new-delhi

2016 Honda Amaze - It's what inside that matters

  • Mar 14, 2016
  • 4620 Views
IMG_3222 copy

Since its launch in 2013, the Honda Amaze has changed the fortunes of Honda Cars India. With it, the company decided to take on the value-for-money conscious compact-sedan buyers in India, a move that helped it gain a lot of traction amongst the masses which logically led to better fortunes for the company in terms of profit. The tricks learnt from the Amaze were then applied to cars like the Mobilio and the all-new City - and inspired products like the upcoming BR-V. Honda retains its panache for creating very well-engineered cars, but is now better at pricing its cars right, with a good understanding of what Indian customers want - and it began with the Amaze.

The Amaze facelift comes at a very good time - its been three years since the model was first launched, the exterior and interior design had become too familiar for potential customers, new competitors have joined the fray - which has resulted in increased expectations from customers. While the update focuses slightly on exterior design - the main focus has been to make the Amaze look and feel refreshing on the inside. How has this been achieved? Let's find out.

Exterior Design

2016 Honda Amaze Facelift Front In Focus Top Angle

From the outside, the new Amaze feels familiar - yet somehow different, like that friend of yours you met after ages. The friendly face remains, but there are certainly some improvements. The Amaze ditches the small grille, which was directly lifted from the Brio hatchback, for a larger unit twin-slat that stretches the whole length between the headlamps. This gives the Amaze better presence - a sense of width and space is now evident, which the previous nose design failed to convey.

The headlamps remain the same as before -  the almond shaped single-reflector units have been carried over without any changes from the pre-facelift version. The front bumper is new though, and really adds character to the car.

2016 Honda Amaze Facelift Front Fascia

Though it may have taken inspiration from the Mobilio RS's front bumper, it holds its own. The addition of black fog-lamp surrounds and a honeycomb air-dam cover help break the monotone at the front as was the case in the pre-facelift model. The bumper also gets detailing which make Amaze look more aggressive than before - anyway there is enough design differences now between the Brio and its sibling to set them apart.

2016 Honda Amaze Facelift Right Side Profile

Move to the side and the design is very much similar to the outgoing Amaze. Not that Honda wanted to (or could) change much here - the small hood, long and large cabin area, and the stubby boot remain. The Amaze remains a good looker from the side, credits to the designers for making it look sleeker than it is - those surface details (creases and all) do hide the bulk very well.

2016 Honda Amaze Facelift Indicator-integrated ORVM

There are some small details here which you should take notice of - the Amaze facelift gets new LED indicator strips integrated onto the ORVMS - which are much more sleeker than the ones fitted on the pre-facelift model. Secondly, Honda is now offering the Amaze with different alloy-wheel designs for the petrol and diesel variants - I personally liked the ones on the diesel more - the spider-leg like design on the alloys fitted to the petrol variants seem out of place. The 14-inch alloy wheels look adequate - but 15-inchers would certainly improve the looks.

[gallery link="file" columns="2" size="medium" ids="19837,19868"]

Move on to the rear and that feeling of familiarity continues - the rear tail-gate with the huge chrome garnish, the tall-bumper and other elements remain the same. Honda has tweaked the design of the tail-lamps though - the single-piece units still straddle the boot but the order of the lamps have been revised and a new black-surround around it adds depth. The indicator is now on top, the brake lamp gets pushed to the bottom edge - it looks much better design than the unit in the older car. The line that originates just before the rear door handles seem to join the tail-lamps and continue onto the chrome bar - a very nice effect.

2016 Honda Amaze Facelift Tail-lamp

Interior Design

Honda has received a lot of flak for not spending too much time on the interiors of both the Amaze and the Mobilio - to make them look and feel different from the Brio - on which both these cars are based. With the facelift, the company has had the opportunity to address that issue at least in the Amaze.

2016 Honda Amaze Facelift Interior Dashboard Diesel Manual

The whole dashboard is new - check out the old dashboard below.

Honda Amaze interiors

The changes are obvious - and very refreshing! The new design has been directly lifted from the upcoming BR-V (which will create a conundrum when launched here sometime later in 2016). Gone are the cutesy round design theme, which looked cute on the Brio but was an eyesore in the Amaze. The dual-tone black-and-beige theme is carried over in a new avataar, with the silver inserts adding a premium touch. The centre console with piano black instruments look classy.

The new dashboard design is much more easy on the eyes - everything fits nicely with each other. The rectangular A/C vents, the new multimedia system with a simple monotone digital display (which is surprising considering the pre-facelift Amaze had been fitted with an audio-visual navigation unit), etc. Like the City and the Jazz though, there is this blank space beside the multimedia display, below the hazard-warning switch, which stands out weirdly.

2016 Honda Amaze Facelift Interior Climate Control Unit

The steering wheel design with the audio-control switches remain the same. But there is an all-new digital A/C control - which is standard across all variants of the car (climate control is available on the SX and VX trim only though)! This unit looks very premium - and is a unique feature in its segment. The good thing is that it is easy to use, buttons replace the normal circular switches which you usually see in other cars fitted with climate control. The system is responsive and easy to use - something like this would not be out of place on the Honda City (yes, that touchscreen system may look fancy, but it is hard to use). One thing that stands out here is the manual lever to control the circulation - why not make that automatic too Honda?

The next all-new addition to the interior is the instrument cluster. The unit is the same that can be found on the Jazz and the City - with cool blue illumination, speedometer/tachometer and a very informative multi-information display, an 'ECO lamp' to promote efficient driving and a gear-indicator on the automatic variants, etc.

