The new Amaze should worry rivals. It packs state-of-the-art features at a competitive price, and the company is offering some smart after-sales service packages to boot.
The Amaze was the first compact sedan developed by Honda Cars India in 2013; it was also the company’s first diesel car. After the City, it has been Honda’s most successful product in India (having sold 2.57 lakh units). The second-generation Amaze, launched this week, is a full-model change—built from the ground up on an all-new platform. India is the first country where it has been launched. We drive it.
How does it look?
It’s bigger than the old Amaze—5mm longer and 15mm wider, though it’s still under 4 metres in length (3,995mm). And the design elements—such as the big chrome plate in the front and an aggressive face—make it look bigger than it actually is. Honda, aptly, is branding it as a one-class above sedan. As far as competition is concerned, if Maruti Suzuki Dzire has a more linear design and Tata Tigor looks trendy, the Amaze looks more assertive.
How’s the cabin?
The rear seating area is, arguably, the most spacious and comfortable in its segment. Rear space has been achieved thanks to a longer wheelbase of 2,470mm (65mm more than in the old Amaze). While legroom is good, tall passengers on rear seats might find their head touching the roof. It has the best trunk capacity of 420 litres (20 litres more than the old Amaze).
However, more than space, it’s the premiumness that reflects. It’s feature-loaded, too. While it doesn’t have rear AC vents, the company claims the AC cools the cabin faster than other cars in its segment.
Which engines power it?
The petrol is the 1.2-litre i-VTEC motor available in manual (five-speed) and automatic gearbox options (CVT). It develops a maximum power of 88.8bhp and torque of 110Nm. The claimed fuel-efficiency is 19.5kpl (manual) and 19kpl (CVT).
The diesel is the 1.5-litre i-DTEC motor in manual and CVT, but with different output. The manual develops 98.6bhp and 200Nm, while CVT develops 78.9bhp and 160Nm. There’s wide variation in fuel-efficiency figure—27.4kpl (manual) and 23.8kpl (CVT). This is the first time that Honda is using a CVT with a diesel engine.
How does it drive?
Petrol manual: The cabin is very quiet, the clutch is light and gear changes are smooth. Driving within the city is a breeze, but if you are, say, overtaking a long vehicle speeding on a highway, you almost always have to down-shift. Petrol CVT: The CVT gearbox is very responsive to accelerator inputs. It’s the best Amaze option if you primarily drive within city limits. There is an option of paddle shifters, too.
Diesel manual: Engine clatter is heard inside the cabin. Acceleration, and the feel of it, is better than that of petrol. Diesel CVT: It produces lower power than diesel manual, but the car doesn’t feel underpowered and is fun, and easy, to drive. It’s the best Amaze option if you primarily drive intercity.
How good a buy is it?
Ex-showroom, all-India prices start at Rs 5.6 lakh for entry-level petrol, going up to Rs 9 lakh for top-end diesel. While it’s competitively priced, Honda has sweetened the deal by offering smart after-sales service packages, including a three-year, unlimited kilometre warranty as standard, extended warranty for additional two years (unlimited km), service interval of 1 year or 10,000km, and a three-year annual maintenance package (Rs 3,500 for petrol and Rs 4,900 for diesel)—it’s a clever move.