Honda Amaze Brand story – Sample 1

Snapshot
  • Honda
  • Amaze
  • 2013-04-01
  • C segment sedan
  • 5
  • Maruti Dzire, Ford Aspire, Toyota Etios, Tata Tigor
Updates
Specification
Fuel Type Petrol / Diesel
Engine Capacity 1199 cc/ 1498 cc
Max Power 90 PS / 100 PS
Max Torque 110 Nm / 200 Nm
No of cylinders 4
No of gears 5
Type Manual & AMT
Certified economy 19.5 km/l (Petrol), 27.4 km/l (Diesel), 19.0 km/l (Petrol CVT), 23.8 km/l (Diesel CVT)
Length 3995mm
Width 1695mm
Height 1501mm (S,V,VX), 1498 mm (E)
Wheelbase 2470mm
Boot Space 420 Litres
Kerb Weight Petrol 905-945 kg
Kerb Weight Diesel 993-1039 kg
Fuel Tank 35 Litres
Front MacPherson Strut, coil spring
Rear Torsion Bar, coil spring
Turning Radius 4. meters
Front brakes Disc
Rear brakes Drum
Tyres 175/65 R14 (E & S) & 175/65 R15 (V, VX)
Wheel type Rim (E & S) / Alloys (V, VX)
Versions

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1) Spacious and upmarket cabin : we love the layout
2) Only car under 10 lakh to offer diesel-CVT combination
3) Low running costs, upto 5 years / unlimited mileage warranty
4) Great ride quality. Design has matured over the years
1) Diesel motor is still very noisy
2) Rear headroom is limited
3) No rear air-con vents
4) Bland rear design is a turn off
The Amaze is Honda’s first sub 4-meter sedan and went on to create a
Guinness record for the ‘longest journey in a single country’ which stood at
23,823 km in 53 days.
Did you know?
Deep Dive
Let’s face it, the first generation Amaze wasn’t smart enough to win any
beauty pageants. But when Honda took off the wraps off this new version, we
were in for a pleasant surprise. I still wouldn’t call it a ‘beautiful’ sedan by any
measure, but the new face does lend it a mature and a premium look easily,
credit for which goes to the ‘solid wing face’ theme which has also been
applied to other global models from Honda. The Amaze does not look like a
‘cheap’ sedan at all and this design theme gets carried over to the rest of the
car. Agreed, the alloy wheels could have been classier but Honda, it seems,
decided to play safe to cater to the masses than the enthusiasts.
The new Amaze is larger in overall dimensions as well. In terms of pure
numbers, it is 5 mm longer and 15 mm wider but sits 5mm lower than the
outgoing version – this gives it a low and wide stance, adding a hint of
sportiness. The wheelbase is longer by a good 65 mm but more on that later.
Both alloy wheels and rim cover designs have been updated. The higher end
versions also get a one up increase in wheel size and now come with 175/65
R15 wheels. The new Amaze really is an all-new car. Not only have the
length and wheelbase increased, the sedan also gets a wider front and rear
tread, up by 17 mm at the front and 25 mm at the rear as compared to the
outgoing version. Even the ground clearance is higher by 5 mm and now
stands at 170 mm.
Changes continue on the inside as well and the new Amaze bears no
resemblance to the outgoing model. I personally like the clutter free and clean
design with the highlight being the DigiPad 2.0 and climate control up front.
The speedometer console is also new and continues to show essentials like
fuel consumption and outside temperature. Space has always been a trump
card for the Amaze and the new one improves on that. We will let the
numbers do the talking here again – the tandem distance has improved by 25
mm, rear shoulder room by 45 mm and rear head clearance by 10 mm. Boot
space has also gone up by 42 litres to 420.
But does the extra space translate into comfort? Yes, but not without
mentioning the new seats. These simply feel from a segment above and I can
again vouch for the long distance comfort given my 53 day stint in the older
version a few years back while breaking the then Guinness record for the
longest journey done in a single country without taking the same route twice.
The new ones, up front, also tend to hug you really well. The air-conditioningparticularly needs a mention here. The petrol models now get a 43 % larger
compressor volume while for the diesel versions, this number stands at 9 %.
Rear passengers however do not get dedicated vents but are taken care of
by the most comfortable seats in the business.
The new Amaze continues to be powered by the same petrol and diesel
engine options. The petrol engine still puts out 90 PS of power along with 110
Nm of torque and will be offered with a choice of a 5-speed manual and a
new CVT automatic option, replacing the older model’s torque converter. Fuel
economy has taken a bump thanks to friction reduction technologies and now
stands at 19.5 kmpl for the manual and 19 kmpl for the CVT model. We got a
chance to sample the CVT petrol and this combination seems to work better
than the manual version as the latter does suffer from a weak low end. The
CVT box however erases this weakness completely and the engine climbs up
to the right revs quickly when you want to go fast. This is the beauty of this
type of transmission though it might end up being a slightly more expensive
affair. The CVT petrol also gets paddle shifts to cater to enthusiasts,
something missing in the diesel CVT reviewed next.The diesel motor is now available with a CVT automatic transmission as well
but the catch here is the output of the motor. As we all know, traditionally,
CVTs are unable to bear high torque levels, and hence the diesel motor has
been de-tuned for CVT usage, putting out 80 PS and 160 Nm – these are
20% less than what the same engine delivers with a manual gearbox. On the
good side, Honda claims they have worked hard to keep NVH levels
acceptable and have achieved both noise and friction reductions here. And in
real world driving, this CVT is actually quicker than the more powerful manual
diesel – we kid you not! This has been possible as depending on your
accelerator inputs, the CVT box drops ratios to be in the correct torque band,
pushing the car forward with an impressive punch. Roll-ons is where this set-
up works very well, though flat out, the diesel CVT Amaze is not as exciting
as its manual counterpart. Talking of which, the Amaze is once again
restricted to a true top speed of 140 km/h which translates into 145 on the
speedometer. Kitna deti hai? Well, the manual and CVT models are rated at
27.4 kmpl and 23.8 kmpl, respectively.
The 5 speed manual, Amaze Diesel continues to impress me. We had a
diesel Amaze back home with over 1.5 lakh km on the clock and this one
feels so much better. First, the NVH levels play an important role thanks to
factors like improved soundproofing package, an engine undercover, several
changes in the engine block and head materials and usage of lightweightmaterials. Second, the power / torque surge continues to come in early and
third, as speeds rise, the Amaze starts to behave like a bigger sedan. This is
also essential for those customers who are upgrading from a small hatchback
and are looking for that important ‘bigger’ feel.