2016 Honda Amaze Facelift Interior INstrumnt Custer Manual

[gallery link="file" columns="5" ids="19858,19859,19856,19857,19838"]

The cubby hole just below the A/C controls can hold knick knacks, but do not put your phone in there - unless it has a screen smaller than 5-inches. The console below that has a USB-input slot and a 12v power outlet - the USB-input slot is new, the older car had one attached to a cable.

2016 Honda Amaze Facelift Interior Cubby Space with Phone

The space in front of the gear-lever has a deep storage space after which there are two cup-holders. The gear console, at least on the CVT variants, is an expansive one - while the manual variants get the same golf-ball gear-head with the rubber lower-cover.

[gallery columns="2" size="medium" link="file" ids="19845,19867"]

The seat fabric has been changed slightly, they do not feature the light brown contrast bits now, instead the whole seat is beige. The door pads have also been given the whole beige look - the upper black plastic bit on the older car has been replaced. The door pads are still all plastic, the addition of some fabric especially beside the door armrests would have been welcome. The door-armrests on the new car gets the same theme as on the new dashboard, all black with silver inserts.

2016 Honda Amaze Facelift Interior Door-Pad Controls

The changes made to the interior stop here. The rear cabin of the Amaze remains a spacious place to be in, but there is nothing new here.

2016 Honda Amaze Facelift Interior Rear Seats

Engine and Transmission

The Honda Amaze is still offered with the same set of engines - the 1.2-litre, 4-cylinder naturally-aspirated petrol and the 1.5-litre, 4-cylinder turbocharged diesel. While both the engines are offered as standard with 5-speed manual transmission - the Amaze petrol is now offered with a CVT rather than a torque converter, as was the case before. Honda is backing CVTs in a big way globally, and the addition of the CVT reflects this. The Amaze is the only car in its segment to be offered with a CVT, the Maruti Suzuki DZire utilises a torque converter and so does the Hyundai Xcent.

2016 Honda Amaze Facelift Left Profile Dynamic

We briefly drove both the Amaze petrol CVT and the Amaze diesel to find out how they drive. The Honda Amaze with the petrol motor mated to the CVT is best driven in the city - and you will have to unlearn at least of what you know about driving. Unlike other manual transmissions, mashing the accelerator is not going to do much apart from generating a lot of noise. Even though the engine is slightly more powerful (90PS as compared to 88PS on the manual petrol variant) and generates more torque (110Nm as compared to 109Nm), the Amaze CVT is best driven with a light foot as the transmission zaps power like crazy.

2016 Honda Amaze Facelift Interior Automatic Gear-unit

What the Amaze CVT does offer is the peace of mind of not changing gears, comparatively better efficiency (Honda boasts that it will return 18.1 kmpl, as per ARAI), smooth power delivery (if you can resist mashing the accelerator) etc. The 'S' or sporty mode is best not used - it only make the car whine louder and give no visible/noticeable performance advantage. The 'L' mode helps tackle steep inclines and also allows for engine braking when going down-hill. Be aware that the CVT demands more investment during servicing - it requires a specific transmission oil and servicing schedules have to be adhered to without fail.

2016 Honda Amaze Facelift Badge

We also had a go in the diesel variant of the Amaze to see if Honda had made any changes to the car. This is the most satisfying car to drive in the range if you discount the engine-noise - though that can be cancelled out by playing music through the reasonably good music system that comes fitted with the car. Highway speeds are electronically limited to 150 kmph so that the lighter Amaze does not give the bigger City a run for its money.

Ride and handling, in both the cases, the car feels no different than before. The suspension is supple on most occasions except when sharp bumps are encountered. The light steering makes the car easy to maneuver in the city and weighs up nicely at higher speeds - but it is not very inspiring around high speed corners.

Safety

The Honda Amaze is fitted with ABS and EBD as standard across all variants except the E petrol and S petrol. Dual front airbags are offered only on the SX and VX variants - but Honda has promised that all its cars will get dual front airbags as standard beginning April 2016. While the move is commendable, it seems unfair for customers who will get their cars for now without them. Front fog lamps are only available on the top-of-the-line VX variant for now, but they can be easily retrofitted in the lower variants. Front seatbelt pre-tentioner with load-limiter is only available on the SX and VX variants.

Conclusion

The Amaze facelift is a good update - it definitely looks better now on the outside. Though there is no hiding the fact that it is based on the Brio, the petrol-CVT variant adds convenience. The new interiors make the Amaze a very very good place to be in - and gives it one of the best interiors in the segment. Also, the new Bluish Titanium colour (in the pictures above) looks very good on the Amaze.

What more should Honda have done? Offer dual-airbags as standard on all the variants of the Amaze from the get go, offered a foot-rest for the driver in the CVT variant, offer a touch-screen AVN system again (not exactly the unit it offered on the older model - it was not too good), offer a start-stop button or clean up the panel where the button should have been placed and improve interior fit and finish as it is nowhere close to the Hyundai Xcent.

Overall, the new Honda Amaze is a great improvement - but is it good enough to keep up the fight in this ever growing segment? We will have to do a comparison test to find out. Stay tuned to Gaadi.com.

Shares

Honda Amaze Videos

Watch latest video reviews of Honda Amaze to know about its interiors, exteriors, performance, mileage and more.

Trending Honda Cars

  • Popular
  • Upcoming
  • Comparison