Honda has just announced the 2018 Amaze and the auto enthusiasts can’t stop boasting about it. The compact sedan is now larger, spacious and bags a shedload of new features. The variants are priced rather competitively, the petrol models range between Rs 5.59 – 7.99 lakh (Ex-showroom), while the diesel models are priced at Rs 6.69-8.99 lakh (Ex-showroom), raising the bar for the quality vs price graph in the sub-4-meter sedan category in Indian automobile market.
All new Honda Amaze will compete with the likes of Maruti Suzuki Dzire, Hyundai Xcent among others. With Dzire currently leading the segment in terms of sales, moreover getting a complete makeover last year, Amaze needed to pump up the competition and has a lot to offer in terms of space, luxury and styling. Honda and Maruti Suzuki have always been arch rivals in the segment, and have always known for putting segment first features in their cars, for instance with the new Dzire, Maruti Suzuki introduced the new AMT gearbox on both Petrol and Diesel engines. Honda has upped the game by bringing CVT gearbox to the segment, which is much superior in technology than Maruti’s AMT, which is laggy and jerky by instincts. CVT offers a linear and smooth delivery of power to the wheels and was already spotted in City’s automatic variants, but only in the Petrol models, now though, Honda has introduced segment-first CVT for its Diesel engines with the 2018 Amaze.
2018 Honda Amaze is a completely redesigned car from bottom-up, not just a minor facelift. The new design is catchy and more muscular in styling, unlike the boring and bland design of the earlier model. In terms of styling, it looks like a younger cousin of the ongoing Honda City, which is a decisive factor for many as the car appears to be from a luxurious category (read again, appears!). The Amaze features a sporty new front fascia, with sharp headlamps with integrated LED positioning lights and DRLs. The thick and wide chrome bar, derived from the City’s, and bold bumper with black housing embedding the fog lamps, looks sleek and well thought.
Looking at the side profile, sporty DNA of the front fascia is visible and sporty alloy wheels add to its overall styling. The body coloured door handles, large glass area, LED turn indicator integrated ORVMs etc. are other subtle features adding to the wow factor. At the rear of the compact sedan, the taillights get a tenth-gen Honda Civic inspired – C shaped look. Adding to the aerodynamics of the car, the boot-lid gets a slightly protruding lip spoiler, giving it a boxy look at the rear, much similar to the Ford’s Aspire, as well as Volkswagen’s Ameo.
Dzire featured the category-leading interiors so far, but the new Amaze is here to show it down, and let us look how. The first look at Amaze makes one notice the dual-tone interior design, with a 3-spoke multi-functional steering wheel and a twin-pod instrument cluster. The instrument cluster is larger and has analogue dials along with a digital MID. A much-needed addition of the new touchscreen infotainment system, featuring both the Apple CarPlay and the Android Auto, adds to both styling and functionality. Amaze’s space and comfort are impressive and the redesigned seats hold the passengers well in the front and give ample knee and headroom to the rear passengers.
Engine & Transmission
The engine options are similar to the ongoing variants, which includes 1.2-litre iVTEC petrol engine and a 1.5-litre iDTEC diesel motor. The petrol engine churns out 89 bhp of peak power at 6,000 rpm and 110 Nm of peak torque at 4,800 rpm. While the diesel motor produces 99 bhp of peak power at 3,600 rpm and 200 Nm of peak torque at 1,750 rpm, for the manual version, along with the addition of a downscaled iDTEC motor with 80 bhp of peak power for automatic variants. The transmission options to choose from are 5-speed manual, as well as CVT with the option of Paddle-shifters, for both petrol and diesel models.
Honda has not compromised on the safety bit, and the new Amaze gets all the necessary safety features including dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, child seat anchor points, seatbelt warning etc. The new and redesigned structure aids in absorbing any major impact, which seems to be inspired by City’s ACE structure technology.
With competitive pricing and contemporary looks, we feel the 2018 Honda Amaze will prove to be a strong contender in the Compact Sedan category. Standards are raised and it is now ready to compete with rivals like Maruti Suzuki Dzire, Hyundai Xcent, Volkswagen Ameo, Ford Aspire, among others.