Amazing customers the compact way

Amazing customers the compact way

Honda Amaze

When Honda debuted the Amaze five years ago, it unlocked a new set of trends for the market and the company at large. On the one hand, the car enlivened one of the most sought-after segments of the market – the sub-4 metre Lower C-Segment with a proven sedan, and at the same time, it ignited Honda’s push in the diesel car space.

For decades since inception, the Japanese automobile legend ruled with its petrol-driven cars, with a rare sense of risk and strategy, at a time when the competition was trying out new powertrain modes, especially in diesel engines. It was in India, however, that Honda began to look at diesel seriously, and the Amaze became the first car from its stable to sport the cutting-edge i-DTEC diesel engine, and was positioned alongside the proven i-VTEC petrol engine. And India, a diesel car-hungry market then, with an extra taste for quality automobiles, was quick to take note of the new Amaze, which has managed to sell over 2.5 lakh units.

Come 2018, and the all-new Honda Amaze comes across as quite a revelation. The car, which was developed at the Honda R&D Asia Pacific Co in Thailand, has been created keeping in mind the intricate demands of the Indian customer. The development team wanted the all-new Amaze to offer a high-quality feeling from driving to luxurious interior design. The all-new Amaze is based on a totally new platform that incorporates Honda’s advanced engineering.

A smart-looking compact sedan, the Honda Amaze 2018 is way beyond a facelift – A car which looks, feels and drives different and better, yet holds onto Honda’s marquee nameplate: the Amaze.

As usual, India being a key and important strategic market for Honda globally is the first country to launch this new model. Following extensive market surveys in the country on people’s driving behaviour, needs, and lifestyles, Honda was committed to developing the best vehicle in this segment to meet the needs of Indian consumers.

Compact limo

Built on the grand concept of ‘Amazing Compact Limousine’, one must be puzzled by this unique declaration by the company. One many fronts, the new 2nd Generation Amaze impresses – be it design, styling, performance, features, space and safety.

The said grand concept expresses Honda’s intention to create and develop the one-class-above compact sedan segment. Amazing for a sleek solid design, Compact for overwhelming space for both cabin and cargo within a size of 4 metres, and Limousine for a super comfortable ride.

One of the first visual elements that can be encountered is its unconventional, yet sublime design. Within its compact size, Honda emphasises an aerodynamic sleek line from the firm long nose and large bonnet, to the rear trunk.

Honda highlights the vehicle’s exterior image with strong positive surface tension and sleek proportions to create a masculine and solid sedan in accordance with the exterior concept. The dynamic and powerful lower body expresses the strength of this form even more.

The aggressive long nose seamlessly integrates with the sleek and spacious cabin, expressing a premium sedan form.

Another attractive design cue is Honda’s signature ‘Solid Wing Face’, which continues to the front view, showing the high-tension surface, strength, and strong motion by connecting the character line from the headlights to the front grill. The dynamic and powerful lower body matches the rear fenders and rear view for a strong stance, highlighting the sedan-like form.

The all-new Amaze is equipped with headlamps-integrated signature LED position lamps for the first time. The lighting system was designed under Honda’s own Smart Human Tec strategy and provides excellent visibility, while reflecting Honda’s identity.

Meanwhile, the car sports 15-inch aluminium alloy wheels, up from the previous model’s 14-inch ones. The new wheels have a premium dynamic design with an angular cross structure. The bigger spokes highlight the vehicle’s masculine, solid feeling and premium class, while providing for a strong 3D design.

In the looks department, it must be honestly stated that at first, the new Amaze is rather unconventional to behold, with its sharp features. But its unique design cues slowly draws on you, and you realise what a beauty the car is.

Within the cabin, the company has incorporated a concept called ‘Serenity Passion – wherein Serenity refers to a solidly-made structure with a balanced functional layout, and comfortable space with warm and calm colours; while Passion refers to rich shapes with tension, edge and integrated decoration.

The interior is designed to achieve dynamic comfort beyond its compact class. Passengers in the rear seat will experience an ‘amazing’ feeling, just like sitting in a limousine. With a solidly-made structure and a balanced functional layout, the cabin is a comfortable space with warm and calm shades. The new Amaze even surpasses the highly spacious cabin of the previous model, especially in the rear seat. 

