPherson Struts for front suspension and H-Shaped torsion beams for the rear. The suspensions absorb the uneven undulations with great ease. The compact dimensions of the Amaze make it handle well. Even though I was impressed by the petrol engine’s performance, there is a slight lag felt on climbing terrains. The car just had two occupants while we were reviewing so imagining a case when it is fully loaded, the lag would be considerably high.

So that was about the petrol engine, now coming to the Diesel engine which is the most anticipated unit in the country. The Diesel engine of the Honda Amaze has been developed under Honda’s Earth Dreams Technology. The 1.5L i-DTEC engine has been specially configured for Indian driving conditions. The cylinder head is done in complete aluminum finish and the engine block is manufactured using high pressure die casting.

With all the technological advancements, it has helped in reducing the pumping loss. The weight of crankshaft has also been reduced. To bring down the friction levels of a typical diesel engine and bring it as low as a petrol unit, Honda has used a considerable amount of friction-reduction technology. The i-DTEC 1.5L Diesel unit has been designed in such a way that the power delivery remains in tandem with torque delivery. It produces a peak power of 100PS at 3600 rpm and 200 Nm of torque at 1750 rpm.

The all new Diesel engine has also lowered the conventional energy losses. The engine design has been optimized on CAD. Specially for Amaze, Honda has given lots of attention to light weight engine construction. The crankshaft has been hardened using Nitriding process. The piston skirt which is mainly responsible for the firm piston movement inside the cylinder is short and narrow. The weight on the connecting rod has been reduced considerably. All this machining processes involved makes the Honda Amaze Diesel deliver a swift response and prompt acceleration cutting all the interim lag due to mechanical operations.

The injecting pressure which the injectors use in this diesel engine is 1600 bar. The injection timing is also controlled in a very precise manner. The water pump inside has been made compact. The engine also occupies a high performance cooling system. The mechanical friction of this diesel unit is very similar to a petrol engine of the same displacement. From all this, it is evident that Honda diligently developed this engine from scratch. The engine weighs a mere 152 Kgs. Even though both the petrol and diesel offer a 5 speed transmission, the transmission construction is different due to the difference in torque.

When I finally got the Honda Amaze Diesel, I ran behind to check out the i-DTEC badging on the boot lid. Once inside, I cranked the engine and it was a difficult sight. I say difficult because one is not used to hearing loud noise once in a Honda. It was the i-DTEC diesel which started churning. Being a petrol head, I have a knack of revving the car in neutral to hear it but then diesel units don’t have music ( i-VTEC which sounds amazing at peak rpms) and instead its noise.

Shift the manual transmission to first gear, and the engine revs hard until finally it starts hauling the car from still. Normally diesel units are bought by the fuel conscious or by the ones who seek better torque. In a lot of diesel sedans available in the market the engine gets meaty post 2000 rpm but in the Amaze the engine does not wait for that long and instead it starts a little before a the same mark. Yes, this may not have the fun factor of the petrol but the engine surely is unique. The only issue that I felt during our diesel review is the engine noise.

The loud diesel engine noise seeps in the cabin and remains to be at a very high volume unless you decide to switch on the music system or just distract yourself from it. Even the low end torque delivery is very effective so we could reach as low as 1500 rpm on third gear. Even though the gear was higher, the engine still does not get nervous and keeps pulling. At 3rd gear, we were able to pull it at 100kmph. The 3rd to 4th gear is the meaty range as all the action happens between these two. The efforts required to do an overtaking maneuver are considerably less. At 5th, the engine is at its cruising best and the diesel chatter goes down while it slowly scoops in speed. We did not try it but then it was evident that the diesel Amaze is capable of reaching a speed of150kmph with ease.

The Amaze however does not handle like the Brio and obviously. There was a small body roll felt when we threw it around corners. Even while braking at high speeds the car got little unstable but then we need to confirm this again as the roads on which tested the car were very uneven. Honda claims a super mileage of 25.8 kmpl. This figure is indeed possible because even after grilling the diesel sedan for so long. We had kept the AC running on full speed even when the car was stationary while taking images to beat the Goa heat, the Amaze delivered a mileage of 18 Kmpl. I am sure with an optimum way of driving; the Amaze can deliver a mileage of 22 Kmpl.

To sum up the above, Honda Amaze uses an all new 1.5L Diesel engine which is based on Honda’s Earth Dreams Technology. This engine has been crafted keeping Indian driving conditions in mind. It promises to be a class leading engine and also has the best in class fuel mileage of 25.8Kmpl. To help the engine perform better, Honda has collaborated with Idemitsu-JX and developed an ultra low viscosity diesel engine oil for exclusively for the Amaze.

