VKeeping the customers engrossed is highly daunting task. More so in case of compact sedan segment of Indian auto industry. Honda which started off on a high note with Amaze lost customers as ever renewing competition and market dynamics got steam out of it. Honda added some equipment to remain relevant though it failed to revive sales to desired level. Sensing the need for facelift, company has now launched 2016 year model of Amaze. For a facelift standard, changes are plentiful, especially inside the cabin where whole dashboard has been replaced. Disappointingly though the mechanicals remains unaltered. Honda say that it has refined the noisy oil-burner though on paper spec-sheet reads the similar figures. So what else has changed or rather remained unchanged, we get you in this road-test review.
Design, Style & Interiors
Gone out is the meek face of older Amaze as new facelift brought in healthy dose of character to the frontage. We admit the headlamp cluster is same though now it flanks heavily chrome slatted grille. Keen observers won't have any difficulty in finding inspiration of the Amaze to upcoming BR-V. Side profile is exactly similar and puny 14 inch wheels don’t help either. Opposed to 15” tyres that shod most of Amaze rivals, Honda has sacrificed bigger size at the altar of fuel-efficiency. At the back, the only differentiation is tail lamps which are now bigger and wraparound nicely.
If outside fails to impress you, inside would certainly change your opinion. For a facelift to completely replace dash js rare but Honda has done it. Perhaps the criticism heaped on boring and Spartan layout of older car has forced the company to make the amend. And we guesstimate that it’s not very costly affair. As Honda has plastered HR-V’s dash to Amaze, it hadn't costed company to spend resources to redraw interiors scheme. Equipment has also got the boost. Automatic climate control is now available on top trim and car features enhanced safety provisions. Clean and uncluttered instrument clusters with blue lighting is nifty touch and it displays loads of information too.
Space, like before, continues to be excellent. Amaze’s biggest USP is its roominess and undoubtedly, the car stands as benchmark for the compact sedan. There is enough legroom,knee room though headroom falls a bit short in comparison. Boot space too is class leading and minimum intrusions of towers augment the usability of trunk.
Engine, Transmission & Driving Dynamics
Powered by similar set of power trains, Amaze remains to be a mediocre performer, especially the diesel variant. That doesn't mean it will let you down the only thing we are pointing out is the lack of spunk. There is no splash of strong torque that arrests you like in Dzire though on flip side, Amaze offers excellent drivability.You won't be bothered to make frequent gear shifts.And even when it is necessary, a very Crisp and direct 5-speed manual transmission gives back a very reassuring feel. Among its rivals, Amaze has shifting Gate you receive that can be easily considered as a benchmark. Gates as well defined and doesn't require any directional effort. In the facelift although the biggest edition is the availability of CVT transmission mated to the petrol Motor. It must be noted that in the compact Sedan category amaze is the only proposition that comes with continuous variable transmission against the ongoing trend of adopting automated manual transmission across the industry players.
Like engine transmission combo, ride and handling of New Amaze is similar to outgoing model. That means occupants will be comfortable inside the cabin and hardly bothered by road undulations. The car offers good ride quality and although potholes filter into the cabin, there is no issue while tackling with small Road disturbances. Handling of the car is also says and when pushed around corners, Amaze behave in a confident manners. It doesn't threaten to go out of control and behaves like a sensible child.
WStreching between the price range of Rs 5.30 lakh to Rs 8.20 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), honda Amaze offers a good value for money. It shows that company has learnt from its past mistakes and now recognised the pricing sensibility of Indian masses. Through this facelift Honda has addressed one of the key criticism older Amaze is facing i.e. bland exterior and interior quality. New amazing looks the part and the changes have given it a new character and masculinity. Inside the cabin too ambience has taken quantum leap thanks to the new dashboard and high quality grains used by the company. Add to this new package old strength of Amaze like spacious cabin and class leading boot space, and new Amaze as a formidable proposition. Honda has really worked hard and we believe that people will surely sit back and take the notice.
Style & Substance 4/5 Ride & Handling 4/5
Interiors & Ergonomics: 3.5/5 Safety & Equipment 4.5/5
Power-Plant & Transmission 3.5/5 Fuel Efficiency 3.5/5
Value for money 4/5