And it has one of the most striking cockpits in the segments. With white-illuminated gradations on a black background for an advanced and premium feel, the tachometer is to the left of the speedometer. Taking centre-stage, a series of lights displays a variety of information. The wide instrument panel in the Amaze carries a curved console shape at the end that expresses high tension and high quality, offering wide visibility. The car has a more optimised driving position. As a result, the front look down angle, forward ground clearance invisible distance, and front look up angle are improved.

The centre controls are easy to use and very practical.  The high and low positions of the key features show emotion and provide a premium feeling to the internal space.

In terms of in-cabin comfort, the all-new Amaze offers more headroom, shoulder-room, legroom, and kneeroom. By extending the wheelbase an additional +65 mm (applying Man Maximum, Machine Minimum principle), the model offers top passenger space in this class, while still maintaining a large trunk space, which on its part has been increased to 420 litres.

The interior has several 1-litre bottle storage compartments throughout, together with a range of other types of storage areas.

Smart ride

One must truly commend Honda for the amount of style it peppers in with functionality, when it creates the instrument clusters for its cars.

Going with the times and catering to the specific demands of discerning customers, the new Honda Amaze is equipped with a host of smart features that are tech-enabled and intelligent at the same time. These minute aspects make the car all the more special.

The sharply-styled side-turn mirror has integrated LED turn indicators for the first time, which provides more linear styling. The model features power-adjustable and power-foldable mirrors. Touch-operated smart entry is applied for easier and more convenient use, including Door Unlock: Smart entry has a unique digital identity that is recognised by the vehicle, when the driver approaches. With the touch sensor inside door handle, in order to enter the vehicle, the driver simply pulls one of the front door handles, while the remote is in his or her possession; Door Lock: After parking the vehicle, pressing the soft-touch lock button on either front door handle locks all doors and the trunk to secure the car; and Trunk Open: Pressing the soft-touch button located on the rear fascia opens the trunk.

Then there is the - One-push Start Button with colour indicators, Shark-fin Antenna, Paddle shift for Petrol CVT, Audio control switch, Hands-free telephone switch, One-touch turn signal, Cruise control switch.

The all-new Amaze is equipped with an Advanced Infotainment System and an Audio Visual Navigation system. The Digital Media Audio and the AVN with an embedded navigation system can be used with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, by connecting through the USB port near the front seat. Voice commands to turn the radio on and off, a hands-free telephone, and the navigation system can be operated when a smartphone is connected to the system.

The car also comes with a rear camera, viewable on the AVN. It also features Bluetooth audio with four 17-cm speakers to provide clear sound.

Thrill on the road

While Honda has scored and won many tests on the petrol front, its diesel cars pack as much a punch and sometimes even more. And the Amaze is no exception.

Getting to drive the diesel manual version is no surprise that the car is a thrill to drive on the road, offering absolute control with power and safety.

The 1.5L i-DTEC engine delivers maximum power output of 100 PS @ 3,600 rpm and 200 Nm @ 1,750 rpm with the manual transmission, and 80 PS @ 3,600 rpm and 160 Nm @ 1750 rpm, with the CVT transmission.

The friction reduction in Diesel engine has helped realise top-class engine performance and fuel consumption. The car simply takes off, and with absolute spontaneous grace. The car can reach a top speed hovering over 160 kmph.

The vehicle’s wheelbase and width offer greater steering stability and ride comfort. It works perfectly across most road conditions; city, highway and even uphill. The new engineering platform design maintains a total length of 4 metres, while improving performance in the event of a collision. But the ground clearance of the car could have been better, as it can be felt bumping on every odd speed-breaker or rough road on the way.

Meanwhile, the 1.2L i-VTEC petrol engine has been improved to offer excellent fuel consumption by reducing friction for each engine part. The maximum power from the petrol engine is 90 PS @ 6,000 rpm, and maximum torque of 110 Nm @ 4,800 rpm.

For the first time, Honda has offered CVT transmission with both diesel and petrol trims. Meanwhile, the new Amaze features Honda’s Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body, which enhances self-protection while mitigating damage to other vehicles and pedestrians in the event of a collision. The vehicle is equipped with other active and passive safety technologies such as ABS with EBD, Driver’s Seat i-SRS Airbag System, Passenger’s Seat SRS Airbag System, Front 3-Point Load Limiters with Pretensioner ELR Seat Belt, and Rear Parking Sensors, among others.

The 2nd-Generation Amaze is due for launch on May 16, during which its price will be announced. One thing is clear that Honda never fails to Amaze.