Honda Amaze 2nd Gen priced at Rs 5.6 lakh; this CVT is the pick of the range
Honda Amaze: To start its marginally longer, wider and taller than the outgoing car, and its wheelbase is a significant 65mm longer than before. Design-wise its quite likeable and feels a lot more expensive and better- proportioned compared to many sub-four-metre sedans
This is Honda’s all new 2nd-gen Amaze and from first impressions seems all grown-up. To start its marginally longer, wider and taller than the outgoing car, and its wheelbase is a significant 65mm longer than before. Design-wise its quite likeable and feels a lot more expensive and better- proportioned compared to many sub-four-metre sedans. The large signature chrome grille, flanked by the slim headlamps and flat bonnet, is unmistakably Honda. Like the older car, the sides get distinct character lines and the roof seamlessly blends with the boot. Even the alloy wheels are larger at 15 inches. At the rear, the C-shaped tail-lamps giving it a mini-Civic look.
Like before, there’s a 90hp, 1.2-litre four-cylinder petrol and a 100hp, 1.5-litre four- cylinder diesel engine, mated to either a five-speed manual or an automatic (CVT).?Honda has made several enhancements to improve efficiency, and reduce the vibrations and harshness levels in the diesel. The 100hp, 1,498cc, four-cylinder diesel behaves just like before, and remains very responsive to accelerator inputs. Power builds in a very linear manner, and although the boost comes in at around 1,800rpm, there’s ample power available even below that ' so those used to up-shifting early in diesels won’t have to deal with delayed power delivery. The five-speed manual has short and precise throws, but this gearbox isn’t as slick as some of its rivals. The clutch, however, is fairly light to use. The talking point of the new Amaze is the diesel- CVT. Although it uses the same 1.5-litre diesel engine, power and torque have been cut by 20 percent to 80hpand 160Nm, respectively.?The diesel-CVT is a first for Honda. The good news is that the CVT performs brilliantly and complements the engine’s responsive nature well. Performance is brisk and effortless, as the gearbox keeps the engine spinning right in the meat of its powerband.
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It works very smoothly, and, even when driven aggressively, it holds the revs at 3,700rpm, as speeds increase rapidly.
The petrol is the familiar 90hp, 1.2-litre, four-cylinder unit and there’s hardly any change in the way it drives.?As long as you’re gentle with the accelerator, the engine rewards users with a smooth and refined performance in?the city. There’s a prominent spike in performance post 2,500rpm and then again over 5,500rpm; it revs all the way until 6,600rpm too. Although the five-speed manual is easy to drive, there’s also a CVT option which works seamlessly in the city. However, when driven hard, it has a tendency to hold the revs at higher rpms, making the engine feel a bit stressed. This becomes even more pronounced when the car is loaded with passengers and luggage.
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Ride comfort is one of the key strengths of this Amaze. It handles rough roads very capably and doesn’t toss passengers around when driven over broken roads. Body movements are also quite well-controlled. If there was one concern, it would be that, with four passengers and luggage, the rear of the car bottoms out (just like?the older Civic) on speed breakers because of the soft rear suspension and long wheelbase. The steering has a bit of vagueness at centre position but it remains well- weighted and precise as the speeds build. What further inspires confidence is how sharp the turn-in feels; so this family car can still be fun around the bends and curves.
The new-gen Amaze isn’t just grown up on the outside, it’s a significant step up on the inside too ' be it space or appeal. The two-tone dashboard might seem a?bit busy in terms of design elements, but there’s a noticeable improvement in the quality of materials used. Though there aren’t any soft- touch plastics to speak of, the textured bits just feel nicer. Certain bits like the steering controls and climate control knobs and buttons are really nice. The front seats are a huge improvement and now get adjustable neck restraints. The touchscreen is smooth to operate and it is easy to navigate through the various menus. This system gets Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, as well as satellite navigation.
The outgoing car is very spacious at the back and this new one carries that strength forward. The seat is very comfortable, with a good recline angle and ample thigh support. Legroom, too, is huge for a car of this size, and, because the front seatbacks are scooped in, knee room is ample. It does have certain flaws though ' the headroom here is tight, and the fixed neck restraints are quite useless for taller passengers, in the event of a rear-end collision In terms of equipment, the top variants feature cruise control, keyless entry/go,?tilt steering adjustment, touchscreen infotainment system, climate control and the petrol-automatic Amaze gets paddle-shifters. Safety kit like ABS, EBD, dual airbags, and Isofix child seat mounts on the rear seat are standard across the range.
The right word to describe this car would be ‘grown-up’. Be?it premium appeal, space, or even comfort, the new Amaze has truly upped its game. And for those looking for a comfy, smooth, diesel-automatic family sedan, your search ends here; the CVT is really the pick of the range.
(By Saumil Shah, DNA)