The new Amaze is based on an all-new platform that also aids the way the
Amaze behaves at high speeds. Around the backside of the Bangalore airport
on roads with ample bumps and speed breakers, the revised suspension set-
up showed its true colors. For technical buffs, what the engineers did was
replace the bump stop dumper from natural rubber to urethane. Likewise, the
rear suspension geometry has also been changed by optimizing the roll
center angle. On the rather empty Bangalore-Hyderabad highway, we did
clock some serious speeds and even with three passengers and luggage on
board, high speed manners were really impressive. And this includes cross
winds as well as overtaking slow moving heavy commercial traffic – the
Amaze sticks to its lane though brakes could have offered a better bite – I
would blame this on the fact that the car we drove had less than 1000 Km on
the odo and I believe the pads will offer their best behavior after a while.
Honda has also made the steering larger and heavier in terms of its weight –
even the shaft size has gone up from 22 to 33 mm. This in turn calls for less
effort from the driver and though I would not call it feather light, it works well
for slow speed driving. High speed manners is something I’ve already
discussed above.
The new Amaze also scores top marks in the crucial safety department.
Standard features include dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, child ISOFIX
seats, head impact protection cabin and ‘failure reduction body’ – talking of
which, the new Amaze meets the upcoming India crash norms and has
already passed tests like frontal collision, side collision, rear collision, rear
seat occupant protection and pedestrian protection.
The Amaze is available in four main trims of E, S, V and VX. The CVT
models of both petrol and diesel are sold in the mid level S and V trims only.
The base E, apart from the above mentioned safety kit gets driver info
display, manual air-con, all four power windows, power steering etc. The top
spec VX is fully loaded and gets a 17.7 cm touch-screen interface which
Honda calls as DIGIPAD 2.0, climate control, alloy wheels, smart entry with
push button start, rear camera, cruise control etc.And finally the cost of running. Honda will be offering a standard warranty of 3
years / unlimited km along with extended warranty options of 4 and 5 years,
again with unlimited usage. This is segment best. The running cost is also
lower than that of the Maruti Dzire with the Amaze petrol servicing cost
coming to Rs 3,500 and that of diesel to Rs 4,900. This is for the 10,000km
service interval. Impressive.

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