Honda Amaze review, test drive

    Two firsts for a Honda rolled into one — a compact sedan and a diesel

    Published on Jun 10, 2013 07:06:00 PM


    This is a sedan version of the Brio and as a result, head on, the two are almost indistinguishable, save for a few minor details. The grille now has two chrome bars instead of the Brio’s single chrome strip, and higher variants of the Amaze get indicators in the wing mirrors and body-coloured surrounds for the air dam in the bumper, but that’s it. You can sense that most of the development costs have gone into the car’s rear.

    The boot has been very neatly integrated and, in profile, it doesn’t look abrupt or truncated as with other sub-four-metre saloons. This is a proper three-box car. Also, the wheelbase is 60mm longer than the Brio’s, which makes rear-seat legroom better. The boot is very upright, but the wrap-around tail-lamps and the thick chrome strip on the bootlid help disguise it. The rear door is much larger than the Brio’s, so there’s a neat second crease running from the tail-lamp through the rear door handle to give some character to the flat sheetmetal.

    The 14-inch alloys are different from the Brio, and there are separate wheel designs for petrol and diesel models. Bigger wheels and tyres could have given the Amaze a better look, a more planted feel and a plusher ride, but Honda says this would have added too much weight. In fact, lightness is one of this car’s biggest strengths, aiding its performance, driving dynamics and fuel efficiency. The base petrol manual model weighs just 950kg, and even a fully loaded diesel is only 1075kg.

    Bringing the bantamweight saloon to a halt very effectively are disc brakes at the front and drums at the rear. The pedal feel is great and the ABS system (standard on the diesels, but available on the A/T and VX petrol variants only) is very well calibrated. However, only the VX variants get a pair of airbags to round off the safety kit.

    In terms of build quality, the Amaze is in the same league as the Brio, which isn’t such a good thing in this class of car. It is well put together, but there’s a lightness to the doors and body panels that robs the car of some premium feel. Buyers of sedans, even compact sedans, expect a certain feeling of solidity from their car.


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