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


    As with the exterior, the front half of the Amaze’s interior is largely the same as the Brio, while most of the changes have been made at the back. That means the same asymmetric, three-tone dashboard with its circular air-con vents and hooded instrument binnacle. Here too, the design, materials and build quality, while suitable for a compact hatchback, simply do not cut it in a sedan, and neither does the quirky looking rubber boot surrounding the base of the manual gearlever.

    These days, a number of features, though not essential, have become de-rigueur on sedans, and a lot of these are conspicuous by their absence on the Amaze. The most obvious one is climate control  and other smaller omissions are button-operated electric central locking, speed-sensitive auto-locking doors and seatbelt height adjustment. Honda has, however, added electric folding mirrors, which aren’t available on the Brio, to the top Amaze variants, while also giving the sedan a rear defogger and covering up the ugly exposed body panels in the front door pockets.

    The slim front seats from the Brio make a return, fixed headrests and all, and while they are very comfortable, even on longer journeys, they are lacking slightly in shoulder support. The already great driving position and outward visibility can now be enhanced thanks to the addition of driver’s seat height adjustment with a full 50mm of travel.

    The space in the rear seat is quite astounding for a sub-four-metre car; the lengthened wheelbase has really paid dividends here. Unless the front and rear occupants are over 6ft tall, there is more than sufficient legroom, and the headroom is better than in the Brio thanks to the roof that stretches further back. Honda has taken on consumer feedback and really worked to improve the ambience back here. The seat is all new – wider, longer, with plusher cushioning and a flip-down centre armrest with two cup-holders. It’s really comfy, too, with good support for your back and thighs, though a third passenger might make shoulder room a bit tight. The seatback doesn’t fold down like in the Brio because of a strengthening brace behind it. The longer doors have allowed for longer side armrests (which house the window switches), the speakers have been moved from the doors to the rear parcel shelf for more width, and there are one-litre bottle-holders on each side. Speaking of which, Honda has managed to cram five bottle holders and four cup-holders into this car. 

    The 400-litre boot is big by compact sedan standards and will easily accommodate two medium-sized suitcases. The loading lip is a little high, but the aperture is wide, and the neat packaging means the wheel arches don’t intrude too much.

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