If you are in the market for a new family car, I bet the Honda Amaze has gone under your radar. Of course, there are a tonne of choices but we are here to tell you five reasons why you should consider buying the Honda Amaze and two reasons why you are better looking elsewhere.
1. Refined petrol engine
Honda has always been renowned for its petrol engines. Case in point, the long-running 1.5-litre engine in the Honda City is something the owners swear by. And even today Honda has maintained the prominence of their four-cylinder petrol engines. What we are driving today is the 1.2-litre naturally aspirated engine which has been around for quite some time now. It puts out a healthy 90bhp and 110Nm and can be had with a five-speed manual or a CVT automatic.
On idling, this 1.2-litre is a very refined engine. There are no vibrations felt inside and you’d have to double-check whether or not the engine is running. It gets a little noisy only when you wring it, but that won’t be necessary thanks to its progressive nature. At city speeds, there’s a good amount of push you get around 2,000rpm and the free-revving engine would go all the way to redline when there’s a need to push the motor. Out on the highway, you could be doing around 90kmph and the engine would be churning under 1,500rpm.
The Amaze is a well-suited city car and it can do a fair bit of mile-munching as well. Its light control and refined powertrain make it a good car to live with. And the CVT gearbox makes the deal even sweeter.
2. Convenience of CVT
That brings us to the next positive. In its segment, which is now kind of dwindling, the Honda Amaze is the only sub-four metre sedan with an option of CVT automatic. It’s definitely a superior gearbox compared to the AMT units available in the Dzire or the Aura.
Honda has been making CVT gearbox for many years now. So they know a thing or two about how to make a good one. It’s a seamless shifting CVT and you won’t even realise it working away, giving you smooth shifts under sedate driving. Only when you push it hard, the CVT’s rubber band effect is felt. But thankfully, you can counter it to a great extent with these paddle shifters. There’s also S mode here that will hold the gears for a little longer when you want some fun behind the wheel.
3. Fuel Efficiency
Now, like any other car that we test at CarWale, the Honda Amaze here has also undergone the same fuel efficiency regime. We follow the tank to tank method over a predefined route to find out exact real-world fuel efficiency. And this Amaze petrol CVT came out with flying colours.
In the city fuel run, it managed to return a fuel efficiency of 10.73kmpl. But out on the highway, the fuel efficiency was dramatically doubled to 20.25kmpl. The claimed ARAI figures are 18.6kmpl. But the average real-world fuel efficiency can be computed between 13-14kmpl. With a fuel tank of 35 litre, you can go more than 450 kilometres in a tankful. And if you consider the current fuel prices, the per kilometre cost of the Amaze 1.2 petrol CVT would be under Rs 10.
4. Rear seat comfort and Safety
Now if you are buying a family sedan, you’d want to know how the space in the car is for your family. Especially at the back, the space is more than you’d expect. This seat is set to my driving height and it still has ample legroom and headroom here. Moreover, the all-beige cabin makes it feel airier as well. Even the seat recline is good and comfortable and the seats themselves are soft and supportive. There’s also an armrest here with cup holders, but no adjustable headrest at the back, even in this top-spec version, is a slight bummer.
And if you are planning a long trip with the family, the 420 litres of boot space can swallow up your entire luggage quite easily. Nowadays, safety has become one of the prime criteria for those looking to buy a new car. So, if you look for NCAP ratings on the cars before buying, the Amaze makes a strong case for itself with a four-star NCAP rating.
5. Ride Quality
With the update last year, Honda has tuned the suspension for a nice and comfortable ride. And the Amaze manages to absorb bumps and undulations that our everyday roads are plagued with. The Amaze’s suspension doesn’t crash over potholes unless encountered with a really sharp one. It manages to absorb and glide over all the irregularities without troubling the passengers. Even the road joints and regular-sized rumblers are taken astride with good composure. And since it is a sedan, there’s always a fear of scrapping the underbelly over speed-breakers. But 170mm of ground clearance ensures that doesn’t happen very often.
1. Features for the price
This top-spec VX CVT trim of the Honda Amaze retails at around Rs 10.5 lakh, on-road, Mumbai. In this price bracket, you do get a decently decked up feature list but there are some missing features that we expected with last year’s update.
You do get projector lamps, LED tail lamps, automatic AC, auto headlamp functions, reverse camera, push-button start, and a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system. But it could have been provided with a sunroof, rear AC vents, ambient lighting, TPMS or wireless charger, and a modern-day connectivity suite as part of the update. Even the driver’s display is pretty old school with analogue dials and monochromatic MID so a digital console would have been a nice touch.
2. There's a diesel CVT as well
One more reason why you could avoid this petrol CVT version of the Amaze is that you can also buy the Amaze with a diesel CVT option. Currently, it’s the only car that offers this powertrain option in India. So if you have a lot of daily commutes or prefer doing long-distance touring very often, you should go for the diesel CVT since it's more fuel-efficient, equally good to drive, and should be easier on the pocket. And talking about driving, the Amaze petrol CVT is properly a family car. So those who want to have fun behind the wheel have a far better option to choose from.
Offering a refined petrol engine with the option of a CVT automatic, the Amaze provides a combination which is quite rare even today, and is also a notch above the AMTs offered by its competition. Secondly, the CVT has undergone a lot of improvements over the years, making it one of the best in business. With the update, the Amaze makes for a great family car for more reasons than one. However, on the flip side, its feature list leaves you wanting more. Lastly, if you rack up lots of kilometres each month, it’s better to go with the Amaze’s diesel-CVT combination. There you have it – the Honda Amaze, with all its ups to see it parked in your driveway and the downs why you should look elsewhere.
Photography: Kapil Angane & Kaustubh Gandhi