The all-new second generation Honda Amaze has been launched in the country, starting at a price tag of Rs 559,900 ex-showroom, New Delhi, with the top-of-the-line diesel automatic placed at Rs 899,900 ex-showroom, New Delhi.
While the outgoing model was based on its hatchback sibling, Brio, the new Amaze is a completely ground-up design, boasting an all-new platform, which is 65mm longer in wheelbase and also offers 5mm more track width than the previous generation car. The new platform utilises 22 percent more high-tensile steel, which has aided in lightweighting the car by 17kg.
Honda has lifted styling cues from its current 10th-generation Civic sedan and the Honda Amaze gets a raised hood, with a steeply raked chrome grille doing duty upfront. While the headlamps are sleek in design, they miss a DRL function, which is a growing trend in the segment. However, the top VX trim does get a signature LED parking lamp.
Towards the side, the car gets clean lines on its body panels, with new 15-inch alloy wheels replacing the older 14-inch rims. The rear end culminates in a short and stubby boot, with C-shaped tail lamps akin the Civic completing the overall contemporary design theme.
Overhauled interior that's also spacious
On the inside, the new Honda Amaze gets a fully revamped interior, with plusher seats and the front seats also getting adjustable head restraints, which was not the case in the outgoing model. The dashboard gets a completely new design, with silver accents and piano-black garnishes adding a touch of premium-ness to the cabin.
While the steering wheel and the gear knob are new too, the car also gets an automatic climate control system for the first time. The new Amaze comes with a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, christened the 'Digipad' on its top trim.
The car comes powered by two engine options – a 1.2-litre four-cylinder petrol motor, which develops 90bhp of peak power and a 1.5-litre four-cylinder 'Earth Dreams’ series diesel motor, which develops 99bhp. The drivetrain options include a re-worked 5-speed manual transmission, which has now become lighter, and a 7-speed CVT option on both petrol, as well as diesel variants.
The diesel engine, however, has been de-tuned to churn out 20 percent less power at 80bhp in the diesel CVT variant for offering a smoother performance. The company has also worked to redress the NVH complaints in the diesel motor, which been achieved by putting in a completely new block, and improving the engine head material.
On the safety front, the Amaze comes equipped with dual airbags, and ABS with EBD as standard fitment on-board, with the car also being tested for frontal offset, side impact and pedestrian protection at Honda's R&D labs in Japan.
According to Gaku Nakanichi, president and CEO, HCIL, “India is a favoured destination for global brands, with the Indian auto industry also pegged to grow in the coming future. India is one of the most significant markets for Honda Motor and we are resolute about bringing our latest technology to the country, and show our long-term commitment to the market.”
“Honda Cars India is the top contributor in the Asia-Oceania region for Honda Motor Company, with 23 percent of the overall sales. The Amaze, CRV and the Civic, which will be launched throughout this fiscal, will further enhance our foothold in the market and ensure of a good product assault in FY2019,” he added.
While the new Amaze is targeted squarely at salaried professionals and businessmen in the age bracket of 25-40 years, Honda also aims to expand its reach to a newer and younger set of buyers, who are in the market for their first car.
According to Rajesh Goel, senior vice-president and director, sales and marketing, Honda Cars India, “We have been able to give a big-car feel to the Amaze, with the rear legroom being the best in the segment. Also, the boot is largest in its class. Moreover, I would also believe that the diesel CVT is going to be a definite attraction and USP for this car because it's a first time offering from Honda, as well as a first in the industry in India. With the CVT, our R&D has done a lot of work, where we have tried to draw the best balance between torque and acceleration. I expect the sales ratio of diesel to petrol in the new Amaze is going to be substantially higher than the outgoing car.”
In its segment, Honda is the second brand to offer a diesel-automatic combination, with Maruti pioneering this in the compact sedan segment with its Dzire AMT. At this price point, the Amaze is about the same price as rivals like the Hyundai Xcent (Rs 5.46-8.57 lakh), Maruti Suzuki Dzire (Rs 5.56-9.43 lakh) and Ford Aspire (Rs 5.71-8.46 lakh) (all prices, ex-showroom, Delhi).
Also read: New Honda Amaze variants explained