Honda Amaze Facelift Long Term Review
The Honda Amaze diesel impresses with its driveability and easy to use nature
I have been a Honda fanboy right from the early days of the brand in Asia, when they used to sell the older versions of the City and Accord, which were really something to drive and own! While the City, Accord and then the Civic got some really good success for Honda and created a premium appeal for the automaker here, the company then started launching mass-market offerings like the Brio, Amaze and Mobilio to grow their customer base. The Amaze was known for its quirky exteriors and interiors but Honda improved the package some time back when they gave the compact sedan a mid-life facelift.
The compact sedan segment today has a lot of competition. There is the Maruti DZire which sits at the top while the other cars like the Hyundai Xcent, Tata Tigor and Zest, Ford Aspire, Honda Amaze and Volkswagen Ameo are rivalling each other. The Amaze might not be a hot-seller but it has definitely got a lot of sales for Honda and it even used to be the second highest selling car in its segment for many months. When Honda facelifted the car, they improvised on a lot of things like the exteriors and interiors while the good things like the fuel efficiency and driving dynamics remain unchanged.
Talking about the exteriors, you just cannot deny that it is very difficult for automakers to make a compact sedan (read under 4-metres) look like a proper sedan. Hardly a couple of them have managed to get it right. The Amaze is one of those few compact sedans that doesn’t exactly look like a boot was stuck on the hatch without any thought. Thanks to its sharp creases and lines, the Amaze looks proportionate from most angles but the side profile still isn’t the best-looking out there. At the front, you get a revised bumper and grille while at the rear you get tweaked tail lights. The new front fascia makes the Amaze look very mature compared to the older car. The headlights have good throw in the low beam but I would have liked the high beam to be a tad more powerful.
The dashboard also gets a new design now which again looks far better than the odd looking unit earlier. The instrument cluster gets bright blue lights which tend to get a bit distracting at night and the solution to this is to reduce the light’s brightness. The quality of materials on the inside isn’t the best out there but is okay for this price point. Where the Amaze really excels is comfort and practicality. The front seats are large in size and the cushioning is on the softer side. The driving position is excellent but the steering alignment on our test car is a bit off which means I need to hold the steering turned slightly towards the left if I want the car to go straight.
The interiors of the Amaze excel in practicality with good storage spaces
I always tend to remove my mobile phone, wallet, keys and other small things from my pocket when I’m driving and that’s where the Amaze really impressed me. The number of storage spaces and cubby holes in the cabin is just brilliant and the doors also get a 1-litre bottle holder each. There is more than enough space to keep all your things from flying. However, I do have quite a few grouses with the equipment list. First up, the audio system is a very basic unit and on my first day with the car, I struggled to find the Bluetooth pairing option. The sound quality from the speakers is just so-so. Secondly, you do get steering-mounted audio controls but Honda seems to have mixed up the signing on the ‘Volume’ and ‘Channel’ buttons because ideally, the volume button should get + and – signs while the channel button should get < and > signs, but here it is the opposite and that’s confusing until you finally get used to it.