Honda is ready for the second innings of the Amaze as the new-gen model is set to launch on May 16, 2018. With an evolved design and the option of a CVT with both engines, we find out how better the Amaze is equipped to take on its competition now.
Variants: The Honda Amaze is available in four variants: E, S, V and VX with the CVT being offered on the mid S and V variants.
Look and Feel
The second-gen model is wider than the previous Amaze and it’s the first thing that you’ll notice while looking at its front fascia. This is also partly due to its fresh new face featuring a big wing-like chrome strip that runs across the grille, connecting the headlamps together, making it look like a single unit.
The front bumper is properly sculpted with a lot of edges. The new design is striking and the Amaze does look fresh and appealing, compared to the first-gen model as well as its rivals.
The layout of the headlamps is now sleeker compared to the bulbous looking units offered before. Sadly, they are still multi-reflector units, while you get LED projectors in the Dzire and halogen projectors in the Tata Tigor/Zest. Even daytime running LEDs are missing but it does get LED light guides (parking lights) instead of that.
The side profile looks a lot cleaner than before with a single prominent character line that runs across its length. Speaking of which, at 3995mm, the new Amaze is 5mm longer than before. In fact, even the wheels have been pushed to the extremities and the wheelbase, at 2,470mm, has gone up significantly by 65mm. Honda has also increased the Amaze’s ground clearance by 5mm and it now stands at 170mm.
Although the boot is stubby and high-set, the Amaze doesn’t look disproportionate.
The new Dzire, though, still has a more proportionate design compared to the Amaze’s.
The Amaze carries forward the outside rearview mirrors from the previous model, which are also seen on the City, Jazz, WR-V and the BR-V.
The slim and flimsy door handles of the first-gen Amaze have been replaced with the chunkier units from the City and the Jazz/WR-V.
The wheel size has gone up by an inch (15-inch), however, their design looks a little bland in comparison to say the Dzire’s or the Xcent’s machine cut wheels. A machine cut finish or even a clutter-free design would have made it more appealing.
The rear profile carries over the same relatively boxy and flat layout that you see at the front. It gets a similar looking C-shaped tail lamps that you’ll see in the upcoming tenth-generation Accord. Like the front bumper, the rear too is sculpted as you can clearly notice various cuts and creases.
The tail lamps could have had a chrome applique as Honda’s logo looks absurd in the middle at the rear. The model that Honda had showcased at the Expo featured a thick chrome strip connecting the tail lamps and the logo (check out the image below).
Although Honda hasn’t offered projector or LED headlights, it could have offered LED tail lamps. The Dzire gets them as standard across all variants.
The big C-shaped tail lamps would’ve looked even better with LED elements.
Even the interior is as fresh as the exterior. It gets a new dashboard and steering wheel, while the cabin theme continues to be dual-tone (black and beige). While the overall quality seems to have gone up in comparison to the previous model, it is at par with cars such as the Dzire and the Aspire.
The dash is low-set compared to the previous model, especially around the driver’s side. It feels relatively airier and you get a better view up front compared to before.
The Digipad 2.0 with Android Auto and CarPlay is far superior to the Digipad 1.0 currently offered with the City, WR-V and the BR-V.
It is not laggy unlike before and the new UI is also intuitive. The only downside is that the visibility takes a hit under direct sunlight.
Lower variants offer a Bluetooth-enabled audio system, which looks identical to the one offered before. The overall design of the system is pretty unexciting and Honda could have come up with a better looking unit.
Honda has made a significant improvement in terms of seating comfort on the whole.
Gone are those cheap looking slim seats with integrated headrests replaced by much wider seats with properly adjustable headrest.
The seats come with better bolstering, while the headrests offer whiplash projection like its siblings.
The rear cabin space and seats had always been the Amaze’s forte and the second-gen model continues to impress. The increased width and wheelbase have made things even better.
On the practicality front, all the doors offer 1-litre bottle holders and the rear armrest comes with twin cup holders.
The glovebox is wide and spacious and there are a lot of places in the central console for knick-knacks as well.
The only flipside is that Honda should have offered a front armrest, particularly with the diesel and petrol automatic variants.
Even cruise control (offered for the first time) is limited to only the top-spec VX variant. We feel, Honda should have offered it with the automatic variants as well.
Auto climate control is available as before. Interestingly, the second-gen Amaze packs front window demister vents (placed above the side ones; check out the picture below). It is still a glaring miss on Honda’s entire Indian lineup, except the Accord and the CR-V.
The boot space has gone up by 20 litres and at 420 litres, it is now the largest in the segment.
Mechanicals and Drive
The Honda Amaze carries forward the same 1.2-litre petrol and 1.5-litre diesel engine options as before with a standard 5-speed manual. There’s an optional CVT automatic with the petrol as before. And most importantly, the diesel too gets a CVT option this time around, but the engine has slightly been detuned as Honda claims the diesel-CVT combo works better like that.
As is the case with CVTs, there are no shift shocks and the Amaze offers a seamless drive. Honda has also worked on the NVH (noise, vibration, and harshness) aspect of its 1.5-litre diesel engine with the new Amaze and along with better insulation, the overall refinement level is noticeably better than the previous model.
In our brief time with the new Amaze, we felt that its suspension system has been tuned for comfort and its ride has improved over uneven roads.
The Amaze diesel-manual continues to be the most punchy of the lot as before, although in regular city conditions you won’t find any drastic difference between the CVT and the manual version. Here, the CVT-equipped diesel Amaze gets the added advantage of being a two-pedal offering. The petrol, on the other hand, is a decent performer like before, but it’s just that the petrol CVT now comes with the added convenience of paddle shifters.
The Amaze scores big on practicality with its feature loaded and spacious cabin. It also makes a bold statement in the compact sedan space with Accord-like styling and, of course, the first-in-class diesel CVT option. If you ask us, we would pick the diesel manual for its punchy nature and fuel efficiency.