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Detailed Expert Review On Honda Amaze Car - 116712

Rs. 5.34 - Rs. 8.04 lakhs
Ex-showroom Price (Mumbai)

2012 Honda Amaze Competitors

Specifications
Honda
Amaze
Maruti Suzuki
Swift Dzire
Variant - Diesel (i-DTEC) VX ZDi
Price Ex Showroom Mumbai 801734 782912
Engine Capacity 1498 1248
Power in PS/RPM 100/3600 75/4000
Torque in Nm/RPM 200/1750 190/2000
Gears 5/MT 5/MT
Fuel Diesel Diesel
Length mm 3990 3850
Width mm 1680 1695
Height mm 1505 1530
Wheel base mm 2405 2430
Kerb Weight in Kg 1075 1080
Ground clearance mm 165 170
Fuel tank capacity 35 42
Turning circle radius in M 4.7 4.8
Tyre Spec 175/65 R14 185/65 R15
Fuel Effeciency(KMPL) 25.8 22
Features
 Electric Power Steering Yes Yes
Electric Power windows Yes Yes
Central locking Yes Yes
 AC with Heater Yes Yes
Key less entry Yes Yes
Tilt steering Yes Yes
Electrically adjustable ORVM Yes Yes
Fuel consumption display Yes Yes
Headlight Height adjuster Yes No
Integrated Audio system with 4 Speaker Yes Yes
Halogen headlights Yes Yes
Alloy wheels  Yes  - 
Front Fog Lamps Yes Yes
Steering mounted audio control Yes Yes
Immobilzer Yes Yes
Dual airbag Yes Yes
ABS with EBD Yes Yes
Variant - Petrol (i-VTEC) VX ZXi
Price Ex Showroom Mumbai Not Available 672845
Fuel Type Petrol Petrol
Engine Capacity 1198 1197
Power in PS/RPM 88/6000 87/6000
Torque in Nm/RPM 109/4500 114/4000
Gears 5/MT, 5 AT 5/MT
Fuel Petrol Petrol
Length mm 3990 3850
Width mm 1680 1695
Height mm 1505 1530
Wheel base mm 2405 2430
Kerb Weight in Kg 965 990
Ground clearance mm 165 170
Fuel tank capacity 35 42
Turning circle radius in M 4.5 4.8
Tyre Spec 175/65 R14 185/65 R15
Fuel Effeciency(KMPL) 18 18
Features
 Electric Power Steering Yes Yes
Electric Power windows Yes Yes
Central locking Yes Yes
 AC with Heater Yes Yes
Key less entry Yes Yes
Tilt steering Yes Yes
Electrically adjustable ORVM Yes Yes
Fuel consumption display Yes Yes
Headlight Height adjuster Yes No
Integrated Audio system with 4 Speaker Yes Yes
Halogen headlights Yes Yes
Alloy wheels  Yes Yes
Front Fog Lamps Yes Yes
Steering mounted audio control Yes Yes
Immobilzer Yes Yes
Dual airbag Yes Yes
ABS with EBD Yes Yes
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Detailed Expert Review On Honda Amaze Car - 116712

Rs. 5.34 - Rs. 8.04 lakhs
Ex-showroom Price (Mumbai)

The Honda Amaze is like a classic Bollywood star for Honda. Like in the end, the Hero comes and saves the family from the bad guys; the Amaze is the strongest arsenal for Honda and has come at a correct time. It has a muscle power of i-DTEC diesel engine, which slaps a mileage of 25.8Kmpl on the face of the “Kitna deti hai” fan following.

With the segment leader diesel engine, the Amaze is here to stay for long. Apart from the fact that it is a good car, the Amaze will not just lock horns but then muscle its way against the Swift DZire. The Honda Amaze which will be priced premium than the DZire will click really well because the consumers get a well furnished premium product with a superb mileage. I suggest the DZire fans not start war commenting under this review but instead realize the fact that the Amaze is indeed a better product.

The Honda Amaze has all it takes to be a class leader with its longer wheelbase, compact dimensions, interior comfort and mileage conscious diesel engine. This finally marks an end to the long wait for a Honda diesel car. The Amaze will not just be a strong contender in its own segment but then it can be considered by even those who want a City but don’t want to spend as much. Let's hope the i-DTEC spreads across all segements of Honda cars and we finally gets to see a complete diesel line up by the company.

 

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