The Honda Amaze was an instant success when launched in April 2013. The sub-four metre sedan was appreciated for being compact yet spacious, stylish yet affordable. It was priced competitively too. The sales numbers soared high and continue to be high with Honda having sold more than two lakh units till date.
But, the Amaze had started feeling dated lately, especially on the inside, which was no match for new competition like the Ford Figo Aspire and Tata zest in terms of features and upmarket feel. To get the shine back, Honda has launched this facelifted model. The carmaker has added distinctive touches to the overall package enhancing the appeal of the car. So, is it a better deal now?
The overall dimensions of the facelifted Amaze car remain the same. But, instead of the sharp two slat front grille on the outgoing Amaze, the 2016 iteration of the sedan gets a curved horizontal slat grille. The bumpers, front and back, are new and the Amaze gets a new set of tail lamps as well. Nothing has changed in profile, however.
The cabin is where Honda has actually tastefully brought in the changes. The dual tone dashboard is completely new with rectangular air vents and silver accents. The centre console boasts of a new audio system with a neat surround in piano black finish. The system is ergonomic and easy to use. The unappealing AC control knobs from the previous car are now replaced by a smart and functional digital AC control module with automatic climate control.
The new instrument cluster comes in a cool blue theme as an alternative to the earlier orange one. The tachometer and speedometer are now accompanied by a small digital screen that displays the fuel range, temperature, odometer, trip meter, time and floating mileage clearly. In terms of space, nothing has changed. But, it’s no cause for worry because the Amaze has always been one of the more spacious sub-four metre sedans in the market. And now with the new dashboard, added utility and the 400 litres boot, it has only taken the desirability a notch higher.
We sampled both the petrol and diesel variants of Amaze that are powered by the same powertrains from the outgoing model. The petrol version, powered by the 1.2-litre i-VTEC engine, still makes 88bhp of power and the 1.5-litre four-cylinder i-DTEC diesel too continues to make 100bhp. The latter naturally has better fuel economy. It delivers 25.8kmpl on the ARAI cycle compared to 17.8kmpl returned by the petrol. The petrol has its pluses as well. Besides being cheaper to buy, it is also quieter, more refined and freer revving than the diesel. Having said that Honda has worked on improving the NVH on the new diesel Amaze further.
Coming to the transmission bits, the conventional five-speed manual gearbox is carried over from the previous car. With its short throws and smooth shifts, it still offers an enjoyable experience. Furthermore, this time, Honda has replaced the five-speed automatic gearbox with a CVT transmission.
In terms of driving feel, the steering is reasonably direct, the brakes have a good feel and feedback, and the car continues to offer good visibility courtesy height adjust for the driver’s seat. There are no changes to the suspension however and as a result the new Amaze rides like the older car: flat and planted.
|Variant||1.5 VX i-DTEC|
|Max. Power (bhp@rpm)||99bhp @ 3,600|
|Max. torque (Nm@rpm)||200Nm @ 1,750|
|Fuel Capacity (in litres)||35|
|Tyre size||175/65 R14|
|Dual SRS Airbags||Yes|
|ABS and EBD||Yes|
|Integrated music system with bluetooth||Yes|
|AC with automatic climate control||Yes|
|Rear arm-rest with cup-holder||Yes|
|CVT gearbox in petrol model||Yes|
Competition All Specs
|Variant||1.5 VX i-DTEC||ZDI|
|Max. Power (bhp@rpm)||99bhp @ 3,600||74bhp @ 4,000|
|Max. torque (Nm@rpm)||200Nm @ 1,750||190Nm @ 2,000|
|Fuel Capacity (in litres)||35||42|
|Tyre size||175/65 R14||185/65 R15|
So, what has Honda achieved with the Amaze facelift? As a product, it has only just caught up with the rest in terms of features even though it could do better still by adding keyless start and a touch screen multimedia system. The good news is the addition of the CVT ‘box and the option for buyers to choose dual airbags no matter what variant. So, if you are a customer who likes Honda, the Japanese carmaker has given you even more reasons to buy the car. And if you are just in the market for a sub-4 metre sedan but have no favorites yet, well, the Honda Amaze facelift certainly makes a more compelling case for itself now given it has moved up the value chart.