2021 Honda Amaze facelift test drive review: Minor updates, major ambitions
Honda Amaze came into existence back in 2013 with an aim to address the needs of customers in the segment smaller than Honda's best-seller ‘City’ sedan. In fact, it did ‘amaze’ Indian customers with its wow affordability factor and light on pocket maintenance, but was still miles behind the segment leader in terms of overall sales. It was then given a generation change in 2018 and recently a mild makeover was done as a mid-cycle update. This was the first time the car was given a proper update ever since its generation change, so what the new Amaze is all about? Read to know!
The new facelift has introduced several minor cosmetic changes to the car. From a distance, you may find the new Amaze to be almost the same as the previous year model, but walk closer and you’ll start to notice some major changes, concentrated mostly at the front. The most significant of all is the use of a new front main grille which is sleeker and uses fine chrome molding lines. This is indeed noticeable since the previous model used to feature a very distinctive and chunky front grille.
(Also see | More pics of 2021 Honda Amaze facelift)
The newly tweaked front grille is also flanked by the modern and stylish looking updated LED Projector Headlamps with integrated signature LED DRLs. In addition, there are also new advanced LED Front Fog lamps with sleek chrome garnish and a redesigned front bumper lower grille which gives its front a wider appearance. Over the sides, while the foldable ORVMs remain the same, what has changed is the use of new chrome handles with touch sensors and also the new diamond cut, multi-spoke alloy wheels that replace the previous more traditional looking units. Over the rear, you’ll find new C-shaped LED rear combination lamps that add to the refreshed appeal of the car. Apart from these tweaks, there is a new exterior paint scheme, but the rest of the design and styling of the Amaze remain the same.
Changes on the Amaze facelift remain subtle on the inside too. The overall layout and design of the cabin remain exactly the same as found on the previous model. This means that the overall look of the dashboard, seats, steering etc remain unaltered. New bits on the inside include the use of Satin Silver accents on the dashboard, doors and the steering wheel, that give the cabin a richer, plusher look. It now also gets a new front map lamp and a multi-view rear camera. While there's no harm in carrying forward the good bits, especially if it's serving the purpose well, something sort of an updated instrument console or a new infotainment system could have added more excitement inside the new Amaze which is missing at this point.
The Amaze carries over its DIGIPAD 2.0 – 7" Touchscreen display that offers smart connectivity through Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Weblink etc. This system also hosts more advanced functionality like Voice Command, Messages, Bluetoothand more. Additionally, it now also gets a Rear Camera display for enhanced parking convenience in tight spots.
That said, other minor updates on the inside include new stitching pattern over the seat upholstery, leather boot for manual transmission shift lever and trunk lid lining. The rest of the cabin design, space and layout remain unchanged.
Engine, transmission and performance:
The Honda Amaze continues along with the same set of engine options that include a 1.2 petrol and a 1.5 diesel units. While the former delivers 90 PS, the oil burner pushes out 100 PS of power. There is absolutely no change in its mechanical tech-specs and other technical configuration. In fact, also the transmission options - a 5-speed manual and CVT remain the same.
I got a chance to try the petrol/CVT trim that remains refined and smooth with the power delivery and impresses with its urgency to lunge forward with a heavy foot on the gas, but the slouchy CVT lets down when you are in a mood for some fun. The car also gets paddle shifters for the time when your inner sports car driver wants to break free. But its steering response isn’t the most direct you’d find in cars of its segment. On corners, the car doesn't feel as planted and that's mostly because of its overtly light steering that can use some weight and precision. It remains stable on highway speeds and handles the ‘not so smooth’ patches of the roads confidently. But where the Amaze clearly outshines is the practicality and efficiency it offers. Its claimed mileage of up to 24.7 kmpl (Diesel MT) promises to make a difference for the buyers seeking an option in the compact sedan segment.
Also, its quiet, comfortable and convenience-oriented space makes it one of the most practical and friendly cars to own, especially when taking into account the kind of space and features it provides. In addition, its seats offer decent all-around support, and the cabin isolation is also quite impressive.
In short, with the latest update, the Amaze continues to remain a light-footed option that is comfortable, and easy to live with.
The last words:
The Honda Amaze has certainly become a better version of itself with the latest update, and it continues to ace the competition with its class defining comfort and convenience. But changes on the new car are too subtle to call it a proper facelift in my books.
In summary, for 2021 it only gets a new exterior paint theme, some minor design changes and additional silver hints along with a few new features on the inside. And that’s it. Of course not to forget, all this is accompanied by a bigger price tag which now starts from ₹6.32 lakh and extends all the way up to ₹11.15 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).